Rob's Blog

Tag: Jacob Smith

Book: ‘Burglars Can’t Be Choosers’ by Lawrence Block – February 19th, 2018

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Books

Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I do like Block’s writing very much, but as I wade further into his work, the plotting and core stories are proving the lack of an ability to construct a cogent story.

This was the first of a series involving a burglar who finds himself in larger stories than his choice of occupation. This first story is a surprise to start off with as I ended the book and looked back on a convoluted tale with tacked on characters. It all made sense when I read the postscript by author Block in the 1994 edition of the book, basically, explaining the ending came from a person he lodged with in his travels. Sounds like emotion got the better of reason and produced a ridiculous solution to a crime that no part of law enforcement could prosecute.

His characters are, again, top notch. They seem for real, despite many used just for window dressing.

Nevertheless, Blocks writing make the silly trip worthwhile again. I shall continue with his books for that reason only.

Bottom line:
I don’t recommend this book (Unless you want to read Block’s writing). 5 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ by Daphne du Maurier – February 14th, 2018

by on Feb.14, 2018, under Books

Frenchman's CreekFrenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m becoming more and more a fan of du Maurier. This is another tale so very well written and enthralling.

One thing I really like about du Maurier is her writing of characters. All are distinct and most very memorable. Her tales are pretty simple is the characters and the setting and dialogue that raise the book above simply plotting.

Much like Frank Slaughter she does a terrific job of creating the backdrop of her literary theater. Her writing of period London, Cornwall, Frenchman’s Creek, the ship and homes are well constructed and you can place yourself and, more importantly the characters in the scenes. You can almost hear the echo as the main character enters her Cornwall home at the beginning of the book.

This is a very romantic tale and conjured up memories of Barbara Cartland. Though far better written.

A side note: I love the cover by one of my favorite illustrators, Charles Geer.

Bottom line: i recommend this book. 7 out of 10 points.

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A peek at 1 of my finished pieces this past week. – February 8th, 2018

by on Feb.08, 2018, under Cartooning, Illusration

Finished an editorial illustration this past week. This is a part of the color piece.

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My projects in progress: Manatee! – February 4th, 2018

by on Feb.04, 2018, under Cartooning

This is just another drawing of the set of illustrations that will be part of a booklette at our annual Florida Springs Festival, March 3rd and 4th, at Silver Springs State Park. One page of the booklette will be just for me to create a personalized drawing per your request. The booklettes will be free for you and yours!

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My Work in Progress: Coloring Squirrels! – February 1st, 2018

by on Feb.01, 2018, under Cartooning

I have a staggering amount of very different projects swirling around and I’ll be posting here about them just about everyday. This is squirrel illustration posted earlier when rough penciled. Here, inks and some color has been applied. A lot more to do! I’ll share that down the road.

Tomorrow I’ll add a bit of fun to posts.

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Pasco County Historical Society meeting & work done! – January 19th, 2017

by on Jan.19, 2018, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Florida History!, What's New?

Travelled to Dade City, Florida, for the bi-monthly Pasco County Historical Society meeting, of which I’m a member. Being a bit buried in work at the moment knew I had to get some work done while there. So, during, guest speaker, Susan NcManus’ talk I did scribble some work out!

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Book: ‘Monahan’s Massacre’ by William W. Johnston – November 29th, 2017

by on Nov.30, 2017, under Books

Monahan's Massacre (The Trail West, #2)Monahan’s Massacre by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, the Johnstone Clan best keep this ghost writer in the stable. Book 2 of this new series is setting a standard above Johnstone himself.

Book 2 in the series continues to follow the journey of Dooley Monahan. It’s a tough journey that is full of, a Johnstone trademark, outstanding characters and a journey that is added with complicated plot developments this ghost writer placed in the first book that made it so compelling. My favorite of complications is the issue of Manahan’s memory. After the last book, the ghost writer has made the reader uncertain what is real and what may be some hallucination. Another is the main female character featured is NOTHING like I’ve read before in any book. Kinda wish we could know more about her and how on earth the writer saw her getting to be where she is in the book.

I also love the way the writer works in Blue, the dog, and General Grant, the horse. They are also main characters in the book and greatly affect all events.

The settings are very well written. I like how the writer intersperses the characters, narrative and dialogue and the setting. I would have to figure the writer is a huge fan of Twain and learned from him.

My only qualm with the writer is that Monahan escapes certain death a bit too often. It’s a neat plot device, but used a bit much.

My qualm involving the top of the Johnstone Clan, on the superficial side, again, involves poor choices of unrelated cover image and a dumb title that has nothing to do with the book. The books clearly state over and over again Monaham being older and having trouble realizing his age. The writer indicated a couple times that Monahan is around 40 or older. Also, Blue is – Surprise! – BLUE! The horse, also could not be General Grant. Finally there is no “massacre” in the book. But I won’t grade this book based upon the publisher’s bad moves.

Overall this book is a joy to read and I hope the Johnstone Clan doesn’t lose this one!

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

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Inktober #9 – I’m Drawing Osprey in Downtown Orlando 1867!

by on Oct.09, 2017, under Cartooning

#Inktober #8 –

Mike Clark requested:
“​Osprey pulling a bass out of Lake Ivanhoe with a downtown Orlando backdrop”
 
Above Officer Coopersmith apprehends the vile bank robber, Dooley Monahan, out of Lake Ivanhoe a mile north of Downtown Orlando.
 
It’s little known that, Orlando’s greatest police chief, Robert Chewning in 1967 secretly assembled a wildlife arm of the police force. More and more critters across Florida were breaking laws of all sizes. Something had to be done. Upon becoming Chief, Chewning recruited his secret critter task force to rid the streets of the animal crime wave. During his tenure crimes by wildlife dropped 97%!
 
This was such a secret group that, I don’t believe, even Grace Ann Wendorff Chewning knew about it! And she knows everything! 🙂
 
The 1967 view is from the more southernly shore of Lake Ivanhoe just before the, then, new Interstate 4, looking easterly with the OUC building in the background. The Armory is in the background on the right hand side.

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I’ve been drawing life enhancing caricatures in Ocala! – August 17th, 2017

by on Aug.18, 2017, under Caricatures

I’ve been sick this past week and worked to get better for work to do and two events Thursday and Saturday.

I was fortunate to draw for an assisted living facility Thursday. As always, i hear so many wonderful stories. Here are a few and their stories….

A note of the photographs: Had something fading out most all I took. Sorry about that.

Kathryn long hauled bananas for a couple decades back when few women were on the road in a cab by themselves for days on end. These days she crochets.

Gloria’s family goes back, far, far back in Florida history. Family owns or lives on the islands in the Suwanee River. She isn’t able to get back into the Florida wilds she loves and misses fishing. These days she likes to play the organ.

Jessie is a Scottish lassie who loves cards and clowning around. Even her brightly colored attire reflects her playful fun.

Earl is full Cherokee. He mentioned his displeasure with how things have turned out for the Cherokee. Otehrwise, Earl struggles with what to say and his memory. I have him in the early 1800s in Tennessee approaching an American Army encampment.

Debbie has a number of things she likes to do, like reading romances. She also loves watching old western TV programs, like Maverick, Laramie, Tales of the Wells Fargo, etc.

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