Started painting this this morning and just finished it here during the Florida Parents Educators Association convention in Osceola County, Florida. The setting is Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park near Pensacola..
Here I am with Swampy in The Knowledge Exchange booth the Florida Parent Educators Association in Osceola County, Florida. Swampy books, prints, DVDs await the estimated 20,000 attendees of the biggest home school convention in the country.
I’ve been adding watercolor today to the illustration done a few days ago. After finishing doing the caricature thing at a conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek, I headed over to the Smooth Java coffee shop to paint and take in the great jazz coming from the ceiling speakers. Here’s how this looks after over an hour of applying watercolor. It’s one of two projects I worked on in the coffee shop. I’ll likely finish it during the Florida Parent Educators Association convention I’ll be signing books at over the next two days.
Just finished prepping this illustration for watercolor to be slopped on soon. It’s set in the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Florida and for an auction to help raise funds to help the American Crocodile
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
‘The Gray Man’ by Mark Mark Greaney is very well written, though the plotting leaves a lot to be desired. It’s basically a chase book. I found it like a Matthew Reilly book, but better written.
The hero is well defined as are many of the supporting characters. I wish there was more about the bad guys. I kept expecting a bit more of a plot to be revealed as reasoning for keeping them loosely drawn. Locations are very well written. The author has an opening acknowledgement pages telling of his travels to help make locations read as real. The main plot has many holes in it as a big business seems to have about anything it wants with a couple phone calls. Even in big business there is bureaucracy and the easy summons of whatever from around the world is a bit much.
A big plus is how well author Greaney gets his hero hurt along the way. It’s hard not to wince at parts where the hero gets injured. The hero is not invulnerable. A chunk of the book has an aside through the eyes of one of the characters who has a sibling. I found it interesting that the way this is handled had me wonder if the other sibling was imaginary as each is treated autonomously.
One thing kept crossing my mind as I read: This book would have been better set in the American west in the 1800s. Nevertheless, it is a thriller, fun and worth reading if you like lots of action and a very good chase.
Got together with friends this evening at Stardust Video & Coffee. It was great fellowship with Neal Davies, Robert Baurle, Rich Scott and Cindy Mackey. Lots of drawing, talking about cookies, world events and Florida memories.
Before we gathered, I got a bunch of cartooning and illustration artwork done. Will post a composite soon.
Got together with my friends during our Orlando Remembered meeting at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando this morning. Here’s a few of the attendees. First row: Ann Bennett, Shirley Cannon, Joy Wallace Dickinson and Tana Porter. it’s me and Grace Chewning in the back.
Had a great meeting with lots of plans to preseve Orlando history!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A real fun book of the constantly depressed Toby Peters out to calm the anger of mob guys after Chico Marx, of the Marx Brothers. Much like the rest of the series, Toby encounters others known of the era of the ’40s.
Pretty well written, as always. However, there are a few loose ends that, I believe, may have been part of an effort to throw the reader as to who-done-it. Though, to me, it was pretty obvious from near the beginning. This was the first of the Toby Peters series I have read where the bad individual was figured out fast.
The depictions of the Marx brothers, of which I am a solid fan, is quite off from what they were off screen. Harpo was known to have, and I have heard it myself, a deep New York accented voice and Groucho was known to be far more subdued in regular life. Chico’s depiction by Kaminsky is what I have read it was.
This book also shows Kaminsky’s adept ability to write about Chicago and not Florida, at the time. Chicago is written in such depth, while only a glancing blow is made of an opening scene in Florida. This changes dramatically when Kaminsky writes his Lew Fonesca series based in Sarasota, Florida.
Overall, I recommend the book.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A terrific literal mapping out of DeSoto’s trek across Florida and his visit near Tallahassee. Very thorough and lots of cross referencing done within the volume itself. The best of this is reading the translated journals of those who chronicled the hike.
The focus is the Christmas encampment near Tallahassee. The well noted archaeological work, what is found, theories based upon mostly empirical data and the journals can ease the reader into a comfort of more historical facts than in some similar works.
In my case, i am sure to return to the journals and re-read them. Parts of it are quite something. At one point a journalist queries as to why, in that God had brought DeSoto to conquer the land for the Kingdom of Spain, the hikers couldn’t get the indians to see the conquistador’s superiority. Afterall, the Spanish visitors have “cut off their [the indian's] noses and their hands”. Why can’t they all be friends?, he wonders. I can see how this attitude would greatly perplex those with today’s flowery, “reality” television laced and sugary view of the world today.
A definite book to read for better understanding of the impact of the Spanish on the indians in Florida – Despite much of what is going on this year of 2013 in Florida involving something called ‘Viva 500′ where much of what is written in this book is flipped for seemingly politically correct reasoning. Forgive me if I take my history with more factual accuracy than the fictional white washing today.
Took a short hike in a park I’d never visited before in Sumter County. Lake Okahumpka Park sits in between Leesburg and Wildwood in north Central Florida. It is clearly created for the nearby The Villages, that houses mostly out of state retirees.