All posts by mangiamillie

NY Mysteries Nov. 15, 2019

Back in NYC after a glorious time at Crime Bake in Woburn, MA. We arrived a week ago, expecting a traffic jam signing in at the Hilton. Not at all. It was done flawlessly. We wanted to get to Ann Cleeves’ talk on setting and how it affects characters, followed by Paula Munier’s and Joanna Schaffhausen’s talk about the High-Concept Crime Novel. There was a break for the Welcome Buffet and then we practiced our pitches for Saturday. The evening ended with Vera. Ann Cleese had brought a special segment of her show for us. On Saturday, after a sinfully delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, we heard a panel discussing Getting and Staying on Top, Making a Thriller Thrilling. We sharpened our queries and had a break for book signing. After lunch, there was the first page critique. In the late afternoon there was the pitch session. It was so different from pitch sessions I’ve attended in NYC. At Crime Bake you share meals with agents and editors.They get to know you. When you show up with a pitch, both agent and writer are relaxed (sort of). I’ve left out other wonderful talks. Thank you, New England Sisters in Crime!

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

November 11, 2019

 

I’m tardy and I apologize. However, having spent Nov. 8-10 at  the New England Crime Bake, a writers’, editors’, agents’ conference held in Woburn, MA, I’m basking in the afterglow of a successful pitch session i.e. you sell your book to an agent. If you’re lucky the agent will request the full manuscript (Hurray) or a few chapters (Still hurray) or reject your offer. I’ve been around the block enough times to know that many agents prefer to reject you via email rather than to your face. We shall see. Last week, nervous about the upcoming conference (my first time) I wrote the following in a cranky mood. 

Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder

A Judson contingent attended Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder at Carnegie Hall. The place was packed. I stared down at the orchestra from my third tier seat ($90) and wondered how much their tickets cost. Johnny Cash was one of those musicians who was so good, so sexy, so simpatico. His look, his black outfits, his deep voice mesmerized me. I could care less about country and western/ country music/ hillbilly music but there are a number of people who make it magic: Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline among others. 

I think I was the only one in the vast  Carnegie Hall audience (That includes standing room) who regarded the Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder concert as a character building exercise. 

 You wake to the clock, you go to work to the clock, you clock in to the clock, you clock out to the clock, you come home to the clock, you eat to the clock, you drink to the clock, you go to bed to the clock, you get up to the clock, you go back to work to the clock… You do that for forty years of your life and you retire — what do they give you? A clock!   

Dave  Allen, an Irish comedian

And speaking of the Irish…

The Irishman is the movie for you if you want to watch Robert DeNiro kill people for four hours and if you prefer women to be treated like pets,  A friend and I got tickets for a 2:40 showing at IFC the day after the movie was released. . It was an event. Smugly, we regarded the ticket information: Sold Out was written under every time. It made out tickets better. 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who  accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college. 

NY Mysteries Nov. 1, 2019

Halloween has come and gone. I hope the families that celebrated it had some fun.  All I gleaned on the faces of the adults was anxiety and exhaustion. 

Alex Marwood and Michael Connelly are great crime writers. Michael Connelly has a new book. The Night Fire. As millions know, Connelly created Detective Hieronymous Bosch. We have aged along with Harry and now he’s partnering with a young detective, Renée Ballard.  His motto, everyone counts or no-one counts resonates through all the stories. Connelly was a journalist before he became a full time writer. The same is true of Alex Marwood. I discovered the English Ms. Marwood after reading an ecstatic review by Stephen King. The Wicked Girls and The Darkest Secret kept me up past my ten p.m. bedtime. I’ve started The Killer Next Door. Marwood, like Connelly, sucks you in with the first word. What’s with Journalists?

Early Sunday evening a friend and I went to a concert at the Frick Collection.  Arsentiy Kharitonov, the pianist and composer, gave a magnificent and unforgettable performance. We were treated to Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39 and a the composer’s own work. I avoid standing ovations. This evening was the exception.

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? Remorse over screwing up an important case? His corrupt boss being a trustee of the Windsor School?  His girlfriend marrying his boss? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 25, 2019

 

 

A Judsonite group attended Alice Elliot’s Miracle on 42nd Street. The documentary about Manhattan Plaza is part of the architecture & design film festival. It tells the saga of Manhattan Plaza, a 484 West 43rd Street residential complex that opened in 1977. The majority of the tenants are in the performing arts.  Director Alice Elliot captures the drama, the angst of neighbors afraid they’d be kicked out of their humble dwellings, performers at first loath to live in that neighborhood (Hell’s Kitchen) and then clamoring to. There are interesting interviews with Angela Lansbury, Giancarlo Esposito  and a slew of other celebrities who have lived there. We saw it at Cinépolis Chelsea.  Have you noticed that movie theaters are installing upscale, first class allurements? There are reclining leather seats you can adjust. Legs up? Press a button, Want your backside warmed? Press a button. Airport-like bars, an ad suggesting delicious food  (popcorn, more popcorn) delivered to your seat.

 

 

 

 

Manhattan Plaza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always a joy to see a legend in action. Wendy Whalen retired from the New York City Ballet a few years ago. She is now the Associate Artistic Director of the company. At the Joyce she danced in The Day, a moving and moody piece, conceived by Maya Beiser and choreographed by Lucinda Childs. 

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Whalen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicia Alonso the great Cuban dancer, has died. She was 98. In the late 1930s Alonso and her husband, Fernando, traveled to NYC to establish dancing careers. Alicia Alonso was a soloist with the American Ballet Caravan which became New York City Ballet in 1940. She suffered detached retina which put a hold on her dancing but she persevered. !n 1943 she was asked to dance Giselle at Ballet Theatre. She danced the role until 1948. Other roles included:  in Swan LakeAntony Tudor‘s Undertow (1943), Balanchine’s Theme and Variations (1947) and  deMille’s dramatic ballet Fall River Legend. She returned to Cuba in 1948 to found her own company, the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company. It eventually became Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

Alicia Alonso

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? Remorse over screwing up an important case? His corrupt boss being a trustee of the Windsor School?  His girlfriend marrying his boss? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 18, 2019

Judson’s blessing of the animals (many dogs, one stuffed snake called Eagle, several other stuffed animals) was a hoot. They broke bread in the form of  animal biscuits distributed by Minister Micah Busey who was loving every minute of it.  I asked a friend if she’d brought an animal and she named her husband. Well, he has a cute tail.

 

 

Musical dog in a musical family
Another musical dog
Musical dogs hanging out

A friend and I went to the Frick concert: Les Bostonades. It’s stepping back into the 18th century with the music of Clerambault,  Rameau and Telemann. If only the violinist didn’t sway and swoop as she played. If only the superb voiced tenor didn’t display his winsome smile so much. If only the Music Room wall paper were mended but I think this sweet, not old room will be destroyed in the new building plans. After, we went to a Peruvian restaurant on Second Avenue. The food was fine. I’ve probably forgotten the restaurant’s name because at the end of the meal when we were settling our bill, the waiter approached and gave my friend her card. He leaned over me and said mine was rejected. A little piece of paper floated from his hands confirming this. As you all know, tables are on top of each other in dear Manhattan which is great for eavesdropping as long as you’re eavesdropping. The look from the inches away table suggested a slight pity and certain curiosity in the older woman who’s card had been rejected. 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? Remorse over screwing up an important case? His corrupt boss being a trustee of the Windsor School?  His girlfriend marrying his boss? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 11, 2019

On a perfect fall day last Sunday friends and I went to Wave Hill. One of my friends is a keen gardener and had planned the day so we’d go to a lecture in Wave Hill House (1843) being given by her friends and then walk around the 28-acre Riverdale estate. It has horticultural gardens and overlooks the Hudson. 

Wave Hill
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Flower Garden
Dahlias in the Wave Hill Garden
Wave Hill Grasses
Wave Hill

 

 

 

 

The next evening at the National Arts Club friends and I celebrated two birthdays and reproached one friend for returning to Florida.. Over drinks and dinner we had lots of good conversation and laughs.

 

 

I belong to Stubbs, a free service of the AMC movie chain. The purpose is to lure in customers. Every Tuesday in any AMC movie house you can see any movie for $6. Even at that low price, I want to warn you. Ad Astra is a ghastly movie. I went, noble me, because a gay pal has a crush on Brad Pitt. It’s a guy movie: lots of wheels, lots of futurist jeeps plowing across Mars or was it Saturn. Poor Brad, loaded down in his immaculate astronaut suit was searching for his father, a boring old duffer who had disappeared in space. Brad Pitt was the main and practically only character and producer. It’s a  film with lots of special effects and Hollywood profound thoughts.

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Oct. 4, 2019

Friends and I went to see Midnight Traveler at Film Forum. Aside from us three, there were four other people at the screening. In 2016 the Taliban put a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head after he made Peace in Afghanistan. He and his wife and their two young daughters fled Kabul. They first went to Tajikistan for an agonizing 14 months of filling in futile applications before being sent back to Afghanistan. Both filmmakers, Fazili and his wife, started recording their life on three cell phones. The documentary records their journey with two small daughters across Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. The courage and fortitude of the family is extraordinary as they endure refugee camps, escape from gangs and hide in forests in winter. 

Girls have to have fun, right? That’s why two of my other pals and I went to the Met. We went to the Roof Garden. It was an autumnal sky surrounding Alicja Kwade’s ParaPivot I and II. The massive spheres appear weightless. We then went to the Dutch Masterpieces at the Met. 17th Century Dutch Art was collected at the Met soon after the museum opened in 1870. The current exhibit is luscious: buxom ladies at prayer, equally buxom servants

Alicja Kwade’s ParaPivot I and II

preparing a meal, comic painting, pastoral scenes, flowers, fruits, pealed lemons. It’s delightful.

The Met Roof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to the New York City Ballet Tuesday night and was bored to death. I’ve been a fan of the NYCB for many years and was dismayed at the mechanical presentation of Valse-Fantaisie and Kammermusik No. 2. Recently, I’ve been going to the Joyce where the theater is alive with excitement both on the stage and in the audience. 

Have you seen Judy? And why not? Everything positive people say about Renée Zellweger is true. She’s caught Judy Garland’s nervous walk and talk. She’s also caught what a difficult person Judy Garland was to be around plus her heartbreaking vulnerability. Rupert Goold, the director, flashes back very effectively to Garland’s gruesome upbringing in glamorous old Hollywood. 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Sept. 28, 2019

I’m going to get a room near the Joyce and have three meals a day at Cafeteria and die happy. 

Last week a friend and I went to Rubberband. It’s ten athletic (aren’t all dancers?) gymnastic, pugilistic, balletic dancers created Victor Quijada’s high-voltage choreography. They invade the stage, bounce off each other and keep up the movement. Breath-taking, stupendous. It’s Montreal-based and many of the dancers are Canadian. Hummm. Better contact ICE. 

 The Joyce is an encyclopedia of what the body can do.  

Ayodele Casel

This week another pal and I saw choreographer/ tap dancer Ayodele Casel and pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill. Casel is amusing about having first learned about tap dancing from watching Ginger Rogers films. It’s another ballgame. Casel is Black/Latino and infuses energy, dynamism into her work. She is also devoted to encouraging young people, especially girls of color to live authentically and spark joy. O’Farrill is one of those gifted pianists whose fingers are glued to the keyboard. He is as thrilling to watch as the dancers. Casel has a fine troupe of five extraordinary dancers. 

Arturo O’Farrill

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Sept. 20, 2019

 

 The Judson Week End in Deep River, Ct. is a Judson Memorial Church version of a retreat. However, we never stopped talking , drinking, dancing, meditating, skinny dipping, hiking, participating in Pilates, trying facial masks, eating, celebrating present absent members and absent dead members as well as a baptism in the lake. That’s all in two days.

 

Hiking around the Lake
Henco at the keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Florida friend visits NYC for six weeks at this time of year. We never stop! This week alone we saw Slave Play, too long and over rated. We went to Caviat on Clinton Street. It  was packed, as usual. Georgia Brown, a dynamo Australian writer and entrepreneur invented Generation Women. It’s a performance by women of generations between twenty and seventy. Georgia presents a theme. This current one was  women’s bodies. The audience hooted and howled over the various adventures presented by each woman, enlightening and embarrassing. Next night we went to a wonderful performance at the Joyce: Rubberband. 

 Don’t forget the Brooklyn Book Fair where some of us will be hawking books. 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

NY Mysteries Sept. 13, 2019

 

I’m going to the Judson Memorial Weekend. It’s been held for years near Ivoryton, Ct. Many years before I knew about Judson, I was an apprentice at the Ivoryton Playhouse. When we sweep past it on our way to the Weekend at Incarnation Center, I’m flooded with memories. Milton Stiefel, his brother Irving and his wife owned and ran the theater. Milton Stiefel had begin his career with David Belasco. 

During the summer at the Playhouse I had motley chores: clean pots for the set designer, smear soap on mirrors so they wouldn’t reflect on stage, clean the restrooms. On rare occasions I’d appear in crowd scenes. I  reported to a Syracuse senior, Jim Hutton, who had a Hollywood career (Where the Boys Are) and was Timothy Hutton’s (Academy Award) father. Of course, this fifteen year old had a crush on Jim. But Jim was more interested in the sexy girls in the Guys and Dolls chorus line. Rudy Vallée sang his last songs in a tiny nightclub across the street from the theater. In those days film and stage stars trekked around to regional theaters. After filming Julius Caesar, Marlon Brando appeared in Shaw’s Arms and the Man. Wally Cox (Mr. Peepers, anyone?) was his co-star.  Katherine Hepburn’s father was a Hartford doctor and the family had a summer house in nearby Saybrook. I think Ms. Hepburn began her career at Ivoryton. Seeing her in the audience, at intermission I crept near her to gawk. She was petite and dressed in a well cut white linen suit. Petite? you say. Honestly, she was about 5’3”. I know she looks taller in films. Maria Riva starred on  the Ivoryton stage but the real star was her mother, Marlene Dietrich. Every afternoon the crew hung around the box office phone. Like clock work it would ring at 5 p.m. Irving’s wife answering in her version of a classy accent, would hold the phone’s receiver so we could all hear Dietrich’s famous teutonic growl. 

 

Tomatoes, fresh from the garden

 

 

 

 

Flowers and tomatoes from a country garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder. 

Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a  dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed ? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?