Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ad Update & True Tale


Love this!


Update on "How to Kill an Ad"

 I am delighted to report that I have not seen a Progressive anti-parent ad in several weeks. Not one. (I should have complained a lot earlier!)

And . . .

I don't know if any of you took up the cry against the Tampa Hardrock Casino ads or the Inspire commercials, but someone surely did. (Not me.) The Casino ads are gone, gone, gone. Vanished. (They were so outrageous, I suspect shouts of protest came from all over.) As for Inspire, the ad that skated closest to being fraudulent is also gone. The ads that seem to indicate that sleep apnea is a serious problem (NOT insomnia) are still running. 

If my blog or blog readers had anything to do with the demise of these commercials, yay, hurray! If it was simply coincidence, it's still a win. Please keep in mind that you—yes, YOU—have the power to rid your TV screen of insulting, offensive, or downright disgusting commercials. Remember the cry from that old movie:  "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

 ~ * ~

 True Tale from The National Company 
of "The Sound of Music"
(way back when) 
A long, long time ago, I took the plunge, gave up my job teaching music in a Connecticut suburb, and moved to the big city—New York City, to be exact. (I knew I'd reached the age where if I didn't I pursue my desire to sing in musicals, I never would.) I was among the fortunate—being a trained musician with near-perfect sight-reading and choral-directing experience certainly didn't hurt. Particularly when auditioning for a serious musical like the "The Sound of Music." (Broadway was just at the turning point when dancing skills were beginning to take over.)
We auditioned all afternoon, the group of finalists growing smaller and smaller. Until there were just sixteen of us (all female, of course). A voice came out of the darkness of the auditorium: "Okay, girls, time to put on your dancing shoes."
You can imagine the horrified groans! Happily, this was a joke. We had all been selected for our voices. In addition, I was given the job of playing piano for rehearsals on the road, training all replacements, and directing the off-stage choruses. Wow! (Rodgers & Hammerstein even paid my dues into the local Musician's Union.) 
There is music in "The Sound of Music" that you never see in most scores—Medieval-style music in eight parts, sung in Latin. It is absolutely gorgeous, yet doesn't even appear in the recordings of "The Sound of Music." Anyway, we practiced that music, two to a part, until it was perfection, and then we recorded it in a special sound chamber to get an echo effect. This recording would open each show, accompanied by a pantomime of the novices in the Abbey going about their daily activities in front of the curtain.
Mechanics of a road trip:
It was customary for key crew and musicians to travel with the show. For example, Stage Manager, Lighting Technicians, Orchestra Conductor, first chairs of each section. All others—crew & musicians—were hired locally. (FYI, we traveled by train, each chorus member with her own roomette. Very posh.)
Our opening performance was a Saturday matinee in Detroit—at a grand old theater I now understand is derelict. Naturally, excitement was high. This was it. We were actually doing this. No peeking through the curtain, however. This was Broadway, not high school. But we were told the audience was teeming with families with children and a whole host of nuns. (This was back in the day when nuns were easily distinguished by their wimples.)
Our glorious 8-part Latin began to play; the novices wafted onto the stage, doing their pantomime. The music faded away; the girls disappeared into the wings. Sammy, our Stage Manager, gave the signal to open the curtain . . . Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing. Sammy roared:  "God-dammit, open the curtain!"
And his words went out over the loud-speakers that were still open from broadcasting our ethereal 8-part, highly religious prelude to "The Sound of Music."
The road trip was long and sometimes arduous, continuing for more than a year after I left to return to teaching (and not long after, into another new world, that of marriage and raising three children). But I'm pretty sure they never had another opening quite like our debut that afternoon in Detroit. 
~ * ~
 The featured book this week is my very first (though Tarleton's Wife was published first). All 144,000 words of it. I actually had an offer from a major NY publisher - if I would change the heroine's age. Incredibly, I refused. Just because she was too young for modern sensibilities didn't mean she was too young for a heroine in 1809! (A foolish mistake on my part. If I'd compromised, who knows what might have happened?) Shortly after, I was blessed by one of the early e-publishers being willing to accept both the length and a young heroine (by the end of the book she is 21). Eventually, I got my rights back, and The Sometime Bride went up on Amazon and the many affiliates of Smashwords (now Draft2Digital). After a quarter century, copies are still being sold each month.

A very young bride finds herself married to an enigmatic British spy "for her safety." And is plunged into a seven-year, highly personal view of the Peninsular War—ending, after years of blind devotion, in discovering a betrayal of her trust so immense she can only wonder: Is she the sometime bride of a man who never existed? A discarded mistress? Or a beloved wife whose only rival is her husband's expediency in a time of war?

Author's Note: In addition to being a saga of young lovers caught up in a war, The Sometime Bride is the history of the Peninsular War, Britain's fight against Napoleon in Portugal and Spain. The story moves from France's invasion of Portugal and British troops being driven into the sea at La Coruña to the return of British troops under General Sir Arthur Wellesley, the fortified lines at Torres Vedras, and the gradual push of French troops across Spain and back to France. Plus the chaotic times in Paris after Napoleon's surrender and the Emperor's triumph as he gathers up his old troops, only to be stopped in one of the most famous and bloody battles in history—Waterloo.


Reviewers Choice Award. "Sometimes a reviewer gets a book so powerful, it's hard to know where to begin to tell about it. The Sometime Bride is such a book. . . . Bride passes every criterion for a successful book that I was given as a reviewer. Ms Bancroft weaves a most unusual love story in among the threads of history that cover eight years. . . . I highly recommend both Tarleton's Wife and The Sometime Bride as companion books. They are totally independent, but together give a vastly enlightening and entertaining view of the period through use of wonderful characters and page-turner plots—definite keepers, both." Jane Bowers, Romance Communications

"The writing talent displayed by the author is wonderful . . . Ms. Bancroft's detail for historical events is phenomenal. . . ."
April Redmon, Romantic Times

Five Stars. "Set against the bloody Napoleonic wars, The Sometime Bride is ambitious, engrossing and absolutely wonderful."
Rickey R. Mallory, Affaire de Coeur

Five Stars. "The Sometime Bride by Blair Bancroft is a riveting and well-written story. . . . The tension between the hero and heroine sizzles. . . ." Janet Lane Walters, Scribes World

~ * ~

For a link to Blair's websiteclick here. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)       

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