When ever I’d ask my father what he was doing, he’d answer, ‘writing How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ As a kid, I’d no concept of what that meant–the entire idea of winning friends was beyond me–didn’t they just show up? And how did you ‘win’ them anyway? Like at a carnival game–shoot enough ducks and you win a stuffed friend? And the word ‘influence’ was not in my child’s vocabulary. This phrase and several others–when I’d be hungry and say so–’eat some salt and you’ll get dry’ and if asked the same question about activities my father was engaged in–’playing Tiddelly Winks with man hole covers’ became something rote in my mind, not real. It was a surprise when I found that a
I couldn’t resist the costumes and pomp the trailers promised. So myself and a group of women of a certain age gathered to view the newest incarnation of the novel, The Great Gatsby. I wrote about my trepidation regarding this version when viewing the coming attractions. I saw how gaudy and overblown the production values seem to be, and had that sinking feeling, oh good lord, it’s going to be another Moulin Rogue. Baz Luhrmann directed both, and the outrageous sets, computer graphics, and effects are similar, but with Gatsby, they’re on steroids. All sorts of factual mistakes are made, from the year and make and model of Gatsby’s and other cars, to various fake luminaries at his extravagant parties. Parties that no human could
I was adding a book to my pile of ’get rid ofs’ when I glanced at its name. Strange People by Frank Edwards. I realized right then I couldn’t give away anything with that alluring of title. Even if I’d read it. So, I put it aside. Which means it went into a heap or pile or bottomless pit of ’stuff’ teetering by the door to my quote unquote, workroom. This mass of mess accumulates from any thing and everything out of place or cluttering up the downstairs whether it belongs to me or not. It collapses from time to time and various things come to light I thought lost, thrown away, or have no memory of existing. One day recently, the book tumbled out.
I’ve not attended an Mystery Writers Of American Edgar A. Poe awards dinner in over a decade. So this article will be strictly about those years when I did attend–from 1994 to 2001. As I’ve written before, the Edgars are the highest honor given to a crime fiction author, like the Oscars, but with far less fanfare and categories. The evening begins with cocktails where everyone smoozes, checking out each other’s attire, and literary agents, guzzling concoctions from the open bar and afterward eating the nouveau cuisine as quickly as the microscopic fare is spooned in front of them. Attendees are assigned tables. The more important the nominee, or publisher, the closer to the awards area. If you are a fledgling author paying your own
While perusing the New York Antiquarian Book Show, I came across a seller, Yesterday’s Gallery & Babylon Revisited, whose inventory almost exclusively deals in the period between the wars. The dust jackets of that span reflected the artistic craze now known as Art Deco. I’ve collected many books with the Deco motif, and would have grabbed one book they had in particular, had it not been a little out of my reach. ABE, as usual, highlighted this specific section of antiquarian books, showing off what they considered to be great examples of Art Deco jackets. I think they did a decent job of finding some gems–especially since a few of them I own. It’s hard to explain what my criteria for ‘Deco’ consists of. I know it