Review of Gabriella Owens’ “BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose of Macho Cooking”

 [ BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose on Macho Cooking
Owens, Gabriella ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2013
Paperback

On Review: Gabriella Owens’ Book, BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose’ of Macho Cooking

Dear Readers:

I couldn’t believe a cookbook could keep me so engrossed I couldn’t put it down! Because I hate to cook! But by the time I finished reading, loving, and laughing my way through “BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Expose on Macho Cooking” — a book full of humor, impressive information, pizza recipes galore, and more — Gabriella Owens had made a believer out of me! I was seriously considering becoming a “barbecued-pizza specialist” and party host myself.

But I figured the least I could do, after reading her exceptional expose –even learning what pizza peels are for– was to stop three pizzas short of a pizza peel to write this sizzling review.

Gifted Author Gabriella is not only an expert on gourmet barbecue pizza parties, fine wines, wineries, and more, but a comedian — and the President of the California Writer’s Club, San Fernando Valley Branch.

Her creative pizzas put the California Pizza House to shame! But they might be interested in some of her “fabulicious-Pizzalicious” dishes and recipes.

While reading “BBQ Pizza,” I was kept so thoroughly entertained– laughing so hard all the way–I learned how to appreciate and appraise wines, put together perfect pizza parties, and much more — all with no pain!

I told Gabriella: “You’re a standup comedian in a “sitdown” position ‘neath a toadstool lampshade waiting to be discovered! So “standup” and deliver! I’ll turn the lights on any time.”

Meanwhile, everyone should at least discover her hidden talent for writing comedy by reading her book and watching her comedic YouTube movie “BBQ Pizza: Macho Cook to the Rescue—With His Pastrami Pizza Recipe!”

If you’re a standup comedian or would like to be, there are some great lines in this creative author’s book that could keep your audience in uproarious laughter indefinitely.

 Hey guys, buy BBQ Pizza: A Flaming Exposé
Of Macho Cooking
or put it on your reading list today.
You won’t be sorry:
You’ll have a fabulucious day!

By Stephany Spencer

 

 

My Review of the California Writers Club Anniversary Anthology, “Cascade of Pearls”

 

Product Details
California Writers Club Anniversary Anthology


writing-man-with-pen-etc

  Ode to The California Writers Club:
The California Writers Club is our oyster, 
And we writers the pearls being polished within her.
Stephany Spencer  2016 

pearl in oyster

 2016 marked the 30th anniversary —
The Pearl Anniversary of the California Writers Club,
San Fernando Valley Branch.
For thirty years, this club has been our oyster ranch,

 And we members pearls growing within her dance.
Polishing and developing daily our word-writing romance,
Some works now fairly sparkle and glimmer,

Like well-crafted word pearls enhanced till they glitter,
Reflecting our club’s lively oyster-shell shimmer.
So thanks, California Writers Club —
Thanks for letting us join your Oyster-Ranch “dinner.”

Stephany Spencer 2016



I’m so excited to tell you my California Writers Club, San Fernando Valley Branch, has produced another Anthology, this one in honor of our club’s 30th anniversary. 

 The following quote, taken from the Anthology’s Introductory pages, sizes up our Anniversary Anthology well:

“This collection is a testimony to the power of words, and to those gifted writers who have run them together like strands of precious pearls. Essay, poem, short story — each one sings out and captures our imagination … and our heart.” Victoria Zackheim (Author, Anthologist, Playwright, Educator)

“Through this anthology of short stories, imaginings, and poems,” says CWC Editor, Rita Keeley Brown, “our current members share their adventure of writing.” 

A quote from Truman Capote, taken from the back cover of the  anthology, aptly sums it up: “What I am [we are] trying to achieve is a voice sitting by the fireplace telling you a story on a winter’s evening.”

I’m so proud to say, I, myself, got my act together, followed my poem’s advice, “Dare to fail, or fail to dare do well,” and submitted three poems for this Anniversary Anthology.

When you buy our work of wonders, you’ll see these entries, as well as many more pieces written and submitted by our club’s gifted and creative writers.

Below is the cover of our Anniversary Anthology, “Cascade of Pearls,”  sold on Amazon.com.

Here’s hoping you enjoy it as much as I who am presently snuggled up by the fireplace in the process of reading and reaping the rewards of time well spent within its pages.  ~ Stephany Spencer

 



Product Details

Cascade of Pearls

May 15, 2017

by San Fernando Valley, California Writers Club

Paperback

Get it by Tomorrow, Aug 3
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Here are two samples of work composed by Nance Crawford, one of the amazing authors and poets in our California writers club. Enjoy!




 

My Song: “A Happy-New-Year Medley”

 

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
TWO-THOUSAND-EIGHTEEN IS HERE!!

new-years-day
(By Stephany Spencer, to tune of Auld Lang Syne)

1-  Two-thousand-eighteen is here,
We are another year older;
Everyone has grown,
And we are bolder
As we enter this new year.

2-  Let’s make a resolution
To never be the problem —
Only the solution
To our problems … 
every one.

3-  And let us spread hope and good cheer
From here, on through December;
‘Cause, when it is all said and done,
That is what people remember.
Chorus:
So Happy New Year, everyone!
Happy New Year, everyone!!
Let’s spread good cheer and have some fun —
Another new year has begun!

Scott’s air, Auld Lang Syne, by Robert Burns:

4- Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For days of auld lang syne, my jo,
For days of auld lang syne;
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For days of auld lang syne.

Memoir Poem: A Letter to My Art Teacher — And 6th-8th Grade Artwork

 

“Civilization is social order
supporting cultural creativity.”
Will Durant


 

*The following picture elicited the poem:
“A Letter to My Art Teacher.”


my-art-xmas

This is a poem I wrote to Mr. Webb, my Hurricane Jr. High eighth-grade Art teacher (because he said he was going to lower the grade on our Christmas-scene assignment if he saw erasures!)

I always got an “A” on my art work. But was very worried I would end up with a “B” on the picture you see below because I had to erase a number of times in an effort to correct the airplane wings. I didn’t succeed, as you can see! But the strong emotion involved in the whole project elicited the following poem: “A Letter to My Art Teacher:

Dear Mr. Webb:

If you’ll take mercy on my age,
You’ll excuse the mistakes on this page;
But look at it and like it not,
The blood in my veins will be running hot!

I thought and I drew to get an “A,”
And I expected it to be that way.
The smudges and the creases that you see
Were made because I didn’t want a “B.”

Don’t see the badness; the goodness instead.
I drew it all with a pencil lead.
The idea didn’t come from brain,
But I drew it’s all just the same.

Isn’t it wonderful? I think it is.
The dolly was made for sister Liz;
The drum was made in honor of Ted —
He does so admire purple and red.

The rest was made because the idea was that way;
I think it’s the very image of a Christmas Day.
I know, myself, the airplane is queer,
But to leave it out would ruin the design so dear.

Of course, if you don’t give me an “A,”
It only means you didn’t see it that way.
But I spent a very long time on it.
For hours it seems that I did sit,
Trying to make the whole scene perfect.

If you knew how hard it was to do,
You’d take mercy on my age —
My inexperience too;
You’d think of it my way,
And in your grade book
 You’d mark another “A.”


Note: It seems my lyrical letter worked:
Mr. Webb gave me an “A.”
Then wrote a little poem of his own to say:

You’ve been an outstanding student every day;
Your pictures are good and well worth an ‘A’.”
Mr. Webb
(That made my day!)

(The following is the original poem, written on the back of the above picture. Following this handwritten lyrical letter are some of the pictures I did in art classes, from ages twelve through fourteen.)

 

my-art-poem-to-art-teacher

 

my-art-girl-in-sweater

 

my-art-girl-model

 

 

my-art-blonde

 

my-art-airplane-1

 

my-art-moonlight

 

my-art-stormy-weather

 

 

 

my-art-cave

 

 

my-art-my-clothes

my-art-comic-strip

 

my-art-bull

 

my-art-bookcase-1

 

 

my-art-boy-fails

 

 

my-art-fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

my-art-snowman

 

 

my-art-squiglies

 

 

 

my-art-witch

 

 

 

 

my-art-pilgrim-indian

 

 

 

my-art-child

 

 

scan

 

 

 

 

my-art-jackolantern

 

My song: “Our First Thanksgiving Day: A Thanksgiving Medley”

‘Our First Thanksgiving Day: A Thanksgiving Medley

indians-and-pilgrims-color

Across the Atlantic Ocean, a long time ago
Came pilgrims on the Mayflower, a new world to know.
Freedom of religion was what they sought;
Starvation and illness were problems they fought.

But the people worked together,
And some friendly Indians taught
These pilgrims how to better use the new land they got.
So it wasn’t long before they could say:

We’ve made it through this first hard year: 
 Let’s have a feast and thank the Lord
On our grateful Thanksgiving Day!”

Tag: So they had a feast to celebrate
Our first Thanksgiving Day!)

*Note: Sing to traditional tune:
Over the River and Through the Woods,”
— with some variation.
(
Follow my lyrics singing traditional song below.)

(By Stephany Spencer, 1990)
(Photo courtesy of Google Plus)

 


 “Thanksgiving Day”
1- Over the river and through the woods,
To Grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through the white and drifted snow.
Oh, over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the nose and it bites the toes,
As over the ground we go!

2- Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play,
Hear the bells ring,”Ting-a-ling-ling”!
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground, like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day!

3- Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the woods,
Now, Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Bio Ballad of a Cult Survivor: My Bio in Verse, for Better or Worse

 

dad-ma-9-kids-1
My family in 1956 — I’m in middle row, 2nd From left

Bio Ballad of a Cult Survivor:
My Bio in Verse, for Better or Worse
(by Stephany Spencer)

1-  I was born some time ago, way out in the sticks,
In a Mormon cult in Mexico, in nineteen forty-six;
By the time I was eleven, we were a family of twelve;
For everything I ever got, I had to dig and delve.
Refrain: Dig and delve? Yes, dig and delve.
For everything I ever got, I had to dig and delve.

2-  We lived among the hicks; created toys out of sticks,
But we thought we were the best — God’s chosen people!
This was the only life I knew, all the while I grew;
To pass God’s tests is what we were here to do.

Chorus
 Oh, a hick! Yes, a dad-gummed polygamist hick,
Born into a cult, “Plyg!” was the ultimate insult;
But how was I to know someday I would grow
And leave it all behind, that stoic life of woe?
Refrain: Life of woe? Oh, misery and woe –
So I left it all behind, a better world to know

3-  A masochistic life of hell we all did sow —
It was the only world I’d ever know,
Till one day I did find these people were all blind —
And sniffing after some false prophet’s behind!

5-  So I escaped this fanatic cult — left it all behind;
Into the world I went, a whole new life to find;
I settled in LA, and found a better way;
And now I am a Graduate of UCLA.

6  When I fled the polygamist cult, wasn’t sure what to expect;
Times were hard and the wages were too low.
But I kept on keeping on, though progress was slow;
‘Twas better than I got in Old Mexico.

7-  Now here I am today, living in a whole new way
From the backward one I started out with;
I’m grateful for each day, and the good ole USA,
“You’ve come a long way, Babe,” I tell myself each day.
TAG: I am a cult survivor, you sure could say —
And a thriver in every way!