Archive | July 2013

Be A Character in The Baldie Chronicles

The NEXT person to offer a review on Amazon for These Foolish Things (and throw one on Goodreads, too, if you’re there) WILL have a character named after him/her in The Baldie Chronicles, the prequel to These Foolish Things and currently being written.


Just go to the Amazon site, write a review and BAM! you will be immortalized in print (should you prefer an actual book) and pixels (Fun with Kindle).



Why, thank you


When someone compliments you, how do you respond? Do you deflect it (“You wouldn’t believe what I paid for it.”) or devalue it (“Oh, you’re kidding. My hair’s  such a mess!”)?

We (and I’m talking mostly women) aren’t really good with accepting a compliment. Why is that?  Do we think the person offering the compliment will think us conceited if we just accept it? We’re an “advanced” society (yes, I used the parentheses on purpose. Read the news), so it’s not as if we think we’re avoiding the evil eye by deflecting away the good wishes. Are we afraid that the compliment is being used as a wedge to manipulate us? (In some cases, there is an emphatic YES attached to it, but people are usually pretty good at spotting the Iagos among us. Sometimes, you learn that one the hard way. What’s that? Iago? It’s a reference to Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Iago is the bitter, faithless “friend” who manipulates Othello into jealousy and murder. Multiple murders. Iago is a POS)

Revolution From Within – Gloria Steinem

I read Gloria Steinem’s Revolution From Within years ago. It’s a collection of essays about self-esteem (mostly directed at women). She addressed this issue of women having difficulty accepting compliments and how it ties in to self-esteem.

I’ll do that “cost/color” description of something if I got it through a major shopping SCORE (That is finding an extraordinary bargain, like a designer blouse that actually fits and finding it for next to nothing. Since the demise of the REAL Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston, SCORES are harder and harder to find unless you have a thrift store attached to a favorite charity of the local moneyed set). Hey, if I paid $5 for something that would normally cost $99, you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll talk about it (This behavior is the modern form of hunting/gathering known to our cave ancestors. Back then, the men would grunt and gesture over the mammoth that got away. Today, women describe getting a genuine Chanel bag from the consignment store for 10 bucks. We just don’t mount it on the wall).

If you watch teen-aged girls in a mall, you will see the groups of girls talking and laughing together (and sometimes being catty little bitches to total strangers, also indicative of self-esteem issues. Projection). You will also observe the defensive girls: ones drowning in over-sized sweatshirts (hoodies, preferable because more can be covered up) with either the sleeves pulled down and clutched in balled fists or with arms tightly hugging the body. This is defensive body language. Eyes are usually downcast and if she does look up and make contact, it’s either a fleeting glance as the focus returns to the floor or a “What are you lookin’ at?” attitude.

Since I read Ms. Steinem’s book,  I have made a practice of walking with my head up and making casual eye contact with people as I go (smile, nod, “Excuse me” as warranted). It doesn’t change my life, but I hear back that people regard me as being self-confident. And when someone compliments me, I say things like “Thank you” or “That’s so kind of you. Thank you!” and leave it at that. So far as I know, nobody has taken these responses as conceited or egotistical.

It’s okay for us to select and wear cool shoes or a great haircut or look good. There’s nothing wrong with singing well or saying something intelligent or writing something that people like (Okay, yeah, that’s my thing).

We are worthy.





Inspirations, Sources and some odds and ends

If you have read or are reading my book, These Foolish Things, and wanted to see some of the influences for characters, references, let me show you:

Ty Hadley

Tyrone Power

This is Tyrone Power, Ty’s mother’s crush.

He made some good movies; check out “The Prince of Foxes,” “The Mark of Zorro” and especially, “Witness For the Prosecution.” (I LOVE that movie)



This was Toulouse, who was my cat from 1996 until his death in 2003. Lively, into everything and he had a silly, fluffy tail that was always in motion because he was always trying to figure out how to beat the humans.

The Pygmalion and Galatea painting:

pygmalion and galatea

By Jean-Leon Gerome and hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). One of my favorite Greek myths. Who really freed whom?

Sydenstricker Glass:


It’s real. And it’s gorgeous.

The poem that Liz can’t remember? The Sun Rising by John Donne (also real) :

 BUSY old fool, unruly Sun, 
        Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ? 
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run ? 
        Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide 
        Late school-boys and sour prentices, 
    Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, 
    Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, 
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. 

        Thy beams so reverend, and strong 
        Why shouldst thou think ? 
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, 
But that I would not lose her sight so long. 
        If her eyes have not blinded thine, 
        Look, and to-morrow late tell me, 
    Whether both th’ Indias of spice and mine 
    Be where thou left’st them, or lie here with me. 
Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday, 
And thou shalt hear, “All here in one bed lay.” 

        She’s all states, and all princes I ;
        Nothing else is ; 
Princes do but play us ; compared to this, 
All honour’s mimic, all wealth alchemy. 
        Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we, 
        In that the world’s contracted thus ; 
    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be 
    To warm the world, that’s done in warming us. 
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ; 
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.

There really are baseball fields in Boston’s North End:

Langone Field


And yes, when I played on a corporate softball team, one of the guys hit a bocce player with a foul ball. Another guy hit MY personal softball into the harbor. He liked to claim that he nearly hit a booze cruise, but yeah right, in your dreams, Pal.

And they DO hold the Massachusetts Bar Exam at Boston’s World Trade Center:


I worked there, I took the bar there (twice). I also went to corporate Christmas parties there.

Advice on writing is “write what you know.” I took what I knew and used them as elements. Sadly, there is no Green Dragon Wall or Vincenzo’s, but Eastern Massachusetts is a very cool place.