Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Love and romance are in the air. After all, Kate and William are walking down the aisle this week. I keep thinking about my Aunt Molly's wedding to Uncle Artie. I was taking singing lessons preparing to becoming a big, big star and my mom talked Molly into letting me sing Oh, Promise Me as the happy couple waited for the magic words that would unite them. the sister-in-law of another aunt would accompany me on the piano. We discovered as we were about to launch into the song that I was a belter (Oh, Promise Me is not a typical song for belters) and the accompanist couldn't transpose.

Somehow we managed to get through the first chorus--I believe I sang it acappella and all would have been well except I decided to launch into a second chorus. Poor Molly never forgave me and swore she would have a future child sing at my wedding. However, Molly and Artie had a happy and successful marriage. All my good wishes go to William and Kate but I'm no longer available to sing that song. My days are spent at the keyboard writing.



My eBook titled Scene Stealer is available at Carina Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is produced by Audible.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Will.

William shakespeare will clebrate his birthday this week. No one is quite sure of the date. Whatever date it is--Happy Birthday, Will.
William Shakespeare arrived in London in the late 1580s, he explored a vibrant and dramatic city of contrasts that stimulated his imagination. Shakespeare’s London had tall buildings and the majestic St. James Palace, the residence of kings and queens of England for over 300 years. Londoners shopped at Cheapside, a large market where country people displayed their goods, a butcher’s market in Eastcheap and a fish market on Fish Street Hill People had to watch where they stepped in London; beggars and artful dodgers roamed; garbage, body wastes and dead animals were thrown into streets and alleyways and epidemics of plague often raged.
The English navy scored a great victory over the Spanish Armada (an invasion fleet of about 130 ships) in the 1580s. Francis Drake, the explorer and naval hero and Walter Raleigh, a navigator, writer and colonizer, had returned after their voyages of discovery which led to the expansion of trade in the Americas. When Will crossed London Bridge on foot, the only crossing over the River Thames, he joined crowds of people (London had two hundred thousand inhabitants). On the bridge were houses (some over four stories high,) shops, a chapel and gatehouses on both ends. The bridge had been rebuilt many times and a nursery rhyme told its story.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down
London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady
Shakespeare lived in a section of London called Bishopsgate in the gloom cast by the Tower of London. When he crossed the Thames, he could see coal barges moored in front of the Tower and wherries carrying passengers. The Tower was a prison for high ranking citizens. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in the Tower, suspected of participating in an assassination plot against the Queen, Elizabeth I. Elizabeth signed her death warrant and Mary was put to death on Feb. 8, 1587. Shakespeare mentioned the Tower in many of his plays such as Richard III, Henry VIII and Henry VI Part III. There were 18 prisons around London, each held a special class of criminal. Newgate held felons, debtors and those awaiting execution. Ludgate held bankrupts and the Fleet held offenders waiting for their day in the Courts of Chancery.
Shakespeare worked with many theatre companies before joining James Burbage and his sons as an actor and dramatist. He soon became a charter member of a new company known as The Lord Chamberlain’s Men that appeared by royal command. Shakespeare became one of the most popular playwrights of the day.
London’s Lord Mayors disapproved of plays believing they encouraged irreverence, and idleness; when trumpets blasted the air and flags were raised announcing a performance, workers were lured away from jobs. To avoid restrictions imposed by the authorities, theatres were built outside the walls of the city; across the Thames in Southwark, easily reached by boat or bridge and close to bear-baiting rings, prisons and cockpits.
The Queen’s Privy Council protected the actor/managers because the Queen enjoyed being entertained. Elizabeth I wrote poetry and music and took pleasure in drama, plays at Christmas and masques (a dramatic entertainment based on mythological or allegorical themes). She appointed a Master of the Revels, who acted as a producer/director and guardian of morals, in addition to providing costumes and a hall to be used for performances. Composers worked at the Chapel Royal in St. James Palace.
Beginning in 1598, the first Globe Theatre was raised in Southwark and the plays Henry the Fifth, and As You Like It were written for the theatre in 1599. Considered the glory of the Banke, the Globe had a central “discovery place.” Double doors, covered with finely embroidered hangings, a curtain or both allowed the actor to reach the upper level for balcony scenes. Above that was a room with machinery for special effects – cannon were fired, angels or ghosts descended and a trap door in the floor led to hell. Wooden stage posts, painted to look like marble, supported a canopy representing heaven filled with clouds, stars, moon and the sun; the canopy also protected the actors and their costumes from the sun.
Groundlings (commoners) paid one English penny to stand in the open yard of the Globe, two pennies would purchase a seat on a bench in the gallery, protected from sun and rain by a thatched roof made of water reed. A cushioned seat close to the stage cost three pennies and six pennies bought the most prestigious seats of all – the Lord’s rooms – behind and above the stage. Music underscored Shakespeare’s plays – the audience would begin playing trumpet, cornet, sackbut and percussion. The players filled the stage and a stave pounded the floor. The music gradually increased in volume and intensity, adding to the excitement until every onlooker felt a part of the drama as it developed.
Commoners, known as stinkards because they rarely washed themselves or their clothes, stood in a yard covered with a mixture of hazelnut shells, cinders, ash and silt. They fought amongst themselves and critiqued the actors with rousing cheers, hisses or a missile of fruit, often an orange. A useful piece of fruit, the orange could be used protect the nose from the stench of the unwashed or eaten to stave off pangs of hunger.
Shakespeare describes the Globe in his prologue to Henry the Fifth when the chorus asks the audience to use their imagination, Can this cockpit hold the vasty fields of France? Or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt? When Elizabeth I died in 1603, she was succeeded by James VI of Scotland who became James I of England. James valued the arts, particularly theatre and the Chamberlain’s Men. He demanded they come under his patronage and granted a royal patent. Their name changed to the King’s Men.
Shakespeare’s company played the Globe in winter and summer. When epidemics of the plague caused the Privy Council to close the theatre, they became traveling players. Fire destroyed the first Globe theatre in 1612. During a performance of Henry VIII, a piece of wadding fired from one of the stage cannons, landed on the thatched roof, smoldered, smoked – the audience was too engrossed in the play to notice – and burst into flame. In less than an hour, the fire consumed the Globe but the three thousand spectators managed to escape through the two exits. One patron’s pants began to burn but his companion, used his wits, and doused the flames with a bottle of ale. Quickly rebuilt, the second Globe, was built on the foundations of the first, and protected by a tiled roof. It was said to be the fairest that ever was seen in England.
In 1949, the Shakespeare Globe Trust was founded and the new Globe, modeled after the first, was inaugurated in 1997 with Henry the fifth. It stands today, as a living memorial to the greatest playwright of all time.

It's not Shakespeare but my cozy eBook, titled Scene Stealer, is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is produced by audible.

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vendors's Day

Today in NYC, we celebrate our vendors. We're paying more attention to the men and women who man the food, ice cream and pretzel carts around the city since two vendors notified the police when they noticed smoke coming out of a parked van. Sure enough, a would-be terorist was trying to set off a bomb in our Theatre District. The quick-thinking vendors saved the day.

The carts offer every kind of food from hot dogs to Chinese food to tacos to falafel, vegetarian to kosher, spicy to bland.

Then there are the gentlemen who sell inexpensive watches, imitation purses with a design logo, scarves, jewelry, gloves and what about those I Love NY tee shirts that sell for the reasonable price of three for a dollar?

Near the museums, you'll find reproductions of famous pieces of art, crafts and original paintings. Near the theatres, caricaturists will be happy to immortalize you.

Tel a visitor that the design items are fake and they'll tell you--Hey! it's NY.



Scene Stealer, my eBook, is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is produced by Audible.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

By George...She did it!

Finally I managed with the help of Rosa, an Amazon Technician, to put a logo for Amazon on my blog. I'm feeling so brave, tomorrow I will attempt to set up my SanDisk Sansa Clip.

A productive day--finished a chapter and tomorrow I will begin another. Unfortunately one of my favorite characters dies. Guess I've been postponing the work needed to finish that chapter but tomorrow must come. then I will wrap it up and begin revisions.

Wow...have to check on photos for an article tomorrow too and fill the fridge and so on and so forth...just one of those weeks.



Scene Stealer, my cozy is available through Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by Audible.

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yesterday I went to see a matinee of WarHorse. The production is theatre at its best. Originally a novel by Michael Morpurgo, the play was presented by the National theatre of Great Britain and won the Olivier Award. Now New Yorkers are able to attend the fine performances at Lincoln Center. Every element of the play meshes into a an impressive, not to be missed whole that every theatre-goer will talk about for years. The fine acting is enhanced by horses designed by the Handspring Puppet Company founded in 1981 in South Africa. The cane sculptures come alive before the eyes of the audience. The story is about the love of a boy--Albert-- for his horse--Joey--and takes place before, during and after the World War I and accomplishes what every good book and play should--the audience believes in the characters and their world becomes real. If you can get to the National in Great Britain or Lincoln Center in New York, see WarHorse. You'll never forget it. Scene Stealer, my eBook is available through Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is produced by Audible. Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Friday, April 15, 2011


What would a writer do without pockets? Whenever I went on a trip I wore pants. Pants with pockets. Especially useful when I was writing a travel article. One pocket held a small notebook and ballpoint pen that would later jog my memory when I sat down to write about an interesting story, statistic, tragic or humorous event that had taken place on that very spot or area. Another pocket held a record book--normally used to jot down check numbers. The book's latest use? To record the number of the photo and a note about where the picture was taken or what the object was or who I was trying to capture. I tried using a recorder but found the noise of a motor or engine would drown out my words or the words of a guide and sometimes I became so interested in the subject I didn't realized the tape had run out. Another pocket would hold a few small bills and around my neck I wore a grouch bag that held more money and a passport if there were no safe in the hotel. Water and sun lotion resided in a bag or backpack. A sweater was tied around my waist and a sun hat guarded my face from the hot rays until I lost it after removing the hat to take a photo. Some trips I lost as many as three.

Sometimes a trip would reap a lot of material and a major job was getting the photos on the computer and labeling them. Great fun and great memories.

What is your favorite outfit for trips or interviews?



Scene Stealer, my eBook cozy is available at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by Audible

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sense Memory

In many ways, writing and acting are alike. Both fields use sense memory. The five senses. To see, hear, taste, smell and touch. We see and write about the colors in a landscape, surroundings, architecture, and the color of water in an ocean, a lake, a pool or a glass. We describe grass, flowers or trees as they change with the seasons. We place a character in a meadow and sense how she will react. A memory of the tang of that perfect cup of coffee, the bitterness of cough medicine that will keep you from ever spreading cherry preserves on a piece of toast again, gelato so enticing you could hardly choose a favorite and the sweetness of the first summer corn will become part of a character’s tastes. A melody sung by someone you had a crush on in your teens, a riff repeated by a jazz musician that reminds you of a long-ago festival, classic music that brings a remembrance of a recording played by a favorite relative—all a part of you and the characters you create. The faint scent of a favorite perfume, your lover’s after-shave, pungent smells of pickles and deli, the stench when a sewer backs up, the pungent fragrance of earth after a steady fall of rain—all return when we need them. The touch of a comforting hand placed on your back when you’re ill, the softness of silk underwear, the rough tongue of an affectionate cat, a child’s hand in yours. All these sense memories come to our aid transformed into a feeling that belongs to a character we’ve created from our memories and those we’ve observed in others.



Scene Stealer, my cozy is available at Carina Press, Barnes and Noble and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is available at

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Spot of Rain

A good day to be at the computer writing away. Merged two chapters of the new novel and it feels right--at least today it feels right. On to the next chapter tomorrow, I find it depressing as one of my favorite characters is ill. The weather is rainy and, of course, keeps my mood wet and gloomy. The Sunday Times had a wonderful piece by Ben Schott called Pluviocabulary. He presents pluvial terms that are found in the Oxford English Dictionary. All terms relating to wet weather. A brilliant and delightful article. I wonder how many terma there are for sunshine? Bests, Elise Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Friday, April 1, 2011

All Fools' Day

Today is April 1--the day, if you remember our childhood, when we all (particularly the boys) played practical jokes. Is it actually a celebration of the coming of balmy weather, spring flowers, new birth? Ancient cultures celebrated New Year's day on April 1, Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorain and the festive occasion for New Year's Day would be Jan. 1. France adapted the calendar--and the day is called Poisson d'Avril or April Fish-- but legend tells us that many people did not accept the new date or did not know about it. People made fun of traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands," or trying to make them believe something false. So Happy April Fools' Day and remember--don't believe everything you hear or read.



My cozy eBook titled Scene Stealer is available wherever eBooks are sold. the audio book may be found at Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!