Cara Swann Has Been Busy!

April 22nd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Former reporter/editor Cara Swann, who stops by here from time to time, has made 11 of her books (novels and short stories) available on Amazon. They are all Kindle editions and since I still live in the dark ages I can’t download them! But according to her author page on Amazon, her “fiction is dark romantic suspense influenced by Southern and English Gothic stories with similar elements to Ann Radcliffe, Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt but adapted to modern-day 1970 through 1995. Also a few crime/suspense novels influenced by Elmore Leonard.”

It looks like Season of the Serpent, is selling the best. Congratulations and good luck Cara! Her books are generating feedback like, “This book was absolutely a page turner that I couldn’t put down,” and “Swann’s prose is effortless and conveys the story beautifully, flowing from one believable scene to the next.” (The second quote was about The Secret of Crybaby Hollow.)

Cara’s blog is Mad, Mad, World.

I was browsing through the New York Public Library’s digital archives and came across this picture of the NYPD Glee Club at the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair. I love that stuffed reptile in the background (although poor reptile).


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WDAV – Choral Showcase

April 20th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’ve been emailing links to my TEDx talk about singing in a choir to choir directors, and getting mostly lovely responses back. I recently heard from Theresa Woody, who hosts a show called Choral Showcase on WDAV, (Saturdays at 5pm). She’d already read my book and had nothing but good things to say about it so of course I LOVE Theresa Woody! She is also the music director of UU Fellowship of Lake Norman in Davidson, NC, which is why I emailed her the link. Her plan for next Saturday’s Choral Showcase, April 26th:

Hear My Song: Music For Remembering The Holocaust

Today’s offering observes Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Mostly choral, with a few selections for instruments and for solo voice too, today’s mix honors and remembers the victims of the holocaust, especially the artists and musicians whose work—and lives—were cut short. Little-known composers such as Carlo Sigmund Taube and Viktor Ullmann are featured, along with works by Gorecki, Landowski, Partos and Avni.

A pretty door, I forget where, but perhaps Gramercy Park? It looks Gramercy Park-ish.


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Rest in Peace Gabriel Garcia Marquez

April 18th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Every once in a while you read a book that makes your world explode, although not always in a good way. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee broke my heart for instance, and ended my innocence forever, but that was completely necessary. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude was not that kind of explosion. It demolished all the rules, rules of writing, of living, and made me realize anything goes, as long as you do it well. All bets were off, game on.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is just so full of life it’s as if every page breaths, vines grow out of the book binding, and if you turn it upside down and shake it sand and dirt and rocks (and ants) will fall out. It was so exciting and enchanting to read. Life’s a mess, get on with it. Oh and try to have a sense of humor about it all while you’re at it. I’m so glad I read it when I was as young as I was (college-age) because it set the tone for the rest of my life.

According to Wikipedia, William Kennedy called it “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.” And yet, on Amazon 83 people gave it one star. That’s beyond unfathomable to me. Not to your taste perhaps, but one star?? Time to re-read!

I took this on Wednesday when I walked past this tree, and turned around to look again. Springtime in the city at night!


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If Congress Were a Choir – Well, Parliament is!

April 16th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about this great essay written by Margaret Evans, titled If Congress Were a Choir. She makes so many perfect points about compromise and working together in order the create something great and worthwhile. I spoke about her essay at Harvard last weekend. I conceded that the trick would be getting a group like congress to form and participate in a choir. But Parliament has managed it!

A glimpse of spring I caught last week. Apparently spring has been postponed, however. (It’s freezing out here.)


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The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

April 15th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

The Divide is the book I wanted to write, and I don’t know why I didn’t, but it’s just as well because it looks like Matt Taibbi did an amazing job, and his background was so much better suited for this project. Thank you for writing it, Matt Taibbi.

I first became aware of the prosecution disparity when I was researching unsolved murders, and I wrote an op-ed titled Counting Corporate Crooks. What was infuriating me was no one was going after white collar criminals with the kind of vigor they went after other criminals, and no one was auditing the people investigating white collar crime. Who knows if they’re doing a good job or not?? The kind of sentences someone who robs a candy store gets vs someone who robs millions was a whole other enraging wave. It’s insane and so fucking immoral and wrong. From the Washington Post review:

“How can it be, he asks, that a street drifter such as Tory Marone serves 40 days in jail after cops find half a reefer in his pocket, but not a single executive of HSBC faces criminal charges after the bank “admitted to laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia, washing money for terrorist-connected organizations in the Middle East, allowing rogue states under formal sanctions by the U.S. government to move money freely by the tens of billions through its American subsidiary, [and] letting Russian mobsters wash money on a grand scale”?”

Again, thank you for writing this book Matt Taibbi. Here he is on The Daily Show, talking about the book. And thank you Jon Stewart for having him on and bringing attention to this book.

When I was in Cambridge this weekend I took a walk in the Old Burial Ground in Harvard Square. I saw a large stone for the Dana family and took a picture because I used to walk by Dana Street every day on my way home when I lived in Cambridge. Dana Street, I just learned, was named after Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Francis Dana, whose name isn’t on this stone. It could be on the other side because he is buried there.


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