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.