Opera provides the background for some of our most beloved movies, from The Godfather to Moonstruck to, not surprisingly, the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Most people enjoy opera when they see it on-screen, but under other circumstances have a hard time understanding what all the fuss is about. The typical opera plot is impossibly convoluted, the libretto is in a foreign language, and the performers, more often than not, seem too old and too heavy for their roles.
Anyone who thinks surfing is an "adolescent activity" needs to get down to the surf beach. Chances are, your assumptions will be challenged before you even leave the car park.
At nearly any surf beach in any state you will see lean, fit men and women in their 40s, 50s and older leaving the car park or coming up from the beach with surf boards under their arms. The teenagers and young adults who sometimes accompany them are their sons and daughters, and even their grandchildren.
By professional writer Rhonda Whitton
Do you have a book in you? If so, what is the secret of getting published? Professional writer Rhonda Whitton offers practical advice to aspiring authors
It is the stuff dreams are made of. Spend your idle hours belting out a manuscript, someone publishes it and before you know it you are the author of a best seller. After that it's instant acclaim, fat royalty cheques and the writers' festival circuit. It all sounds so easy, agreeable and fun.
Jane Juska wrote a book about her quest for a fulfilling sexual relationship. A year earlier she placed an ad in the literary section of the New York Times.
Jane had little idea how dramatically her life would change by this action.
Her attempt to introduce a fulfilling sexual relationship into her life led her to a thorough examination of her life to date, and the writing of her best-selling non-fiction book, A Round Heeled Woman.