Living in New York gives me the opportunity and pleasure of frequently visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Went last week to see the Eugene Delacroix Exhibition—a showing organized with the Louvre Museum. The exhibit is in two Galleries—I began with his sketches on paper—watercolors, sketchbooks, and old master prints that Delacroix copied plus drawings he made to make ready for major undertakings. He often sketched the tigers and lions at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and examined the behavior of house cats.
His painting of the tiger is included in another section that holds a wealth of his paintings—four decades of his artistry.
Known as a giant of French Romantic painting in the 19th Century, Delacroix’s paintings are on exhibit in Gallery 899 and may be seen until January 6, 2019; the display includes Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi, Women of Algiers in their Apartment, Self Portrait in a Green Vest and The Abduction of Rebecca.
Delacroix was interested in out of the ordinary subjects, and distant countries and he painted scenes inspired by the writings of Lord Byron and Shakespeare. One of his most famous works, Liberty Leading the People (the July revolution of 1830) was purchased by the French Government in 1831.
He received commissions to paint rooms at the Palace of Versailles.
In later life he devoted periods of time away from Paris. In rural areas he painted still lifes of flowers and numerous versions of paintings called The Lion Hunt.
If you’re visiting NYC, don’t miss the Met.
My eBook, Scene Stealer, is available wherever eBooks are sold. Flame Tree Publishing will be publishing an anthology of Cozy Mysteries due this January. My story, A Mouthful of Murder, featuring August Weidenmaier is included.
Remember music appreciation days in elementary school? I remember sitting in a vast auditorium filled with students. In front of us, on the back wall of the stage, was a mural of George Washington.
Two pieces of music keep coming back to me. “The Swan,” from Camille Saint-Saens work The Carnival of the Animals. Saint-Saens would not allow full performances of the work after its premier. Just one movement, the Swan, was published while he lived. He thought the music too silly and inconsequential and, if produced, would hurt his reputation as a serious composer. I also think of the rhymes we made up to go with “The Swan.” “Over the water the swan…” was one we silently mouthed.
The second piece was “Amaryllis: Air of Louis XIII.” Written by Henry Ghys, a musician born in Cote d’Azur, France in 1839. The piece was published in New York by J.L. Peters in 1872. “Amaryllis by Ghys is a very lovely piece,” were the words—someone—was it a student penned?
As I listened I made up my own stories to go with the music. My swans glided over the water to explore distant lands and my Amaryllis grew in the most unexpected places. Today, the first thing I do after waking is listen to our classical radio station WQXR; music is a source that brings me comfort, fun, relaxation and inspiration.
How does music affect you?
A short story titled, A Mouthful of Murder, featuring amateur detective Augusta Weidenmaier will be published by Flame Tree Publishing in January in their anthology Cosy Crime Stories.
My cozy mystery, Scene Stealer, is available wherever eBooks are sold including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Began watching The Dr. Blake Mysteries, a series presented by Australian television, that may be seen in New York on PBS-Channel 21. While I enjoy the stories, the characters and, certainly, Dr. Blake’s detecting, I’m hooked because it brings back memories of a side-trip to Ballarat, a town-sixty-nine miles northwest of Melbourne—a town where the good doctor practices medicine, acts as coroner and catches the lawless.
My husband and I took a vacation to Sidney and Melbourne—our third trip to Australia. The first trip to see where my husband’s father grew up. The second and third because we fell in love with the country. On the third trip we boarded a mini-bus that jerked, joggled and bumped along the way to Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill. A historically accurate, living museum, built on the site of the original gold diggings that gave birth to the town in the 1850s during the state of Victoria’s gold rush. I became fascinated by the stories of its rough and tumble goldfields from 1851 until 1916.
James Regan, stopped at Ballarat, discovered gold at Poverty Point, down the road from Sovereign Hill, and the “rush,” was on. Men left their jobs in Melbourne and Geelong, the Port Phillip District lost eighty percent of its police force. Ex-convicts and military pensionaries filled the void. The government of Victoria tried to discourage the exodus of workers and sent commissioners to collect a fee of 30 shillings for a monthly permit. That led to clashes between the diggers and the government. A digger who refused to pay the fee could be fined L10 and chained to a log—there were no jails. By 1852, over 20,000 hopefuls had arrived to try their luck. Non-British immigrants created anxiety, Americans were thought to be armed desperadoes.
I decide to try my luck at the Red Hill Gully Diggings but the only gold I saw was the mud-gold stain on my cold, wet hands and learned the only women in Ballarat were “Fallen Angels” or women who could hold their own: women who fought, chopped wood and survived the primitive conditions. Women did not have to purchase a license.
Ballarat became a township in 1852, businessmen set up shops, wives joined their husbands, religious services were held on Sunday in a tent made of canvas and wood; the tent doubled as a school on weekdays. The Victoria Theatre, on Main Road, attracted stars who performed Shakespeare and performers like Lola Montez who entertained miners with her erotic “Spider Dance.” Many a nugget was thrown on stage. The founding editor of the Ballarat Times criticized Lola. Lola attacked him with a whip. Fortunes were made.
Today, fossickers regularly pan for alluvial gold on the outskirts of Ballarat. Visitors may explore the remains of old mines.
My hubby and I did not strike gold but I did write an article titled Welcome to Ballarat that was published in Gold Prospectors Magazine. That’s a nugget any writer will treasure.
"Scene Stealer" is available wherever eBooks are sold. My short story titled, "A Mouthful of Murder," will be published as part of a "Cosy" Crime Anthology to be published in hard-cover by Flame Tree Press in January 2019.
I'm pleased to announce that my short story titled, A Mouthful of Murder, featuring Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired schoolteacher, has been accepted for publication by FLAME TREE PRESS. The storyis part of a Cosy Crime Anthology. The date for publication will be January 2019. Miss Weidenmaier missed solving crimes--she made her first appearance in Scene Stealer published by Carina Press and available wherever eBooks are sold.
Brand—a mark indicating identity
or ownership burned on the hide of an animal with a hot iron. A trademark or
distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. These are two of
the definitions of brand to be found in the dictionary.
I am a manufacturer because I produce words, form sentences, tell a
story but I believe in reinvention of self and enjoy wearing different hats—I don’t
have a distinctive brand. I feel fulfilled when I write non-fiction—engrossed
in reality’s fascination and the revelations that research brings to a topic.
The surprise of finding the unexpected, amusing, unknown.
I’ve read mysteries since childhood—beginning with Nancy Drew; growing up I began to write them. Sometimes my tales change
when a character chooses to take charge and his or her action makes sense. The
cozy mystery I wrote with a little help from its characters was published by
Carina Press and now I’m about to send another on its journey to seek a future
in a world of readers.
At times, I feel a play will reflect what I want to say. It calls for actors
to step on-stage and bring the dialogue and the plot to life. My ideas come
from everywhere. Eavesdropping, a storied past mentioned by an acquaintance,
someone in the family—all tell me something I have to fictionalize. and write
about while writing non-fiction brings the past to life. I can’t choose between
Scene Stealer is available wherever eBooks are sold: Barnes & Noble, Amazon etc.
On National Dog Day I’d like to share a few memories of Jackie who we considered the
Pavlova of Poodles. She weighed just under seven pounds and looked like an
emaciated mouse when soaking wet but she was able to jump from the floor to the
top of the Murphy bed in the theatrical hotel we were staying at when we
brought her home from the kennel.
My husband said a dog would never sleep with
us but by the third jump he gave in and Jackie claimed the middle of the bed
while as she stretched out, were pushed to the sides by her little paws. She could also jump to
the top of the dining table when tempted by home-made rice pudding or baked
beans and we had gone to answer a phone call in the next room. If she stayed with my mom, she
turned up her freckled nose at dog food and was fed lamb-chops, steaks and-ice cream for
dessert- she taught my mom well.
She was offered a job in a small production of “Wonderful Town,” but
suffered from stage-fright although when a tenor friend sat down at the piano after
dinner she howled right along and when we did a musical on the road enjoyed the Christmas party thrown for all the dogs in the company--the dogs even did a press interview and posed for pictures.
Jackie always knew when we were
taking her to be groomed and would refuse to move when we were two blocks away.
After she had received her beauty treatment she strutted all the way home
though she hated the girlie girlie ribbons placed on her ears. Her taste in males was
interesting—she preferred big, muscular dogs. The type you might see featured
in a kennel romance.
Jackie passed on when she was
almost sixteen. We miss her. Here's to National Dog Day.
Scene Stealer is available wherever eBooks are sold. A new anthology will be out at the beginning of next year.
The E train was its usual commuter nightmare last Thursday morning. Jam-packed (I wonder how that expression began?) People trying to avoid each other's gaze, staring at their cells,blasting sound into their ear buds until the doors opened and a woman pushed her way into the crowd. She wore a front-pack and in the pack was a small, curious dog dressed in a colorful, striped romper. He eyed the little he could see of the floor and then looked at the people close to him who began smiling, cooing and patting which he appreciated. The smiles of the subway riders spread from one person to the next. Finally a happy ride on New York Transit.
Scene Stealer, a cozy mystery published as an eBook, is available from Carina Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold.