Tamela Quijas's Blog

July 10, 2012


I came across an interesting tidbit of today’s history of Hollywood and wanted to share it with my readers.


For those of us that are fans of the glamorous Hollywood and the fascinating world of the silver screen, we all know that Hollywood wouldn’t quite be Hollywood without that wonderful signage on the hills overlooking Los Angeles.  Eighty-seven years ago, the large 30 feet (9.1 m) wide and 50 feet (15 m) high letters read Hollywoodland“, the name of a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.  Real estate developers of the time, Woodruff and Shoults, called the a “superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills”


Of all things, when this monumental bit of history was threatened with dismantling in 1978, Rocker Alice Cooper decided that something needed to be done.  Imagine the surprise of cowboy legend , Playboy owner Hugh Hefner, and singer Andy William when they received a phone call from the original shock rocker,  asking for a donation and their aid in saving the sign!


My hat’s off to all those wonderful people, who saved that bit of Hollywood that still shines bright.


For this week in Hollywood History–07-13-1923 - The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles. It originally reads “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.


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Published on July 10, 2012 12:17 • 254 views

June 28, 2012

I’m off doing something a little different today and I’m doing a wonderful character interview with Zoey Masters of Rescuing Zoey by Jessica Coulter Smith.


Welcome Zoey! How are you today?


I’m fine, thank you! I’m excited to be here today.


I hear you work for Bellmont Enterprises. What’s that like?


Well, I work in Accounts Receivables/Payables so it isn’t a glamorous job, but it does have its perks – like my boss, Sebastian Montcrief. The man is to die for! Every time I see him, my brain heads straight for the gutter. It’s hard to have thoughts that aren’t X rated when he’s around. If you ever saw him, you’d understand.


So you have a thing for the boss, huh? And how’s that working for you?


Honestly? I don’t think he realizes I’m alive, except for when he barks my name or signs the checks I bring to his office. If he ever showed an interest in me, I’d probably have my wicked way with him right there on his desk. There’s plenty of room.


You’ve obviously given this a lot of thought.


Not just a lot of thought, but a lot of dreams, too. I wake up practically every morning all hot and bothered because I’ve been dreaming about  my boss, and the hot and sticky things I’d like for us to be doing together.


Hot and sticky?


Oh yeah. I may not be able to have my boss in real life, but in my dreams I’ve had him dozens of different ways. We’ve been making our way through the Kama Sutra.


What would you do if he did show an interest in you? I mean, seriously.


Besides rip his clothes off? I’d die a happy person. I can’t think of anything I want more in life than Sebastian by my side. I haven’t seen him date anyone since I’ve been at Bellmont so I’m not sure what type of woman he likes. But in my dreams, I’m the only woman he wants or needs. For that to become reality? Well, wow… just wow.


So you more than just desire him, then?


I think I might be in love with him.


Well, there you have it folks. Miss Zoey Masters is not only hot for her boss, but she’s head over heels for him, too. And if you want to find out just what happens with this office romance, you’ll have to read Rescuing Zoey, by Jessica Coulter Smith, available from Changeling Press June 29, 2012.



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Published on June 28, 2012 05:18 • 95 views

June 26, 2012

I love finding a new author to spotlight that presents that bit of temptation that pulls at my reading gene–dropping into a world of sci-fi that is filled with intergalactic wonders that capture the imagination.   My newest discovery is fascinating author, Wayne Basta, who has written a marvellous series of novels entitled  Aristeia: Revolutionary Flight, and Aristeia: A Little Rebellion.  Both novels are stunning escapes into the realm of the stars and Wayne has become a favorite on my sci-fi reading list.


Wayne BastaAs a child, Wayne Basta was introduced to science fiction at a young age by his father. Mainstream hits like Star Trek and Star Wars were followed by old Tom Swift novels and then classics like Asimov and Clarke. Growing up on Florida’s space coast only served to fuel his imagination and love of space, science and adventure.


At the age of 9, his family got their first home computer, an old Macintosh Plus, and he immediately used it to start writing science fiction adventure stories. He continued writing as a hobby all the way through college at the University of Florida, where he initially pursued a career in the US Navy until an injury changed his plans. Wayne then spent several years teaching high school and working in the education non-profit sector before coming back to his old dream of writing.


Wayne currently lives in Houston with his wife, dog and soon to be born son. He remains a fan of geek culture, board games, video games, fantasy, science fiction and all around silliness.


Find out more about Wayne at: http://waynebasta.com/


And, now, on to his fabulous tales:Aristeia: Revolutionary Right


Aristeia: Revolutionary Flight:


A former naval starfighter pilot, Maarkean Ocaitchi once fought to protect the Alliance and its principles of freedom and democracy, but his sister’s rebellious past forced them both into a life of smuggling. He nevertheless refuses to believe her assertions that the whole system is corrupt… until she is arrested and condemned to death as a traitor.Now, Maarkean must decide where his loyalty lies, and will either spark a rebellion or help crush the spirit of democracy once and for all. The experience will challenge everything he thinks he knows about resistance, loyalty, and friendship.Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: Revolutionary Right is the first book in a series by new author Wayne Basta.


Available at: http://www.amazon.com/Aristeia-Revolutionary-Right-ebook/dp/B006NT3G4Y/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2


Aristeia: A Little Rebellion


Aristeia: A Little RebellionI like a little rebellion now and then…The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.” –Thomas Jefferson

Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.

Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: A Little Rebellion is the second book in the Aristeia series by author Wayne Basta.


Find Aristeia: A Little Rebellion at http://www.amazon.com/Aristeia-A-Little-Rebellion-ebook/dp/B0087OXYWC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1339443664&sr=8-2


Please take the time, dear readers, to add Wayne to your futuristic reading list!


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Published on June 26, 2012 05:31 • 73 views

June 25, 2012

It’s a busy week ahead for me, as usual, while I attempt to accomplish as much as I can before our temperatures reach more than 100.  Yes, we’re scheduled for a week of sizzling heat, sidewalks hot enough to cook an egg on, and teases of rain.  Fireworks are banned (for another year) due to the drought, and I find myself dreaming of sandy beaches and the spray of the ocean.


So, that said, I’m up to listing a week worth of reviews, ranging from some truly great novels that have crossed my computer.  Oh, and did I forget to mention the latest Disney film that grabbed my attention?


On Friday, my daughter and youngest son came along with me to watch Walt Disney’s latest film, Brave.  I’ve been waiting around since the first commercials came out promoting the newest princess.  I’m a MAJOR Disney fan, and I love everything that has to do with the parks and Disney memorabilia, so I couldn’t wait for the saucy Merida (Kelly MacDonald of Boardwalk Empire fame) to grace the big screen.


I have to say that Disney artistry has always made me gasp with wonder.  The opening scenes are breathtaking (as usual) and the colors are so vibrant, so intense, that if the theater owner’s sprayed a gentle mist over the crowd, I would have sworn I was in Scotland.


The skill of animation is amazing—I kept finding myself absorbed in the textures that seemed more intense that those cartoons of the past, from the blades of grass to a single lock of hair…


Brave is an intense tale of a young princess who hates the strict guidelines and sense of duty that her mother enforces on her.  To keep peace within the clans, Mom (Emma Thompson) has lined up suitors for the fiery young lady, and she must choose who is going to be her husband.


Merida, saucy, (did I mention fiery?) and more of a tomboy teen than a delicate princess, defies her mother at every turn.  When she defies her parents before the gathering clans, Merida runs off and stumbles upon the cottage of an old witch, who promises her a spell to…change…things…


What did I think of the film?  Brash, bold, this film reflects the honest-to-goodness debates often held between teen daughters and their mothers—from clothes, to behavior, to boyfriends.  Both complain the other won’t listen, and dad (darling Billy Connolly) certainly isn’t any help—The film is funny, filled with subtle hints at adult humor, and rambunctious little brothers that have a wicked sweet tooth.  As a parent, I had to think back on when my daughters were young teens, and I went through the same stubborn actions.  The writer’s had the ability to hit the mark so perfectly and I could relate, my memories filled with a hint of humor.  My daughter and I laughed from beginning to end, nudging each other in certain scenes that hit a little too close to home.  My son–he giggled nonstop and never moved, which means he enjoyed Brave 100%!  The moral of the story is well delivered and   Brave has that warm, feel good film that only Disney can produce.  As a switch, this is one Disney Princess who doesn’t want, nor seeks, a PRINCE!


4 ½ stars!


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Published on June 25, 2012 07:52 • 86 views

June 21, 2012

English: Nachos as served on a Circle Line Sig...

English: Nachos as served on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise in New York, New York, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This seems to be a must at all parties held in the Southwest.  For some reason, if this cheese sauce is not available, the party seems to be lacking.When I was a teenager in the 70′s (oops), I had always assumed Chile con Queso meant the chili beans you put on a hot dog with some cheese sauce.  I learned years later that chili meant beans with meat and chile meant exactly that—spicy peppers.


To all you Texans–no, I’m not from New York City


1 (32 ounce) block of a Processed Pasteurized Cheese, (again, it does not have to be name brand).


Butter


1 small onion, peeled and finely diced


1 small tomato, washed and finely diced


5 Jalapeño peppers or a similarly spicy pepper


Milk


Stem and wash the chile peppers, then finely dice the peppers.  Finely dice the onion and the tomato and add to the Jalapeño peppers.


Chop the Processed Pasteurized cheese into 1×1 inch squares.  Place the cheese into a crock-pot, which has been set to low heat.  Add approximately 1 cup of milk to the cheese.  Stir and cover the crock-pot.


In a heavy skillet on low heat, melt a tablespoon of butter.  Add the finely diced Jalapeño peppers, the tomato, and the onion.  Lightly sauté until the onion becomes transparent and the Jalapeño peppers (if you use those) become a dull olive green.  Pour the ingredients of the skillet, with the butter, into the crock-pot.  Stir until well mixed and cover.


Check on the cheese sauce roughly every 1/2 hour, stirring, until the cheese is melted and creamy.  Keep the cheese on warm until serving time, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Keep an eye on the cheese sauce because it will burn around the edges of the pot.


All depending on how you like your cheese sauce, you may add more milk to taste.  Stir before serving.  Serve hot with tostadas or corn chips.


This should feed a small army and you can always make a bowl without the peppers for the kids.


This is another simple family recipe from Gather Around My Table, available at:  http://www.amazon.com/Gather-Around-My-Table-ebook/dp/B007XY8J8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339445379&sr=8-1&keywords=gather+around+my+table


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Published on June 21, 2012 23:14 • 70 views

June 20, 2012

Cover of Jaws (30th Anniversary Edition)


Today, our children are focused on thoughts of a zombie apocalypse.  I laugh at the idea of slow-moving, rotting limb creatures trudging down our roadways, intent on sucking the brain matter from our teens, and thoughts of Shawn of the Dead darts through my thoughts.  When I was their age, my nightmares were centered around more believable fears, living things that exist in our world and just beyond our reach.  Attacking when least expected, those fears were ones that we couldn’t escape…During the summer of 1975, I remember the sweltering heat, and the sunburn that freckled my shoulders for life.  I remember the year being one of the hottest of my teen life, and my friends and I longed for the cooling spray and lapping waves of the ocean, anything to escape the heat…


That was before Steven Spielberg decided to strike terror into millions of people, and we found the beach, the very ocean, a thing of nightmares.


Using the same skill, the same finesse of the famed Hitchcock in his fabulous film that made women afraid to travel to a seedy motel off the beaten track, Spielberg’s epic scene of the young woman bobbing not once, but three times, while a great white shreds her body beneath the water, terrified the world.  Every one of us sat in the theater with our knees pulled to our chin, eyes wide with terror, as rows of sinister teeth flashed across the screen.  Gasping, frightened out of our minds, we had nightmares for weeks.


All of our dreams involved on skillfully designed mechanical shark, Bruce as the film crew affectionately called him, and our outlook of escaping to the beach was changed forever.


On this day in 1975, Steven Spielberg catapulted to Hollywood fame with his imaginative tale of a great white shark that terrorized Amity, and Jaws became the creature of our nightmares…


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Published on June 20, 2012 05:40 • 67 views

June 17, 2012

Gary StartaAh, a new tale of mystery and intrigue is on my reading list this week!  Demon Inhibitions is the latest by author Gary Starta,  a former journalist who studied English and Journalism at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.


Gary’s love for science fiction compelled him to write his first novel ‘ What Are You Made Of? ‘ published in 2006. Inspired by Isaac Asimov, the science fiction novel focuses on intelligent artificial life and whether sentient androids should possess the same rights as humans. The androids in Starta’s novel are created as hybrids – part machine, part human – further blurring the line between human and machine. Starta foresees a near future where humans will be forced to decide if intelligent machinery is indeed a life form. Possibly, in this near future, some humans will possess computer enhancements to overcome disabilities becoming hybrids themselves. The line between biological life form and mechanical life form will continue to be examined in a follow up novel now being written.


Starta cites Stephen King and Dean Koontz as inspirations for his 2007 novel ‘ Blood Web ‘ which is also reminiscent of the The X-files television/movie series. Contemporary authors Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher and Kelly Armstrong also fuel his aspiration to create paranormal suspense. The follow up novel to ‘ Blood Web ‘ – ‘ Extreme Liquidation ‘ explores Caitlin Diggs’ supernatural gifts including the ability to see the future in dreams and to read a person’s character through emotions. Updates on the publication date for ‘ Extreme Liquidation ‘ will follow.


Starta’s crime novella ‘ Murder By Association’  blends mystery with forensic investigation. It is a departure from previous books because it contains no science fiction or paranormal elements. Additionally, Starta foresees his 2008 novella ‘ Alzabreah’s Garden ‘ – a fantasy romance – as another out-of-the-box effort.


Find out more about this fascinating author at these various websites:


http://www.garystarta.net
To follow his sci fi fan page:
http://www.facebook.com/GaryStartaSciFiFanPage
To follow his blog:
http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/gary_startas_writers_blog_a_forum_for_novelists/

Demon Inhibitions


Demon Inhibitions


Chasing a soul stealer in her reality, psychic investigator Caitlin Diggs inadvertently travels through a portal to another reality and witnesses her fugitive kill her alternate self in DEMON INHIBITIONS. Assuming her alternate’s life as an agent of the FBI’s Preternatural Crime Division, Diggs believes… her position might help her capture the soul stealer until she finds he may be part of a sinister terrorist plot to keep humans and demons living in segregation. A girl, whose singing inhibits the evil urges of demons, is on the terrorist’s hit list and Diggs will ultimately learn her fugitive is neither supernatural nor demon, but a genetically engineered hit man incapable of being enthralled…


Can’t wait for my review?  Pick up your copy at:  http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Inhibitions-ebook/dp/B0088Q23LW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339438854&sr=8-1&keywords=demon+inhibitions


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Published on June 17, 2012 23:30 • 117 views

June 14, 2012

Baked french toast

Baked french toast (Photo credit: Radagast)


Recently, I released a kindle edition of Gather Around My Table, which is a compilation of recipes that I’ve found tried and true with my family.  As a mom of 7, finding something that the kids will enjoy has been an ongoing struggle since 1981.  One doesn’t like eggs, the other isn’t fond of milk, the other would prefer a bowl of cereal….get the idea?


Today, I’m spotlighting a recipe that none of the kids have complained about for my readers and hope you enjoy it.


BAKED FRENCH TOAST


12-14 slices day old white bread, crusts removed


1 ¼-cup butter


10 ounces heavy cream


1-cup light brown sugar


1-teaspoon cinnamon


½-teaspoon nutmeg


4 large eggs, beaten


1-teaspoon vanilla


1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


½ cup slivered almonds


½-cup raisins


¼-cup coconut


Mix together the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.


In a separate bowl, mix heavy cream, beaten eggs, coconut, slivered almonds, raisins, and vanilla.


Grease a 9×13-casserole pan with a non-stick vegetable spray; butter each slice of bread, then layer slices of buttered, stale bread across the bottom.


Sprinkle ½ of sugar mixture over bread.  Top with another layer of buttered bread, and sprinkle sugar it.


Slowly pour batter over bread.  Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, until center is firm.


Cut into squares and serve warm with whipped cream.


Pick up your copy at: http://www.amazon.com/Gather-Around-My-Table-ebook/dp/B007XY8J8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339445379&sr=8-1&keywords=gather+around+my+table


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Published on June 14, 2012 23:07 • 89 views

June 13, 2012

It’s Wednesday morning out here and the sky is beautiful and overcast.  I’m not certain yet if it’s the threat of rain or the remnants of smoke slipping down from the Ruidoso fires, but I won’t complain.  In fact, I welcome anything that covers the sun, especially when the weather forecast calls for 101 today.  It’s a perfect day to slip out to the movies, enjoying the beautiful refrigerated air and basking in a bit of action-filled imagination…


As I’ve let many of you know, my daughter (sometimes) is very disappointed that I don’t have a thing for what I derisively call ‘chick-flicks”.  My sister-in-law is amazed that I’ve never, ever watched Dirty Dancing, Grease, The Last Song, and the likes.  My film tastes run more along the lines of Indiana Jones (The reason why I’ve always wanted to be a history teacher), Star Wars, Blade, Iron Eagle, Band of Brothers, Planet of the Apes, The Sands of Iwo Jima, Ben Hur, and any western released since the 1940s.


Why do I have this fascination?


When my Dad was home from Military maneuvers, his idea of quality time with me was either teaching me to play poker or a trip to the movies.  Since Mom frowned on the entire idea of her only daughter learning how to deal cards, the movies were the thing.  Just to spend time with him, this precious man who will always be my hero, I would watch whatever he wanted to watch.  Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, and the immortal John Wayne were my film favorites and my brothers and I anxiously awaited their latest release.


To say I adored these actors would be an understatement.  They were the epitome of the man’s man…vibrant personalities that swaggered onto the screen with a self-assurance I can’t find in any actors nowadays.  My all time favorite was John Wayne, from his troubled portrayal of a haunted boxer who escapes to the rolling green fields of Ireland and finds love with the fiery Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man, to his gutsy image of the patient big brother in The Sons of Katie Elder.  To this day, I will drop everything to watch a John Wayne film, just to hear him say “Well, good luck, Pilgrim”, or watch him amble across a dusty road as he did in Rio Bravo.


John Wayne was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish or ...

John Wayne was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish or Ulster-Scots descent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Wayne was a simple man with big dreams.  Born Marion Mitchell Morrison, he was from Iowa, who found work at a local film studio after losing his football scholarship at USC because of a bodysurfing accident.  John Ford saw something in his rugged masculinity, his clean-cut handsomeness, height (6’4”), and smooth voice, which made him cast the young man in his blockbuster film Stagecoach in 1939.


As they say, the rest is history.


This week in history, the world lost that unforgettable man.  I still have the newspaper clippings from his death, and remember how devastated my dad and I were when the king of the western’s slipped away.  We mourned, as did the majority of men in the United States, our hero of the western having moved on to that frontier in heaven.


On June 11, 1979, after over ten years of battling cancer, John Wayne passed away.


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Published on June 13, 2012 06:50 • 71 views

June 11, 2012

I love finding a new author to spotlight that presents that bit of temptation that pulls at my reading gene–dropping into a world of sci-fi that is filled with intergalactic wonders that capture the imagination.   My newest discovery is fascinating author, Wayne Basta, who has written a marvellous series of novels entitled  Aristeia: Revolutionary Flight, and Aristeia: A Little Rebellion.  Both novels are stunning escapes into the realm of the stars and Wayne has become a favorite on my sci-fi reading list.


Wayne BastaAs a child, Wayne Basta was introduced to science fiction at a young age by his father. Mainstream hits like Star Trek and Star Wars were followed by old Tom Swift novels and then classics like Asimov and Clarke. Growing up on Florida’s space coast only served to fuel his imagination and love of space, science and adventure.


At the age of 9, his family got their first home computer, an old Macintosh Plus, and he immediately used it to start writing science fiction adventure stories. He continued writing as a hobby all the way through college at the University of Florida, where he initially pursued a career in the US Navy until an injury changed his plans. Wayne then spent several years teaching high school and working in the education non-profit sector before coming back to his old dream of writing.


Wayne currently lives in Houston with his wife, dog and soon to be born son. He remains a fan of geek culture, board games, video games, fantasy, science fiction and all around silliness.


Find out more about Wayne at: http://waynebasta.com/


And, now, on to his fabulous tales:Aristeia: Revolutionary Right


Aristeia: Revolutionary Flight:


A former naval starfighter pilot, Maarkean Ocaitchi once fought to protect the Alliance and its principles of freedom and democracy, but his sister’s rebellious past forced them both into a life of smuggling. He nevertheless refuses to believe her assertions that the whole system is corrupt… until she is arrested and condemned to death as a traitor.Now, Maarkean must decide where his loyalty lies, and will either spark a rebellion or help crush the spirit of democracy once and for all. The experience will challenge everything he thinks he knows about resistance, loyalty, and friendship.Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: Revolutionary Right is the first book in a series by new author Wayne Basta.


Available at: http://www.amazon.com/Aristeia-Revolutionary-Right-ebook/dp/B006NT3G4Y/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2


 


Aristeia: A Little Rebellion


Aristeia: A Little RebellionI like a little rebellion now and then…The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.” –Thomas Jefferson

Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.

Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: A Little Rebellion is the second book in the Aristeia series by author Wayne Basta.


Find Aristeia: A Little Rebellion at http://www.amazon.com/Aristeia-A-Little-Rebellion-ebook/dp/B0087OXYWC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1339443664&sr=8-2


Please take the time, dear readers, to add Wayne to your futuristic reading list!


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Kickstarting the future: Space Command and the importance of inspiration (enterspace.typepad.com)


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Published on June 11, 2012 23:50 • 66 views

Tamela Quijas's Blog

Tamela Quijas
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