Don't be fooled by the grim-faced picture. It was the only unblinking one. For me, words are worth a thousand pictures. I'm looking forward to saying hi to all of you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What will children remember about their books in ebook age?

On p. 4 of Carlos Ruiz’s beautiful novel, The Shadow and The Wind, (Penguin, 2005), he writes, “I was raised among books, making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day.”

What will our sensory memories be of books in the digital era? As I sniff my Kindle, I only get a sense of something blocking air, a plastic odor, like a straw that you've been biting on. Despite the dust-free, mold-free benefits of ebooks, will there be a loss for us?

My mother wasn't a reader, but she was a buyer of books. She bought me a set of Childcraft. Remember their deep read leatherette covers? My volume one (Nursery Rhymes) and my volume two (Fairy Tales) had loose bindings and the edges of the cover were no longer perfect rectangles because I read them over and over. Also, I read Golden Books like Nurse Nancy and Doctor Dan. Yes, I know, I know they are politically incorrect, but there were real bandaids between the covers. Ebooks can't give you bandaids.

My mother bought old books, small leather volumes like Tanglewood Tales and The Last Days of Pompeii and kept them in boxes in the basement. Whenever we had floods, she'd lovingly take the books out, put paper towels between their damp pages, go over them with hair dryers, anything to save them. (If only she'd read them.) But never mind, it shows the love and respect for books, the physicality of them, the weight in your hands.

In the arts section of the NYT, I read that during the holidays people flocked to the bookstore, never mind ebooks. Maybe all our sensual memories of books will be mixed with the scent of pine needles or latkes. A gift from the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

LYSISTRATA JONES at the Walter Kerr Proves that Aristophanes Still Rocks!

In Aristophanes’ comic play, Lysistrata is a daring woman who tries to persuade the women of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands and lovers in order to force them to stop the Peloponnesian War. Fast forward from 411 BC to 2011 AD and meet Lyssie J. (played by Patti Murin) and her cheerleader posse who refuse to “give it up” to their basketball team boyfriends until they get over their “whatever” attitude and win a game. Moral: abstinence makes the hard grow fonder and fonder.
What goes on onstage doesn’t stay there. Expect to wave away smoke with your playbill. Expect to have actors in the aisles. I sat so close to Patti Murin when she sang that I got a dental view of her pearly veneers. Expect to be so carried away by the talent—oh, what these actors can do with their bodies, their voices. Expect that you will be so carried away that your gloves will fall out of your pockets, your hat will end up between the seats, and of all things, my theater friend ended up with the shoe of a woman in the row behind us.
Each character is so distinct and each yet represents a type—the left-winger, the closet gay, the sexpot, the dopey and uncommitted that despite themselves end up coming to a higher place.
And the play is larger than a joke. You’ll be treated to bits of Whitman’s Body Electric, to Emily Dickenson’s, I’m Nobody Poem, and Frost’s Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. Watch out for the hilarious poetry slammer. Listen to the hip hop dialogue that is full of poetic riffs. Poetry and true love rule. And really, is there any difference?
$79 Orchestra Seats (regularly $127)
$59 Mezz Seats (regularly $.97)

VISIT BroadwayOffers.com (http://www.broadwayoffers.com/go.aspx?MD=2001&MC=LJNXT79) CALL 212.947.8844 or 
GO TO the Walter Kerr Theatre box office, 219 W 48th St. 
btw Broadway and 8th Ave. and USE CODE LJNXT79

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tampa Review Poetry Chapbook Contest

This is actually a legitimate venue. Sadly, I have been taken in by a few of the opposite.

What's new at Tampa Review . . . .
November 16th, 2011

Dear Reader,Can you believe it's been 30 days already? This month we've been quite busy finalizing several of our latest literary publications, the least of which is the next edition of the Tampa Review, as well as beginning the process to transplant the Tampa Book Arts Studio across campus to a bigger and better home. What an undertaking that has been, and you can check out more about the move down here.We are also happy to report an outstanding turnout of submissions to our annual Danahy Fiction Prize, which closed its submissions earlier this month. We'd like to thank everyone who entered and to let you know we are already quite impressed by the overall pool of talent that this year's contest has brought.For all poets, this next announcement is for you. We are currently accepting submissions to The Tampa Review Poetry Prize. The deadline for entry is December 31, 2011, and though waiting till the last minute would be an inspired way to bring in the new year, we look forward to reading your submissions as we get them. By the way, in case you don't know, the prize for this is $2,000 and having your manuscript published by us - you can also now submit online as well as by mail. Check out our guidelines page to get a full breakdown of the rules and how to submit.For our Florida natives, UT Press is going to be at the Miami Book Fair from November 18th- 20th. If you're around, stop by our table (shared with the University of Tampa Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program) and check out our discounted issues of Tampa Review and other UT Press publications. We'll also have candy, so there's that . . .And with that dear writers, readers, and champions of the arts we thank you for your amazing support and wish you continued good news - and maybe just a little bit of luck.
EXPECTED TO BE READY THIS JANUARY for the start of the first residency of UT’s new Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program, The Tampa Book Arts Studio (TBAS) has begun the transition to its new home on campus in the Edison Building, across the street from the Art Department studios and the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery. Transplanting the Book Arts Studio will be the result of several tedious months of planning between the University of Tampa, Dr. Richard Mathews, and Letterpress Coordinator Carl Mario Nudi.

For more information about the Books Arts Studio and for the latest about the move, please continue reading here.
"How do you know when what you have in your hands is nothing ordinary, but just possibly, a great book? Such decisions are always made by others when we are long gone.We can just wonder.But these poems have the right qualities, the ones that last: lines that each stand on their own, sentences like sonatas, a consciousness of hyper clarity, measuring itself by touchstones from the Adirondack backroads to the high cultures of America, Europe, and the world beyond . . . You won't find any better wisdom, or memorable music, in the back catalogues of your favorite songbooks. For my money, then Jordan Smith's The Light in the Film is great poetry." - Adrian Frazier, National University of Ireland, GalwayLight in the Film by Jordan Smith now available here.
In case you haven't noticed, we're now on Twitter and Facebook and from time to time we're going to use these to post offerings of goodies and discounts and maybe even some other fun stuff. So check those out, as well as our blog for the latest news.

NEXT DEADLINEDecember 31st• The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry • Reading period ends for submissions to Tampa Review 45/46
Quick Links: Tampa ReviewTampa PressSubmission GuidelinesTampa Book Arts StudioBlog (for the latest news)FacebookTwitter

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Poetry Contest and Chapbook Contest

Slipstream eNewsletter
An occasional update about the press Issue #17CARS, BARS & STARS THEME ISSUE TAKING SHAPEThere's still plenty of time to submit poetry for our upcoming theme issue (#32) on "Cars, Bars, & Stars." A poem may include any combination of the subjects or only one. Creative interpretations are encouraged. Deadline is April 30, 2012. We suggest you refer to our submission guidelines at: www.slipstreampress.org
CHAPBOOK CONTEST DEADLINE APPROACHINGIf you are thinking of entering our poetry chapbook contest this year, you have about a month left to get it in. The winner receives $1,000 and 50 copies of the published chapbook. Up to 40 pages can be submitted along with the $20.00 reading fee. All entrants will receive a copy of the winner as well as a one-issue subscription to Slipstream magazine. You may enter by mailing your manuscript through the mail or electronically through our web site.
Details can to found at: http://www.slipstreampress.org/contest.html

Slipstream #31 Slipstream’s e-Newsletter keeps you informed of upcoming events, releases, calls for manuscripts, and other items involving our press.
© 2011 Slipstream
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

At a Cocktail Party after QUEEN OF THE MIST

Who expected to be wowed by a performance in a gym? Well, the Transportation Group Theater Company brought the audience along on quite a ride in their production at The Gym at Judson on Thompson Stree in the Village of Michael John LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist based on the story of Anna Edson Taylor (played by Tony-award-winning Marie Testa) who, at 63, was the first woman to barrel down Niagra Falls in 1901.

How do you create an epic in such a long narrow space between bleachers on either side of the wall? In the Gym at Judson, I sat on the lowest tier of bleacher a pair of bleachers that faced each other. I was so close to the actors that I had to draw my legs back to not trip them. But thanks to the ingenuity of the director, John Cunningham lll ( Hello Again, See Rock City and Other Destinations, Boys in the Band) and the whole production crew, I felt every roll of the waves, every thunk of the barrel, the power of the Falls. With simple props--an old-fashioned piano that was pushed across the stage, small platforms on wheels that became boats, even a toy wooden boat, suggested everything that was needed to bring the play home to one's heart.

The actors were In the talk back after the show (before the cake and the bubbly), Michael John LaChuisa, said LaChuisa confided that if his cat throws up as he'd playing a song, he knows that he shouldn't use it. And what the cat gave a nod to is purrr-fect.

This play is about how fame can sink you and how risking death can help you live. And it's about living your dream, no matter where it leads you. Get inspired. See Queen of the Mist.

DISCOUNT CODE: $10 off with code TGMAMA

Show’s Website: http://www.transportgroup.org/
Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/100

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Mountaintop

The time: April 3rd, 1968. Martin Luther King (played by Samuel Jackson) is alone in room 306 in The Lorraine Motel in Memphis a day after he made his prophetic “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech, the day before he is assassinated. We see him as his private self--using the toilet, wanting smokes, smelling the reek of his sweat when he takes his shoes off.
In comes the maid, Camae (played by Angela Bassett). The playwright, Katori Hall, really did her job of creating perfect character arcs. The maid begins nervous and reverential around King, then ends up so bold that she slips his jacket on to critique his preaching style and shows him how he should sound. And Katori’s Martin Luther King goes from the all too human man who frets about whether his mustache makes him look old, a man who needs a woman’s body next to his, never mind it isn’t Coretta’s. In the mesmerizing verbal parry between Martin Luther King and Camae, Katori Hall brings him right up to the mountaintop.
It has a supernatural element too which I don’t want to give away.
See it at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater
242 E. 45th St. (Between Broadway and 8th.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

At the party after opening night for Motherhood Our Loud

There I am with Janes Lecense who starred in Motherhood Out Loud and other off-Broadway shows. You'll probably remember him best from "Sex in the City," both the TV show and the films.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD, now playing at Primary Stages after 59 E. 59th St, makes you feel as if someone has read your mind or your mother’s or your grandmother’s because no one would dare to say outright what actors are saying on stage The twenty scenes, united by themes of mothering that span birth to death, were written by a collection of playwrights that includes Beth Henley, a Pulitzer Prize winner. Some of the stories are true, some are composites of the playwrights’ friends’ stories, and others are invented. But they all feel true, intimate, and necessary.
There is magic unfolding as you watch Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Obie award winner for Ruined) morph into a Muslim mother of a teenager who just got her period to a divorced mother whose son is sent to Afghanistan, to a teenager interviewing her grandmother . James Lecense (winner of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award) is as believable whether he is playing the male character or the character’s mother, Elizabeth. Randy Graff (Fiddler on the Roof (2004) and winner of the Drama Desk and Tony winner) can have loud, pull-your-hear-out desperation as a sleep-deprived mother as well as quiet desperation in Queen Est4her when her plays a woman whose son wants to go to a Purim Festival as Queen Esther. Mary Bacon (The Good Wife, Law & Order) can go from the panic and joy of a new mother to a mother-in-law who needs wising up.
My prediction is that Motherhood Out Loud will be a hit wherever it goes. It’s already been warmly received in L.A. and Greenwich Connecticut. I see this show as a hit in New York and lighting up stages all over the country: Florida, Texas, Washington, and more, then on to London.
From Motherhood Out Loud, whether you’re a mother or not, you’ll get an appreciation for just how thorny the role is. You might even end up forgiving yourself for the inevitable messes you’ve made with your children or your mother has made with you. And all the while, you’ll laugh hysterically and become tear-glazed, knot-throated, what my Russian bubby used to call “farklempt.”

DISCOUNT TICKETS AVAILABLE if you call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit Primarystages.org and use the promotion code MOM9161

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Enter CarlIto Carvalhosa's Sum of Days at the Moma and you will see and hear just as a psychic does

Do you see the figures through the scrim of fabric? That is just how a psychic sees. And check out the UTube of a visitor to Sum of Days. You will hear just as a psychic hears: an overlay of sounds over time. That's why when a psychic says, "I hear a name that begins with H," instead of thinking he's guessing, try to pick out specific names when you enter the exhibit. You'll see. You'll hear.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vera Famiglia's Higher Ground

Vera Famiglia stars in the original and quirky film out now. She delves into a woman's challenge to be part of a community of faith, all the while admiring their ability to keep their faith. Amazing to see such emotional honestly!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

VOCA PEOPLE, The White Blue Man's Group

Actually, Blue Man Group doesn't sing, and Voca People, they rock. They not only sing, but they dance and become their own instruments. (If you sit on the aisle, you might find your forearm becoming a sax.) I didn't think kids would like it, but there was a three year old behind me, enraptured. http://vocapeoplenyc.com/index.php?aid=ADV000000800

Monday, September 5, 2011


My grandchildren loved the new Smurf movie so much that they wouldn't leave until the last credit rolled and the screen went dark. And it has enough double entendres to keep the adults chuckling.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Take a look at how the tree lifted the sidewalk, making it like a headstone. The upside is that later I saw kids skate boarding off of it. Joy can spring from mourning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Freud given icy reception at 1896 Convention for Suggesting that Hysteria was Caused by Childhood Sexual Abuse

Seeing Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris reawakened my interest in Anais Nin. Noel Riley Fitch's The Erotic Life of Anais Nin (Little Brown & Co., 1993) not only took me into her life: her tumble of affairs, notably with Arthur Miller, but also led me to awarenesses about Freud that were like kapows! Like this one on p. 151.

In 1896, Freud was booed at a Psychiatric and Analytical conference when he presented a paper about hysteria being caused by childhood sexual abuse based on the testimony of his patients and his own experience. He knew because he admitted "my father was one of the perverts." Unfortunately, he called it "the seduction theory" which implies that the children are somehow at fault. At that time, incest was considered extremely rare. Frued said his reception "was icy by those asses." That paper caused Freud so much aggravation that he was forced to retract it in 1905, shifting the emphasis to the unconscious. In 1906, he developed the theory of the Oedipal Complex in which hysterical children fantacized about seducing one parent and eliminating the other. Neuroses was supposed to arise from the guilt of that fantasy. Oh, what a hindrance to truth!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brava for Lesley Kagen's newest novel, Good Graces ,

Good Graces
By Leslie Kagen
(Dutton, 2011)

Leslie Kagen’s latest novel, Good Graces, the sequel to her best-selling Whistling in the Dark, is a juicy, hilarious, salty, sexy grown-up version of Nancy Drew. You’ll be drawn in immediately by the O’Malley sisters, Sally and Troo and the whole Milwaukee neighborhood where, beneath the humor and the small town life, you learn, right in the preface, that amidst county fairs and church suppers and childhood play, there will be murder-most-foul. And Kagen writes such a nifty plot that you won’t even be sure who will be murdered until the end when you’ll wish that there were hundreds of pages more.
“The devil is in the details,” Donny O’Malley, Sally and Troo’s father had told them before he died in a car crash. And devilish details you will get. You’ll find out just what the town is gossiping about. Sally, the narrator, is so un-PC that you may hawk a loogie when you hear her goings on about Polacks and Goombas and Homo Henry.
The details also bring us into a time capsule of the fifties where one character throws Dina Shore kisses and the kids eat button candy off of paper strips and chew on jujubes and Snirkle Bars and play Mumbly Peg and watch Senor Wences on the Ed Sullivan show. You’ll be reminded of blouses with Peter Pan-collars and muuu-muus and Evening in Paris cologne.
Kagen has assembled a huge cast of characters, including the town which smelled of cookies from the local factory. But Kagen miraculously pulls all of them together with their individual stories into a big sprawling howl of a book that will make you go back to read Whistling in the Dark and search the bestseller list for her next novel, which probably is already in the works. Since Kagen is an actress, a voice-over talent, a restauranteur, and a mother of two who published her first novel at age 57, you’ll be sure she won’t waste any time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Iconic Affirmation for these Iffy Financial Times

Tom Otterness' cartoon figures are appearing all over parks, subway stations. I ran across this one at The Nassau County Art Museum. Ah, to be tango-ing over a bag of money. Yes!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bernie and the Brooklyn Bridge

Is it any wonder that Whitman, Harte Crane, and Kerouac wrote about the Brooklyn Bridge?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Olive and the Bitter Herbs, a hilarious new play by Charles Bush


Charles Bush has managed to once again write lines that are so good I can remember them a day later, but won't repeat them here because I dont' want to ruin them for you. Charles Bush, brilliant writer, actor, and poignantly beautiful drag queen, isn't playing the malcontent older woman this time, but I bet he could do a slam dunk job at it. Bush is the midwife to audiences' belly-rocking laughs.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview with Gwendolen Gross about Orphan Girl

Question 1:
I was so interested in how you handled backstory for your main character, Clementine. It's so easy to lose the readers with backstory, but you didn't. How did you choose the way you finally wrote it: present chapter, backstory chapter, etc.

I struggled, in the first draft, with a strong desire to minimize backstory for Clementine. I felt as though I wanted a lot to happen in the present without so much slowdown from the past--so at first, I wrote out the simple past (present--the what's happening immediately) story, but I kept finding I needed to write a parallel story--past perfect--to inform the forestory. Ultimately, I decided to alternate, but not without several juggling acts (no dropped eggs, thankfully) between.One thing I've decided, as writer, reader, and teacher, is that people do want immediacy as readers--and one way to achieve that is not to go too long without something happening. And dialogue is the ultimate in something happening, because we hear it in our head as the direct words of the characters, without all the distance of extra words in a sentence.

Question 2:
Every gripping novel, from Jane Eyre to your Orphan Girl is built on a family secret. Did you know the secret in Orphan Girl before you began to write it?

Gwendolen's answer:
First of all, bless you, Jane Eye and Orphan Sister in the same sentence?! You are so kind!Yes. I knew. And I didn't know. I did experiment with some worse possibilities, but ultimately wanted a forgivable secret, a forgivable mistake. I tend toward the hopeful, and don't like bad behavior ONLY for the sake of titillation, in books or in life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gulf Coast Contest for short prose. A legitimate contest!

The Deadline Looms...There's just a little over a month left to enter Gulf Coast's 2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.No matter what you call it--flash fiction, prose poems, micro-essays--send us your work of 500 words or fewer. The winner will receive $1,000 and will be published in the issue of Gulf Coast due out in Spring 2012, along with the two runners-up.This year's judge will be poet, essayist, and story writer Sarah Manguso.Entries are due August 31, 2011. The entry fee is $17 and each entrant will receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast. We're asking that all entries this year come to us via our easy-to-use online submission manager. Each entry may be comprised of up to three individual pieces. Just put all individual pieces into one Word, rtf, or pdf document and upload. Last year we were happy to publish three excellent pieces of short prose by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (2010's winner), Benjamin Glass, and Robert Thomas. These three pieces, along with an introduction by last year's judge, Joe Bonomo, are available on our website.

Just a few more days...As if that isn't enough, our summer subscription special is almost a thing of the past. Until this Sunday, July 31, though, you can still get a deeply discounted year of Gulf Coast. Just head on over to our subscription page and when you enter the coupon code "JUL" you'll get six dollars off the regular subscription price. That's two big, beautiful issues of Gulf Coast for ten bucks (the regular newsstand price for just one issue).The support of Gulf Coast not only gets you some of the best new stories, essays, and poetry to be found on the literary scene, it also helps us to support our writers (fresh new voices alongside venerable favorites) and to remain a venue where those writers can submit their work free of charge.
What's coming up...The upcoming issue of Gulf Coast, due out this October, is almost done and already looking like one of our most compelling issues yet. The issue will feature a section of translated work, with pieces originally written in Danish, French, Spanish and Uyghur, and a special report on organizations that offer asylum to politically persecuted writers.It will also feature poetry from Sherman Alexie, Lily Brown, Graham Foust, Alex Lemon, Sharon Olds, Stanley Plumly, and many others. There are stories from Michael Czyzniejewski, Rav Grewal-Kök, Teresa Milbrodt, Ann Tashi Slater, and new voices Danny Thahn Nguyen and Mario Rosado. And the nonfiction line-up includes Joe Bonomo, Lorraine Doran, Katherine Dykstra, Chidelia Edochie, Stephanie Harrison, and Kristen Radtke.The issue will also feature the winners of the 2011 Gulf Coast Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry, and, as always, intriguing and thought-provoking interviews and reviews.Finally, we'll have visual art from photographer Duncan Ganley and a special feature on the work of the late, great Cy Twombly.It'll be an issue you won't want to miss.

Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine ArtsDepartment of EnglishUniversity of HoustonHouston, Texas 77204-3013US
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

THE ORPHAN SISTER by Gwendolen Gross, 2011

A doozy of a family secret is unspooled in this quirky and masterful novel about three sisters: Olivia and Odette who came from the same egg that was split after fertilization, while Clementine (what a darling!) was born at the same time, but from a single fertilized egg. Clementine is genetically more of a sibling to her sisters than a twin. The story loops back in time, enlarging each time another piece of the story is written. For a book that has a light touch, it whips up emotionally as the story goes on.

In the class I teach, Emotions into Art, I ask writers to collect off-the-beat expressions of emotion by other writers, not to copy them, but to inspire them. There's quite enough "He swallowed hard" and "his heart thumped", thank you very much. Here's some examples from Gwendolen of stretching for new ways to express emotion:
Instead of "My mouth was dry with anxiety" she writes, "My mouth was suddenly post-dentist fuzzy, half-hot, half-numb.
How about this for creativity in showing bodily sensations? "She was stroking my hair now; it felt so lovely, but tender at the same time, as if my hair had nerve endings and was too sensitive to be touched.
And this for showing someone overwhelmed? "Neither one of us spoke, and I didn't know what she was thinking or feeling, but I could tell it was a big suck-you-under, wavelike feeling."
When you read this novel, besides seeing just how much a family can be torn apart and what they will do to stay together, notice the "egg" motifs that run through the book, emphasicing the theme. The sun spreading across Clementine's living room is described is "like an egg in a pan."
There's a wide cast of characters in this book to enjoy, including a ferret and a boa constrictor.
Read The Orphan Sister like a reader. Read it like a writer. Read it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Droid, droid, droid

My husband took a picture of me on my new Droid. Like Kermit the Frog, all I can say is, "It's not easy being green." Gosh, this Droid is so hard to use. Too many features. And all day it calls out in a robotic voice, "Droid, Droid, Droid." Sigh. I wanted to be techno-hip, cool. And now I'm just green.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I learned at a Raul Esparza Master Class

Why would a writer audit a workshop for actors who want to land roles in musicals? Curiosity, a desire to see how performing relates to writing, and to meet Raul Esparza

Here are the things I took away that would be useful to writers:
1. Pay attention to punctuation. Raul made the people who used Sondheim music to audition go over the piece, speaking it, sticking an extraneous word such as “pins” to indicate a comma or period. Sunday in the Park with George might sound like this: “Stop worrying where you’re going. PINS If you can know where you’re going PINS you’ve gone. PINS Just keep moving on. How could this help a writer? If you’re a poet, you can really get a sense of line breaks, etc. by sticking in pins to help you read the line as the reader will.
2. Don’t close your eyes. It shuts people off from you because eyes are the windows to the soul. When I think about all the poetry readings I’ve gone to where the poet has his eyes open, but is fixed on a point above the audience, he might want to make eye contact to see where folks are yawning. Might be a good place to edit.
3. Don’t give yourself away right off. In writing, you have to constantly be a slight-of-hand artist, leading the reader one way, and then purposely misdirecting them. It’s how you keep tension going, how you keep attention going as well.
4. Raul pointed out how Chekov uses gestures to convey intentions or psychological needs. Writers, don’t forget that in your own characters. Setting gestures on the page is a real art form. If you read Eugene O’Neill’s descriptions of how the drunks in The Iceman Cometh slump over their tables in the bar, each one distinct.
5. “Who are you singing to?” was a question Raul frequently asked. Even in a soliloquy, the character is thinking of someone as he speaks, even if it’s to describe himself.
6. Every line has a subtext.
7. To deliver a song (or a piece of writing) you have to think of an actable moment. If you say a writer wants to get his feelings across, you would do better to sit on a whoopee cushion. At least then you’d get a laugh. Think of what you want to make the other person do that is actually doable, for example: to confess, to beseech, to argue, etc. Think verb!
8. Separate yourself from what you’re selling. If you don’t get a part, if you don’t publish, you’re still a worthwhile person on a worthwhile pursuit.
9. Don’t worry about style. Just think about the human being, the character. If you do this, great writing always takes care of itself. (I HOPE.)
10. Here’s something I wrote down in caps. KEEP A WIDE DEFINITION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ARTIST. In other words, if my new novel that’s in my agent’s hands at this moment doesn’t sell, I’m still publishing essays, poetry, and short stories. I’m still blogging. I’m still breathing. (For now.)

To inquire about taking a master class with a master, write to

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Passager's Anthology--I'm in it.

You can order it here:

My poem, At the Candy Store, is published in it:

At the Candy Store, 1933

Flies sit on the covered jars
of jujubes, chocolate babies,
bulls eyes that turn colors
when you suck them.
“The Way You Look Tonight”
is playing on the bakelite radio.

“A hot one,” says the man behind the counter,
flicking his tongue over his thick lips.
Even at seventeen, my mother knows
he doesn’t mean the weather.
For a nickel, she punches
through five holes of the punch board,
unscrolls the rolled up papers.
Three say “You Lose,” one says “Try Again,”
the last “You win a free ice cream.”

He hands her a Dixie cup with a wooden spoon.
She doesn’t say “Thank You,”
doesn’t want him to feel he’s given her a gift.
She’d like to eat the ice cream
beneath the breeze of the ceiling fan,
but this man’s eyes are boring through her.

Outside she opens the lid.
Joan Crawford’s picture is under it.
There’s something fierce about her mouth.
That’s the way a pretty woman needs to look.
Joan Crawford can eat ice cream anywhere.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This is my niece, Brooke Shapiro, Starring in Hairspray at the Zach in Austin Texas


Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

After celebrating Marriage Equality at the Gay Rights parade, I wondered if Priscilla, Queen of the Desert would be dated. But who can resist fabulous dancing, strong characters, and wow stagesets? And who among us can't connect with the basic theme of being different, going through the hard knocks of it, and coming hopefullyto self-acceptance? You'll be up out of your seat, dancing, clapping, yelling, "Bravo!"and "Brava!"



Monday, July 4, 2011

Laurel Nakadate, Is she mining the depths of sadness or milking her tear ducts?

I was moved by Laurel Nakadate's retrospective at P.S. 1. I thought of how much her white-framed photos hanging closely together on the white walls, were old-masterish in their chairoscuro lighting. I was pulled in. And then I got to the videos of Laurel in her underwear, sometimes topless, humping on a bed, and there went the old masters. I couldn't wrap my mind around what she was trying to accomplish when she videod herself wowing unattractive older men. Yet I was drawn into her acting, the sadness she portrayed. Carol Deihl, in her blog, Art Vent, thought that that instead of chronicling her 365 Days of sadness (after all, is she entitled to it, a young Yalie with a retrospective?) Laurel Nakadate should get a job at a convenience store. http://artvent.blogspot.com/2011/02/laurel-nakadate.html

In another blog post, Carol Diehl wrote about how art-goers are spending more time at the walls, reading text about the art than they are viewing the art. Maybe that's just what happened to me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Place of Perfect Peace

In any season I can find serentiy at the Planting Fields Arboretum on Long Island. http://www.plantingfields.org/ All I need to do is think of myself there and waves of peace float through me. What's your place of perfect peace?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Documentaries can have a built-in bore factor because there's often no structure. Okay, The March of the Penguins is beautiful, but by mid-point, I'm panicking that the darn penguins will never stop marching and I'll be in the theater until the cows come home. Still, I've invested this much time, so....
But Jill Adresevic's documentary, LOVE, ETC. to hit theaters this Friday, is centered around five couples--a pair of hair school students who have fallen hard in their first true love, a Hindu couple whose dissatisfactions quietly seethe along with the lamb saag and curried cheek peas on their parents' stovetops, a gay director who becomes the single parent of twins through a surrogate mom, and a single dad construction worker who has custody of his two kids.
Your favorites, I bet, will be Albert and Marion from Canarsie, Brooklyn, married for 48 years.
You'll come away enlightened and delighted and wanting to see more!http://loveetcthemovie.com/

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Read my blog post on http://blog.motherhoodlaterthansooner.com/2011/06/guest-blog-post-your-inner-vision-by.html

For everyone who has ever been worried about their child who s being given bad reports from his teachers, not doing his work in school, getting into mischief, read my blog post on Motherhoodlater.com


Monday, June 20, 2011

Prelude to a Kiss, Craig Lucas

This is a play to read to see how scenes build. Two people meet and anything can and does happen. I won't spoil the surprise. This play seems at first like a simple boy meets girl, but it uniquely addresses the big life question of love--"Will you still love me tomorrow?"

Sunday, June 12, 2011


In 1936, when 92-year-old Aaron Gorman who is still a practicing accountant, was a junior in Richmond High School in Queens, he pedaled hard on his bike to try to get to the baseball tryouts, but he was too late.

"Please," he begged the coach, "I had to deliver newspapers for my father."

The coach relented. He put Aaron on first and pitched him a ball. Aaron caught it. He pitched another, another. Aaron caught thirty balls in a row. A couple of players were still hanging around, so the coach put them on first and second and sent Aaron off to third and had him throw the ball to all the bases. Pitch perfect, or is it perfect pitch?

The next morning, Aaron had swimming. In those days, the guys didn't wear bathing trunks. They didn't wear anything. The coach was sitting there with Phil Rizzuto, a senior who was only famous at Richmond High at that point. He called Aaron over and introduced them.

That afternoon, there was a scrap game, varsity against the guys trying out. Aaron did so well on third where Phil had played, that they made Aaron third baseman and Phil shortstop. Aaron was probably the reason Phil Rizzuto later became a shortstop for the Yankees.

Moral: You never know what a good accountant can do for you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Gulf Coast Announces 4th Annual Barthelme PrizeGulf Coast is happy to announce that the 2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is now open for entries!No matter what you call it--flash fiction, prose poems, micro-essays--send us your work of 500 words or fewer. The winner will receive $1,000 and will be published in the issue of Gulf Coast due out in Spring 2012, along with the two runners-up.Last year we were happy to publish three excellent pieces of short prose by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (2010's winner), Benjamin Glass, and Robert Thomas. These three pieces, along with an introduction by last year's judge Joe Bonomo, are available on our website. Entries are due August 31, 2011 and each entrant will receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast. We're asking that all entries this year come to us via our easy-to-use online submission manager. This year's judge will be poet, essayist, and story writer Sarah Manguso.
Gulf Coast Prize Contest ResultsThe 2011 Gulf Coast Prizes in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction have been chosen! The winner in each genre will receive $1,500 and publication in the next issue of Gulf Coast, due out this fall. The two runners-up in each genre will receive $250 each.In poetry, Ilya Kaminsky chose "A New Vessel" by Amaranth Borsuk of Sommerville, MA.Honorable mentions:"Lampshade Cue Stick Acrobat Dust" by Allison Hutchcraft of West Lafayette, IN."[Silver & I in the yellow kitchen, cruel in paper]" by Carrie Chappell of New Orleans, LA. In fiction, Frederick Reiken selected "The Window" by Brian Van Reet of Austin, TX.Honorable mentions:"At the Gates" by Cara Blue Adams of Baton Rouge, LA. "No Hero, No Sharks" by Sue Staats of Sacramento, CA. In nonfiction, John D'Agata chose "This Suturing of Wounds or Words" by Arianne Zwartjes of Tucson, AZHonorable mentions: "Three Tales of the Extraordinary" by Laura Hartenberger of Toronto."An Algorithm" by Daisy Pitkin of Tucson, AZ. Congratulations to this year's winners and runners-up! And thanks to everyone who entered this year's contest.The 2012 Gulf Coast Prize contest will open on October 1, 2011. Judges and deadlines will be posted at that time.Watch for more Gulf Coast announcements and updates on

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Yankee Game

During the seventh inning, without drinking even one beer, I got up and danced and a photographer got all my moves and there I was, on the big screens. After that, all night people were hi-fiving me, calling me "the fun lady." And fun I had, even though the Yankees lost.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Eighteen-year-old Emily Hagins (still a high school senior who just got her driver's license) wrote and directed My Sucky Teenage Romance, her hilarious and touching satire on teen culture: the rage for sci-fi and vampires. She managed to get it produced by pitching her idea to indiegogo.com What a site! People who get revved up about your idea can support it by donating $15 or a thousand or more and you get perks, t-shirts, etc. depending on how much you money you give. That means all of us have a shot at both making a film and producing one. Read more about Emily Hagins and My Sucky Teen Romance at her movie company website--www.cheesynuggets.com

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Emotions are the wind in the sails for any prose or poetry. It's the one element that you can't be without or your writing becomes as flat as gingerale left uncapped. Through prose, poetry, fictgion or memoir, you will learn to get your emotions on the page. Here is a course description:Course Description: Emotions Into Art (online) How do writers make you laugh and cry? Designed for beginners and for those who would like to spike up their writing and gain mastery, this course begins by exploring emotion-packed fiction, short prose, and poems, to discover tips, tricks, and strategies for making the reader ache, cheer characters on, reach for the Kleenex, or hold their sides with laughter. You’ll learn about tone, hyperbole, understatement, pacing, implication, and more. Through stimulating writing exercises and short reading assignments, you are encouraged to find your own voice to create short writing (prose or poems) about yourself /and or fictional characters that grab the attention of both readers and editors.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


June at Literary Laundry
Dear Laundry,
We cannot believe that June has already arrived. Since the release of our second issue in March, Literary Laundry has continued to grow substantially. As always, we look forward to the journey ahead.
Please remember, today is the LAST day to submit your work for consideration for Volume 2 Issue 1 (aka Issue 3). Visit www.literarylaundry.com/submissions to read our submissions guidelines and submit your work.
Applications for our upcoming Showcase are due on June 20. This date is fast approaching, so please submit soon.
We intend to release our third issue on September 1. In the meantime, we will continue to host Author Showcases, post to the blog, add reviews to our Reviews page, and develop our two print-publication series (see below).
Enthusiasm for our Chapbook Series made it clear that we needed to provide an equivalent program for the prose-fiction community. We are proud to announce the debut of our newest venture, the Literary Laundry Novellas Series. To learn more about both of these print-publication opportunities, visit www.literarylaundry.com/submissions.
Lastly, this month we've added a review of Break the Glass by Jean Valentine to our Reviews Page. Check it out at www.literarylaundry.com/reviews.
Happy June,
-The Editors

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Look carefully at what's on my skirt--the shoplifting gizmo from Macy's. The saleswoman never took it off and it didn't ring when I went out, so I didn't know anything was up until I wore it to a party and everyone said, "Did you shoplift that skirt?" We tried to bang the thing off with a hammer and it wouldn't loosen. I felt myself getting so annoyed--who has time to go back to Macy"s? I took a deep breath and found myself getting a kick out of it. Everyone who walked into the party had a laugh. And when I went into a store and the salewoman saw the shoplifting gizmo, she waited on me first. When I did gat to Macy's to have it taken off, I actually missed it. Enjoy whatever comes you way, whether you can get it off or not!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Sit back, if you can (I jolted in my seat several times) and watch The Double Hour for the way the director caught deep characterizations within short sequences, and how the non-linear, haunting movie builds and builds to unbearable tension and an ending that will leave you dissecting long after you leave.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Role of the Narrator

Rereading John Irving's coming of age quirky, darkly comic novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, quirky, I'm reminded that a narrator can't just tell you about another character. He has to tell you about himself, why he's bound to this other character, what he can learn from him, what is the link, the obsession. John Wheelright's best friend, Owen Meany, a dwarf with impaired vocal chords vocal chords, just happens to kill John's mother, but remains John's friend. If we only heard about Owen, the novel would fall flat. Think of Nick in The Great Gatsby. If we didn't know that Nick was from West Egg and trying to climb his way up in the financial and social world that Gatsby appears to be part of, The Great Gatsby not only wouldn't be a classic. It might never have gotten published.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here's an interesting publishing possibility

May at Literary Laundry

This May marks the one year anniversary of our founding. It's been quite a year--two amazing issues and three wonderful showcases. We would like to thank our readers, authors, editors, and supporters. To everyone who has helped to make LL such a success, thank you.
This month, we are pleased to announce the debut of our fourth showcased author, Faisal Mohyuddin. Mohyuddin's poetry is one of intersection and conflict--it explores identity, culture, and memory, probing their sometimes-melodic, sometimes-dissonant, and always-complex exchange. This showcase is not to be missed. Check it out at: www.literarylaundry.com/showcase.
Additionally, we have added a number of reviews to our reviews page: www.literarylaundry.com/reviewsAs our readers may have noticed, the LL discussion forums went on Spring Break sometime in mid April. They are back and we hope better than ever in the form of our new LL blog. It is our hope that blogging will provide a more user-accessible forum for discussion, in which our readers will feel free to talk all things culture. Be part of the discourse and share your thoughts: www.literarylaundry.com/blog
Submissions close for our third issue on June 1. In the meantime, LL continues to explore new ways to better serve the contemporary writing community. The launch of our "chapbook" series has thus far met with great enthusiasm. Keep sending in your works. If we receive enough chapbook applications, we might just consider launching a print "novella" series.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to everyone who is considering taking my class, Emotions into Art

Emotions are the wind in the sails for any prose or poetry. It's the one element that you can't be without or your writing becomes as flat as gingerale left uncapped. Through prose, poetry, fictgion or memoir, you will learn to get your emotions on the page. Here is a course description:

Course Description:
Emotions Into Art (online) How do writers make you laugh and cry? Designed for beginners and for those who would like to spike up their writing and gain mastery, this course begins by exploring emotion-packed fiction, short prose, and poems, to discover tips, tricks, and strategies for making the reader ache, cheer characters on, reach for the Kleenex, or hold their sides with laughter. You’ll learn about tone, hyperbole, understatement, pacing, implication, and more. Through stimulating writing exercises and short reading assignments, you are encouraged to find your own voice to create short writing (prose or poems) about yourself /and or fictional characters that grab the attention of both readers and editors.

How Rachel Dewoskin found the theme for her compelling novel, BIG GIRL SMALL (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, May, 2011)

Interview with Rachel Dewoskin by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro

Rachel Dewoskin’s brilliant novel about Judy Lohden, a sixteen-year-old with a huge singing voice at a high school for performing arts who just happens to be three foot tall, sets us into the darkly comic, but risky world of adolescence where something horrific happens.

From the gut-prose you can tell Rachel is comfortablein the world of teens. This comes from having been around teens long before she was one herself. Her mother is a high school English teacher who filled the house with her students. Now Rachel teaches at the University of Chicago and although most of her students are no longer teenagers, they have that same kind of eagerness to “connect-the-dots” intellectually that makes them a pleasure for her to teach. She spends a lot of time reading their work and is intrigued by the way they express themselves.

Through her mother-in-law, a children’s rights law professor who also has a clinic to defend children, Rachel has become fascinated with how America responds to kids, what it means to be a zero tolerance society. “Kids should be forgiven,” Rachel says, “even when they make mistakes.” Her novel asks the serious question of whether or not children should be defined by their worst moments and if so, for how long?

Rachel says that the goal for a novelist is empathy, which helps you get into characters minds. “Hopefully,” she says, “some of the empathy you use in your fiction can bleed over into your life.”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Passover and Easter

I'm in the white shirt, my husband next to me. The wonderment of holidays is that you make time to be together. Enjoy yourselves!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Angela Davis-Gardner got her idea for Butterfly's Child

Angela Davis-Gardner went to see Puccini's Madame Butterfly with a friend. After Madame's Butterfly's suicide because Pinkerton, the American officer she'd been in love with and had a child by, returned to Japan with his American wife, Angela's friend said, "I wonder what happened to Buttefly's child?" After a couple of years of research, Angela ended up with this socko novel.

Lesson: Always listen to other people's questions and your own for inspiration.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What in the world was Paul Giammatti doing with such a gorgeous woman in Barney's Version? Really, there is something terribly wrong with this equation. Just once I'd like to see some homely woman snare a hunk. Anyone know a movie where this has happened? I'm all ears.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A heart-stopping poem when you think of the tsunami and all other disasters

This is by Tenesse Williams. Notice how you don't have to be explicit. YOu don't have to name the tragedy. This could be in light of any tragedy. But if you get at the underlying feelings, your writing becomes universal, applicable to every person, every situation. This poem was written by Tenesse Williams in the 20's. Think about it in light of the tsunami. Love, Roey TENNESEE WILLIAMS POEM YOUR BLINDED HAND Suppose that everything that greens and grows should blacken in one moment, flower and branch. I think I could find your blinded hand. Suppose that your cry and mine were lost among numberless cries in a city of fire when the earth is afire, I must still believe that somehow I would find your blinded hand. Through flames everywhere consuming earth and air I must believe that somehow, if only one moment were offered, I would find your hand. I know, as of course you know, the immeasurable wilderness that would exist in the moment of fire. But I would hear your cry and you’d hear mine and each of us would find the other’s hand. We know that it might not be so. I’d hear your cry, you mine— And each of us would find a blinded hand.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

War Horse, a simple story and a great piece of theater

Think of a sixteen year old boy who loves his horse so much that when it's sold to the military at the outbreak of WWI, he lies his age, joins up, and sets out to find him. Of course there's more to it than that, but any story about a boy and his horse (or a girl and her horse such as National Velvet) is a winning combo. Steven Spielberg has already bought the film rights to it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

If you live in NYC, here's an opportunity to mentor at risk girls in writing.

Do you want to share your craft and work one-to-one with an aspiring teen writer?Apply to be a Volunteer Writing Mentor today!Girls Write Now is a community of professional women writers—educators, editors, poets, novelists, playwrights, journalists, literary agents, publishers, and more—on a mission. Since 1998 we've provided guidance, support, and opportunities for New York City's underserved or at-risk high school girls, enabling them to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career, and life choices.Now entering our fourteenth season of programming, Girls Write Now is seeking passionate writers, teachers, and leaders.The mentor application for the 2011-2012 program year is now available!DEADLINE - June 15, 2011. Early applications are strongly encouraged.Please find the application on our website: www.girlswritenow.org/gwn/join/mentorsQuestions? Contact Heather Smith, Enrollment Chair, at enrollment@girlswritenow.org.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jane Eyre, the film is spectacular

This film really ramps up the eerie in Bronte's gothic masterpiece. The director keeps everything in Jane's point of view by having the sounds barely audible when she's in shock, which makes it tough when you're in a theater where people are popping gum, shaking bags of popcorn to let the butter coat every kernel or whatever....Why would anyone have to shake their popcorn bag, you tell me?

Monday, March 21, 2011


O'Neill's play. Long Day's Journey into Night is a perfect study for not only character development, but how the wounds of family life live in not only the characters, but each of us. Study it for the way O'Neill, through letting us into the character's circumstances and histories, will not allow the reader to walk away with blaming any one character for the mess, and this in a play that involves a constant bombardment of blame!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't get caught in the free I-Pad scam!

Someone raped my friend's facebook info and sent me an email supposedly from her, telling me how she'd just gotten a free I-Pad and wanted me to have one, too. I didn't even want a free I-Pad, but I have a wonderful son-in-law who I'm sure would love one, so I began filling out the form, gave them my email address, then thought better of filling out the rest of the info. But, alas, once they had my email address, they had a pop-up that I couldn't get rid of, that froze my computer. Now, with the help of AOL's advice, all of my settings are off and the computer clicks and turns on as if it's crashing. My techie, Kathy, is about to hear from me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some friends you just can't get to see often enough

After spending two hours in the restaurant, Zachy, myself, and our husbands ended up hanging out in the parking lot another hour and still it was hard to leave. Now that's great company!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Exciting Opportunity for writing about Mother's Day, Due April 15th

Write your own tribute for Mother's Day, 2011. Honor your Mom by composing a leter: Dear Mother. Make it honest--humorous or serious. Selections will be read by actors. There may be an anthology put together at some future time. http://jonelsenonline.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Place to Publish: Note Bene, the Deadline is almost here

Subject: Deadline Reminder
March 15th is the deadline for the open submission reading period for the first of the two 25th anniversary issues of the Comstock Review. Submit up to five poems with self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The Comstock Review, Reading Period.4956 St. John Drive, Syracuse, NY 13215 All poems received will be considered for this commemorative issue of our journal. For full submission guidelines, visit:http://www.facebook.com/l/f5b23H9caA-JPeHxs6bgXPRqUVA/www.comstockreview.org/howtosubmit.html

Monday, March 7, 2011

Writing Challenge

Write about a personal habit such as biting your nails: when it began, the actual way you do it. Are you a cuticle chewer? Do you start at a corner and bite down as far as you can before continuing. Have people commented about it? Anything you can think of, go for it. Let yourself have a riff, an improv. And maybe, when you're finished, the habit will leave you like blown dandelion fluff.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Read a play to learn about plot development and character and dialogue

Tennessee Williams's, The Glass Menagerie, is a great play for rich characters, dialogue, and plot development. In a play, these factors are much clearer than in a novel or short story. And you can feel like a genius because you can read it in an hour or less!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Of Gods and Men and Snoring

My husband, son, and I went to see it today. This is a challenging movie for New Yorkers in constant motion. I'm posting this as 1:17 a.m. We all fell asleep, loudly, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writing Challenge

One of my students had recommended that I give a writing challenge every now and then. Write a letter to yourself, discussing your worst quality. Justify it, condemn it, analyze it. Whatever your pleasure!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Romance Writing vs. Writing about Love

There's a HUGE difference between romance writing and writing about love. When writing about love, you keep in mind all the details of what the beloved said, what he did, all the concrete images that flash into your mind. Romance writing is full of stock phrases such as "ecstacy, moans, throbbing..." During a walk, I was listening to a Sandra Brown thriller once on tape. I couldn't find my headphones, so I just listened without them. Just as a man was approaching, out of my tape recorder came, "He thrust his throbbing member into her." You should have seen the guy's face. You should have seen mind. Oh, that cured me of romance writing forever. Be cured.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Love Calls
Call for Love Poems,
Essays and Short Stories under 700 words

Love is not simple and comes in unexpected ways.

Surprise us!

Send submissions to:
Bonnie Zindel
Creative Literary Editor
Psychoanalytic Perspectives
Deadline: March 1, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Barbra Streisand and Me

We have a long history together. You see, her uncle, Sydney used to fix my parent's console TV when we lived in Rockaway Beach. He was over our house far too frequently because he and my mother had a crush on each other. Mind you, nothing happened between them. The flirtations took place beneath the at our dining room table over a cup of coffee while my father snored in the bedroom. I overheard him tell my mother that he had a bad-tempered niece, a meiskeit, he called her, an ugly girl. who thought she could sing when she could only shrie, which means scream. Watching my mother bat her mascaraed eyes at him, I decided that I was a fan of anyone he didn't think well of and I've been a Barbra devotee since. Just came home from seeing the newest Fockers movie!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God Nose

Saw Baldusseri's show at the Metropolitain today, full of verbal and visual wit. How come I majored in Fine Arts in the 60's and didn't learn about him? Whenever I hear the phrase, "God knows," I think of my Bubbie looking up at the ceiling, expecting an answer, or when she didn't have one, saying, "God only knows," in her thick Yiddish accent. Now I'll have an image of a nose floating among the clouds as well. Anyone read Gogol's The Nose?