On Meeting Stephen King

stephen-king-3.jpgGetting the chance to meet Stephen King on Tuesday was truly a once in a life time chance and I will never forget it. I learned a lot from the experience and though I wish I could, I don’t know if I’ll be able to document it completely. I was so entranced most of the time, that unfortunately recording it was an after thought. However I will to the best of my ability share with you all what stuck with me.

Here is what I learned about Stephen King:

First off it was exceedingly clear to me that Stephen was and is an excellent father. For him to be so busy, famous, and successful, and yet maintain a decent, let alone good relationship with his children is beyond amiable. He has written books with both of his sons, and I believe the ability to work with one’s parents on such an intimate level is evidence that the relationship is well formed.

stephen-king.jpgI was able to hear from Owen King, and hearing him talk about his childhood was moving. Sure he grew up with wealth and privilege, but that has never (in and of itself) determined how a child would be raised. Owen however talked of a father that aside from his time working, was present kings1and involved in his children’s lives. A father who participated in the local community and even taught little league. To watch Stephen well up when his son praised the time they spent together on this book project, was again, insight into the heart of the relationship. More than anything else, learning how invested and loving Stephen King was as a father (though, as with anyone, he had his flaws) impressed me the most.

Stephen showed an amazing sense of humor; he was constantly making little jokes and even making fun of himself. He certainly loves life, and yet he sees the value in not taking it too seriously, this is a beautiful balance.Stephen King On Writing

On the flip side, he also showed a vulnerability and deep side, that I had not expected. You can tell that he loves to connect; whether with family, or fans, or with Molly aka the Thing of Evil. He finds curious, strange, and equally remarkable ways of doing this. One of the greatest stories I heard was about how he would have his Children dictate books on tape. Audio books were the big new thing and he loved it, but you couldn’t find very much variety back then. So this was a great way to not only expose his children to literature, but also get to listen to books, what a phenomenal combination and what a gift! It all started because Owen was 8 and wanted to start earning money. He asked his dad if he could mow the lawn to earn some, but Stephen said “No, I’ve got a better idea.”

la-et-jc-fathers-day-20170616.jpgStephen has clearly influenced his children in an extremely valuable way. They produce writing and have an abundant knowledge of literature, and of course a love for books. These characteristics are priceless. He was greatly influenced by his mother as well.  The moment he knew he wanted to be a writer was when his mother was reading aloud The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and when Stevenson was very descriptively describing the crunching of bones, King knew in a flash “that’s what I want to do!” Referring to writing of course…

 

King child.jpgHis mother was clearly someone that the apple did not fall far from. She read to them all matter of mystery etc. she loved a good thrill. King described the first time he was ever really truly scared: His mother would wait until they were asleep to listen to a late night radio station, I believe called Mystery Theater. 99309c6b4f8f8a34ded75db8e3f0a10a

The children were not allowed to listen, because it was too scary. Stephen of course would wait till is brother was asleep, crawl out of bed, and then listen to the station through the crack at the bottom of his door. Such tenacity towards a blooming passion! I wish I could accurately describe for you the way I got to hear his recollection of this particular show, but it was a wonder to hear.

6c0461f0d021c8f043cb062c6cc139e5I believe from the way he talked, that his mother was also someone that contributed to his understanding and respect for women. When Stephen talked about this new books “Sleeping Beauties” you could tell he has an admiration for women, that is an uncommon thing to find in many men. I believe being raised by an intelligent and loving single mother was something that greatly impacted his views. He has also been married to his wife for 45 years now, and he talks of her with love and respect, it was lovely. His son Owen follows in his father’s foot steps with this quality.
The fact that these two men could take on the humbling and daunting task of writing a book about the ramifications and chaos, of a world without women, is brave and insightful.

stephenking130Getting to know the wit, depth, and humor of the Master Stephen King, in such an intimate way, was extraordinary. His dialogue was so untainted and real; no frills, no bs, he was just genuine. And it revealed only that however genius and successful he may be, ultimately he is completely ordinary, human, and sane. Sure he had his daughter dictate The Bundy Murders and she didn’t sleep for a month, and sure the family sat around on holiday watching Christine…
He’s Stephen King for goodness sake, there’s got to be a little weirdness allowed! Simply put, he is a man who has lived with passion and character, is refreshingly down to earth and funny, who just happens to write brilliantly, and loves the hell out of books.


Fun Facts: Fun little tidbits I learned
 #1: He also mentioned Bambi being the very first time he was ever afraid. “Man is in the forest” he said, “scared the hell out of me.” I live in the N.W. and this summer I sadly witnessed the horror that really is, man in the forest, so I heard him say that line with new awareness and deeper meaning.
#2 is Stephen Kings favorite book: The Lord of The Flies, The Catcher in The Rye being a close second.
#3 When asked what his favorite work was, of his own, he struggled to answer for awhile. He said it was like picking a favorite child. However he eventually did mentioned On Writing and one other that my brain misplaced, but then he finally settled quite resolutely on The Dead Zone.

Know any fun tidbits about Stephen King? Feel free to share 🙂


4659_1__56604.1333396947.380.500


Advertisements

Evocative Literary Lines IX

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun,
yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
Leo Tolstoy,  Anna Karenina


“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights,
the light of all lights.”

Bram Stroker, Dracula


“If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.”

W. H. Auden, The More Loving One 

Please share with us a line from literature that inspires you.

Blogger BookBean Favorites

depositphotos_55772445-the-magic-book-book-with-magical-stories-magic-book1Below is a composition of the favorite books and drink pairings of my fellow blogger friends. This special Mini Book Bean is very personal and interesting. I hope you will all love the diversity and intrigue of the different books. Not to mention there are a few lovely things to try a sip of.

Here are my Fellow Blogger’s Favorites:

“Memoirs of a Geisha”
MemoirsOfAGeishaby Arthur Golden.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

It is a beautifully written book of literary fiction, very poignant. Golden did quite a bit of research about Japan and Geishas, and the story takes us through the life of a poor Japanese girl who becomes highly successful at her profession. It also give an excellent look at the culture of Japan pre WWII, and a glimpse of the war.

*

*

Why I love this book:
Having lived in Japan for several years, I enjoyed this tremendously, and wish he would have written another book.

P1010082 *

Book Bean: Hazelnut Coffee Creme 
I make Hazlenut Creme coffee fairly weak, then flavor it with Cafe D’Vita Cappucino Mix and and some whole milk or Half & Half. Very decadent!

*

Submitted by Don Maker atdonmaker.com
Freelance writer and editor

*

“Odd Thomas”

by Dean Koontz
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.”
But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo’s sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it’s different.

Why I love this book:
Dean Koontz is a phenomenal writer and I love everything he writes, but Odd Thomas stands above all others. The story is passionately alluring and really draws you into the characters and world of Odd. A vivid, exciting, and interesting story; with wit an d humor that has you laughing out loud! What’s not to love.

adbc10a5-32eb-4aff-a772-bd4174536173


Book Bean:
 Butterscotch Americano
2 strong espresso shots, hot water, extra cream/ half n half, and a shot or two of butterscotch syrup.

*


Submitted
by
M.J. Gale at The Phantom Rem
(A unique and original collection of thrilling spine tingling short-stories)

 

*

“Don Quixote”


by Miguel de Cervantes

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Widely regarded as the world’s first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain.

 *

Why I love this book:

For it timeless depiction of the human condition

**


1348075953_49210ccf92Book Bean:
Café con leche

a Spanish white coffee beverage. It is somewhat more similar to the Italian caffè latte than to the French café au lait. A latte, however, is made with espresso

 *

Submitted by Antonio at antonioyrocinante.com

 *

“The Good Soldier”



by Ford Madox Ford, 1915

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

I’ve read it numerous times, and expect to read again.

The narrator, John Dowell, describes his life with his wife, Florence. They’re Americans, relegated to staying in Europe due to Florence’s heart condition, preventing her from making the ocean crossing home. At a spa in Germany they befriend the British Captain Edward Ashburnham and his wife, Leonora, Edward’s there to tend to his own heart ailment. Dowell’s narrative moves back and forth in time, revealing slices of the interrelationships of the two couples, following his understanding of what came to be a horrific combination of desire, deceit, misunderstanding and passion involving not only those four, but other men and women, destroying not only the two marriages, but the lives of everyone involved.

Why I love this book:
More than a tale of personal intrigue, the book is an ingenious problem — perhaps the ultimate exemplar — of “the unreliable narrator,” because we have only Dowell’s representation of complex human motives and relationships, and even at the end of the book, with all the outcomes made clear, we can’t know if what lay within the hearts and minds of everyone involved was as he depicts it. There is tremendous energy and horrific drama that ruins people, but we have only Dowell’s point of view from which to try to understand it. 

 *

In addition, it has one of the greatest first lines in all literature:
“This is the saddest story I have ever heard.”

espresso-one

*

Book Bean: Espresso
If I could actually keep my eyes on my book and not on the scene, I’ll have an espresso at Florian’s in Piazza San Marco, per favore.

*

Submitted by Brad at blaknissan
This blog is for travelers and would-be travelers, fans of reading, writing and literature, and anyone with a questing spirit.

 

“Leo the Late Bloomer”


by Robert Kraus.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com *
*

Leo is a young tiger who can’t keep up with the other animals who are learning to read, write, draw, eat neatly and speak. Under the watchful eye of his parents, in due time, Leo makes the grade and his first words are “I made it.”
*

*

Why I love this book:
I like the book because like Leo it took me a long time to find myself and the result was a book I wrote – my bio in kid form “Buddy Bloom Wildflower.”

My book is dedicated to another favorite author and teacher – Leo Buscaglia, he wrote some best selling books about Love and you can watch him lecture on You Tube.

18-1418876510-greenteaa **

Book Bean:Rocket Fuel.
AKA Green Tea!

*

Submitted by Jerry Snider at Theartofbecomingawildflower

*

“Half Blood Blues”



by Esi Edugyan

Rated 3.8 on amazon.com


Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.
Half-Blood Blues is the story of a group of black musicians trying to record a jazz album in the middle of WWII. The story plays out in Nazi controlled Berlin and in occupied Paris. The band members are a motley group and the book follows their fears, hopes and tribulations during the war.
Fifty years after the war, two of the surviving band members, Sid and Chip, get together for a cinematic tribute to their most famous musician of the group. The screening of the film hints at a mystery surrounding his arrest and his suspected death. Sid and Chip set out on a journey across the Polish landscape to a surprising climax full of hope and compassion.
*

**

Why I love this book:
I absolutely loved the feel of jazz all through the book. There is pathos and the characters are deeply emotional as all art and artists are supposed to be.
Half Blood Blues touched my soul, in a mess of wild joyous music that survived the personal misery and the fear that the war brought to the protagonists.
Half Blood Blues is my favorite book because of the varied characters, a rich vocabulary, plenty of history and a touch of mystery. The imagery and the frequently idiosyncratic language is very beautiful and an entire range of emotions are explored through the characters. The book has a very artistic and an intense feeling to it.
I also liked the use of an unreliable narrator which adds to a sense of intrigue.
*


*2269652

Book Bean: Aam Panna
A tangy summer cooler made from the pulp of green mango.
Season the cooked mango pulp with sugar, rock salt and cumin powder. Add chilled water and top with crushed mint and ice.

*

Submitted by Writinlive at Read Write Live
Self Expression equals Happiness”

*

“Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”


by J K Rowling

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held the infamous prisoner Sirius Black. Convicted of killing 13 people with a single curse, and said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

 *

Why I love this book:

*SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN*

Do you ever read a really good book and just think “wow, this author must not be human because no human could’ve thought up this masterpiece”? Well, surprise surprise, I think that way with all of the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling can’t be human… so she must be a witch… IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

When I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I have to say, that is hands down my favorite Harry Potter book and here’s why: Remus Lupin’s background story.

I know there is SO much that goes on in the other books that can top anything that occurs in this book but for some reason, Lupin’s background story will forever stick with me as the best thing I’ve ever read.

Now, don’t get mad at me but I watched all of the movies before I read the books… I know, I know WHAT WAS I THINKING? Because of this idiot move, I saw how the movies kind of just brushed over the Shrieking Shack and what it was. I didn’t think ANYTHING of it. But then I read the book and saw that the Shrieking Shack wasn’t actually haunted, that villagers just thought it was but in fact it was because of Lupin occupying it during his transformations into a werewolf. *Explosion noise* MIND BLOWN! Now this might not be as interesting to anyone else but I find it so fascinating and the fact that the movies just brushed over the Shrieking Shack and didn’t even hear Lupin’s story astonishes me.
*

Top-5-Moscato-Inspired-Rhymes-2Book Bean: Barefoot Moscato
So if you haven’t read Prisoner of Azkaban, why don’t you grab a nice glass of my favorite drink, Barefoot Moscato, and enjoy it. I assure you, there are some twists in there that’s going to have your mind exploding like mine!

Submitted by Carolyn at Mugglesforharrypotter
H
ead over to her site for lots of great insight to all things Harry Potter!

Since I commandeered the Sunday spot for this awesome collaboration
I’ll sneak in a Sunday Funny here:

'Oooh. By Emily Bronte. A very controversial book...Cruelty! Passion! Death! Risky territory for a woman author in the 1800s.'

Feedback on Favorites

I am planning to do a special article this Saturday that is based on the favorites of the Cafe Book Bean community. Please message or email me and tell me about your favorite book; brief synopsis, why its your favorite, what you love about it etc. Also tell me about a beverage you love, something that comforts you or that you enjoy while reading. I love hearing about new books and interesting drinks, and I think this will he a fun collaboration. Please message or email me your entry if you are interested! Message me here or email me cafebookbean

I would especially like to here from these loyal friends:

Piratepatty

Darlene

kimberlywenzler

Jon

equinoxio21

Cara Sue Achterberg

Martin

Robin A. Mück

Don Maker

penneyvanderbilt

leenasbooks

Sheismelrose

 

Tribute to Browning’s Beauty

“The beautiful seems right by force of beauty…”

elizabeth_barrett_browning_2Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March  1806 – 29 June 1861)
She was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.

Elizabeth’s volume Poems (1844) brought her great success, attracting the admiration of the writer Robert Browning. Their correspondence, courtship and marriage were carried out in secret, for fear of her father’s disapproval. Following the wedding she was indeed disinherited by her father.
The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life. They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. She died in Florence in 1861.A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Elizabeth’s work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. She is remembered for such poems as “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and Aurora Leigh (1856).

“What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?”
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning