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?