Rob's Blog

Book: ‘Florida Ghost Stories’ by Robert R. Jones – October 24th, 2017

by on Oct.24, 2017, under Books

Florida Ghost StoriesFlorida Ghost Stories by Robert R. Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Author Jones tees off with a book above par. He lays out the intent of telling ghost stories he has collected in north Florida. Then each story begins with some basis written as fact slowly reveling the ghost aspect. The stories are initially familiar to me. But as the book goes along the tales get longer and include more and more dialogue. It becomes obvious that a lot of literary license was taken throughout the book. There are definitely many ghost stories included that have been recorded over time. But all have dialogue imagined by the writer. Most all of these read more as fictional short stories than a recording of actual Florida ghost stories that could be believed.

The above complaint has more to do with packaging than content. The stories are written in an amateurish fashion. But tales are mostly good ones.

Plenty of areas are brought up that are little known to most Floridians. Areas like Archer, Worthington Springs, etc. rarely get mentioned in ANY book of Florida.

Bottom line: I recommend the book – as a a set of fictional short stories. 5 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #24 – I’m Drawing Alligators meeting Santa!

by on Oct.24, 2017, under Cartooning

#Inktober #24

Bruce Loughlin requested:
“Santa with gators pulling my sleigh!”

Thus, the results of Santa’s tactical error of replacing reindeer with

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#Inktober #23 -0 I’ve been drawing Bears with Plane Tickets…

by on Oct.23, 2017, under Cartooning

#Inktober #23

Judy Smith Dickerson requested,
“How about animals scurrying around preparing for winter…?”

Harry decides to skip the hibernation thing and take flight to Bermuda, until the suspicions begin again….

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#Inktober #22 – I’ve been Drawing Scary Fish!

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Cartooning

#Inktober #22
 
@Mike Wilke requested: ‘How about an underwater scene , fish etc. But with a Halloween twist?”
 
Thus a fish suited to terrify a creature from the Black Lagoon!
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Book: ‘Mrs. Pargeter’s Package’ by Simon Brett – October 22nd, 2017

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Books

Mrs. Pargeter's Package (Mrs Pargeter Mystery, #3)Mrs. Pargeter’s Package by Simon Brett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this book not written well but with a very good mystery. This is another Simon Brett I haven’t cared for. Judging by the reviews, I’m missing something. I find the main character uneven. Inconsistent dialogue, internal and external. It’s rare for me to read a book and find the main character hard to understand.

Not connecting to the main character had the rest of the book hard to connect to. I wasn’t nutty about any of the characters. I found all of them to be very loose or stereotyped. This made the rest of the book tough to get through. Brett certainly wrote a lot about the main, supporting and minor characters, but I found all of that writing to be empty.

The plotting is well done and, as written above, a very good mystery included. The writing putting it all together is just not strong enough to me to make the whole work.

This would have been an outstanding book in different hands. Though, in view of other reviewers, I am in a minority.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #21 – I’ve been drawing wedding guests! – October 21st, 2017

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Caricatures, What's New?

  

#Inktober #21

Sharing a few of the many drawings I drew tonight at a wedding in the very tucked away community of Glen Saint Mary, Florida. Was the end of the night, most had left, so I cut loose scribbling critters for this critter lover. The one critter she adamantly does not love is the palmetto bug. So out he goes! 🙂

Have found myself reconnecting with my old City of Orlando planning and engineering days this past week. Here it continues with a couple who own a surveying firm in South Georgia. We had a great exchange of surveying and engineering stories.

The last illustration is of a lady who is a dental hygienist who takes whatever free time she has to hunt deer. Inverting the whole thing was fun! 🙂

A really great part of the event was to discover it all took place in an historic citrus and plant nursery with structures from the 1880s to 1915. As you can imagine, I was in Florida history heaven. The owners gave me a ton of history of the property and so much more. I have to get back and really see the property.

Parked at the moment to post this and plan the coming week at a spot I love and haven’t been able to get to lately, Lollicup. Despite the two months since here, they still remember my order! Nam Diep, you have a Terrific staff!

 

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#Inktober #20 – I’ve been Drawing Mice!

by on Oct.20, 2017, under Cartooning

Here’s the inked version for my Swampy’s Florida celebration cartoon for Friday. The colored version will appear on the Swampy page at 8:30am.
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Book: ‘Specialists’ by Lawrence Block – October 19th, 2017

by on Oct.19, 2017, under Books

SpecialistsSpecialists by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The characters are initially well handled and then given short shrift at the end. Scantily drawn. This is especially bad at the end when structures become important.series tales, but the plotting stinks. Seems to me Block had a much larger vision, maybe even starting his own series, and as he got near the end, he sliced his efforts to minimum, finished off the book and went on the to the next.

After a build up of a collection of new characters and their various abilities, they are collected to complete a mission that is then written off quickly to the point I wasn’t really sure if they actually met whatever goal they were trying to make.

The story is an odd case of vengeance involving important a treatment of a woman that ends up an effort to destroy the person involved but really ends with something different. I found the ending very unsatisfying.

The characters are initially well handled and then given short shrift at the end. Scantily drawn. This is especially bad at the end when structures become important.

Bottom line: i don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #17 – I’ve been Drawing Cooking Ladybugs!

by on Oct.17, 2017, under Cartooning

Stefanie Hamblen requested
‘a ladybug in a kitchen cooking’
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Book: ‘The Loved One’ by Evelyn Waugh – October 17th, 2017

by on Oct.17, 2017, under Books

The Loved OneThe Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is hilarious!!! I’ve read many, many humorous writings of the Hollywood set, love and mortuary humor…but not in one volume. Individually each is covered brilliantly. Waugh seems to have effortlessly assembled this seemingly simple volume. But it is power packed of humor and bright insight.

What is amazing is that this 1948 satire reads as fresh in 2017! The loony side of California has seemingly gotten loonier, or, with this book’s view in mind, has it?

I love the soliloquies by a character that underlines the ridiculous nature of various situations, the pre-Valley Girl incapable to grasp the world around her and the view of pet mortuaries.
This is a rare story of humor with an actual story included, no easy feat. It’s a good story with an ending that is likely not expected.

Bottom line I recommend this book! 10 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Action at the Bitterroot’ by Paul Evan Lehman – October 16th, 2017

by on Oct.16, 2017, under Books

Action at the BitterrootAction at the Bitterroot by Paul Evan Lehman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

VERY standard western story better written than most. All characters are the stereotypical types, with stereotypical dialogue and stereotypical actions.

This book is well written and the plotting I liked. I just wish there had been more to the whole thing.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 5 out of ten points.

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