Second Memoir Describes More of Actress’s Whirlwind Career #Friday Fun Reads

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Home Work: A Novel of My Hollywood Years

by Julie Andrews

Copyright 2019

 

What Amazon Says

 

In this New York Times bestselling follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews reflects on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.

In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage.

With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films — Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.

Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

 

My Thoughts

 

Having read Julie Andrews’ first memoir, Home, I like how her introduction to Home Work quickly fills the reader in on her earlier life. As a child, I enjoyed Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Her descriptions of how these films were made fascinated me. I also enjoyed her accounts of the making of her other movies and television programs, most of which I’d never heard of or seen. Her whirlwind of marriages, filming schedules, family drama, charity work, and traveling made my head spin.

As an author, I can appreciate her explanations of what inspired her to write Mandy and other children’s books. I believe my mother read Mandy to me when I was little.

In 1986, Julie Andrews returned to Broadway with her husband, Blake Edwards, to put together a production of Victor/Victoria. That’s where Home Work ends. I would like to know more about her career after that. I understand she developed some sort of throat problem, which made it difficult or impossible for her to speak. She must have recovered because her narration of the audiobook version of Home Work is exquisite. I hope she’ll write a third memoir.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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America’s Favorite Mouseketeer Tells Heartwarming, Inspirational Story #Friday Fun Reads

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A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story

by Annette Funicello and Patricia Romanowski

Copyright 1994.

 

What Amazon Says

 

The former Mouseketeer and star of beach party movies chronicles her career, offering recollections of Walt Disney, Frankie Avalon, and many others, and honestly discussing her recent struggle with multiple sclerosis.

 

My Thoughts

 

Mickey Mouse Club was already in syndication by the time I was old enough to watch it. I wasn’t interested, probably because it contained a lot of visuals that were lost to me with my limited eyesight. However, I took an interest in Annette Funicello last month after reading Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb, which I reviewed here. This novel is about a fictional character who was Annette Funicello’s distant cousin. A friend recommended A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, and I’m glad she did.

Unfamiliar with this celebrity, I was fascinated to learn about her experiences filming Mickey Mouse Club and other television programs and movies plus commercials and was amazed at how kind Walt Disney was to her and other actors. Although, in my opinion, her singing leaves a bit to be desired, I found her accounts of how she recorded some of her songs interesting. I admire her for the way she dealt with multiple sclerosis and helped others suffering from the disease after she finally told her story.

According to Wikipedia, Annette Funicello passed away on April 8th, 2013. No doubt, she is missed. This book contains photos, and, at the end, an appendix chronicling her successes, which I’m sure will delight fans. But even if you, like me, are not a fan, I can guarantee you’ll find her story fascinating, heartwarming, and inspirational.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Coal Miner’s Daughter #Monday Musical Memories

In the 1970’s, after my family moved from Tucson, Arizona, to Sheridan, Wyoming, I remember sleeping with Grandma in her double bed and waking up in the morning to country music. Lorretta Lynn was one of many singers I enjoyed hearing on the radio.

When the movie, Coal Miner’s Daughter, first came out, after I saw it with my family in the theater, naive teenager that I was, I wrote my own song about being my father’s daughter. Using the same tune as the original, I substituted “service man” for “coal miner” because that was what my dad was. He sold and serviced coin-operated machines. I remember the first two lines of the song I wrote.

 

I’m proud to be a service man’s daughter.

If you should see a broken jukebox, holler.

 

My parents immediately informed me that if I ever recorded that song, Lorretta Lynn would no doubt sue me. So, I gave up on that idea but still enjoyed listening to the sound track from the movie.

I recently picked up Lorretta Lynn’s memoir by the same name, published in 1976, which was the basis for the movie. I plan to review it here. So, please stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy the song.

By the way, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are now available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated by the coronavirus. This sale will run until the end of May. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. As always, thank you for reading.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Over the Rainbow #Monday Musical Memory

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.During this month in 1939, my favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz, was released. When I saw it for the first time as a fifth-grader in 1973, the ending made me cry. I was so relieved that Dorothy finally made it home to Auntie Em and Uncle Henry after her harrowing adventures in Oz.

I was then cast as Dorothy in a school production. At the time, I’d been mainstreamed from the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind to the Miles Exploratory Learning Center. This facility employed an open classroom concept. Students could learn what they wanted by moving to different stations that offered math, science, art, and other subjects. Unlike many schools, they weren’t required to sit at desks all day and follow a strict curriculum.

Our production of The Wizard of Oz had no script. With the help of the music and drama teacher,  we planned what would happen in the play, and our story pretty much followed the plot of the movie. We held auditions and built our own sets. Some of the parents made costumes. I wore a long red dress that my mother had bought me several years earlier.

With no lines to memorize, we made them up as we went along, based on what we’d heard characters say in the movie. We even sang the songs that were sung in the movie, with piano accompaniment. Each performance was a little different, but it was fun. Now, I’ll sing for you the song I sang as Dorothy, accompanying myself on piano.

over the rainbow

How about you? What was your favorite movie? Were you ever in a theatrical production based on it?

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By the way, if you live in Sheridan, Wyoming, I’ll be signing copies of my new novel, The Red Dress, on Saturday, August 24th, from 1-3 p.m. at Sheridan Stationery Books & Gallery, located at 206 North Main Street. See below for more information about the book.

 

New! The Red Dress: A Novel

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

 

My Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Cozy

Were you cozy during this past holiday season? I was, despite my Internet being down from Wednesday, December 20th through Tuesday, December 26th. At first, I was told a technician would visit on Friday, the 22nd. That day came and went with no sign of any repair person. I called several times and was given quite the song and dance routine. First, the tech was running late with his previous customer, but I was next on his list. Next, he was in the area, working on the connection. Finally, I was told that my visit with the technician was re-scheduled for Tuesday, the 26th, the day after Christmas. When I complained to the customer service department, the best they could give me was a $10.00 discount for time not used. Big deal!

Except for attending a tuba Christmas concert Saturday afternoon, I spent the long Christmas weekend snuggled in my recliner, either reading books or watching movies I’d already downloaded or listening to holiday programs on National Public Radio. On Christmas Day, I had lunch at our local senior center, where I enjoyed roast beef, a twice baked potato, asparagus, and bread pudding.

On the morning of Tuesday, December 26th, a technician finally called me around eleven o’clock. He said he thought he’d fixed the problem and asked me to power cycle my modem. I did, and sure enough, it worked. Apparently, the issue was with a bad port in the local office. According to the technician, this could have been fixed the previous week if the CEO hadn’t been out of town.

Needless to say, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to find another Internet provider. I also resolve to have my furnace vents cleaned regularly in the hope of cutting back on dust that could occasionally be wreaking havoc with my allergies. This, of course, has nothing to do with my Internet. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I hope you all had a great holiday season and wish you a Happy New Year.

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Note: the above was inspired by a blog post in response to a daily prompt.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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