Ashley is an award-winning journalist/author/blogger who has written for Playboy, Toronto Star, Movie Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Maclean's and others. He's interviewed various "leaders" in their fields, including: Oscar winners (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander, Jane Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Geena Davis, Anthony Hopkins); Grammy winners (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Pete Townshend); MVPs in sports (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Kobe Bryant); and, business leaders (Amazon's Jeff Bezos). He has an upcoming novel, REJEX, coming out on Pulp Hero Press. And he has written several episodic TV shows, appeared on CNN, and blogged for Mademan, Medium, GritDaily and HuffPost.
Multi-genre singer/songwriter Natalie Jean attended the recent Grammy awards in Los Angeles as a voting member of NARAS, the record industry’s governing body, and she was singularly impressed by the female empowerment that highlighted the all-day award show event. That empowerment included: former first lady Michelle Obama appearing with four female stars (Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jennifer Lopez) to talk about how important music has been in their lives; then, Keys leading the outstanding musical performances that also saw legends like Dolly Parton and Diana Ross and then Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Janelle Monae bringing down the house.
Bay Area-born Mahershala Ali is being called the new Denzel Washington for his impressive acting chops and diversity of choices. He was the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar (Best Supporting) for his evocative performance in the powerful coming-of-age story, Moonlight (2016).
In the lengthening after-shadows of Valentine’s Day, and with a dear lady friend in mind — the very lovely “Ms. MCL” who is otherwise spoken for — I meditated on love, the platonic type, which was originally called Socratic love. Platonic love suggests that by disciplining our mind to contemplate the divine beauty in another person, we can “intuit the (actual) nature of the divine.”
The late pulp magazine writer Robert E. Howard (1906-36) and veteran Marvel writer/editor Roy William Thomas lived decades apart, yet remain inherently connected by the legendary Cimmerian, warrior-king character Conan the Barbarian, and by two new literary biographies. Both are engrossing stories and published by Pulp Hero Press — “The World’s Most Dangerous Books” as the publisher Bob McLain quips.
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