Introducing Gentlemen’s Fury – a hilarious new film

WATCH IT TODAY! GENTLEMEN’S FURY TENNIS MOVIE PREMIERES MAY 23RD Gentlemen’s Fury, a comedy feature film about an ATP player whose Johnny Mac–like temper lands him in a league that might not be strictly about tennis, premieres today, May 23, 2017 on Vimeo On Demand. Starring Ben Sharples (Flight 7500), Jake Head (Ted) and Audrey Ellis Fox (Law & Order: SVU), Gentlemen’s Fury is a cross between Fight Club and Dodgeball that makes a raucous commentary on the plight of the male tennis player, as well as tennis itself. (And in case you didn't already guess, Ben is my son.) For more information and to watch the trailer, please click here. To contact Ben Sharples, please email:  ben@golddoorfilms.com *** Here's a wonderful interview with Ben and his wife, Marissa, who also played a key role in the making of the film. Tennis Gets Its Ace by Neil Feineman It was, as dinner parties go, your pleasant, basic good time -- until a guest, fully aware of Ben Sharple … [Read more...]

1,602 total views, 14 views today

Bragging time!

My son Ben Sharples is a long-time actor, writer, producer, and tennis player (he started playing tournament tennis at age seven). Ben has created a screenplay about an aging tennis star, which he plans to start filming next month. And he needs your help. He has set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise production funds. Please consider becoming a part of this movie by joining his campaign. There are some great opportunities depending on what level of contribution you choose to make. Here’s the link to his campaign. Please click on the video and listen to Ben tell you about this film called “Gentleman’s Fury” – a tennis movie written by and starring a real tennis star. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bensharples/gentlemens-fury-movie Really how can you blame a proud mom  from wanting to help out her son? Especially since the campaign has less than three days to go. Thanks so much. … [Read more...]

3,735 total views, 6 views today

Some folks to show off

  Yesterday we attended a book launch and reading of my friend Lee Quarnstrom's new memoir. Lee and I go all the way back to high school - New Trier Township in Winnetka, IL - where we studied journalism and worked together on the New Trier News. He went on to be a newspaper reporter and columnist and did a bunch of other things well worth reading about in his book - such as hang out with Ken Kesey on the Magic Bus for a while. From the title you'll see that he had an exciting life. He's now living east of Los Angeles with his seventh wife, Chris, whom he met at our 40th high school reunion. Chris and I have known each other since grade school. Besides the three of us, seven other New Trier alums attended the reading. It was such fun to get together with dear old friends.   Another couple I've known for a long time, Alice and Richard Matzkin, will appear from March 3-5 on a free online event called Transforming Aging Summit - about making your later years your … [Read more...]

4,320 total views, 4 views today

Time Capsule – have you ever buried one?

"Time Capsule," a short film starring and written by my son Ben Sharples, is very loosely based on a true story. Ben and a young friend buried a time capsule as kids. In the film shown below two long-lost friends reunite to dig up a time capsule they buried as kids, only to find that the house where it is located now is occupied by psychotic, dangerous meth heads. Time Capsule premiered at the Festival Regards sur le Cinéma du Monde in Rouen, France last year, then screened at the HollyShorts Film Festival. It was directed by Ben's childhood friend Clint Gardner, who also worked with Ben in writing the script.   Ben’s bio: Ben Sharples is an American actor known for his role as Jack Hafey, best friend of Brad and Pia Martin (Ryan Kwanten and Amy Smart), in the Takashi Shimizu horror movie 7500 (2014). He played real estate mogul Stephen in the underground romantic comedy hit film X's & O's (2007), reported by the New York Times to be downloaded over 150,000 times … [Read more...]

6,988 total views, 8 views today

Some stuff about me

With a birthday coming up next month I've been doing a lot of reflecting and a lot of thinking about the future. However, since my suggestion of a book everyone should read is Ram Dass' Be Here Now, I thought I'd share a recent interview that tells about me right now. 1. What is one book everyone should read? Be Here Now by Ram Dass 2. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Peanut butter and blueberries 3. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book, Leaving the Hall Light On. My book has much to share with anyone grieving the loss of a loved one or suffering any kind of loss. 4. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?  I’m currently working on a historical fiction book based a bit on my family’s history, yet with a twist. I also want to have a book of poetry published. And I'm almost through producing, with the help of an expert recording technician, a CD made of my son’s jazz music. I hope to have it out in th … [Read more...]

5,300 total views, 2 views today

The November Poem A Day Challenge is in full force

While I don't intend to post every poem I write during this challenge, I'll start here with Day 1. Here's the prompt: Write a matches poem. The matches could be sticks that make fire. Or it could be matches from a game. Or the verb of “to match.” Or as in the phrase “He’s not a good match for you.” Or whatever other match you can make. And here's my attempt: At the Match She watches on the sidelines hunched over, her arms, legs fingers crossed for luck. Her head looks left, then right as the ball goes over the net back and forth back and forth. She takes a deep breath when her son loses a point, then her head looks left and right again. His opponent beats his racket on the court when he misses, sneering at his father standing with his nose at the fence. But, calmness prevails. Her son’s last shot, his famous backhand down the line, wins, and she knows they’ll have a great drive home. Ben, age 14 He had a few tennis trophies … [Read more...]

1,872 total views, 2 views today

Father’s Day sadness

On this day I think a bit about my dad, but just a bit. He’s been dead since 1975 - over thirty-seven years. He’s vague in a lot of ways. Yet I still remember vividly his last year and half and his courageous battle against cancer. I think he waged the battle to please my mother. His own heart wasn’t in it. Finally, and I was so proud of him for this, he said he was through. He just wanted more and more morphine to aid him in dying. That was the most courageous part. Standing up to her and dying on his own terms. Dad and Paul, 1973 What makes me more sad today is what Bob has been through. He was the father of three sons and now only one is living. His first son, Eric, was born with Down syndrome during his first marriage. He died in 2004 accidentally, choking on a peanut butter sandwich. Bob and Eric Our older son Paul was born perfectly healthy and was fine and brilliant until his first manic break at age twenty-one. He was then diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder. At age twent … [Read more...]

3,107 total views, 2 views today

Shooting a video is hard work

The producer and director I’m checking things off my list of to dos. One of the things that’s been on that list for months has been to make a three-minute video to post on Marla Miller’s Women Over 45: Speak website - another tool for marketing my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. And with the help of my son, Ben, and daughter in law, Marissa, we finally filmed it. They are the producer and director. I wrote the script some weeks ago and spent quite a bit of time tweaking and going over it. The morning of the shoot I read through my lines a few times while I was on the elliptical at the gym. I made a few changes when I got home, and after I showered and dressed and did my hair and makeup, I started going over it again. Ben and Marissa had suggested I break the piece up in parts and that was brilliant, because not being used to memorizing anything, I needed the breaks. Speaking for three minutes straight would have been daunting and probably boring. Filming the speech in several … [Read more...]

1,966 total views, 4 views today

The eve of New Year’s Eve

I think this is a perfect day for looking back. Usually we go to an eve, eve party where we always share about our events of the year. Since it was cancelled this year, I'll share our major happenings of 2011 here. Major Happenings of 2011: 1. My husband, Bob, and I traveled to Amador County and Sutter Creek, CA with Manhattan Beach friends to taste some native zinfandel wines in January. On our first night there Bob fell and broke the three metatarsal bones in his right foot. Bob had foot surgery to repair and pin his broken bones together in February and had to be off his foot for eight weeks. He got around on a knee scooter (Rolleraid) or crutches. I was his driver. Bob on his knee scooter (Rolleraid) 2. On May 8 (Mother’s Day) my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On was released by Lucky Press. My successful book launch reading and signing at our local independent bookstore, Pages, was held on May 12. A couple of weeks later we celebrated my birthday in Lake O … [Read more...]

2,540 total views, 2 views today

Miracles do happen – I’m sure of it

I’m struck once again how life and death events put everything into perspective. The petty things I was worrying over – what Pilates class should I take, when should I go to Portland to visit my sister, or even what should I cook for dinner – at the beginning of this week fell by the wayside when I heard the news that Ben had been in a horrific automobile accident on the freeway on Wednesday night while he was on his way home from acting class. He called me the day after about noon to tell me about it. He was fine he said, he didn’t have a scratch on him, but his car was totaled. While I was hearing him tell me this news I began to cry – not about the good news that he was well and all that was lost was his car – but for what could have been. And then I quickly realized I needed to rejoice, not cry. My handsome wonderful son is still here with us whole and well – and we began to joke that his car, lovingly called Stanley, a Ford Focus, saved him. I was even more elated when I saw … [Read more...]

2,478 total views, 2 views today