Novelize #atozchallenge


I read a book a while ago called Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing. It was edited by Lee Goldberg, an author and screenwriter who’s written teleplays for shows such as Diagnosis: Murder, Monk, and Spenser: For Hire, and more recently has been collaborating with Janet Evanovich on the “Fox and O’Hare” mysteries. I came across it after I had read a couple of Burn Notice novels by Lee’s brother Tod and went looking for more by him.

The book is a collection of essays written by the writers of tie-in novels and novelizations. A tie-in novel is an original work that uses the characters from a movie or TV series. (The difference between a tie-in novel and fan fiction is that the creators of the movie or TV show have given their approval to the author, maybe even commissioned the writer with the task, while fan fiction is a story or novel written by a fan of the show and not intended for publication, since publishing it would be unauthorized and would get the author sued.) A novelization takes an existing screenplay or teleplay and turns it into a novel, often filling in details that weren’t a part of the original.

Novelization of the Doctor Who episode, “Ark In Space,” by Ian Marter (source: Amazon)

I’ve read a number of novelizations over the years. When the movie A Hard Day’s Night first came out, my mother wouldn’t let me go by myself to see it because it involved crossing Sheridan Road, the busiest street in the neighborhood. I had to settle for reading the novelization of it, which, after seeing the movie, I realized had nothing to do with it. Later, when I first discovered Doctor Who, I found novelizations of several episodes that had been written by Ian Marter, who had played Harry Sullivan, a character in some of the late Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and early Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) stories. I’ve also read tie-in novels for series such as The Mod Squad, The Man From UNCLE, Get Smart, and the aforementioned Burn Notice, and have seen tie-ins for Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, Star Wars, and the various CSI: shows, and I’m certain there are plernty more.

I’ve been tempted to try novelizing a movie or TV show and to try writing a tie-in novel, which is why I bought the book in the first place. I might do it yet, but the more I consider it, the more I end up telling myself, “nahhhhh…” I sometimes think the book was written specifically to warn people off of trying it. I’m not sure. Maybe I should read it again.

One story in the book was the reason I considered writing again, which I hadn’t done since my stroke because I only have the one hand that I can use to type. It told of Walter Wager, who got his start writing tie-ins for the I Spy series. Walter, I learned, had written a number of books, and he only had one hand. That got me thinking, if he can do it, so can I…

Necco Wafers #atozchallenge

NECCO Wafers

So, let’s talk about candy. Specifically, Necco wafers.

By Lkeers1415 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I uswed to think they were “nickel wafers,” becausae they were about the size of a nickel. You could get them for a nickel back then, too.

Oliver Chase created the Necco Wafers, then called “hub wafers,” with a lozenge-cutting machine he invented. Union troops used to carry them during the Civil War, no doubt to have something to give a kid after they burned down his house. At the turn of the century, Chase merged with two other confectionary companies and formed the Northeast Confectionary Company, so Necco is an acronym for their name.

They are still being produced, in eight flavors: lemon (yellow), lime (green), orange (orange), clove (purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (black), and chocolate (brown). Legend has it that, if you take the wintergreen (pink) ones into a dark room and break them in half, sparks fly. I could never get it to work, though. A bunch of them are wrapped in a waxed-paper package. They’ve reformulated them in the past few years, eliminating artificial colors and flavors and making them softer with the addition of glycerine, so they aren’t hard as a rock anymore. Whether that ruins the whole “taking the pink ones into a dark room and breaking them in half” thing, I don’t know. Evidently, they had to eliminate the lime wafers because they couldn’t get the color right. (They could dye them yellow and make them key lime-flavored, but that would probably confuse kids.) Since tropical flavors are all the rage these days, they also make a tropical-flavored version. They also sell the chocolate and licorice ones separately, for people who like those flavors.

I couldn’t find any TV commercials for Necco Wafers, for some reason; I don’t think they ever ran any. I liked them, but most kids learned after the first time they bought them that they’re an acquired taste. Still, there are a few videos on YouTube about them, so go have a look.

Do you like Necco Wafers?

Five by Nana Mouskouri #atozchallenge #socs


There are some situations when five songs can hardly summarize a musical career. Such is the case with Ioanna “Nana” Mouskouri. I mean, the woman has recorded a hundred or so albums (the link takes you to a partial discography) in multiple languages, including English, Greek, French, Spanish, Turkish, and others. She was once asked if she could sing a song in German; she said “I don’t speak German, but I suppose I could.”

Despite her being one of the most popular singers in the world, I hate to say that I had never sat down to listen to her music before today. I had seen pictures of her and knew her by the dark-framed glasses she wore and her shoulder-length hair, but was unfamiliar with her music. I’m sure I’ve heard it, somewhere, before today. A shame I didn’t realize it. She’s wonderful.

Here are five songs by Ms. Mouskouri, chosen completely at random, because I didn’t know where to start or finish. And since today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “no,” I’ll work that in somehow…

Song No. 1: I Have A Dream – ABBA did a cover of this song, and when I heard Nana’s version, I had to double-check and make sure it was hers and not ABBA’s.

Song No. 2: Love Story – From the movie of the same name. I think I like hers better than Andy Williams’s.

Song No. 3: Adieu, Angeline – Probably from the Sixties, an appearance on French TV.

Song No. 4: Greek Medley – Okay, I have no idea what the songs are (two years of high school Greek did diddly for me), but I really like this medley, because I like Greek music, and its adjunct, Greek food.

Song No. 5: The White Rose of Athens – Maybe her best-known song.

Nana’s retired from performing now, but still comes out with an album from time to time. A lot of her music is available on YouTube, for your listening pleasure.

Are you familiar with Nana Mouskouri’s music? If so, which is your favorite song/album of hers?

#atozchallenge: Netizen

netizen =
Internet + citizen


A netizen is a citizen of this electronic world we call the Internet. To be a good netizen is to follow the rules of netiquette (Internet etiquette), which have evolved over the years and boil down to “don’t be a jerk.” Don’t start flame wars, don’t be a troll, don’t spam or crosspost to groups that have nothing to do with what you’re posting about, obey the site rules or incur the wrath of the owner, do your due diligence before you ask for help with something, and remember, what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet forever, where your family, your employer, your pastor, the Legion of Decency, the Department of Homeland Security, computer forensics technicians, and social justice warriors all over the world can see what a jerk you are and what kind of horrible stuff you’ve been looking at and saying.

Now run along and try to have fun…


Can you think of any other rules that might apply here?


The Week That Was, #3 (#atozchallenge)

Time for another summary of the week of A to Z here at The Sound Of One Hand Typing and The Sound Of One Hand Typing FM. Again, thank you all for stopping by and leaving comments; I do keep up with what you’re doing on your blog via Feedly, my RSS reader. Leave me a comment, I’ll add you to the list, and you’ll be stuck there for all eternity BWAHAHAHAHA!….

Sorry, got a little carried away there… now, where was I? Oh yeah…

So let’s start from yesterday and work our way backward:

As always, kind of a mixed bag on the relative merits of the Marshmallow Peep, with some saying they love them, or anything with marshmallow, for that matter, and others saying “Eww, gross!” And I had at least one comment that said they haven’t made it to where you are right now. I’ll have to send a note to the people at Just Born, the confectioners who created the Peep, and let them know (not that they’ll listen to me, of course). One thing I neglected to mention is that many people like their Peeps a little on the stale side, so that they crunch when you bite into them. I like them either soft or crunchy.

By the way, I featured a video by the Crazy Russian Hacker that one or two of you mentioned you liked. His YouTube channel is a lot of fun and he does lots of other dangerous interesting things on it. Definitely worth a laugh at least. Maybe the next time you’re stuck in the house, check some of the others out, or better yet, subscribe to his channel.

People weere a little more unanimous about the Oreo, the subject of Friday’s post, everyone liking them. Whether you twist them open and lick out the creme center before eating the cookie, dunk them whole in milk and eat them that way, or just stuff them in your gaping maw like I do, we’re generally agreed that they’re a pretty darn good cookie. Lauralynn said that, although she can no longer tolerate all that sugar, she has had the deep-fried variety, and can attest that there’s all kinds of goodness there. Barbara said she wanted to see them sell just the cookie without the creme, and while it’s the cookie-and-creme sandwich that makes the Oreo great, I can see her point: the cookie portion is a mite tasty on its own. Jeffrey said he preferred the ones with the chocolate filling (those are golden Oreos with chocolate filling), while Kathy said she liked to spread peanut butter on them, something I never thought of but I think I’ll try the next time we get Oreos (we don’t get them, as a rule).

There were a lot of comments to Thursday’s post on noon, which surprises me because it was one of those subjects where I got a little more technical than usual explaining what “noon” was. Over on Facebook, someone remarked that we have the railroads to thank for time zones, which I suppose is true; theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler once opined that “Time is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once,” although there’s some disagreement as to whether he was the first person who said it. There were a few of you who agreed with me, that Daylight Saving Time is more trouble than it’s worth, and others who disagreed, saying they like keeping the sun out longer. My compromise was to set the clocks ahead one hour and leave them there for all eternity. There is historical precedent for that; it was done in the US during World War II, and again in the mid-1970’s during the “energy crisis.”

On a lighter note, it was nice to hear so many people remember the local cartoon shows that used to be on TV at noontime and after school when we were kids. I encourage everyone to find a copy of Tim Hollis’ excellent book, Hi There, Boys and Girls!, a well-researched directory of practically every kids’ before-school, lunchtime, and after-school cartoon show in the United States from roughly the beginning of TV through the 1980’s [and I’ll spare you the rant on that].

Everyone was equally unanimous on my post on minimum and maximum on at least one point: Minnie and Max, my cats named after the inventory-planning strategy, are “totes adorbs.” But getting back to the planning method, while it’s not entirely foolproof (vendors run out of stock due to delays from their suppliers, and it trickles down to customers), is about as close as you can get to it. It’s simple, and it works. And there are some items that are hard to plan for, such as pads, pens, and printer paper in late July and early August (when kids are going back to school) and Scotch tape and batteries in December (Christmas). There was also a time when the company I was working for was running short of coffee all the time; seems someone too cheap to buy coffee for home was grabbing it out of the coffee room on his way home. That kind of stuff really bugs me, ya know? When you come right down to it, it’s theft. And I’d better get off my soapbox before I fall off…

I generally heard one of two things about LiveJournal on Tuesday: people had either never heard of it or had been active on it once, but were no longer using it. The things LJ were good at are the same things that Facebook is good at, and a paid account on LJ (that allows you to avoid the ads and keeps your account open even if you don’t use it for, say, three years) costs more than the always-free Facebook (HA! To quote Milton Friedman, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!” What it doesn’t cost in actual dollars and cents is more than made up for in loss of privacy). But LJ has its fans, and I still have a presence there and will until LJ pulls a fast one and ruins it for everyone.

Finally, I was surprised to learn there were so many people who either hadn’t heard of kapok or didn’t realize the fiber came from a tree. I remember spending an entire geography class in 4th grade talking about the kapok tree and its fiber. Maybe geography classes don’t concentrate so much on trivia like they used to. And that’s probably a good thing.

So, this week, we’ll talk about investing, shaving, my grandmother, more time stuff, Ayer’s Rock, and a Soyuz cosmonaut.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure and vote in my Battle of the Bands from last Wednesday. Results will be posted this Wednesday. And of course, another British Invasion act on Two for Tuesday. See you tomorrow!