Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Photo courtesy of dreamstimefree_245756     
     Childhood, family, friends, first love, someone disliked--perhaps hated. They all stick in a writer's memory waiting until they can be placed on a page. Transformed--usually--until they're unrecognizable.
     My first short story was about family--though I didn't realize it at first. It took place in my apartment and was about remembering happenings with parents, aunts and uncles while waiting to travel to a service for my grandmother.
     My grandparents escaped a pogram in Russia and came to America. The story of their escape depended on who in the family was telling the tale. I liked my mother's story best--she tended to embroider and I hung on every word. They lived--first on the lower east side of New York and then in Bristol, Rhode Island where my grandfather worked in a shoe factory. My mom told me stories about jumping over puddles, being chased by a bull because she was wearing a red dress and ending up in the Old Soldiers Home. One of my favorite stories was about Christmas and the landlord who rented them the house they lived in. the landlord came by making my grandfather very nervous. Grandpa thought he would evict them because he and grandma had seven children; instead he presented my grandfather with seven pullets--one for each child.
     I adored my aunts--Claire was modern and read the latest magazines. Molly, the youngest, I asked for advice on dating. Betty--the do-gooder in the family--belonged to charitable organizations and Gus was the intellectual who took me to see Japanese films. The uncles all had a sense of humor and gatherings were filled with jokes and puns. I have a lot of material to draw about you?


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


     While waiting for a friend at a community center last week, I began reading posters on a wall. the first was titled FIRST GRADE STORY MAP and underneath were questions.

1. What are the main characters of a story?

2. What is the setting of the story?

3. What is the problem?

4. What is the solution?

5. Who is your favorite character?

6. Why is she/he your favorite character?

I thought the map an interesting way to involve children in books and wondered how many in the class would become avid readers and would any become writers? The questions for the first graders were the same ones we ask ourselves when we begin writing a new story or novel. My mother told me stories and as I grew up I read about Albert Payson Terhune's Lassie and by the time I read Edna Ferber's Show Boat, I knew there would never be enough time to read every book written. I plunged into writing with a play about Radio City Music Hall and from there went on to write articles, short stories and a cozy mystery.

How did you begin?



My cozy, Scene Stealer is available wherever ebooks arre sold.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

That Mysterious Valentine

Courtesy Free Images     
     Valentine's Day--a holiday for lovers, school-children who suprise their friends and teachers, restaurants with candlelight and music, crooners and blues singers. Cupid--the Roman God of Love and the son of Venus--the goddess of Love, was represented by a young boy with a bow and arrow. His shots are often lethal and he does not discriminate between gods and humans. February has been the month to celebrate love
     Centuries after the death of Jesus Christ, Roman emperors required their citizens to believe in Roman gods. A Christain priest--Valentine--was thrown in jail for his teachings and was said to have cured his jailer's daughter of blindness. He was to be beheaded for the miracle and his religious instruction. The night before he died he wrote a letter to the jailer's daughter and signed it "From Your Valentine."
     Another tale and another Valentine--an Italian bishop was imprisioned for secretly marrying couples during the reign of Claudius II in the third century. The Emperor thought that single men were better soldiers than married and outlawed marriage in order to establish a stronger military. When Valentine disobeyed the Emperor, the Emperor had him put to death.
     During the middle ages, the custom of choosing a sweetheart on February 14 spread through Europe  and then to the American colonies so Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

     Photo c Jxpfeer
     My saga begins when the lid to the carafe on my coffee machine broke. Simple, I thought. All I have to do is go into the pharmacy around the corner and buy another carafe. They don't carry carafe or coffee machines anymore. I tried thesupermarket--and thought I'd found a generic. Too big. Tried the 99-cent stores--none in stock. Tried my first bath and kitchen shop. Latte machines, espresso machines and cappachino machines, machines with charcoal filters and coffee stations that brew enough coffee for an office. They had two machines that would work for me but the boxes looked as if they had been opened. On to the first department store. Ah-hah! found one. Unpacked and went to wash the carafe and the lid was broken. Back to the store and returned it, then went on to the next department store where I found coffee machines for the top 1% but nothing for me. On to the  other end of the mall--there it was and I had a coupon. Took it home and realized I bought one that didn't have a carafe--it was meant for an office. Returned it the next morning and was told I would lose the coupon unless I exchanged it. Found a more expensive one BUT it was on sale and another coupon had come in the mail. I do have to use a charcoal filter with it--supposed to last for sixty days but it makes a grand cup of coffee. As Will shakespeare would say, "All's well that ends well." A writer needs her coffee.


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