Eighth Wonder is here!

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It’s been a long haul, but EIGHTH WONDER is finished and was recently awarded a “highlighted book” to read by the U.S. Librarians curated SELF-e Journal.  I’m finishing inferential statistics papers for my finals.

Then, I’m excited to start packing (I have exactly 12 hours to pack) for Seattle for Christmas.  What a blessed time to spend with family.  And oh, I’m super excited for the book signing in Seattle!  If you want to buy the book with my signature, then visit http://www.anitamcal.com and I’ll personally autograph your copy.  Thank you so much for checking in on me.  Now, I have to refocus on ANOVA tests and a regression something or other!





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First let me make it clear that I enjoy some of Tyler Perry’s movies.  I thoroughly enjoyed “Why Did I Get Married” starring Jill Scott, Richard T. Jones and Tasha Smith, as well as “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” starring the magnificent Mary J. Blige.  I also found “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” mostly entertaining.  Now, with the latter out of the way, I’m not sure I’m excited about seeing Kim Kardashian in MARRIAGE COUNSELOR.

ART THAT ENRICHES MY LIFE (most likely art that doesn’t include Kim Kardashian)

I enjoy entertainment, especially movies that enrich my life, either through well-crafted comedy stories or dramas that enlighten me, cause me to reflect, and even inspire me to grow as a human being.  For that reason, I’m drawn to artistic endeavors such as the upcoming RED TAILS, based on the Tuskegee Airmen and THE HELP, based on the lives of domestic workers in the 1950s, as well as EIGHTH WONDER the novel, surrounding the real life story of Thomas Bethune, a blind, autistic slave who began playing Mozart at the age of three.

I’ll come clean and admit I used to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe take Miami, Kim and Kourtney take New York, thoroughly enjoying the mindless prattles of the K-clan.  Although I understand Mr. Perry’s decision from a business perspective – Kim has millions of fans – I just DO NOT want to see the whiny, untalented, but pretty Kim in a movie.  Barbara Walters said it best in an interview that ran before the end of 2011 – the Kardashians  don’t have any real talent.  They are privileged, stylish, pretty, and that’s it.  Quite frankly, I won’t be going to see the MARRIAGE COUNSELOR not because Kim is a sinner and such a bad person – although that 20 minute wedding did cause her to lose points in my book – but primarily because I cringe at the thought of watching her hatch through scripted lines.   Sorry Mr. Perry (rolling my eyes)  I’m sitting this one out.

A.M. Cal


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Red Tails’ star Terrence Howard picks up some presidential salutes

RED TAILS is gaining momentum and the highest praises.  Like EIGHTH WONDER the novel which is set in the antebellum south and surrounds the remarkable blind autistic slave who began playing Mozart at three, the WWII film is based on a powerful true story.

                        President Obama has a screening of film backed by George Lucas; George H.W. Bush gives a thumbs-up

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Thursday, January 12 2012, 6:00 m

Updated: Thursday, January 12 2012, 6:00 AM
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	Terrence Howard (r.) gets a closeup with his ‘Red Tails’ co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. (l.) and filmmaker Spike Lee at the New York premiere.<br /><br />

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Terrence Howard (r.) gets a closeup with his ‘Red Tails’ co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. (l.) and filmmaker Spike Lee at the New York premiere.

If you’re known by the company you keep, then these days you can call Terrence Howard presidential.

After the suave Hollywood actor recently screened his new movie, “Red Tails,” for former President George H.W. Bush, he’s due to watch it with President Obama at the White House on Thursday.

Howard, who stars in the movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American fighter pilots to serve in the U.S. armed forces, told us Tuesday at the New York premiere of the flick that he’s “way past excited” to screen it for Obama.

“That shows you the significance of this film,” Howard said.

Howard was part of a starry crowd at the Ziegfeld Theatre that included the movie’s executive producer, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, Howard’s castmate Cuba Gooding Jr., filmmaker Spike Lee and the voice of Darth Vader, actor James Earl Jones.

On the red carpet, Howard recalled watching the film with Bush 41 and his wife, Barbara, at a private screening.

Howard told us he “shared popcorn” with the former commander in chief and said “Red Tails” got the presidential seal of approval because the 87-year-old Bush “stayed awake” for the entire movie.

The film likely brought back a flood of memories from Bush’s days as a Navy pilot in the Pacific during World War II.

Howard said Mrs. Bush’s reaction was much more emotional. He noted that she was “crying at the end” of the picture.

When we asked the actor if he consoled the former First Lady, he shook his head.

“I’m not touching another man’s wife,” he said with a smile.

Also on the red carpet, Lee praised Lucas for the bold move of personally financing the film.

The “Do the Right Thing” director told us, “I’m going to get on Twitter and all that stuff” to promote “Red Tails” and will be “praying” for its success.

Lucas reportedly spent nearly $100 million of his own fortune to produce and market the picture because he couldn’t convince a major studio to gamble on a big-budget action-adventure movie that featured an all-black cast as well as a black director and screenwriter.

The “Star Wars” creator is betting the action-packed “Red Tails,” which opens Jan. 20, has blockbuster potential, although he told USA Today that if the movie doesn’t work, “I realize that by accident I’ve now put the black film community at risk.”

Lee told us he staunchly disagreed with the assertion.

“I have great respect for George, but I don’t think any film can determine whether black cinema lives or dies,” Lee said.


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RED TAILS, is a must see feature for me because the story, like that of Thomas Bethune ( the classical slave prodigy) is entertaining AND IMPORTANTI enjoy movies that enrich my life, movies that entertain, educate, move me, make me nostalgic, and yes, it’s even better when I leave a better person. Whether it’s a comedy, a romance, a thriller, an action show, I like movies where I learn something. Even if it’s as light-hearted as “HITCH” or “BEACHES” or as heavy as”SAVING PRIVATE RYAN”  or  “THE GODFATHER,” I love experiencing the archetypes of human character and the positive messages of love, courage, and romance, along with educational stories that also entertain.

The Tuskegee Airmen, trained at the Tuskegee Institute, were the military’s first black jet fighters, a fierce, capable, heroic, and skilled group of trained pilots who shot down more enemy planes than any other unit during WWII.  These were real mean, heroic figures fighting a real war, so it’s based on historical facts, just like EIGHTH WONDER.  At the turn of the century,  the blind slave Maestro Thomas Bethune, known throughout the world as “Blind Tom” was the most famous figure on earth.  These are the kinds of stories I love to experience and deserve a place in our public consciousness.

I will be there, popcorn in hand, when RED TAILS hits the theaters on January 20th!

A.M. Cal

Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling

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WHO WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE TO DINNER?  Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) or “Harry Potter” scribe “JK Rowling?




Share in your own words, your thoughts of the excerpt in ONE WORD, ONE SENTENCE

Maestro Thomas Bethune performed by John Davies

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The classical piece “Rainstorm” composed by child slave prodigy, Thomas Bethune

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