My Progress

Friday, August 24, 2012

I haven't written on this blog for awhile.  Not losing much weight, and its frustrating to write about it when its not happening.  And I quit writing and that wasn't good for me. So I started a new blog to cover the things I was doing with my cooking and travels overseas and other stuff.  So please follow me over there at Maybe someday I'll get back to this blog, but for now I'm taking a hiatus.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Carving Angels

I grew up on those corny claymation/cartoon Christmas specials from the 60’s and 70’s.  You know those ones you watched as a kid like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (“Didn't I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles *bounce*!”), Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Who can forget “He took the Who’s feast, he took the Who pudding, he took the roast beast. He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash.  Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who hash”. Or “You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch, You have termites in your smile, you have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Gri-inch. Given the choice between the two of you, I'd take the uh... seasick crocodile.” Can any of you even read that without the song playing in your head?)
We would gather around as a family, well, except my Dad as I think he was the last living relation to Ebenezer Scrooge, and watch Mr. Kreuger’s Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life (both with Jimmy Stewart), Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara or White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.  I have wondered over the years since then, why they don’t make good Christmas specials anymore? Sometimes they remake them, like the new Miracle on 34th Street, or when Jim Carrey redid the Grinch, but they just don’t seem to be as good.  Have all the good stories been told?  Do we have no more legends to contribute?  Perhaps it’s a sign of the politically correct times, can’t do Christmas in public and so new shows.

I just read a book by a very good friend of mine: Diane Tolley. It’s called “Carving Angels” and it was just released last week. The story is about a young elf named Amy who helps her old, blind grandfather regain his woodworking expertise and they secretly build a new sleigh for Santa when his old one is broken down and no longer able to fly.  “Carving Angels reminds us to never give up on ourselves, no matter what challenges come our way, and that the most beautiful creations come from the most unlikely sources.”
Diane has said she loves background stories, and she got the idea for her novel while looking at a picture of Santa riding in his sleigh.
"I wondered who made that sleigh," she said. "It's a very important part of the whole Santa story, the sleigh, and it had to be made by somebody."
It’s in a readable format for kids young and old (I consider myself in that last category), and has beautiful graphics.  I loved the story, the way her old grandpa is taught by the wisdom and faith of a young child.
It’s a great read, I’m a guy and I hate to admit it, but I cried at the end.  My kids will love it, I’m sure it’s destined to be a Christmas classic.  I closed the book and thought, “This will be the next Christmas Special.”  If it isn’t, it ought to be.  Can’t you just see Tom Hanks as a snowman narrating the story ala Burl Ives?
Carving Angels is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and at Chapters, Costco, Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Avenue), Greenwoods' Bookshoppe (7925 - 104 Street) and Generations Book Store (3907 98 Street #94) in Edmonton.
For those in the Edmonton area who would like to meet the author, Diane is opening her home on Sept. 30 to friends, family and fans in celebration of Carving Angels hitting the bookshelves.
"We're having a pie night," she said. "Whenever our family does anything we do it with pie."
Community members interested in meeting the author, buying a signed copy of the book or indulging in some pie are welcome to join in the festivities at 5001 58 Street, Beaumont, from 7 p.m.
As much as I love Diane and her husband Grant, and consider them part of the family, I’m going for the pie.  It’s AWESOME!