Tuesday, August 25, 2015



     Extended through September 7—Labor Day—because of great demand the Met Museum’s China Through The Looking Glass curated by Andrew Bottom of The Costume Institute is an exciting, enchanting and impressive exhibit to behold.
     Since the beginning of the west’s awareness of China in the 16th century European designers, artists and architects have been inspired by Chinese designs. The exhibit on three floors begins with Buddhist sculptures—serene faces, some with a gentle smile gift the viewer with an air of peaceful meditation. On the opposite wall is a film of magnificent dancing and in the center stalactites of glass project downward.
     Porcelains, jade and calligraphy are on view as well as the Astor Court with a circular “moon gate” that frames a rectangular doorway. Plants, a spring of water and Taihu rocks rest on a floor of gray tile—the half-pavilion is styled after those found in northern China.
     Fashions designed for Haute Couture by western designers such as Christian Dior, Paul Poiret and Yves Saint Laurent attract cameras and amazement with their colors and conception. Three striking black gowns introduce Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American movie star. Wong began her career during the silent film era and became a fashion icon. Her career continued into the talkies but though an acclaimed and accomplished actress, her roles were stereotypical and limited because of America’s anti-miscegenation laws which would not allow her to share a kiss on-screen with a person of another race. She moved to Europe in 1928 and received the acclimation she deserved.
     She returned to America in the 1930s and in 1934 and was voted “The World’s Best-Dressed Woman” by the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York.
Download hot ebooks from Carina Press
Audiobooks at!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


    Theatre director and writers or their characters will often cast against type. Think about the sweet, innocent child who wrecks havoc on his playmates and siblings—a monster who cannot be saved by parents, priest or psychiatrist. Example: The Bad Seed written by William March, later made into a film, where a mother begins to believe her child could be a cold-blooded murderer.
     And who hasn’t written or read about the handsome, personable and intelligent man who is—unfortunately, a serial killer who revels in matching wits with detectives, police or the FBI? There’s a prime example in Dr. Hannibal Lecter, starring in a series of horror novels, penned by Thomas Harris. How many readers fall for the virginal, usually blonde ingĂ©nue whose obsessive love, jealousy and neediness will ruin the lives of people whose lives touch hers. Read Leave her to Heaven by Ben Ames Williams—another novel to film with Gene Tierney, Jeanne Crain and Cornell Wilde.
     The affectionate relative or teacher who turns out to be a pedophile? Or not? Doubt—a play written by John Patrick Shanley kept audience members debating for days after they left the theater. Did Father Flynn molest the boy or was Sister Aloysius, a woman of iron convictions, accusing an innocent man who was guilty of nothing but befriending the child and personalizing the priesthood?
     The bad stepmother has been handed down from old folk tales—what about Snow White and her jealous stepmother—the Queen—characters written by the Brothers Grimm. Books that tell us about the good stepmother who gives her all? There aren’t many. One that stands out is Butterfly’s Child by Angela Davis-Gardner. The story takes place after the geisha Cio-Cio San kills herself leaving her child Benjie to her lover—the child’s father and his new American wife. The author’s inspiration—Puccini’s opera—Madame Butterfly. Perhaps more books are waiting to be written about the good stepmother.

     When my creation twists, turns and changes the route I jotted down so carefully—I have to pay attention. A call from my character may be a surprise—sometimes pleasant, sometimes not—that alters the course of my book. I try to be ready to embark on an entirely different escapade. A not to be missed venture into the unknown.
Download hot ebooks from Carina Press Audiobooks at!