Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why We Support Our Local Grocery Store Chain (Stater Bros.)

We love the Stater Bros. grocery store here on Goat Hill, the one on 22nd St. and Newport Blvd., because it is compact yet fully stocked and run by friendly folks. The cashiers are always polite and responsive to cheerful conversation.

Sunday's Orange County Register showed me another reason, their support of our troops. Stater Bros. will send a free care package featuring their brand of goodies, snacks and more to service member deployed overseas.

If you have such a person in your family, just send an email to with the service member's name, title and address.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sampler 17: Black Widow

The PAL assigned this sampler is not a Marvel fan. In fact, she's an anti-Marvel fan since she hated Spiderman as a kid. She couldn't stand the whiney, angsty Peter Parker. She was a fan of well-adjusted heroes, like Superman and Batman. Or maybe it was more she was raised to suck it up and deal with things.

Anyway, we were all curious how she would react to Black Widow Forever Red and were surprised to hear she enjoyed it. The young fencers bored her but she liked Natasha. She made a mistake dumping a kid on the government and not staying in touch with the child though. That decision will probably have consequences.

The sampler's back says children all over the globe begin to go missing. Apparently that's what the rest of the book is about, but none of it is in the sampler.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sampler 16:The Shepherd's Crown, by Terry Pratchet

The PAL who picked up this sampler has never read a book by Terry Pratchett. Everyone else was eager to hear her reaction because Terry Pratchett is a much-loved author among our group. One of us has even ordered his books through Amazon UK because they were published in Britain months before their US release. Mr. Pratchett was an original mind whose works have delighted millions and we were all sad when he died.

Back to The Shepherd's Crown. Our reader reports:

"Of course I loved this sampler. As a GHPAL, how could I not love a book that features a potty-trained goat that can count. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Costa Mesa Historical Society Hosts an OC History Exposition May 22

The flyer says everything. Many of our members will be going. The scribe will promoting the Southern California Genealogical Society's Genealogy Jamboree in June.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Free Comic Book Day is Tomorrow!!!

Want to find a comic store? There's a website to find one for you. Free Comic Book Day Website

As for us, we're going to our favorite store, Alakazam Comics. It's our favorite because we used to go to its satellite store on 17th before it closed just before the Great Recession. 

What Makes Effective Promotional Material for Films

As promised we're posting a blog on promotional postcards for films. We certainly had the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of various graphic designs as we watched ticket buyers look over the varied selection in front of our laptops. Certain cards were looked at often while others were ignored. We ran out of the ones with the most appeal.

The best cards have a graphic that creates curiosity. The Population Zero card sucked everyone right in. It was the most examined of any card in front of us because the picture was so striking. Everyone who picked it up turned it over and read the back to see what the film was about. They found it isn't about zero population growth.

The Film Title must be prominent and clearly visible. Look at this card. We had several people ask us why the film wasn't in the program because they thought the title was You Are Invited. It isn't. The title is American Wrestler: The Wizard. Compare this card to Population Zero's, where the title is prominent and could not possibly be missed.

The card must convey information about the film that gives the reader some idea what the film is about. A one or two sentence synopsis is good, but the length isn't as important as the information conveyed. The card for Madtown had several paragraphs while Population Zero's had one.

A few well-chosen words can do the trick, especially when images will show what the film is about. The card for the Russian film Battalion. did this effectively. Nearly everyone who picked it up took it with them because the images drew them in. Personally your scribe wishes the filmmakers hadn't put a big red sticker across the woman's chest because it hid her uniform, but you can't miss when the film would be showing. 
The card must list a website or Facebook page where more information is available. It can be on the front or the back, but it must be legible. 

The promotional material can be blank on the back. I like them that way because I use postcards to send brief notes to family. 

Size, or form, should follow function. In other words, it should be determined by how it will be distributed. Postcards aren't the only effective size and they are expensive. One Big Home's filmmakers passed out a a cost-effective half-page flyer that didn't have a brief synopsis of the film. It was effective because he talked about the film to the people who took the paper from him. The flyer was just a memory trigger.
Avoid Cliches. Silhouettes and people looking soulfully across a body of water are overused images.

Here are some of our favorite cards.
We sat across from this poster for The Lennon Report for 8 days and saw something new all the time.
This card reflects the Cat, Bird Coyote's unique imagery. Too bad the sticker covers some of the graphics.

The film Year by the Sea is based on a best-selling book and the card looks like a book cover. This card was popular.

A minister's robe decorated with rainbow wheels gives an impression of the theme of An Act of Love. The back has a one sentence synopsis of its story.

Isn't this dog the cutest? Of course you wants to know what he's looking at, so you want to see the film and learn why How You Look at It matters.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Perfect Ending to a Good Story (Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo)

August 2015 we wrote a post a sampler for Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows. We went on to read the three books in Ms Bardugo's trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. They were wonderful. Six of Crows not so much, but that's a different posting.

This post is about the end of the third book. After all the struggles are over, the dead are buried and peace has returned. The central characters, a boy and a girl,  are together, as they deserve to be, living in their childhood home, raising children like they had been raised.

The last page has one of the finest story closures we have ever read, and we must share it with our readers. You don't have to know their story. It is enough to know it's the end of it.

The boy and girl had both known loss, and their grief did not leave them. Sometimes he would find her standing by a window, fingers playing in the beams of sunlight that streamed through the glass, or sitting on the front steps of the orphanage, staring at the stump of the oak tree next to the drive. Then he would go to her, draw her close, and lead her to the shores of Trivka's pond, where the insects buzzed and the grass grew high and sweet, where old wounds might be forgotten.

She saw sadness in the boy too. Though the woods still welcomed him, he was separated from them now, the bond born into his bones burned away in the same moment that he'd given up his life for her.

But then the hour would pass, and the teachers would catch them giggling in a dim hallway or kissing by the stairs. Besides, most days were too full for mourning. There were classes to teach, meals to prepare, letters to write. When evening fell, the boy would bring the girl a glass of tea, a slice of lemon cake, an apple blossom floating in a blue cup. He would kiss her neck and whisper new names in her ear: beauty, beloved, cherished, my heart.

They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things–if love can ever be called that.