Tuesday, January 17, 2012



Hope you had as happy a start to new year as did I.

If you had a choice between a box of one kind of chocolates or a sampler, which would you choose? If you went to a foreign food restaurant you had never tried before, would you prefer to order a single item or choose a buffet?
I’d go for the chocolate sampler and the buffet, because I like to try new things in small quantities to determine what I’d like the next time around.
So – attended a sampling of various dance companies at StamPede at Symphony Space again this year. Surprised how much more tap there was than I recall previously. The house was packed – the audience enthusiastic and the dancers terrific.
The footwork of the Chicago Tap Theatre was phenomenal, although the body work wasn’t quite up to par and the use of the vast stage left a lot to be desired. The break between first company and second was as long as a dance number and most annoying, especially since there seemed so little that had changed on stage! The Parijat Desai Dance Company presented two splendid dance numbers, with exotic overtones.
Darrah Carr Dance did some incredible work – their first piece reminded me of Mexican jumping beans which used to be playthings for kids when I was young. They zipped around each other so swuifrly you jeopt expecting a collision. Their step dancing had flair and interesting patterns. They moved with the speed of light! David Parker and the Bang Group had the audience in stitches. The many children in the audience were the first to laugh – and they laughed all the way through his first piece. Other companies also pleased the diverse audience.

My younger daughter was here for Martin Luther King’s weekend with her two eldest boys, and we went many places around town. I was astonished by the marvelous renovation made in the Historical Society Central Park West Building. Light, bright and lively. We were urged to see the short film in the revamped auditorium and the moment it began, I felt my eyes well with tears. It is a paean to the great love of my life, my home town, New York City. When we emerged my daughter laughingly asked me if I was sure I hadn’t written it, because it so fully expressed so much of my sentiment about the city.

Saw the film of War Horse, Found some remarkable photography and brilliant directorial choices which managed to show the friendship between the horses, the devotion of the young man to the newborn colt, the horrors of war, the reality of fear, and many other magnificent emotional moments. It,
The Artist
are all extraordinary films. What a great year for movies!


It also has started out as a great year for me. Cnildren’s Bookwatch finally got around to reviewing the second book in my now completed 4 volume series of read-to-me children story books. Its choice of Elfin Tales in the Fantasy/Sci-fi category thrilled me. Its actual review delighted even more.
Here is a long excerpt .
“From an enthralling series that promises more twinkling tales from magical beings, "Elfin Tales" weaves a special blend of traditional whimsey laced with pixie dust with matter-of fact narratives about three dimensional children and adults who are sometimes kind, sometimes not. It is a blend that works well to deliver a delicate message of the need for warmth and a compassionate heart. "Elfin Tales" will be eagerly listened to by children age 4-9, and/or read independently. This reviewer's favorite tale was Leprechaun or Can't, a morality fable and leprechaun travelogue that has little surprises sprinkled throughout. Fantastic little color illustrations add charm and appeal to these small tales.”
Of the six books I have read this year so far, I was most absorbed by E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View. There is a certain gentleness and charm on every page of the book.
I read what I called
the girl with series
last year, now realizing it is called The Millennium Trilogy
I learned this on the opening page of the other book which fascinated me, by Eva Gabrielsson with the ungainly title There are Things I Want You to Know About Stieg Larsson and Me.
While hardly great literature, it was a strong cry for fairness from one who feels herself betrayed. How much of it is absolutely true, only a detective can determine, but it is an unusual presentation of a situation equally strange.

I shall be a judge again in the second annual global ebook awards. Not sure yet which categories I will be judging, but know I will not judge in fantasy or children’s literature

More in February...enjoy early winter.

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