Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Photo Shoot for the 'Passing Whispers' book trailer will take place February 27th. There will be two photographers. One to do the shoot, and one to take pics of the shoot! I thought that might be interesting to see how it unfolds.

I need to do a story line. Perhaps make a time line of the various locations so that we don't traipse all over town unnecessarily. Although I initially thought we'd do the indoor shots inside my condo, I have a better idea. There are some lovely sample homes nearby, that have professional interior decorating. I'm going to ask their permission to take a few shots inside of the homes.

Detective Endel Sorra is killed right after he walks into a convenience store, on his way home from work. He didn't know there was a robbery in progress. I would love to get a shot of him walking into the store, smiling, followed by a shot of the teen aged shooter, holding his gun up. I could always ask the manager of a local store, but I have a few concerns. What if a local cop happened to be driving by, and saw the shooter holding up his gun? He might think it was an actual robbery, and someone might get hurt. It would probably take less than a minute to capture the picture, but I would never forgive myself if anything happened. An unwitting customer may also come upon the scene, and panick. Darn. I wish I could think of a way to do it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Good news! I won't be writing my future novels from prison! I got the license to use the melody 'I'll be Home For Christmas' as the background music for my book trailer. I found a wonderful and talented high school student (Dustin DeBernardo) to play the saxophone. When I approached him with the project, he said that the song had always been special to him. He recently lost his grandmother, and he used to play it for her all the time. His mother (Stacey DeBernardo) a music teacher, plays the piano. They are working on a duet that will be taped at a local recording studio. God works in mysterious ways. Who needs Kenny G? This will be even better.

Costantino Funeral H
ome has agreed to allow me to do a photo shoot at their facility. I have two models who will play the parts of the main characters in the book. My lovely daughter, Christina Vance, will play the part of Kate Sorra.

Our friend (and professional model) Brad Smith, will play the part of Endel Sorra. Through some other mutual friends I found Len Romano, our official photographer.

Once we shoot the pictures, and record the music, I will put it all together and make a video. It will be available on FaceBook, YouTube, my Web Page, and this Blog.

This is all new to me, but it's very exciting. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In case I don't get Kenny G's permission to use his rendition of 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' as the background music for my book trailor, I have a few very talented teenagers who are willing to record it for me. However, I need to find out who has the publishing rights and copyright to the song. It's proving to be a very difficult task. The music industry is very possessive. I discovered that even if a small business wanted to use a particular song (s) as the background music for the customers to listen to while they are on hold, you have to have a license. You even need a license to play elevator music! This leads me to believe that I will have to pay a fee to use the music, if I find out who holds the copyright. Unless I want to risk a large fine and/or imprisonment. Hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Plan B

I have decided that if Kenny G won't allow me to use his rendition of 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' in my book trailor, I should have a Plan B. Maybe I can find a friend who has a son or daughter who plays the sax well. I could record them playing it, and if they let me, I can use their version in the trailor.

I usually like to have Plan B's. A lot of the time, Plan B seems to work just as well as the original Plan. For instance:

Original Plan: Get married at age 16 and live happily ever after. Plan B: Get divorced 28 years later. It's lonely, but many good things have come out of it. My daughter Tina, never would have met my grandson's father if we had stayed married. I can't imagine life without Brandon.

Original Plan: Become a Stand-Up Comic and get rich and famous. Plan B: Give up comedy and become a writer. I like this plan much better. I was too shy to do live performances.

So, always have a Plan B!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Passing Whispers

Since I plan to share my venture into having a book published, I should let you know a little about the book.
Here's the synopsis:

When Detective Endel Sorra is killed during a robbery shortly before Christmas, the lives of his loved ones are shattered.

One year later, his wife Kate, bitter, angry and full of hatred, continues to blame herself for his tragic death. Hector Ramos, the store clerk who was also shot in the robbery, must spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Jake Conway, the teenage shooter, overcome with guilt for his crime, commits suicide. He leaves behind his girlfriend Jenna, who is seven months pregnant. After she dies of a heroin overdose, the baby is left to be raised by Jake's mother. She is a foul, uncaring drunk who keeps him solely for the extra cash she gets in her monthly welfare check. Having lost their only child, Endel's parents face the heart-wrenching reality that they will never become grandparents.

It will take nothing less than a miracle to repair these broken lives. When Kate Sorra comes across the Snow Globe that her husband had given to her the first Christmas they were married, she gets that miracle.

Endel finds a way to come back to her, and over the course of two weeks he guides her in learning the truth about his death and other relationships in her life that are keeping her from being happy.

Kate’s relentless grief has blinded her to the pain that her husband’s death has caused everyone else around her. With Endel’s support and encouragement, she begins to understand the circumstances that led Jake Conway to commit the robbery, and accepts the fact that she was not to blame. Hector Ramos teaches her how people can face devastating losses and continue to lead productive lives. Along the way Kate uncovers the details of her own father’s death years ago, and discovers the loving relationship she never knew her parents shared.

Kate enlists the help of a co-worker, Brian Morris, and together they devise a plan to renovate Hector’s house so he can be more independent. Although it’s breaking Endel’s heart to watch them fall in love, he wants Kate to go on with her life, and find the happiness he had hoped they would always share.

Although initially opposed to Endel’s suggestion that she consider adopting Jake Conway’s baby, she eventually embraces the idea, and convinces Endel’s parents to share in the love this child can bring into their lives.

In a simultaneous sub-plot, the readers get to meet Brian Morris’s family. His parents are wealthy socialites who have many secrets that they have kept hidden from him, including the fact that he is really not their son.

Kate and Endel spend one last magically romantic night together before he has to say goodbye. Finding the strength to let Endel go, Kate discovers a new purpose and meaning to her own life.

I have been keeping busy while waiting for the editing to be completed. The main characters in the story share a romantic dinner at 'Le Jules Verne Restaurant' in Paris. I just received their permission to use the name. Kate Sorra's favorite television series is 'Desperate Housewives'. It turns out that Disney owns the program. Go figure! I am waiting to hear back from them, but they make you use snail mail.

I'd like to produce my own book trailer. Since the Snow Globe plays 'I'll Be Home For Christmas', I think that would be a perfect sound tract. Kenny G's rendition is beautiful. I'm trying to find out who I could ask for permission. From what I hear about artisits, I have a feeling they won't let me use the song. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Hardest Thing

I think the hardest thing a parent has to do is let their children go. Allow them to make mistakes, without rushing to their rescue. See them struggle without making things easier for them. Sometimes I wonder if I have the strngth to let them go. I know I have to let them experience life. Good and bad. It will make them stronger, more confident, and finally, more appreciative of the wonders God has given to us.
My parents were strong enough to let
me go. If my mother was still here with us, she'd smile knowingly. She raised seven children with problems unimaginable. I realize now, that by letting us sort things out for ourselves, she was convincing us that we were deserving of her confidence. She knew we could do it.
In my mind, I know that if you always carry a baby, he will never learn to walk. But in my heart, I hold my breath as he struggles and falls. It's worth the pain, when you finally see him walk, run and laugh. But this knowledge is easily overlooked, especially when progress is fleeting.

I hope the experts are right.

The New Year

So... here it is. The start of yet another new year. Like most people, I am anxiously anticipating a happy, productive and exciting 2010. The possibilities are endless. What could 2010 have in store for me? Romance? Travel? Success with my book 'Passing Whispers'? Will it be a year of good health? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Of course, you don't get to be my age without becoming a little jaded. A part of me, (I try to keep it a small part) worries about the unexpected tragedies, accidents and misfortunes that could befall anyone of us. Will I be strong enough to survive? Get through it unscathed, with only minimal injuries and scars?

I guess all we can do is hope for the best, and pray that God will see us through any disasters we might find ourselves facing.

But with age, also comes an understanding that we are NOT totally powerless. We CAN make a difference. I hope that 2010 finds me an active participant. I hope I seize every opportunity to make this world a little better than I found it. If 5000 people each planted just one flower, can you imagine what a garden it would be? Together... we can do anything.

Here's to 2010 and everybody living in it. Welcome, neighbor. I got your back.