First Chapter Reveal: Sealed Up by Steve Dunn Hanson

sealed-up

Title: Sealed Up
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 402
Genre: Action/Adventure/Suspense

The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!

UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.

Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.

When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.

And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?

Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?

Pick up your copy at:

Amazon

First Chapter:

Thursday, December 21, 2000

NAJA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO

Nacom was dying.

Guanacaste trees filtered the twilight into gold slivers that shimmered across Laguna Naja. The lake bore the name of the Lacandón Maya village nestled against it. Kish squatted on the ribbon of beach that framed the giant pond and stared at the darkening blue water. His black hair hung like string around his face, and his white tunic draped him like a sack. Koh Maria told him to wait there. She said her grandfather wanted to speak with him.

Kish knew what Nacom wanted.

“Who will follow a nineteen-year-old shaman,” he groused. Guttural growls of howler monkeys sounded like mocking laughter, and his shoulders slumped. A sharp tug on his tunic pulled him from his petulance.

“Now,” Koh Maria said.

Kish followed her to Nacom’s hut where she pushed open two square-ish boards hinged to weathered posts. Inside, roughhewn mahogany planks of random widths formed the walls. The shaman’s shriveled body lay in a hand-loomed hammock of faded palm-green and corn-yellow stripes. He cracked open his eyes as Kish stood beside him. With the back of his hand, he dismissed Koh Maria.

“You. Chilam.” Nacom whispered. “Itzamná speaks.”

“Priest? Me?” Kish stuttered as he shook his head.

“Obey!” Nacom responded, and his finger pointed to the arcane mahogany box beneath his hammock. Kish did not know what was inside, but something about the box unsettled him. The old man moved his fingers back and forth. Once. Twice. Kish was to pick it up. His hands quivered as he set the box on the simple table by the hammock’s side.

Nacom mumbled something. Kish bent closer. Nacom spoke again. “What day?”

Kish replied in Hach T’ana, the pure Mayan tongue: “Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Uuc tun. Canlahun uinal. Uuclahun kin.” December 21, 2000—winter solstice.

“Yes,” Nacom slurred. “You prepare. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His hand moved to a thin cord around his neck. He labored as he pulled it from under his white tunic revealing a small key. Kish was to remove it.

With care he raised the old man’s head and slipped the cord over it. For a long moment Nacom lay still; his breath hardly there at all. Then the index finger of his right hand pushed toward the box and wiggled. Kish fought his anxiety as he inserted the key.

“Should I open it?” His voice was high, tense. Nacom’s head bobbed a little. Kish turned the key and raised the lid. A rectangular-shaped object on top was enfolded in white cotton cloth. The one on the bottom, shaped the same but thicker, was wrapped tight in the black pelt of a jaguar and bound with four cords. Kish reached to pick up the white one.

“No!” Nacom’s fingers lifted an inch as he forced out the word with startling firmness. “You. Prepare. Listen Itzamná.” His breath was heavy. “You. Keep box. Sacwa’an (white). Study. Follow. I’ic’ (black). No you. Give. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His breath was a gasp and almost ceased. For a long moment there was no movement; no sound, except for Kish’s own nervous panting. Then Nacom whispered, “Not fail. Lock box. Koh Maria.”

Kish closed the lid and fastened it. His hands shook as he put the cord with the key around his own neck. He scrambled to the doorway and motioned to Koh Maria. She entered, opened her eyes wide at Kish’s ashen face, then went to her grandfather and held his hand. His face puckered into a tiny wrinkled smile. With effort he lifted his eyes to reveal red-veined film, and words like a ghost-rustle parted his lips. “The box. Kish.” Koh Maria nodded.

With a gurgle, Nacom breathed in.

Breathed out.

Then no more.

About the Author

steve-dunn-hanson

I’ve lived in places that grew me . . . from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community, to Sydney, Australia, and Bucharest, Romania. My experiences are as varied as the places I’ve lived. I have a hopper full of “reality” including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out. And all of this is fodder for my writing.

My latest book is the action/adventure/suspense novel, Sealed Up.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Chapter Reveal: I Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4) by Mike Hartner

i-angus

Title: I, Angus
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity 4 Popsicle Publishing
Pages: 260
Genre: Historical Fiction

During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature.

Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.

The North needs someone to build community.

But first, Angus needs to be forged… beaten, shaped, bolded and trained.

Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.

For More Information

Chapter One

It is a few days before my fifteenth birthday, and I have been scrubbing the castle floors all morning. I stand and the wind blows hard in my face, moving my reddish-orange hair from in front of my hazel eyes as I stretch my 5-foot 7-inch frame and look out the window.

The sky is dark and gloomy, but I can’t smell the rain yet, so I know a long time will pass before it pours down on our shire in North Scotland. In the far distance, I observe something moving toward our castle. It’s not long before I recognize my da’s charger. I can see others giving chase, although they’re quite a ways back. I run to open the gate and lower the drawbridge. I yell for my sister Janet to help me, because cranking it upright in a hurry is no small chore for one person.

The drawbridge has just been lowered when the hooves of Da’s horse, Spirit, come galloping across it. My sis does her part, and we quickly raise the bridge and race to the stallion and its rider. We arrive to hear the sound of arrows hitting the drawbridge and men yelling imprecations.

The heavily lathered stallion stands impatiently. On the horse’s back is its owner, Sir Donald Mackenzie, my da’. He is doubled forward, holding on to the mane, with an arrow in his upper left shoulder and another sticking out from his right calf. He wears a blue bonnet, along with a plaid kilt depicting our family’s lineage. A true archer, Da’s bow dangles on his back, diagonally between his shoulders.

The men on horseback, of which there are four, think better of trying to ford our moat, and they ride off. Lucky for us they don’t know that at that moment we are alone in the castle. Sis and I remove Da’ from the horse, and supporting our father between us we hurry him to his bed, where she begins ministering to his wounds.

I wonder what has caused this terrible event? My father had left several days ago with my much younger sister, Alice, to take her to a neighboring laird who had offered to have her schooled. I had watched my da’ the night before give Alice a family heirloom. It wasn’t much, but it was a locket that his great-grandmother had passed down to my grandmother who had passed it down to my mother, who was no longer with us. I remember Da’s telling us once that the tiny case had been given to our family on the occasion of an aunt’s marriage into the Clan MacDonald. I’d seen the engraving it held: two shields together, with their crests, one on the front, one on the back. And I recall Alice’s telling him, as he fastened it to her neck, that she’d forever wear it proudly.

I’d learned, however, not to believe much of what Alice said of late, as she was always coming up with whatever she thought would gain her purchase. But Alice was the oldest daughter—now eleven while Janet, who is every bit as tall as her and twice as strong, is but nine—so the keepsake rightfully should go to her.

Da’ was onto her though, and I think he’d worked out something with Laird MacLaren to see that she learned manners and honor as much as anything. Aye, but I also thought it might do her good to get set down a peg, as the MacLarens were wealthy landowners and not to be trifled with. It crossed my mind as well that Da’ hoped she might find a man of some stature someday who’d marry her, which would solve all the problems with Alice’s odd ways, as she never seemed happy with what Da’ provided for her. No matter, she would be schooled, and if nothing else she’d see other girls her age and how they acted. She would come back a better person—if she chose to return at all, which I highly doubted.

Da’s ride should have been a day out and a day back, with a day in-between to enjoy the hospitality of the laird. You see, this is the North of Scotland, and all of our families know each other, and no one just comes and goes, even if they are not related.

My da’ is hurt bad, and even with Janet and me by his side, the conditions are grim, as there is only so much we can do. I bring him food when sis has it ready, but I take it away when it isn’t touched four hours later. All he can do is let out an occasional groan

About the Author

mike-hartner

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).

For More Information

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Talking Books with Howard Jay Smith, author of ‘Beethoven In Love; Opus 139

howard-j-smith-3Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony – “The Best Small City Symphony in America” –  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

INTERVIEW BOOK CIRCLE ONLINE AT YOUTUBE

INTERVIEW BLOGTALK RADIO

About the Book:

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This beethoven-in-loveghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past.

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:

Amazon

What made you decide to become a published author?

I had always wanted to be a working writer and was fortunate enough to be able to publish magazine articles, short stories and a book on my mentor, the novelist John Gardner, not long after finishing graduate school. My early works earned for me several scholarships to Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference as well as three Washington, D.C. Endowment for the Arts Fellowships – but none of this was enough to earn a living.  A few years later I moved to Hollywood, attended the American Film Institute as a Screenwriting Fellow and spent the next fifteen years working, writing and producing there.  I also taught both screenwriting and the craft of short story writing at UCLA.  Those classes became the basis for my second book, “Opening the Doors to Hollywood,” published by Random House.  “Beethoven in Love; Opus 139” a novel, just came out this year but has its roots in a work I was drafting back then.

Would you consider your latest book, “Beethoven in Love; Opus 139” to be a one of a kind?  How so?

As one of the character says in the course of the story, What is a novel, but a collection of lies we tell to reveal greater truths.”  “Beethoven in Love; Opus 139” strives to be a solidly crafted work of literary and historical fiction that is at once a page-turner that pulls the reader ever forward while revealing a factually accurate portrait of Beethoven, the man, and the women in his life.  It is the product of two years of solid research that incorporated the details from over a dozen biographies, original source materials, the composer’s own diaries, and six volumes of letters to and from Beethoven, into a work of fiction in a manner that has never been done before. So, yes, in that regard it is unique.  As one critic, Douglas Dutton, Professor of Music, at the Colburn School of Performing, wrote:  “Do we really need another book about Beethoven? A resounding ‘Yes!’ if it is Howard Jay Smith’s, Beethoven in Love; Opus 139. Smith’s novel abandons the assumed and fabricated ‘truths’ of the Beethoven life. This is a Beethoven of the imagination: irascible, argumentative, difficult, and yet passionate and tender. Smith treats Beethoven like the human he was, augments the faults, diminishes the virtues, and the resultant humanity only serves to create an even larger larger-than-life hero.”

Where is your writing sanctuary?

Anywhere I can sit with my laptop and look out the window at my gardens.

What inspires you?

Great stories of historical figures where my potential protagonist must wrestle with the type of profound emotional or psychological issues that every one of us can relate to in our own lives.

What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?

To answer this one, I have to make a slight detour back to when I first started my Beethoven research.  My mentors from my early days as a writer where novelists, such as John Irving, Toni Morrison, Tim O’Brien and the late John Gardner, whose works have all won a National Book Award or some similar honor. My original intention had been to read a biography or two about Beethoven and then create a totally fictional story.  No sooner than halfway through my first biography I realized that we know an enormous amount about Beethoven and that it would be completely inappropriate to simply make something up.  To create a novel that was both a great read and historical consistent with the known facts was going to take an enormous amount of work.  It was a matter of jumping all in or not at all.  And if I was going to make the commitment to do this book properly and devote the year’s necessary to pull it off, I had to also commit to myself that I would not move forward unless I could write it at a level of quality that my mentors would have respected.

My first public reading after publication – and I have done many since – was for the American Beethoven Society at their Thirtieth Anniversary Symposium.  There I was reading a work of fiction to an assembled crowd of Beethoven experts – and they loved it!  The reviews forthcoming from critics in the literary world, the music world and every day readers since then have been similar to this one on Good*Reads:

Five Stars. “This Book is an Absolute Masterpiece. There aren’t a lot of times that we get a book to read where the author lets the reader get a good look at the heart and soul of a genius. We all know some of this amazing person, Ludwig Van Beethoven, but we haven’t had the inside look at what life has dealt him and his trials and struggles. We all have those demons that haunt us, but we don’t stop and think that someone as brilliant as Beethoven would have them too. The author not only shows us the man but how this man saw the world around him. I never knew that Beethoven had love in his life. Beethoven was a complicated man and took his music to a level few will ever achieve, if any ever do. Everyone should sit down and seriously read this book. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lover of music, romance, history, the man himself, it’s a good novel and it shouldn’t be by-passed. The pace is steady so you have time to take it all in. Remember, you’re seeing things about a musical master that you may never have known. Everyone, genius or not, must come to grips of what our life is, what it means and where it’s going.”

Why do you love to write fiction?

When writing we create a vivid and continuous dream in a reader’s mind that is so powerful and all-encompassing that they next thing that reader knows is that someone is calling him or her to dinner.  I love being the architect of that dream, I love creating that world that my characters inhabit, struggle through and in some small way emerge victorious.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book.  What’s the first ingredient?

Sex is first, celebrity second, food third.  My all-time favorite title for a best seller would be “The Kennedy Sex Diet.”

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

Everyone knows some of the common facts of Beethoven’s life and his music, but almost no one knew that he was a voracious reader of philosophic texts from around the world.  He was profoundly influenced by those works, such as the Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita, whose themes worked their way into his Ninth’s Symphony’s Ode to Joy.

Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?

Yes, absolutely but in unexpected ways. When researching Napoleon and his influence on Beethoven’s life, I discovered that during his infamous retreat from Moscow when he lost over five-hundred thousand of his men, to combat, disease, and the brutal winter of 1812, he passed through my maternal grand-mother’s village in what is now Belarus. In the tiny village of Smorgonie he passed control of his army to his second in command and raced back to Paris by sled in a then record time of two weeks.

I had never even seen the name “Smorgonie,” in print before.  There were only a thousand people in that village.  Finding that this great tidal wave of history had passed through my family’s home, I instantly knew that I would incorporate four true life stories from our own history into the novel.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

Though not a musician, I have had a lifelong love of music — classical, blues and rock.  I am on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony – “The Best Small City Orchestra in America,” – and take great delight being a cheerleader and fundraiser for this astonishing group of musicians.

What’s next for you?

I am sticking with great music and personalities from the Classical Era.  Next up is “Mozart, Da Ponte, Scandal,” a novel about the life and times of Lorenzo Da Ponte, the librettist for Mozart’s three greatest operas, “Don Giovanni,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” and “Cosi Fan Tutte.” Though often overlooked and uncredited, Da Ponte’s life began in and around Venice in an era when people still wore capes and masks year-round and ended eight-eight years later in early modern New York where he opened an opera house that would evolve into the Met and where he also served as the first professor of Italian at what is now Columbia University.

In between those years he led a rogue’s life. Da Ponte, who was born Jewish, and was converted at fourteen to Catholicism, became a priest and literary scholar who would say Mass on Sunday while whoring, drinking and gambling the other six days of the week with his friend, Casanova, the infamous role model for Don Giovanni.  Always too political for his own good, he was successively expelled from the Veneto, Venice and Vienna and had to flee debt collectors in London before making his way to New York in 1805 where he opened an Italian bookstore in Manhattan and a deli across the river in New Jersey.  He was the classic survivor, who in his day wrote a collection of operas that were considered scandalous but are today revered as some of the finest works of that genre ever created.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Chapter Reveal: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi

your-body-your-style-amazonTitle: Your Body, Your Style
Author: Rani St. Pucchi
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 150
Genre: Nonfiction

Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type

* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most

* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit

* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks

* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well

* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

PURCHASING LINKS:

AMAZON * B&N

Chapter One

If there is a seminal moment in my relationship to fashion and designing, the occasion that springs to mind is a summer in Bangkok, Thailand. I must have been about four or five years old. My cousin and I were running feverishly from the ground floor of our townhome to my mother’s bedroom on the fourth floor to get dressed for the movies and we were very late.

I looked at the choices I had and was very disappointed. Even though there were so many options I kept trying and tossing the frocks one by one on the floor. The cupboard now bare, I hit a wall: I’d run out of clothes. I remember so well the frustration and at the same time an ah-ha moment. I decided from henceforth I would choose my own fabrics and design my own clothes. After all who knew better than I what looks good on me?

I thank my parents for drawing me into the magical world of luxury fabrics and laces. As the largest purveyor of fine laces in Thailand their ateliers and showrooms became my playground where I would spend all my spare time. I had the opportunity to be around fine fabrics and get to touch and feel and know them well. I actively participated with my tailors in transforming these fabrics into unique designs for myself.

Fast forward to 1984. I was still living in Bangkok, Thailand and running my small tailoring shop in a prominent hotel, specializing in ready to wear and evening gowns, along with men’s tailored suits. A rare opportunity came my way when a client asked if I would be wiling to bring my collection to showcase at her charity event in San Antonio, Texas.

I was an avid fan of the TV sitcom “Dallas” and always fantasized living the life of such opulence and outrage as the characters depicted in the series! My wish to travel to the United States was a dream come true.

With great enthusiasm I prepared a collection of 54 pieces, comprising of jackets, skirts, blouses and dresses and some evening sheaths. I also thought it would be nice to have a finale piece, and so I designed my very first bridal gown for this purpose.

It was a blush colored wedding gown made of pure Thai Silk, entirely hand embroidered and hand beaded. Little did I know that the one wedding gown would receive so much attention as to catapult my whole life!

Next thing I knew I had already committed to showing a Bridal Collection in Dallas at the Dallas Apparel Mart, which was the ‘go to’ fashion platform where buyers from all over the world congregated. I registered my company on a wing and a prayer, and St. Pucchi was born.

When I launched my first bridal couture collection at the Dallas Apparel Mart in April of 1985 I was unsure if what I had so lovingly put together was of any value to the US bridal market. I was also clueless to the fact that white was the only color worn and accepted by the American bride at the time.

They say ignorance is bliss! By the time I learnt it was too late. My collection had already shipped from Bangkok to Dallas and there was not a single white dress among the sixteen styles I had designed. The colors ranged from ecru, blush, butterscotch and even pale blue.

I comforted myself into believing that perhaps the US bridal industry as it was could use a fresh perspective and hopefully my collection would, at the very least, bring some excitement.

It was pure pleasure to be totally immersed in an unfolding story, on a journey that is never forgotten. My first collection produced in me an intensely emotional and cathartic experience. After all I had invested all my resources and had used up my credit cards to the max. There was so much riding on my success that I could not fathom what the future would look like if…

The Dallas Apparel News ran a front-page story about my premier bridal collection and how it was a harkening of things to come. I was applauded for being a pioneer not only for using pure silks in bridal, which was unheard of at the time, but also for being so bold and daring as to introduce color to bridal wear.

The US bridal industry as we had known it would change forever.

Today, 30 plus years later, with more than 10,000 designs under my belt, I find myself very fortunate and humbled to write this book. The amazing women I’ve had the pleasure to work with during trunk shows, fashion shows, and on my travels across the globe have taught me much.

I have witnessed again and again how looking good can change a woman’s life. I have worked with numerous women, young and old, women getting married, mothers with teenage daughters, women going thru midlife crisis and those going thru menopause. The story they tell themselves is the same. Most are not happy with their bodies and wish they could change something or the other so they can feel confident in themselves.

A woman’s form is the most beautiful, most complex and the most intriguing. Yet we don’t appreciate it enough. We tend to hide parts that we feel are not attractive and we berate ourselves for being too much of this, and not enough of that. Rather than being in awe and working with the form we are blessed with, we spend more time and resources than most of us can afford, on diets and procedures that are rarely long lasting.

We’re on this constant merry-go-round and obsess about our body during every waking moment. Not only that, but the way we talk to ourselves we would not allow anyone to say those words to either our best friends or even our worst enemies!

This book does not pretend to be your road to perfection. The purpose of writing it is to guide you thru simple techniques and suggestions on how to look at your body and see what you can make better.

You are asked to assess and appraise your body type so that you can learn about the most flattering silhouettes to dress in.

You will learn how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.

You realize why it is so important to invest in the right lingerie. You learn the importance of fit and simple solutions to your common bra issues.

You are invited to learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with. Color being one of the key elements that makes a woman look more interesting, more self-confident, more self-assured and in control.

You will learn about the one color that is a must staple in every woman’s wardrobe. The one piece of clothing that is a chameleon and that can be transformed into any myriad number of looks.

You are taken on a journey on how your style and taste evolves as you transition from your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, to your 60s and beyond. And you learn that sexy is never out of fashion, nor is it outdated. That in fact the older you get the more confident you become. And you realize that ultimately confidence is really what makes a woman sexy.

You become savvy on how and what to pack for your travels, whether you’re going on a month long vacation, a weekend romantic getaway to an exotic tropical island, or a short business trip.

You learn the simple four step process to sort-and-purge and organize your wardrobe so that no time is wasted in choosing what to wear each day allowing you time to become more productive in life.

You will be able to define your personal style, and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world. This knowledge will help you embrace your own unique personality and shine.

In this book I share 101 tips and tricks on fashion fixes that help you gain self-confidence, on how to accentuate your strongest features, on dressing sexy. You will receive smart shopping hints and simple style advice for your body type and more…

In these pages I share with you the knowledge that I have garnered and reveal those secrets you will now learn so you too can look like a million regardless of the body you have, or the resources, to access trends that are so fleeting as to make our heads spin!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my knowledge. I hope it serves you.

About the Author

rani-st-pucchiThirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.

Her latest book is Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Chapter Reveal: Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter by Rani St. Pucchi

your-body-your-style-amazonTitle: Your Body, Your Style
Author: Rani St. Pucchi
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 150
Genre: Nonfiction

Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type

* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most

* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit

* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks

* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well

* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

PURCHASING LINKS:

AMAZON   *   B&N

Chapter One

If there is a seminal moment in my relationship to fashion and designing, the occasion that springs to mind is a summer in Bangkok, Thailand. I must have been about four or five years old. My cousin and I were running feverishly from the ground floor of our townhome to my mother’s bedroom on the fourth floor to get dressed for the movies and we were very late.

I looked at the choices I had and was very disappointed. Even though there were so many options I kept trying and tossing the frocks one by one on the floor. The cupboard now bare, I hit a wall: I’d run out of clothes. I remember so well the frustration and at the same time an ah-ha moment. I decided from henceforth I would choose my own fabrics and design my own clothes. After all who knew better than I what looks good on me?

I thank my parents for drawing me into the magical world of luxury fabrics and laces. As the largest purveyor of fine laces in Thailand their ateliers and showrooms became my playground where I would spend all my spare time. I had the opportunity to be around fine fabrics and get to touch and feel and know them well. I actively participated with my tailors in transforming these fabrics into unique designs for myself.

Fast forward to 1984. I was still living in Bangkok, Thailand and running my small tailoring shop in a prominent hotel, specializing in ready to wear and evening gowns, along with men’s tailored suits. A rare opportunity came my way when a client asked if I would be wiling to bring my collection to showcase at her charity event in San Antonio, Texas.

I was an avid fan of the TV sitcom “Dallas” and always fantasized living the life of such opulence and outrage as the characters depicted in the series! My wish to travel to the United States was a dream come true.

With great enthusiasm I prepared a collection of 54 pieces, comprising of jackets, skirts, blouses and dresses and some evening sheaths. I also thought it would be nice to have a finale piece, and so I designed my very first bridal gown for this purpose.

It was a blush colored wedding gown made of pure Thai Silk, entirely hand embroidered and hand beaded. Little did I know that the one wedding gown would receive so much attention as to catapult my whole life!

Next thing I knew I had already committed to showing a Bridal Collection in Dallas at the Dallas Apparel Mart, which was the ‘go to’ fashion platform where buyers from all over the world congregated. I registered my company on a wing and a prayer, and St. Pucchi was born.

When I launched my first bridal couture collection at the Dallas Apparel Mart in April of 1985 I was unsure if what I had so lovingly put together was of any value to the US bridal market. I was also clueless to the fact that white was the only color worn and accepted by the American bride at the time.

They say ignorance is bliss! By the time I learnt it was too late. My collection had already shipped from Bangkok to Dallas and there was not a single white dress among the sixteen styles I had designed. The colors ranged from ecru, blush, butterscotch and even pale blue.

I comforted myself into believing that perhaps the US bridal industry as it was could use a fresh perspective and hopefully my collection would, at the very least, bring some excitement.

It was pure pleasure to be totally immersed in an unfolding story, on a journey that is never forgotten. My first collection produced in me an intensely emotional and cathartic experience. After all I had invested all my resources and had used up my credit cards to the max. There was so much riding on my success that I could not fathom what the future would look like if…

The Dallas Apparel News ran a front-page story about my premier bridal collection and how it was a harkening of things to come. I was applauded for being a pioneer not only for using pure silks in bridal, which was unheard of at the time, but also for being so bold and daring as to introduce color to bridal wear.

The US bridal industry as we had known it would change forever.

Today, 30 plus years later, with more than 10,000 designs under my belt, I find myself very fortunate and humbled to write this book. The amazing women I’ve had the pleasure to work with during trunk shows, fashion shows, and on my travels across the globe have taught me much.

I have witnessed again and again how looking good can change a woman’s life. I have worked with numerous women, young and old, women getting married, mothers with teenage daughters, women going thru midlife crisis and those going thru menopause. The story they tell themselves is the same. Most are not happy with their bodies and wish they could change something or the other so they can feel confident in themselves.

A woman’s form is the most beautiful, most complex and the most intriguing. Yet we don’t appreciate it enough. We tend to hide parts that we feel are not attractive and we berate ourselves for being too much of this, and not enough of that. Rather than being in awe and working with the form we are blessed with, we spend more time and resources than most of us can afford, on diets and procedures that are rarely long lasting.

We’re on this constant merry-go-round and obsess about our body during every waking moment. Not only that, but the way we talk to ourselves we would not allow anyone to say those words to either our best friends or even our worst enemies!

This book does not pretend to be your road to perfection. The purpose of writing it is to guide you thru simple techniques and suggestions on how to look at your body and see what you can make better.

You are asked to assess and appraise your body type so that you can learn about the most flattering silhouettes to dress in.

You will learn how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.

You realize why it is so important to invest in the right lingerie. You learn the importance of fit and simple solutions to your common bra issues.

You are invited to learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with. Color being one of the key elements that makes a woman look more interesting, more self-confident, more self-assured and in control.

You will learn about the one color that is a must staple in every woman’s wardrobe. The one piece of clothing that is a chameleon and that can be transformed into any myriad number of looks.

You are taken on a journey on how your style and taste evolves as you transition from your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, to your 60s and beyond. And you learn that sexy is never out of fashion, nor is it outdated. That in fact the older you get the more confident you become. And you realize that ultimately confidence is really what makes a woman sexy.

You become savvy on how and what to pack for your travels, whether you’re going on a month long vacation, a weekend romantic getaway to an exotic tropical island, or a short business trip.

You learn the simple four step process to sort-and-purge and organize your wardrobe so that no time is wasted in choosing what to wear each day allowing you time to become more productive in life.

You will be able to define your personal style, and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world. This knowledge will help you embrace your own unique personality and shine.

In this book I share 101 tips and tricks on fashion fixes that help you gain self-confidence, on how to accentuate your strongest features, on dressing sexy. You will receive smart shopping hints and simple style advice for your body type and more…

In these pages I share with you the knowledge that I have garnered and reveal those secrets you will now learn so you too can look like a million regardless of the body you have, or the resources, to access trends that are so fleeting as to make our heads spin!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my knowledge. I hope it serves you.

About the Author

Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.

Her latest book is Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter.

WEB & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dylan Doose’s SWORD AND SORCERY SERIES BOOK BLAST

 

The three volume set of Fantasy/Horror Author Dylan Doose’s SWORD AND SORCERY SERIES is available now! You can find out about all three books below!

 

Title: FIRE AND SWORD
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 332
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Condemned to hang for their crimes, they’ll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.
A broken nation in need of a savior – ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.
When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice — seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?
**Fire and Sword received an Honorable Mention from Library Journal 2016 and a Shelf Unbound Magazine Notable 100 for 2015**
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of Fire and Sword today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Book:
Title:
CATACOMBS OF TIME
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 59
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
In a world where the Rata Plaga and ghouls feast on the dead, doctor Gaige De’Brouillard believes science, not magic, conquers all.
Even death is just an equation to be solved.
When De’Brouillard is called upon by the Lord Regent to cure a curse and save one of the damned, he must battle for his career, his faith in science, and even his life. In the darkest slums and deepest catacombs, the doctor finds himself staring death in the eye with no scientific solution at hand. Has the doctor finally come across a question
that science cannot answer, and will he pay with his life?
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘visceral,’ ‘fantastic,’ and ‘intriguing’—get your
copy of Catacombs of Time today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Book:
Title:THE PYRES
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 268
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Once again, three unlikely heroes must band together in a fiery conflict between gods and demons.
A country ravaged by civil war, now threatened with evil unleashed by rivers of blood. Three must rise again to save the beleaguered land and thwart a dark prophecy.
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Theron Ward, Aldous Weaver and Kendrick the Cold must band together and fight again. This time, they are caught in the timeless clash of gods and demons, and led by the dark prophecy of dreams.
A ruthless warlord, the Dog Eater, rises out of the rivers of blood from civil war. As friend and foe reach out from futures past, the three will see a city of white stone turn black with ash… and the only way forward is through the fire. One thing is certain, none of them will ever be the same. And one will be transformed in ways he never dreamed. Dare the three depend on the blood ties of the past to carry them through this terrible night?
Don’t miss the next thrilling installment in the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of The Pyres today!

Amazon | Barnes& Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Book Excerpt from FIRE AND SWORD:

The thing left a trail of thick black blood and green pus. More a stream than a trail, if Theron Ward, hunter of monsters, wanted to be precise. It was wounded and wounded horribly, but not dead.
Grimmshire was not the only town ruined by the plague. As far as Theron knew, the whole country had a piece of it. The rats came with those terrible black boils. Rats larger than dogs. In the beginning, they came in swarms. Now they appeared alone or in small roving packs, as if a once powerful tether that bound the group had been weakened.
Four years ago, they had come and spewed their filth into the town. Two days was all it had taken until half the town was crawling and squealing with the rats, puking up pus and bursting black boils. The other half of the town became the swarm’s feast.
Those who didn’t turn simply couldn’t. The priests said that only the sinners turned, that the pious were protected from the plague. Theron doubted that, for he was not a pious man and he knew a thing or two about sin—sins of the flesh mostly—and he had been exposed to enough plague to wipe out a city.
Yet he had not turned.
Theron suspected something more sinister than nature, or the work of gods and devils to be the villainy incarnate that had unleashed such wickedness upon the land. He suspected something more human, or slightly more than human. Unpopular opinion, but his opinion nonetheless.
It was midday, but it was dark in the ruined town. The clouds shrouded the sun, gray and threatening, but not a drop of rain. The once green pastures were yellow as far as the eye could see. Once this had been a bustling, happy little town. Now there were just the colors of pus and piss and ash all around, beneath those
suffocating gray clouds.
There came a rustling sound from the chapel, the one building in the town not entirely burned to the ground. It had been painted white when it was built, and painted black with soot and ash when death had come to its town. The stained glass windows were shattered, shards of the vibrant panes scattered round in the dirt and the yellow grass.
Theron burst through the door. His skin crawled at the sight of the wounded thing within the chapel; they always made his skin crawl, though he had killed over a hundred. He could kill over a thousand and still his skin
would crawl.
Theron was a beast hunter, had been for nearly a decade, but the rats had always disturbed him the most, more than any creature or demon.
What made the things so terrible was not the giant, rotting buckteeth that burst from the mouth. It was not the boils or the tufts of matted fur. Not the long tail or the brutish muscles, not the naked, sagging female breasts or the male parts dangling, filthy and crusted.
It was the eyes, for the eyes remained entirely human. And so, Theron was certain that a human being was still left in there, with no control over what it had become and begging for its torment to end.
This one had been a woman once, perhaps a mother, a lover, a sister, a daughter. For a dreadful moment he pictured his own sister taking the form of the wretched thing before him.
About the Author:

Normal
0

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

 

Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books, award winning fantasy author Dylan Doose fills his not-so-busy schedule with martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and of course HBO, PS4 and increasing the size of his beloved personal library. Dylan’s Fire and Sword received an honorable mention from Library Journal in 2016 and was a Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

From First to Final Draft: The Challenges of Completing Scarecrow on the Marsh by Jonathan Weeks

scarecrow-on-the-marshFrom First to Final Draft: The Challenges of Completing Scarecrow on the Marsh

By

Jonathan Weeks

Unless you’re an editor, it’s not very often that someone drops a partially completed manuscript in your lap and expects you to finish it. This is a daunting task for anyone, but when the project represents the lifelong dream of a deceased loved one, there’s even more pressure. That’s the situation I found myself in last year when I offered to complete my father’s novel.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not complaining. It was something I wanted to do. It was the least I could do for a man who had served a dual role as my mentor and best friend for most of my adult life. But I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

I spent more than six months researching, editing and writing new chapters for Scarecrow on the Marsh. Every paragraph reminded me that my father was gone. Every addition or alteration invoked profound feelings of guilt and self doubt. There were countless tears. There were bouts of anger and frustration. And though it’s something I would never want to go through again, I feel that I have grown as a writer and a person.

Basketball great Michael Jordan once said: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. When you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.” In the case of Scarecrow on the Marsh, there was a great deal of climbing and circumnavigating before the final draft was complete.

 

DECIPHERING MY FATHER’S HAND-WRITEN NOTES

Thoughts don’t always flow smoothly from brain to page. My Father felt that his ideas were more lucid when he wrote them longhand. The manuscript he left me was entirely handwritten. The margins were crowded with tiny notes. In some cases, there were notes about the notes. The pages were filled with scribbles, cross-outs and insertions. Some of the pages had subtitles—Page 157a, Page 157b and so on. Though I’m sure it all made perfect sense to my Dad, I found it puzzling at times.

 

GETTING THE FACTS STRAIGHT

My father chose Cape Cod as a setting for his novel because he had been there many times and was intimately familiar with the place. I myself was not. For months, my desk was littered with street maps and travel brochures. I used Google Earth to examine the physical characteristics of various towns and beaches. Since a significant portion of the novel deals with terrorism, I had a lot to learn. I knew very little about the language, religious beliefs or customs of terrorists. I knew even less about how they go about blowing things up. I performed so many Google searches on the topic I actually became a little paranoid about drawing the attention of Homeland Security.

 

KEEPING MY FATHER’S STORY INTACT

Let’s face it—a rough draft is far from perfect.  This was my Dad’s first book so he was still finding his way as a writer. I had never worked on a mystery novel before, but I had read plenty and it definitely helped. My father’s premise was solid.  Unfortunately, there were elements of the story that didn’t quite work. I struggled to determine which passages needed to be omitted or rewritten. This was a grueling process that caused me immeasurable grief. At times, I felt as if I was betraying him. I wanted to keep his ideas intact. I wanted to make him proud. And though I managed to preserve every nuance of the story, the final product is drastically different from the original manuscript. I hope that’s okay with him.

 

CAPTURING THE INTEREST OF PUBLISHERS

Ask any writer and they will tell you that this is the most difficult part of the process. There are roughly 2 million books released every year. Most are self-published works that fail to sell more than fifty copies. I felt that my father’s work deserved a better fate. I could have published directly to Kindle, but I knew he would have preferred paperback over a digital format. There aren’t as many traditional publishers out there nowadays and, without a literary agent, most of the major publishing houses were closed to me. The submission process can be brutal. You wait months for a response and consider yourself lucky to even get a rejection letter. Due to the high volume of submissions, most publishers employ the “if you don’t hear from us in three to six months, we’re not interested” model. After shopping my father’s manuscript around to thirty different editors, I got a few bites. In the end, I opted for a Print-On-Demand format, which reduces publishing costs and allows authors a higher royalty rate.

 

For three decades, my father worked hard to raise money for the annual WGY Christmas Wish Campaign, which benefits a wide variety of causes in the Capital Region of New York State. I didn’t want to keep any of the profits from his book and figured that Christmas Wish would be an ideal fit. All author royalties will be donated to this year’s campaign. Won’t you please help me honor my father’s memory by picking up a copy of Scarecrow on the Marsh?

About the Author

don-weeksFor over thirty years, Don Weeks was among the most popular radio personalities in the Capital District region of New York State. He received a Marconi Award for radio excellence in 2005 and was inducted into to the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame four years later. He had just completed a rough draft of Scarecrow on the Marsh when he died of Merkle Cell Cancer in March of 2015. Author royalties from this project will be donated to the WGY Christmas Wish Campaign, which benefits a variety of charitable causes. Weeks worked tirelessly over the years to help raise money for the campaign.

jonathan-weeksJonathan Weeks has published several books on the topic of baseball–four non-fiction projects and one novel. His latest work, a mystery-thriller entitled Scarecrow on the Marsh, is a posthumous collaboration with his father–former radio icon Don Weeks, who passed away in 2015. Weeks finished the book in fulfillment of a promise he made to his father before he died.

Visit Don at:

FACEBOOK

About the Book:

When the mutilated body of renowned cosmetic surgeon Randall Landry turns up at a secluded bayside marsh in the town of Sandwich, Police Chief Thom Burrough’s life is turned upside down. While investigating the murder, he and BarnstableCounty coroner Abby Rhodes will uncover a plot more sinister than anything they could have imagined. On the outskirts of Chatham, a group of terrorists has assembled to unleash destruction on Cape Cod.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Conversation with David Lamb, author of ‘On Top of the World (Until the Bell Chimes)

david-lambDavid Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb’s hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David’s grandmother’s radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they’d think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

About the Book:

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.  This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred on-top-of-the-worldmillion albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.   They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?   Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.

Purchase Information:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Hang out with my wife and daughter. Pretend to learn to play the trumpet J

What do you find fascinating about the Modern Romantic-Comedy satirical retellings genre?

That you can take the bones of a classic story, like the story of Scrooge, re-imagine it in a modern context that puts a whole new spin on it and infuses it with laughs and love that comment on what is going on in America and the world right now.

When was the adrenalin rush – writing that first chapter or the last and why?

Writing that first chapter. Because in the original incarnation of Scrooge it was written in third person, but I believed that if I could render it in first person, as a modern egotistical music star, that it would be funny, touching and romantic and when I saw that it worked I was ecstatic!

What is the most important thing about your book that we as a reader should know?

Over the years as audiences left my play Platanos Y Collard Greens (which is also a romantic comedy) they would tell me over and over. I didn’t know I could laugh so hard and learn so much!  And On Top Of The World is the same it is downright hilarious and very romantic. But it also has a lot to say about race, class and the vacuous obsession of Americans with celebrities.

Can you give us an excerpt?

PROLOGUE

Belle

The devil doesn’t wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.

That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. I’d been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.

When I first met Scrooʝe, he—like most humans with XY chromosomes—was a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campus—lost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey. He was just plain pitiful.

Though I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldn’t look away. Something between us was magnetic.

What can I say? I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my family’s garage into a makeshift animal shelter and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.

So naturally, one look into Scrooʝe’s sad, puppy dog eyes and I felt right away—he was the one.

Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and the best of friends. Of course, I had to clean him up; but after a few months under my tutelage, everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips, and sexy broad shoulders, he was the cutest boy on campus. Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.

That was how it all started. Who could’ve known a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy I’d ever met? Or that he’d be transformed into music’s biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk?

Certainly not me.

What’s next for you?

Turning On Top Of  The World into a play an working on another re-imagined novel.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Chapter Reveal: Save the Last Dance by Eric Johnson & Eva Ungar Grudin

Save The Last DanceTitle: Save The Last Dance
Author: Eric Johnson & Eva Ungar Grudin
Publisher: Hargrove Press
Pages: 360
Genre: Literary Fiction

A tale of the power and peril of first love rediscovered.

Adam Wolf and Sarah Ross were teenage sweethearts who grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the late 50’s and early 60’s. They set a wedding date when they turned fifteen. The day came and went. For most of their lives the two were out of contact.

With their 50th high school reunion approaching, Adam and Sarah reconnect. Email exchanges – after the first tentative “hi”, then a deluge- five, ten- by the end of the week twenty emails a day. Soon Sarah admits, “All my life I’ve been looking for someone who loves me as much as you did”.

Written entirely in email and texts, Save the Last Dance allows the reader to eavesdrop on Sarah and Adam’s correspondence as their love reignites. It also permits the reader to witness the reactions of significant others, whose hum-drum lives are abruptly jolted by the sudden intrusion of long-dormant passion. Can Sarah and Adam’s rekindled love withstand the pummeling they’re in for?

For More Information

 

First Chapter:

 

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Paul Bishop <Paul.R.Bishop@dewey.com>

March 11, 2014  9:40 pm

Subject: The timeline

 

Paul,

 

I know a little about classical music, a little about film, a little about baseball, hockey and I can recite the presidents, in order, in 15 seconds. But I admit there are things I still don’t understand. Death, for instance.

 

I would like to get your advice on it. Not Death so much as the State of Being Dead. I’m not afraid of death, you know. I’m afraid of being dead. Incidentally, Paul, I don’t happen to believe in transubstantiation.

 

God forbid my parents are waiting for me on that Golden Shore:

 

“So I told you, son, you should have gone to med school. But a disc jockey at a 12-watt station? I don’t know. Why did I ever bother sending you to college?  Now, go get your rest and get cleaned up, son. We’re going to dinner with the Karl Marxes. I’m teaching them to speak English. The only trouble around here – the goddamn Trotskyites.

 

I ask: “Leon Trotsky made it here? How the hell did that happen?”

 

Paul, I don’t feel old. I don’t think I look old. I’m not sick. But lately I picture my marker on the far right of the timeline.

 

One day, when I was 28, alone on a Greyhound, late at night, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it really meant to be dead. I couldn’t shake the idea of being insensate, of not existing. I had a full-fledged panic attack, Paul – heart racing, sweating.  And for whatever reason, my mind reached out to Rick Marsulek, the resident juvenile delinquent from my high school days. My pal. Black leather jacket, complete with the wrench he always carried, in case anyone tried to mess with him. Duck’s ass haircut. Angelic face that could darken instantly. In my panic I called out to him, “Rick, help me.” He materialized and responded with little prompting.

“Fuck it, Adam, by the time you die, say when you’re 70, you’ll be okay with the idea. So stop sweating it.”  It calmed me. The panic dissipated. The advice has followed me all these years, and I learned to push the thoughts of death away.  Until now.

 

Today the announcement for my 50th High School Reunion arrived. And dark thoughts seem to be gathering on the horizon again.  But they’re not just about being dead. They’re about the sensation of being carried along on a conveyor belt.  To Waldheim Cemetery.  Feels as if life has become all predetermined ritual: the ten pills in the morning, the commute to the station, the commute back home, the same forced pleasantries in between, the six pills before bed. Lights out by 9:00.

 

I looked at the list of people on that reunion roster and one name jumped off the page. It conjured a time when death and ritual were far away. When we were free and invincible. When my pulse raced at even the mention of her name.

 

Here’s my question, Paul – Do you think there’s a way off of the conveyor belt or do you think I should just stay on it and go along en route to Waldheim?

 

– Adam

________________________________________________________________

From:  Greg Dillon < g.k.dillon30@comcast.com>

To: Sarah Ross < sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 22, 2014  1:17 pm

Subject: 50th REUNION – JUNE 22nd

 

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah – what’s the matter with you that you won’t let us see you in Cleveland? We have a blast planned. Party Friday, complete with Genelli’s pizza. Dinner dance at the Beachwood Country Club on Sat. night. A tour of Heights High that morning. Pastrami or corned beef lunch, your choice, at Corky and Lenny’s. If only the Indians were playing on Sunday, we’d do that too. Everyone is asking for you. Sherrie, Madeline, Frank, Doug (who still looks good). And, above all, Adam.

(Spoke to him last night. He wondered if he could have your email address. Here’s his – adamwolf1402@gmail.com)

 

Everyone’s coming. You’re the only one letting us down.

 

xoxo

Greg

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross < sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Gabriella Fratelli <gabriella.fratelli@orange.it>

May 22, 2014  7:29 pm

Subject: darling, I am growing older

 

Cara Gabriella –

 

I think of you always, my bastion of sanity, and I always wish you were near again.

 

Gordon pursues me. After these years alone, flattering.  Attention, companionship not to be minimized, I suppose. And I count myself lucky for it. But it’s not like the days with you when my heart leapt with anticipation of our togetherness.

 

It’s so odd. A lot of folks I see around me, my age, even younger, are ready to close up shop, or already have. I’m working hard to stay in life – my painting, the boutique, and a good time now and again. With nice people like Gordon, who don’t need to be wound up in the morning– still fun. It’s such a chore, though, to adjust to age. We become invisible – a shock when you lose your looks. You wouldn’t know. You’re forever young. But one day it happens. You look down and suddenly your dance card is empty. Guys look past you, eyes locked on some chick behind. Just as I was about to open a vein over this fate, the other day a not-bad-looking fellow, younger than I, lured me into one of those lingering eye-to-eye flirtations. Did me good. Remember when I could simply bat the baby blues and charm my way out of a speeding ticket? Now? Even tears don’t work.

 

Tried botox, only once. Maybe I told you already. Bruised my right eye, made the left one droop for weeks. When I first walked into the shop with it, Nicole screamed, thought I had had a stroke.

 

My 50th reunion is coming up. I suppose, if botox had agreed with me, I might be going.

 

My love, my love to you,

Sarah

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross < sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  10:13 am

Subject:

 

 

hi

 

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  11:21 am

Subject:

 

Hi yourself – I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be there in June.

I was looking forward to seeing you. How are you?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  12:46  am

Subject: why I’m not attending reunion

 

It’s been a while hasn’t it? Decades. When was it? 1966? I don’t think I would have had the courage to write to you, after all this time, if Greg hadn’t written me saying you’d like to get in touch. He’s knocking himself out, isn’t he, organizing all those get-togethers. Lucy and Mira too.

 

I’m nudging Greg to arrange a meeting next year for just a few of us: you, Greg, Chris, Gail Krasner, and who else? Ah, me. New York City., Cleveland, Fargo – where doesn’t matter.

 

Forgive me for not attending the reunion. I wasn’t aware you’d be there. But I decided that I couldn’t stand just a glimpse of the people I long to know again.  That’s the fear that keeps me away. (That and the spectacle of Phyllis Mendelson using the occasion to hawk her latest book. What’s this one called?  “Beauty Tips for the Ugly Duckling”? Or something like that.)

 

Can I tentatively begin to ask about you?

 

Your parents? I remember them. Wolf’s Drug, Saturday afternoons, chocolate phosphates, sitting on those ratty red naugahyde stools with rough tears. And your father – formal, wearing his drug-store face – good-natured, though. I remember you used to rail about how fake it was. We always giggled that the smiles were really intended for Ruby in her pink apron.  And don’t you miss jukeboxes?  I remember the song we played over and over on the one jukebox at the drug store. Do you?

 

And of course your mother and her propensity to complain about your father. I found it poignant.

 

Are you okay? Your present family?

 

Me? Lots happened/happening. I’ve been living here in La Jolla for the last twelve years. My friend Nicole and I opened Naughty Niceties in 2010, a French lingerie shop in town. More amusing than lucrative. I’m a widow now. My husband Harold died 4 years ago. No kids. You know, I’m glad I didn’t change my name. It felt wrong to disappear from the face of the earth, from people like you who knew me as Sarah Ross.

 

Adam, if I knew where the cockles of my heart resided, I would say they’re warmed by your being on my radar screen again.

________________________________________________________________

From: Lola Wolf <lola.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  4:14 PM

Subject: Please answer

 

Adam – I’ve tried to call you 10 times already and you, for some reason, decided not to pick up. Please don’t insult me by not answering. If Her Highness still has you tending court, just wrench yourself away for five minutes so you can get back to me.  What if I had an emergency? Adam, could I count on you to answer? I suppose not.

 

Remember the party at the Dorman’s. 8:00. I’ll try to call later cause I know you’re going to forget. Pick up this time.

 

Do you have anything decent to wear? Don’t forget, no late stuff tonight at the station.

 

The way you just left this morning, without a look or a goodbye, or a sign of human recognition, made me sad and angry. Always the same story – that goddamn station. Your needs are first and the only thing that seems to matter to you. I know you’re in your “turmoil” right now about the reunion. So anxious, insufferable. “Will I look ok? What will they think?? Blah blah.” How about giving your wife the same consideration as those people you haven’t talked to in 50 years?

 

Adam, I’m still an attractive woman at age 64, even if you don’t think so. I got compliments at the grocery store this morning. “Mrs. Wolf, we think you’re the most elegant woman who comes into the store.” That’s the woman at the check- out!  I wore my old coat and hardly any makeup and she still thought I was elegant.

________________________________________________________________

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  5:57 pm

Subject: and back to you

 

I don’t know why, but I feel strangely nervous writing to you.

 

Sarah, I knew a little about an opening of a watercolor show and of landscape courses you were giving, I’ve followed you on the internet, so you were in some way already on my “radar screen”. Do you ever get back to Cleveland Heights?

 

My brother David retired from his real estate business, lives in the western suburbs. My mother died back in ’97. My father, the World’s Foremost Druggist, died in 2003 – managed to screw up his meds and had a stroke. I’m sorry, I don’t know whether your parents are alive or not. What I vividly remember was your father’s string quartet sessions on Sunday afternoons at your house – among a million other things. How’s your sister? Is she still in Cleveland Heights? And you? It must have been difficult when your husband died.

 

I’m fine – live in Evanston, remarried since the last time we talked in 1979. I have a son 28, Michael, in IT, now in Houston. When he visits we still go to the batting cages. We swing and miss for half an hour and then pizza and sports talk.

 

I’m now Program Director at WCMQ – 95.2 on your dial – boasting dozens of loyal classical music fans throughout Chicagoland. I still host “Your Classical Coffee Mate” (title’s not mine). We’d have more listeners if only our signal could be picked up beyond the parking lot. The “on the air” gig is the only part of the job I still enjoy. For an hour every day I get to ad lib. I’m considering basing an entire show on composers whose last names begin with “X”?

 

I’ve been here eons. No reason to stay, no reason to leave.

 

The song you challenged me to remember? Save the Last Dance for Me, of course.

 

Can we stay in touch and talk?

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 23, 2014  6:35 pm

Subject: catching up

 

Let’s see – what else? Not that long ago I entered into a relationship with a special man, a retired marine biologist. I think he may be a “keeper”.

 

Esther and Herman still live in Cleveland. I don’t think she’s ever stepped a foot out of Cuyahoga County. She doesn’t think she needs to. I love my sister, but I still can’t stand to be near her. All that yakking about the bargains at Beachwood Place, the envelope licking for the Sisterhood.

 

I’m touched you remember the Hausmusik – so old world. Glad you witnessed it. My father and all his immigrant friends lived for those Sundays. He became remarkably civilized when he played his violin. Perhaps that’s one reason I was attracted to you, Adam. I loved the way you devoted yourself to the piano. Do you still play?

 

My father died in 1987. My mother is 95, in a nursing home near Esther and not doing so well. I try to be back in Cleveland at least once a month to see her, but I’m no longer convinced she can distinguish me from her phlebotomist.

 

I’m touched you’ve been stalking me on the internet. And yes, I’d love to keep on writing, if that’s what you mean by “talking”.  I need to fill in the gaps slowly. But no phoning. Okay? Can we just stay emailing for now? It’s a miraculous way to communicate, isn’t it? Easier than letters – instant gratification, not days between. And somehow I’m less shy, less inhibited just writing. Disembodied I feel emboldened, find it more intimate than the phone, for example.

________________________________________________________________

From: adam.wolf1402@gmail.com

To: sarahross64@gmail.com

May 23, 2014  7:03 pm

Subject: Re:catching up

 

Yes, let’s write for now. You know, I’ve never really carried on a personal email correspondence. My friend Paul, we exchange chapter-length emails once in a while – fantasy film scripts, the escape from the everyday. But this “intimacy” is new. Like you, I’m already discovering the freedom to be myself.  So forgive me if I’m awkward. I think I already messed up. My phrasing about following you on the internet was a little inartful, I admit. “Stalking” is too strong a word I think – more like “curiosity”, then quiet admiration and interest.

 

You know, about 10 years ago I was in La Jolla several times.  I went there with the station owner. We used to go to the West Coast on business. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we don’t take those trips anymore.  If I had known you were there, I would have tried to see you.

 

Tell me more about how you’re doing now. Piano? I dropped Schubert, picked up Cole Porter, some Gershwin. it’s my palliative, but I guess not so much other people’s. So I keep it to myself.

 

Actually I have a thousand more things I want to tell you — if that’s OK. I’ll write again tomorrow if I can–

________________________________________________________________

 

________________________________________________________________

From:Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: S.Gordon Wilson <S.Gordon.Wilson@csulb.edu>

May 24, 2014  8:22 am

Subject: this weekend

 

Sorry I couldn’t get back to you yesterday. Nicole and I didn’t sit down all day. The new line of “amethyst” lace boy shorts and “anthracite” demi-bras brought in a flock of floosies. Do you believe these marketing people? I’d like the job – to invent the irresistible colors du jour. Almost as clever as “Häagen-Daz”.

 

Yes, an afternoon on the new boat would be grand. Sounds relaxing. Believe me, I need that badly right now. How about I pack us a lunch? We can christen (or should I say baptize?) the boat with some Sauvignon Blanc.

________________________________________________________________

From: S.Gordon.Wilson < S.Gordon.Wilson@csulb.edu>

To: Jerome Mahoney <Jerry.Mahoney2028@verizon.net>

May 24, 2014  10:05 am

Subject: THIS AND THATS

 

Hi there, Jerry –

 

Got the new boat! Going to christen her this weekend. Thinking Sarah Ross might like to come along. I invited her and wish you and Mae could come down here and help us celebrate. You and I would have a lot of yucks. Anyway, there’ll be a chance to get together this fall. There’s a conference up your way.

 

Heard a good one I think you’ll appreciate:

 

Why don’t blondes wear miniskirts in San Francisco?

Their balls show.

 

Here’s another one I can tell you, but wouldn’t tell Sarah:

 

What does a Jew with an erection get when he walks into a wall?

A broken nose.

 

Your chum,

Gordon

 

  1. Gordon Wilson, PhD.

Founder and Editor of The Ichthysaurus

Fellow, American Academy of Underwater Sciences

Professor of Biology, Emeritus

California State University, Long Beach

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com

May 24, 2014  9:16 am

Subject:

 

Oh, the trouble with email is that it has no tone of voice. The “stalking” was a jest. Hyperbole R Us. “I’m touched by your curiosity” is a sappier way of saying it, I suppose. And a thousand and one things, by all means – a thing at a time, and back to you. I look forward to it.

 

After college? Your life trajectory?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  9:34 am

Subject: hmmm, my life

 

Trajectory? Mine is sort of like the Challenger spacecraft. Graduated from U of Chicago ’68 and the Cleveland Heights Selective Service Board thrust me into a deferment as a VISTA volunteer. The remains of my Command Module came down in Bluefield, West Virginia. What did I do there? Same as anyone in any community action program – sat around contemplating how to connect with the poor. I sold the idea of a radio show to the public station there. Conducted interviews, sang some folk songs – short-lived – I guess too radical and too Jewish for W. Virginia. Careened back to Chicago in ’69, stringing together occupational deferments – mainly working in psych hospitals. Auditioned unsuccessfully for radio jobs. First classical try-out I screwed up the German. Tripped on the Einführung aus dem Serail.  Then ’83, had success auditioning for this small classical station as the overnight announcer. The owner’s wife, Amanda Schreiber, supervised the audition. Gave me the job and whispered afterward that I was too cute for radio. So here I am, parked in stationary orbit for the past 30 years.

 

Trajectory?  Two marriages. One brief, fling-like. The current one, almost three decades. In neither case am I sure what prompted me to get married. Pretty boring, huh?

______________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  1:29 pm

Subject: don’t be hard on yourself

 

Boring? Never to me. Need to know who you are now. Sounds like an adventure – West Virginia, psych hospitals – can’t wait for the stories. Radio celebrity to boot. Send an autograph. Make it personal and I can get more for it.

 

Do you think there are patterns to mistakes we make in relationships? I’m somehow attracted to men, and they to me, unfortunately, who dislike their mothers.  That’s one of the patterns that repeats. There are others.

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  1:40 pm

Subject: Re: don’t be hard on yourself

 

That’s no pattern. Doesn’t every man tell his girlfriend that he doesn’t like his mother? What other patterns would you mean? Are they patterns that began with us? Was Sandy Chapman part of your pattern?

________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  1:43 pm

Subject: patterns

 

My other patterns?  People who are hypersensitive. Like you were. Smart and funny. Like you were. Prone to jealousy. Like you were. Maybe so, maybe our relationship has always been my template. Yep.

 

Now your turn. I ask again – your patterns?

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  1:46 pm

Subject: Re: patterns

 

My patterns? I can’t think of any. Let me see. Maybe short skirts.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  1:56 pm

Subject: Re:Re: patterns

 

Really? Glad you’re so forthcoming. Come on, Wolfie, fess up. Any patterns that have to do with us?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  2:03 pm

Subject:  who I’ve become

 

A pattern? Okay. I confess. Passivity maybe. But, Sarah, that’s not a pattern that started with us, not what I remember. But me? For many years since us, it’s been different. Pattern: letting myself be pulled into someone’s orbit – then staying put – fearful to disrupt the daily sameness – afraid of being cast off into the cold if I opened my mouth. Could it really be that my last successful relationship was at 15?

 

Incidentally if I really was the template for all your relationships, how the hell did you wind up with Sandy Chapman after we broke up? (Hey, why did we break up anyway?)

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 24, 2014  2:19 pm

Subject: breaking up

 

You mean, how could you ever have broken up with me? Let’s see . . .

 

1) Your raging hormones

 

2) Darlene Cutler’s short skirt

 

and

 

3) My desperate need to be with you every waking hour, which, I’m sure, would have gotten on anyone’s nerves. I never again in my life have been that way. I’ve learned to keep a distance in my relationships. I’ve learned not to be dependent. Have suppressed the desire to be fused to anyone. But I recall I felt amputated without you by my side. Perhaps I became too independent after us. I hope it to be different with Gordon. I would like to be less autonomous, less mistrustful and submit to someone who I think would take care of me. Wish me luck.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  12:04 pm

Subject: Gordon

 

You used the word the word “keeper“ describing your relationship with Gordon. Sounds like partnership with a future.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  12:34 pm

Subject: Re: Gordon

 

I met Gordon a year ago when we co-chaired the fundraiser for the La Jolla Center for the Arts. He’s a strong, comforting presence. An old-fashioned gentleman. And he’s taken me sailing a couple of times. Best of all, he can whip up some of the best bouillabaisse on this planet.  So I made him one of my new best friends. People have begun to think of us as a couple. We’re invited out together. I don’t know how else to summarize my relationship with Gordon except to say we’re comfortable with each other.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  12:48 pm

Subject: Fish Aversion

 

Bouillabaisse on the high seas. I’ve got to confess that’s lost on me. My appetite for seafood is, as always, nil. He could have seasoned the bouillabaisse with Drano, for all I knew, and I would have been none the wiser. The only time in recent memory I had a taste for seafood was on Yom Kippur, late afternoon, when I started eyeing Lola’s fish tank. Last week, you’ll be thrilled to know, I ordered the tuna panini at Arby’s. So, looks like you and Gordon are a good match. I’m happy for you. Incidentally, I would be jealous about the boat, except I get seasick just driving past Red Lobster.

________________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  1:00 pm

Subject: Re:Fish Aversion

 

You inlanders, poor things, don’t know what good fish looks like. Or for that matter, what it smells like. After those obligatory cruises in elementary school on the Cuyahoga River, with the dead fish floating on the scum, and the stench of rotten eggs wafting through the air, it took years before I’d go near anything fishy.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  1:11 pm

Subject: Re:Re: Fish Aversion

 

I’m glad you’re so ichthyologically sophisticated now that you’re with Gordon. Makes sense with a marine biologist. It’s not everyone so lucky that they can eat their work at the end of the day. I’m happy for you. Gordon sounds perfect. Any flaws?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  1:34 pm

Subject: flaws

 

Any flaws? I wouldn’t call them flaws exactly. Just annoyances. Okay, just between us, Adam, he doesn’t make me laugh. If he has humor in his repertoire, I haven’t discovered it yet. Odd, but when he tells jokes, I don’t hear anyone laugh. I guess that’s my most serious criticism. We don’t laugh at the same things. In fact, he has an annoying habit of not laughing and, if there’s something real funny, he’ll just say, “That was very funny”, and never laugh. You know what I mean. It’s hard for him to open up. I don’t want to complain, because for his age, you know, 73, he’s remarkably active and engaged. I think it’s the medication, and not the years, that sometimes make him distant and dispassionate. But he’s a great human being. He says that he’s so lucky to have found me and I tell him the same.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  1:55 pm

Subject: Re: flaws

 

It’s difficult to imagine Sarah Ross with someone humorless. But then no one could make you laugh the way I could. That’s one of the reasons I was crazy about you. Anyway, is there no Sandy Chapman in the wings if you decide to break up with Gordon?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  2:45 pm

Subject: Sandy Chapman?

 

Adam, I never even knew you noticed me with Sandy after the break up. Just happens that last time I was in Cleveland, just this winter, we ran into each other pumping gas at the Shell station on Fairmont. He recognized me. I didn’t him, not at first – grey hair, not much of it. But for 70 doesn’t look bad. He was telling me about his career in engineering (fluid engineer, whatever that is). Anyway I didn’t really understand – something with hydro this or that.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  3:03 pm

Subject: Re: Sandy Chapman?

 

Sandy Chapman? Hydro? Probably something involving hydrocephalics. Sorry, just flashing those days I spotted you with him. In that gaudy red T-bird. Well, anyway, you seemed real happy. I heard you spent weekends with him in Columbus. The older guy.  I wondered who’s teaching her how.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  3:31 pm

Subject: Jealousy

 

Adam, cut it out or I’ll invoke memories of that Cutler slut.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  4:16 pm

Subject: My son Michael

 

Just heard from Michael that he’s coming in for the weekend – new girlfriend in tow. He had a bit of a wild time at Wisconsin as an undergrad – stayed on in Madison for a Masters in Environmental Science. Came back to Chicago and spent a season hunting down microbes in the Des Plaines River. Chased a girl to Houston. He stayed. Girl didn’t. Now with Exxon. An I.T. job I never quite understood. Needless to say, his nascent crusade to Rescue the Environment from Capitalism is officially on hold.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  4:25 pm

Subject: Re: My son Michael

 

If he rails against capitalism, I know he’s your son and Manny Wolf’s grandson. I looked for Michael on the internet. Think I found his Facebook picture – looks so much like you as a young man – beautiful, the curly blonde hair, the angular face, even the Adam’s apple. Ah, to see you again in him!  Makes me think of your broad shoulders and narrow hips. Sigh!

______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  4:40 pm

Subject: Re:Re: My son Michael

 

People do say he looks like me. I can’t see it. Happy you can. I think the shape of his face is more like Lola’s. Not much of a resemblance to me when it comes to classical music. Michael never showed much interest. Lola insisted for years my playing opera for the kid was a hazard to his auditory nerves. Maybe that’s why. But you might like to know he’s good at art. I should send you the link to drawings from his sketchbook. He posts that on Flickr. Just felt pen on scratchpads, the passing scene – likes to capture the world rushing by – some evocative images of workmen at the refineries – filthy, sweating in the sun.

 

Incidentally, what are you doing these days with your art? Or would you rather we talk more about your liaison dangereuse with Chapman?

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  5:28 pm

Subject: flash of memory

 

Adam, enough Sandy crap!

 

I love it that Michael and I have art in common. I’m eager to see what he’s doing. As for me, I’m teaching a bit, painting when I can. But you don’t make a real living as an artist (or very few people do).

 

The shop keeps me busy. I’m in there 3x a week. Hate the accounting part, but rather like the income. Meager but it pays my Medicare supplement. Most of all, I love to go to Fashion Week in New York and discover the latest styles, colors. Long leggy models. Lovely to watch them glide unselfconsciously down the runway. Their thongs hugging the groove of their butts so compact that even I could grasp both cheeks with one hand.

 

One of them, when I saw her last fall, had hair so wavy and so wild, someone described it as “storm-tossed”. And I have to admit, I thought of you. The 14 year-old you, your tossled hair and runway thin hips. And not just that image came through – but a passage from Homer, a day in 8th grade English class. I quote this one, when I tell people one of the reasons I fell in love with my first boyfriend. Remember, Adam, we all had to memorize the same damn lines from the beginning of some translation of the Odyssey.

 

Then Tubaugh had us stand at our desks and one by one recite it. Boring. The same damn lines. (All that memorization back then sticks with us, doesn’t it? That’s the fun part.) “Tell of the storm-tossed man, oh Muse, who wandered long after he sacked the sacred citadel of Troy.” Over and over.

 

And then it was your turn: “Tell of the storm-tossed man, oh Muse, who wandered long after he sacked the sacred citadel of Troy, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper .  . . ” and we were all on the floor.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 25, 2014  10:21pm

Subject: Goodnight, my Sarah

 

Pardon me, but I’m a bit preoccupied here – your hand on the model’s rear?

Yes, our days together have always been an anchor, a reference point for me too. Inevitably a phrase, a look, pulls me back to us. Programming Mozart’s early operas, I think of how we inspired ourselves to finish homework by saying Mozart had written 13 symphonies by the time he was our age.

 

Or something as simple someone saying, “Meet my girlfriend”, and I have always thought of you. “Girlfriend” has always meant only one thing to me. It meant Sarah. Isn’t it strange?

 

Do you remember we could carry on entire conversations across a room? I knew what you meant – every wink, twitch and flutter. And I think I still would.

 

I’ve tried it with other people. Amanda (the station owner) and I might have had some moments of primitive non-verbal communication. During a meeting, say, but ultimately it didn’t work. Usually ended up with her shrugging her shoulders, “I don’t know what you meant”. I doubt we’ll ever master it. ________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  9:12 am

Subject: Good morning to you

 

Yes, I only wish other people were as sensitive to me as you were. Then I wouldn’t have to be so blunt. “Blunt” is a good word to describe me, a flaw I’m not proud of. Some people are better than I at being circuitous. Criticism comes easily to me. I struggle, though, with how to couch it nicely. It doesn’t come naturally. The students in my watercolor classes learn a lot, for instance, and I’m enormously patient with those who try. But the grousers, no matter how talented, set my teeth on edge, and I come close to growling at them. Klaus the Stubborn, in particular – retired, red-faced – probably a storm-trooper in his past life. Last week, down by the marina, at the little studio where I hold classes, I thought to mix things up and have the group work with the paper oriented vertically and not in the usual landscape format.  Klaus resisted and resisted until I exploded and told him just to shut up and do it. Turned out to be his best work ever. A composition of lines and arcs – compelling – a sliver of the pier and its masts, as if glimpsed from the edge of a window. Praise for real talent does come easily to me, though. And it made Klaus feel good, I think, to hear me applaud him. The exercise inspired me too. I’ve gone out every day since to capture a slice of life in longitudinal section.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  11:45 am

Subject: Speaking out

 

Stealing a moment on break to be avec toi.

 

I always adored your bluntness and independence back in our day. I never learned to speak out. I remember that I secretly relied on you to speak my feelings when I was angry. In my house it was my role, wasn’t it, to mediate conflicts all the time. Between my parents: “Tell him his supper is ready.” “Tell her I’ll get the window fixed on Saturday.” (My parents once went a full year without talking to each other.)

 

Constant tensions between my father and brother also rode high. Once at the table when David got his first and only B+ on a report card, the usual belittlement got out of hand and before long my brother had my father in a strangle hold. (My mother ran out of the room, of course.) And it was my role to make peace. I stepped in between them, pushed them to their respective chairs. They sat seething. And I interjected myself into the silence by imitating the voice of the Gillette Friday Night Fight’s ringside announcer: “No real damage inflicted in the first round. They’ll be coming back out soon for the second. The Champ seems a bit shaken. The Challenger has put together some brilliant combinations.” Then they would eventually smile and laugh.

 

That was me then and me forever – conciliator, appeaser, mediator. It’s who I am today. I turn away from conflict and equivocate whenever necessary to spare people pain. I needed you. You were the other part of me. Spoke out. Spoke up for me. Spoke my feelings because I couldn’t and because you understood them. I have not had my “other half” since those days.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  12:09 pm

Subject: what you were for me

 

Don’t underestimate the gift for making people laugh. It carried me through some rough times at home, in America. I was mistrustful of people ever since my parents lied to 5-year-old me about leaving Vienna. They told me we were just “going on vacation in the mountains via a big ship this time”. In fact, I landed in an alien country, lost in translation. Eventually you were my verbal, educated, loving and oh so funny protector. AND a real American. I totally trusted you. Needed you.

 

I suspect masking your feelings creates problems. Leads to misunderstandings?  I’m sorry about that, if it’s true.

________________________________________________________________From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  3:28 pm

Subject: My troubles

 

I’m in trouble all the time. Right now I’m not ready to give you all the details of the trouble I’ve created for myself in my old age. Suffice it to say I feel like an outsider in my own life.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  3:50 pm

Subject: let’s hear it for cyberspace

 

Details can wait. But I feel like I should be there to rescue you. Forgive me for staying away so long. You know, Adam, it’s amazing to me how quickly we can confide in each other again. This magical forum – email. I doubt talking or phoning would have brought us together in such an intimate way. I keep marveling at that.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  5:28 pm

Subject: The Cleveland Indians

 

Do you remember how exciting it was to go down to Municipal Stadium together on a summer afternoon? Rocky Colavito? So cute. Tito Francona? You taught me how to fill out a scorecard, how to shout insults at the ump: “His seeing-eye dog could have called that one.”

 

Hey, Adam Wolf, my parents subscribed to the Plain Dealer. But let’s hear it for the old Cleveland Press!! Best reason to have grown up in Cleveland. Get straight A’s, bring down your report card, and we’ll hand you seven sets of tickets to the Tribe’s games. I would have flunked out of school, I’m guessing, if I hadn’t aimed for those tickets. Seven pair!! And two were box seats. Of course you remember. You got them every year. Me? Only in 9th grade – cause I cajoled Mr. Scott to change my B+ in Algebra to an A- because the Indians tickets were on the line.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  5:58 pm

Subject: THE TRIBE

 

Still at work.

 

Can you believe in those days we never thought twice about what an affront Chief Wahoo was? Even worse, he’s still around.

 

But now here’s a question. I’m sure you remember where you were when Kennedy was shot. Or on 9/11. But can you recall exactly where you were the moment you heard that Herb Score had been hit in the eye by a line drive?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  6:30 pm

Subject: Re: THE TRIBE

 

Ah, my dear Adam – you know me for the nerd I was – of course I remember. I was in bed. It was a night game. The Yankees. My radio was tuned to the game. Jimmy Dudley announcing. Herb Score pitching to Gil McDougal. And I recall hearing the crack of McDougal’s bat and the screaming from the crowd. Herb Score. Poor Herb Score! Hit in his eye! Rookie of the Year the year before, right? Oh, I remember a lot of that moment. Early in the season. The Plain Dealer photos of him crumpled on the pitcher’s mound. But did the game continue? Did the Yankees win?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  7:20 pm

Subject: Re:Re: THE TRIBE

 

Home at last.

 

May 7, 1957.  Herb Score still played after that, but was never the same. Became an announcer for the Indians. Aren’t you glad you we didn’t see it on TV, in “living color”?  A most gory sight, they said. McDougal was so distraught, said he’d quit baseball if Score lost his vision.  Hey, Sarah, I love that you love baseball.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  9:44 pm

Subject: sleep tight

 

Just back from dinner. Tuckered out. Off to bed. Goodnight, Adam.

 

Gee, to be with you again, with our set of common experiences – comforting, extremely comforting.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 26, 2014  10:04 pm

Subject: Re: sleep tight

 

Goodnight, my Sarah. I’ll write to you in the morning – as soon as I am conscious.

_____________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  7:32 am

Subject: Familiarity

 

In all the years since us, I must confess, I have never again felt a sense of belonging, the “oneness” we had, Sarah. Strange, huh? As children we experience a kind of love that we then spend 50 years looking for and can never find again. But I shouldn’t speak for you.  I should say that “I” looked for and that “I” could never find again.

_____________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:15 am

Subject: Re: Familiarity

 

I’m touched Adam by your memory of us. It’s been mine too, you know. All my life I’ve been looking for someone who loves me as much as you did.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Paul Bishop < Paul.R.Bishop@dewey.com>

May 27, 2014  11:36 am

Subject: Reunion Craziness

 

Paul,

 

I hope that crappy weather doesn’t ruin the Baroque Festival for you. Playing outdoors in a driving thunderstorm with a priceless cello might get you some welcome notice. The Asheville Times: “From where I sat, I was unable to hear Mr. Bishop’s interpretation of Telemann over the thunder claps and howling wind, but his fingering technique “wet” my appetite for more.”

 

I need to catch you up on the latest madness with me – not just “50th Reunion Insanity Inc.”, but something else. It involves Sarah, yes, THAT Sarah. I told you about her long ago – the “awakening of love”. We’re in touch again, all brought about by my old high school friend Greg, you know, the chess hustler who used to come to Chicago every summer (hate to remind you). He informed me that Sarah Ross wasn’t coming to the reunion, and wanted to know how I was doing. So that started an email correspondence that’s been clipping along for days and days. Paul, I’m nervous. At first it’s pleasantries, then some innuendoes – although, Jesus Christ on a cracker! she owns a shop in San Diego that specializes in upscale panties. Not married – her husband died – so far, so good.

 

Each word to her I weigh a hundred times – so strange – so exciting. To keep Lola from knowing, I stay at the station til late, writing, waiting for replies. Every night now my heart pounding every second – reading into her language, so tentative. Paul, it’s like on the ice, skating to the corner – you never see the hit coming – you don’t feel it at first –  you’re flying, falling, submitting to the force.

 

I’ll admit I’m insane. Incidentally, I’m going to call my urologist and suggest he return to medical school. He told me I was unlikely to achieve verticality without a pharmaceutical assist. All I have to do now is think of Sarah to prove him wrong.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Esther Lehman <estherlehman88@yahoo.com>

May 27, 2014  11:36 am

Subject: Guess who’s back?

 

Esther, do you believe it? I actually had a real talk with Mom today. She seemed to know who I was. Encouraging. Perhaps the exercise regime really does help.

 

Now for my news – at lunch today Nicole asked me why I looked so, how did she put it, radiant. And I smiled and shrugged and I didn’t answer.  But if you really want to know, it’s because I’ve been in touch with Adam Wolf again. Yep, after all these years. He’s remarried, so don’t worry, it’s all on the up and up. He seems to be interested in staying in touch, and that, I guess, is why the glow is there. Okay, okay, call me mushy. Why not “sappy” or “schmaltzy” while you’re at it? Throw it at me. Tell me to concentrate on Gordon. I will, I will, but for right now I’m buzzing over this back-in-touchness with Adam. I’ve had so many pretend conversations with him over the years that real ones are heady. And when Harold betrayed me, my impulse was to find Adam again and have him reassure me that I was still loveable.

 

But I won’t let him see me because I’m not 21 anymore. I wouldn’t want him to run away in horror. What he’ll get is the disembodied Sarah. We’ll leave it at that, only email, no Skype, certainly no meeting, ever. Let him picture me as I looked then. Much better than the reality of 68. Maybe I can send him a picture of me at 36 and pretend that’s the way I look now.

 

Anyway, hug Mom for me. And hugs to you and Herman too, of course.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  3:29 pm

Subject: Our ESP?

 

Sarah, this may sound loony, but in our day weren’t we able to communicate, to talk to each other telepathically? I remember lying in bed at night hearing your voice and speaking to you. Did it really happen?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  4:00 pm

Subject: Re: Our ESP?

 

Gee, now I do recall attempts at telepathy. But don’t remember its working, though. What do you remember my saying?

 

Will write again in a while. Off to teach a class.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  6:15 pm

Subject:

 

And I’m off to a charity auction. More later.

______________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:21 pm

Subject: Telepathy

 

Scored a Wheaties box at the auction – with Sammy Sosa on it. I’ll resell it and retire.

 

Hope your class went well and that Klaus suppressed his Hermann Goering imitation.

 

Up in my room. Can’t bear another second of “Dancing with the Stars” blasting, rattling the mirrors.

 

You asked me before what you said to me telepathically. Oh, just something soothing, comforting, your soft voice, something like, “It’s okay. I’m here.” Or just, “Adam. It’s me.”

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:41 pm

Subject: Re: Telepathy

 

Class fine. We worked on still-life drawings. No Klaus.

 

Adam, should we try this telepathy business again? I must confess, some years ago I did have an extraordinarily close friend who moved away to Italy and we seemed to be able to signal each other telepathically. I knew when she needed me. I haven’t seen her in years, but we still correspond – a confidante.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:44 pm

Subject: Telepathy Tonight?

 

Sarah, how about 1:15 am your time? I’ll send a message. See if you get it. I’ll ask you tomorrow what it was.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:48 pm

Subject: Re:Telepathy Tonight?     

 

Okay, let’s try. I’ll be asleep, deep asleep, but primed to receive you. _____________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  9:55 pm

Subject: Re:Re:Telepathy Tonight?

 

How about a dry run right now? You think of something – a word, a place.

And I’ll tell you what I received.

__________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014 9:59 pm

Subject:

 

Okay. Sent.

_____________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:03 pm

Subject:

 

Wait. Wait. I think I got it. A hit. Is it something in Cleveland?

_____________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:07 pm

Subject:

 

Gosh, amazing. It is.

_________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:16 pm

Subject:

 

Don’t tell me, don’t tell me. Ummm.  It’s about water. Dirty water. Cuyahoga River!

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:20 pm

Subject:

 

Close. I sent “Corky and Lenny’s Delicatessen”. Their water wasn’t dirty, though, was it?

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:28  pm

Subject:

 

See. See! The place started with a “C”.  A little more concentration and we’ll have it perfected. Tonight send some romantic thought. I bet that works.

___________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 27, 2014  10:49 pm

Subject: sweet dreams

 

Goodnight, dear Adam. I’ll do my best.

______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  5:47 am

Subject:

 

I didn’t set the alarm, but somehow woke up at exactly 1:30. Did you receive my romantic thoughts?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  6:47 am

Subject:

 

That one’s easy.  The same as we used to sign our notes to each other, right?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  7:45 am

Subject: exercise

 

Right!

 

I’m getting ready to go to my NIA class. It’s a non-impact aerobic dance/martial arts exercise. Jane, a great teacher. About a 45-min. drive, but worth it.

 

I also take a yoga class 3x a week. What do you do to keep your heart from attacking you?

________________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28, 11:33 am

Subject: Re:exercise

 

What I do for “exercise”? It’s ice hockey. Taught myself to skate about 20 years ago when Michael played youth hockey. Now, about once a month, I play with some younger guys in their 50’s. (Ah, to be 50 again!). Only one injury that needed stitches, only knocked unconscious once. Not as therapeutic as your NIA – only 2 hours of a grueling workout after 60 hours of butt shifting on the way to and from work. I’m likely to end my life stroking out on the ice.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  12:14 pm

Subject: hockey!

 

What a way to go! Dying when wearing sexy tuchis pads, no matter how sweaty? I’d take it. Fun to think of you moving quickly cross the ice – remembering how fast you moved around the track. But hockey? You mean you can stop on a dime and send ice chips flying? Be still my heart!

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28, 1:19 pm

Subject: Re:hockey!

 

Hockey, more humbling than romantic, certainly not sexy. I play with guys who started skating at the age of one and have played hockey every night of their lives since. They tolerate me, the lone Jew among the Catholic rink rats. Actually, by the time I get all my gear on, I’m too tired to play. Some nights I can’t even make it to the first puck drop without begging for a substitute.

 

Even if I’m alone at the net with a wide-open shot, I miss most of the time. I hang around the net a lot, get to know the goalie very well. There ought to be rule that old Jewish players are awarded a point for amusing the opposing goalie. Let’s call it a schtick shot.

 

But I’m a pretty good skater, can skate backwards as quickly as forwards.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  2:21 pm

Subject: Re:Re:hockey!

 

Now you’ve done it! Next I’ll have to ask you what you’re wearing.

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28, 2:45 pm

Subject: What I’m wearing

 

You can ask me what I’m wearing any time you like. Right now I have on my day uniform. It consists of a pale blue broadcloth dress shirt, with yellow stripes, a thin-whaled tan corduroy jacket with leather patches at the elbow, a faded pair of straight-legged Levi’s blue jeans, over pink satin thongs – floral pattern of tulips and peonies appliqued at the crotch, and naturally, a matching bra.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  3:02 pm

Subject: Re:What I’m wearing

 

Adam, don’t you know? These days they don’t have to match.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28,  3:16 pm

Subject: Back to work

 

I’m on the air – covering for someone – playing the Bruckner Fifth – long enough for a quick hi. And bye.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  4:00 pm

Subject: classical music

 

You know, Adam, I can’t imagine a person better at classical programming than you. Even when you were 15 you loved telling me about Vivaldi and Mozart. I trust you would be proud of me now that I’ve embraced Bruckner and Wagner. Gordon, who often indulges me, and does like classical music, declined my invitation to Tristan and Isolde when the San Francisco Opera came to town. He dismissed it as “noise”. We had a fight. I said only people who’ve never bothered to listen to Wagner write him off that way.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28,  5:01 pm

Subject: Re:classical music

 

Yes, I’m always taken aback by people’s dumb-ass response to Wagner. You’re right, Sarah, they’ve never listened. I’m excited you like it. Incidentally, lots of people could do a better job programming classical music than I – like a nine-year-old throwing a dart at the Grove Encyclopedia of Music.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28,  8:33 pm

Subject: The seats for the blind

 

Long day. Demanding meeting. I was musing on the commute home, thinking about our times. About Cleveland. Do you remember when we went to see Don Giovanni at the Auditorium? My grandmother’s Society for the Blind free tickets when the Met came to town. God forbid anyone should actually pay for tickets. God forbid anyone should ever have taken my grandmother herself. Even for the blind they were bad seats. We sat in that section upstairs against the wall where, when we were lucky, we spotted Leparello smoking a cigarette in the wings waiting for his cue. We never got to see Don Giovanni himself, no matter how much we strained. To this day, despite that, the end of Don Giovanni is still my favorite ending to an opera.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  8:51 pm

Subject: Re:The seats for the blind

 

You bet I remember that excursion. I went again with my mother to see Tosca when the Metropolitan Opera was in town (tickets, yet) from her cousin, the choral director at the Met, Kurt Adler. He must have seen us as his pitiful mishpoche. Wrangled complimentary tickets for us.  ALSO IN THE BLIND SECTION!  Almost got to see Renata Tebaldi. Actually did see her backstage. She looked exhausted after hurling herself off the parapet. An icepack on her ankle.  She was furious. Apparently some stagehand fell asleep on the mattress that was supposed to catch her.

 

Hey, Chicago has a great opera house. Do you ever get there?

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28,  9:07 pm

Subject: The Lyric Opera

 

Actually, the station gets tickets, but I rarely go anymore.

 

For years, back in the 70s, I had a subscription to the Lyric. Went with a man I knew from the old Lincoln Park neighborhood. Let me describe the guy. Good-looking is too bland a word for it. Strikingly handsome. Think Jude Law with a Chicago accent. Wore Armani suits. Tall. Slender. When we walked into the lobby, everyone would turn to look.  Of course both of us were completely heterosexual, but I liked being thought of as his date.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  9:10 pm

Subject: Re:The Lyric Opera

 

Completely heterosexual?  Pity.

________________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28,  9:19  pm

Subject: Re:Re:The Lyric Opera

 

I guess you caught me there. If I were so completely heterosexual, I wouldn’t have had to mention it.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  9:50 pm

Subject: nightie night

 

Off to bed.  Early morning meeting.

 

Goodnight Adam. I’ll compose more emails to you in my sleep.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 28, 2014  10:04 pm

Subject: Re:nightie night

 

Goodnight, my Sarah. I’ll be with you again in my sleep.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 29,  9:10 am

Subject: My novel

 

Thought a lot about opera last night.

 

A few years ago, I wrote a short novel – 25,000 words – and one scene involves a group of opera singers, including Renata Tebaldi, lost in space.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 29,2014  9:25 am

Subject: Re:My novel

 

What became of your novel?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 29, 2014  11:23 am

Subject: Re:Re:My novel

 

Nothing came of it. I’ll never show it to anyone, so don’t ask. I now think it’s dumb.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 29, 2014  11:56 am

Subject: Please send the book

 

Adam, I’m sure it’s not dumb, and I really do wish to read it. Please. I remember a great novel you wrote when you were only 16. Thought you so brilliant. Trust you still are.

 

A memory flash – your backyard, a Scrabble game, you laid down a word on the triple-score squares – “queue” – a gazillion points in one simple move. I’ll never get over learning the word right then and wondering how it ever got to be pronounced the way it was pronounced. And recall thinking back then how brilliant Adam Wolf was.

 

Just about a month ago, I was back in Cleveland going through the box of my mother’s stuff – the one with my fading report cards and potato-print wrapping paper. And I came across a stash of letters written in study hall from you to me. Most went something like this: “Dear Sarah, I love you, I love you, I love you. The proof to Theorem #6 is . . . ILU, Adam”. And again I remembered thinking how brilliant Adam Wolf was and how lucky I was. (Though now I know, why I didn’t do so well in 10th grade geometry. You did all my homework for me.)

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

May 29, 2014  1:37 pm

Subject: The ILU notes

 

Oh — the notes in study hall, notes after class, before class, during class. When I try thinking about those days it’s like a dream — as though we were lost in the stars.

 

I saved your notes and photos too. I remember putting them in a box and hiding them in the crawlspace behind the rafters in the attic at the Silsby house. I wonder if they’re still there where I left them. I never retrieved them, I’m sorry to say. The house was sold while I was away at college.

 

In the deluge of memories, a constant one for me through all time is a moment somewhere back in a classroom – don’t know where or what day – when I looked at you and you looked back with your sweet quiet smile, touched your finger to your eye, made an “L” with your finger and pointed back at me – ILU – I think other people saw – but I remember that I didn’t care. That was the start of our special sign.

 

I think they did see.  At the reunion before the last one in 1994, I only went to the Fri. evening get-together. Early in the evening, someone (I don’t remember who), a woman who I almost recognized (from English class, I think), very animated said to me, “We’ll always be grateful to Sarah and you. You taught us about love. I just wanted you to know that.”

 

I don’t remember if I responded. All I could think of at the moment was our signal: ILU – ILU2.

 

Sarah, talking to you could go on forever and I wouldn’t miss sleep.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

May 29, 2014  4:51 pm

Subject: Re:The ILU notes

 

This time we will never stop. I won’t take for granted that you’re near again.

 

Yes, I remember the moment, the first ILU. It’s why I looked forward to English class. I think about what we radiated. It was as if everyone else in the room was a pale shadow and only we were in living color.

 

I’m off to teach my evening class. Then another night out. So I’ll write tomorrow and the next day and the days after that.

________________________________________________________________

From: S.Gordon Wilson <S.Gordon.Wilson@csulb.edu>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 2, 2014  2:22 pm

Subject: get well soon

 

Dear Sarah,

 

I hope you’re feeling better. These summer colds can lay the best of us low.

 

I’m sure you’ll be back in tip-top shape by Saturday. Would you give me the honor of dining with me at the Ocean Terrace that evening?  Please call when you feel up to it.

 

Get better speedily!

 

Yours,

Gordon

 

  1. Gordon Wilson, PhD.

Founder and Editor of The Ichthysaurus

Fellow, American Academy of Underwater Sciences

Professor of Biology, Emeritus

California State University, Long Beach

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  4:51 pm

Subject: remarkable talent

 

Bravo!!!!  A most wonderful novel. I’m so flattered that you entrusted me with it. I was drawn in from the start – absorbed by those characters, especially that piece-of-work Katya. The thought of being trapped in a small spacecraft with her for a year? Makes me want to open a vein.

 

You’re still an astronomy buff, I see. Reading the book, I recalled how you were always oriented to the sky.  How you tried to teach me about outer space. But the stars were too grand for my pea-brain to comprehend. Still are. We were standing by Boulevard School’s playground. It was night. And you pointed to a star and told me how many millions of years it took for the light from it to reach us. You said the star we were looking at probably didn’t even exist anymore. Long gone. Yikes!  I didn’t want you to go on. It felt as if I’d been socked in the stomach.

 

I wonder, though, if we got out in space far enough and had a telescope powerful enough, could we see Adam Wolf and Sarah Ross right there, in Cleveland Heights, July 28, 1960, standing by the playground, looking up? Time-travel. Would you want to go back there?

 

Anyway, a great accomplishment, this novel. I think you might wish to show it to an agent, no?

 

I’m delighted to know you’re still so talented and clever.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  7:12 pm

Subject: Re:remarkable talent

 

Thanks for such a sweet response. I’m so glad you liked the book. But no, no agent. Let this be a secret between us.

 

Time-travel – back to you, to us, Sarah? I’d do it in a flash, but not if parents and curfews and homework came with the territory. Then even the lure of you wouldn’t be enough to draw me there.

 

Well, and thanks for the compliment. I’m glad somebody still thinks I’m smart. But, in truth, I found out I’m not as brilliant as people once thought. Univ. of Chicago was a humbling time and since then I’ve had enough experiences that I’ve learned to accept my limitations.  Anyway, I’ve had people around to remind me of them.

 

Just about daily Lola tells me I’m stupid: “What kind of idiot are you? You went to U of C and you can’t separate recyclable from regular garbage?”

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  7:23 pm

Subject: I’m sorry

 

In the name of domestic tranquility, I won’t comment on Lola’s remarks. But just to say, I hope she doesn’t have a penchant for belittlement.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  7:35 pm

Subject: Re:I’m sorry

 

In the name of full disclosure, Lola actually goes beyond belittlement. More like mortification when she publically wants to put me in my place. She posted a video of the massive snowstorm we had last winter. The video featured me clearing the driveway, then falling flat on my face, and lying there in exhaustion. You could hear her laughing as the camera zoomed in.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  7:41 pm

Subject: Re:Re:I’m sorry

 

Geez!

______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  8:06 pm

Subject: Mo Spiegel

 

And then there’s Maureen Spiegel. Remember her? She and her husband moved to Chicago and we saw each other a couple of times and then not at all. She had landed some big shot position as a vice president at Quaker Oats. The last time I saw them was five years ago at a barbeque at their McMansion in Glencoe. And that’s also the last time I spoke to her. She let me know how limited I was. At the party she took me aside when the others were jabbering – wondered what had happened to me – that I’d been such a “golden boy” in high school – that everyone had great expectations of me. She looked at me pityingly. I saw it coming. “How is it”, she wondered, “that you didn’t amount to more”.

 

When I tried to point out my few accomplishments at the radio station, she shrugged and walked away.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  8:27 pm

Subject: Mo the Ho

 

That sniveling little bitch Mo Spiegel. Lemme me at ‘er! Your work makes people’s lives fuller, gives them a way to transcend the tedium of the everyday. Is that not tremendously valuable? The arts are the oxygen of my life, many people’s lives. What? Quaker’s breakfast mush trumps Beethoven? I don’t think so.

 

Your commie upbringing, I’m guessing, would lead you to avoid corporate America. Anyway, where were you supposed to get the money for grad school? Even if your father ever had a cent, he wouldn’t have sent it your way.

 

Who the hell does little weasly Maureen Spiegel think she is? Feh! Sounds like she’s still part of the Wiley-snob clique, the girls who took greater pleasure flaunting their cashmere sweaters than wearing them. In history class she always enjoyed knocking my books off my desk as she passed. Liked to see me scramble for them. A bully then. A bully now. Just ignore her. Leave it to me to be the one to tear her limb from limb. For old time’s sake. Do you think you’ll have to run into her at the reunion?

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  9:23 pm

Subject: Re: Mo the Ho

 

The more I think about the last reunion, the more hesitant I am about the upcoming one. I debate with myself about it – I’m still a little undecided whether to go. I went to the one 10 years ago and I did enjoy the repartee with Greg and Steve et al. Mostly though I recall people lodging grievances they had harbored for 40 yrs – slights I didn’t intend or remember. It seemed like every 5 mins. someone who I barely remembered would challenge me. Mike Newman asked me if it was true that my father was a Communist and did he raise us as Commies too? Greenblatt remembered how he caught me in the school parking lot, letting air out of the tires on his father’s Caddie. And, oh, whether it was a political statement or something. I told him I didn’t recall it. (I did and it was.)

 

And the strangest thing of all, Ellen Thomas, I think that’s her name, asked me why, when she flirted with me in Chemistry, I never asked her out, etc., etc. When it was over I had a portrait of myself as an arrogant, insensitive asshole – and I guess people wanted me to know that. So I dutifully apologized and they seemed satisfied that I wasn’t the same person they knew.

 

More tomorrow. Goodnight, my Sarah.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 3, 2014  10:43 pm

Subject: spare me reunions

 

These tales of reunion are rather chilling. I can imagine the horror of a list of grievances. It makes me giddy to be not going. I still carry a satchel of grievances myself and would have the impulse to dump them on Janice Price. She always managed to make me feel unwanted in any group.

____________________________________________________________

From: Harold Weinstein <Harold.W.Weinstein9933@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 4 2014  10:55 am

Subject: relocating

 

FYI. Leaving Ashland. Took 1 yr visiting post at St. Olaf’s in Minnesota, beginning Sept.1. New email address to follow. H

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 4, 2014  11:32 am

Subject:Our last telephone call

 

Sarah, this morning I thought about the last time you and I spoke – in 1979.  I don’t know if you remember – you called to tell me that Susan Cantor had died – and as we were speaking my wife (at the time) interrupted me, purposely, on some ruse – and we never finished the conversation. When we do talk to each other again, I promise no interruptions, at least not for the first 4 hours.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 4, 2014  1:51 pm

Subject: Re:Our last telephone call

 

Yes, I remember the call. Your mother gave me the number – groused about your father, maybe about you, and added that she always thought you and I should have gotten married.  Mothers. . .

I didn’t just call you then to socialize. I was back in Cleveland that week and low – about getting older, about my parents deteriorating. Things were falling apart in my family. Esther was overwhelmed and screaming a lot. I needed comfort and I really needed to talk to someone, actually to you. My mother who, as you know, never recovered from what happened to her family in the War, had just been institutionalized. Went off the rails – listening to the radio, waiting for her name to be called, to be herded “to points East”.  She got better, eventually, somewhat, but that day I longed for a connection to someone who had known me as her child. And no one had known me as well as you.

And Susan Cantor dying on the operating table, so young, so unnecessarily. Too much. But I felt certain that your voice alone could comfort me. It did. But I do recall the painful and abrupt end to the conversation. I took it as a clear message, to stay away. Anyway, from that talk you knew I had dropped out of grad school, that I was married to a literature guy, that I was trying to get pregnant, but couldn’t, that I was working with the Art dept. at San Diego, monotonous work, ordering supplies, making sure enough conté crayon was in stock, that sort of thing.  Didn’t last long. Anyway, you would have heard more if it hadn’t been for that startling interruptus to the conversation.

 

There were things that I might have talked to you about had you stayed on the phone longer

 

1) That I had been held hostage by enemy aliens of the UFO sort, in their mother ship, for the better part of 1969 (or was that the LSD speaking?).

 

2) That after college I had tried going on with painting, on my own, but ripped up all the canvases deciding that I had no talent. Zero. That the only reason I thought I did was because Morris Nolinski at Bennington praised me to the sky, even named a painting (now in MOMA) after me, Buena Sarah I (there was never a II, cause I stopped the affair. Later, I discovered that Amazing Grace I and II, and Katydid I, II and III all lived in my dorm).

 

3) During grad school earned some chump change talking dirty on the dial-a-slut circuit.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 4, 2014  6:35 pm

Subject: Re:Re:Our last telephone call

 

Nothing so arousing here.

 

Thanks for jogging my memory about that call.  Maybe I’ve repressed it. As a matter of fact, I do recall the scene, if not the talk – tethered to a wall phone, the cord one foot long. Brenda, who had answered the phone, so knew it was you, was literally in my face the whole time – challenging me to do anything – mocking every word I said. Needless to say Brenda was insecure. She knew how important you had been to me. All the intensity we felt. You may want to know that our aborted conversation back in ’79 was a kind of turning point for Brenda and me. I was humiliated, enraged – and I snapped – for the first time in our marriage I wasn’t Adam the Conciliator. Things changed after that and I guess I stopped being intimidated by Brenda. We split up six months later.

 

Tell me about Harold if you want. Sorry that you lost him.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 4, 2014  8:13 pm

Subject: Harold?

 

Adam, I had no idea about Brenda. Sorry I got you in trouble, or perhaps I’m not sorry, if it helped extricate you from such a one. Is rescuing Adam Wolf my life’s actual calling?

Let’s see, what can I tell you about life with Harold? The 70’s, first his bucking for tenure, us needing to be pleasant to some boors in the senior ranks of the department.  In particular, one who always greeted me by running his hand down my back and snapping my bra. Geezers. But I pretended to like that frat-boy vulgarity. Full Professors, whiskey-breathed by 9:00 am. For Harold’s sake I had to giggle at their toilet jokes. I hated those years.

The only one of the senior faculty I could stand was Timothy Fielding, an evil sense of humor – once said if Harold got tenure he couldn’t be let go, “even if he buggered a goat on the steps of the post office at high noon”. Harold did get tenure. I don’t believe he ever fucked a goat, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Well, you see, guess I’m not saying all that much about Sarah Ross in those years. (I still have a hard time talking about myself.) I didn’t feel all that present in those days. It was all about Professor Harold Weinstein, PhD, the smiling, the entertaining. Once he got tenure I needed to get away from that. Quit my job in the Art dept., took fencing lessons, learned to deal blackjack at the Diamond Star Casino. Harold was embarrassed by all of it. He insisted I mention it to no one at the university. And I agreed to cease and desist. Me? I was transmogrified from the feisty Sarah you knew and loved, into the dutiful, robotic faculty wife.

Luckily some consciousness-raising group I joined jolted me back into myself. Began painting again and gave a fuck about dinner parties. Spent some time adventuring in Europe with my best pal. She stayed on in her family’s home in Terni. And I almost did too. So you see, you’re not the only one who’s gotten themselves in trouble. Are you ready to talk more about your troubles?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 4, 2014  9:00 pm

Subject:

 

Wow! Forever the feisty Sarah, the adventurer. I want to hear more, much more, but can’t right now. Duty calls. Lola’s car broke down. I need to go see what’s up. More tomorrow.

Promise.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  9:55 am

Subject:

 

Happy June 5th, Adam. It hasn’t even been two weeks, but it feels to me as if we’ve never been apart. Odd, don’t you think?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  11:33 am

Subject:

 

Happy June 5th to you too, my Sarah Ross. And it feels as if we’ve never been apart because we haven’t been.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  4:51 pm

Subject:

 

I won’t be able to write at any length until later in the evening. Command performance. Her Royal Highness, A. Schreiber, insists I redo next month’s program schedule by tomorrow. Forgive me.

______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  9:41 pm

Subject: Possessed

 

Now, to get back to what I’ve really been wishing to do all day, schmooze with you. Anyway, the short version of my troubles, as promised.  After Brenda, several years of frenzy, then a thirty year marriage of separate lives, little intimate contact, appeasing and enabling my new wife’s self-destructive impulses. And then the day job – keeping the peace at all, and I mean ALL costs. Accommodating that woman’s professional and personal expectations of me.

 

Whatever happened to you in those years, the Sarah I knew and loved seems to have reemerged in full force. Sure hope Harold also tried consciousness-raising. Still, it must have been difficult for you when he passed away.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  10:21 pm

Subject: how I fell for you

 

“Difficult” is too thin a word for what I went through.  I’d rather not go there.

 

You know, Adam, I think my attraction to Harold in the first place had a lot to do with you. Literature. You planted the passion for that in me. Harold picked up where you left off – explaining Milton and Joyce, to me, the way you had Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.    You liked Russian literature, didn’t you?

 

I need to tell you a story. You were a guru of sorts to me, the literate American who could finally teach me what to read. I was 14. Before you, I had no guide. We had no books in the house, at least no books in English. Before you, I would go to the library and close my eyes and run my hand along the shelf and take out any 5 books my hand landed on. Very funny thinking about it. Roosevelt Jr. High. We had a book report due, one we had to deliver, orally, in Tubaugh’s 8th grade Honors English class. I did my usual five book gambit. Three were geography or history books. The other two? One was Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (which I couldn’t make heads or tails of, of course. Still can’t). The other book, a trifle. See Here, Private Hargrove, an amusing book about a bumbling private in WWII. So I ended up giving a report on it. Afterwards kids laughed at me for picking a stupid book. But what did I know? As I was returning to my desk one whispered, “Ever hear of Mark Twain?” Another, “You could have picked Dickens”. When I tell the story of why I’ve been in love with my first boyfriend, I say he never made fun of me, the way the others did. But two days later gave me a copy of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and I was so grateful. I joined a paperback book club, and you helped me select books. It’s there I discovered Nabokov, whose writing still makes me melt.  It is you who made me literary.

 

Goodnight, my Adam. Please, more tomorrow.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 5, 2014  10:25 pm

Subject: Re: how I fell for you

 

What a story! Of course more tomorrow. Goodnight, my dear Sarah. ILU

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  7:10 am

Subject: Steinbeck

 

Up early to be with you and talk.

 

The Steinbeck – that was my father’s. I took it from his shelf. A used book. I was with him when he “bought” it. One Saturday my father spent some rare time with me – not the ball game, no, not my father. We went to the Saint Vincent de Paul thrift shop. He picked the book off the shelf and showed me that the price inside was 10 cents. He winked at me, took out a pencil, carefully erased the 10 cents and neatly wrote 5 cents in its place. And when we got back in the car, he gloated as if he had just pulled off a big Brinks heist.

 

Your memories are so vivid, funny how memory works. Now I remember when I gave you the book your look made my heart leap up. Your smile – hard to describe what happened to me, but it was a trance. The feeling – a profound warmth that surged through my body. Since we started writing I too have been awash in memories – and intense feelings – actually I’ve been unable to concentrate on anything else – nervously waiting for your replies.

________________________________________________________________________

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  7:34 am

Subject: Another flash of the past

 

Sarah, as long as we’re on the topic of memory, can you recall the one time before that 1979 call when we talked?

 

Maybe because today’s the 6th, I do remember the date – June 7th 1968. I can picture exactly where I was standing in that old dumpy apartment of mine on 55th St., by the railroad tracks, staring out the window. And I know I was surprised that you called – and that you told me it was a predetermined day for us to reconnect. I can still feel the emotions. I was about to head off to West Virginia to become a Vista volunteer – kept me out of the draft – so I must have been anxious. And after the call, I had a sense of longing, maybe remorse, but I can’t remember what we said. Can you?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  8:34 am

Subject: June 7th

 

Yes, I do recall phoning you June 7, 1968, missing you terribly. I was about to take off to Europe for the summer. First trip back there since childhood. Exciting!

 

  1. Do you remember, two years earlier, we spent one golden day together? A date. We hadn’t seen each other since high school and we were about to go into our junior year in college. We were 20. It was the last time we ever saw each other.

 

So the call that day in ’68? Before the phone call I had no idea we would stop communicating. After the phone call I chose to go into radio silence – at least for a decade.

 

It’s odd what is coming back to me about that conversation. I now remember telling you I saved your love notes to me, and the childhood pictures you had given me. I felt very close to you that day. And you said you had put my pictures and letters to you in a hiding place in the attic of the Silsby house for safekeeping. (I didn’t believe you, not until now.)

 

I supposed you didn’t like my calling because when I tried to reminisce, you brought up Darlene Cutler and all that she had meant to you. And when I got off the phone I kept muttering to myself something like “Darlene Cutler? Darlene Cutler? That slut?” In the girls’ locker room, we used to have a nickname for her, you know, “The Human Sperm Bank”. I marvel that the call with me meant anything at all to you. I’m very touched to know now that you remember not just the call, but also the date.

______________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  11:18 am

Subject: Re:June 7th

 

I guess I know now why I felt a sense of loss or remorse after that call. Forgive me if you can. What prompted me to push you away and talk about anyone else, I couldn’t know.

 

Tell me what was so special, though, about June 7, 1968.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  11:29 am

Subject: Re:Re: June 7th

 

My diary records that you asked me to marry you on Feb. 15th 1961, when we had just turned 15. And we picked June 7, 1968 as our Wedding Day. ________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  12:25 pm

Subject: Golden day

 

I certainly remember holding you in the sunroom of your parent’s apartment when I proposed to you and we set a date. I just forgot it was that day. Of course, June 7th was and maybe always will be our anniversary. And now too I thought all day about our last time together – that “golden day” all those years ago. I do recall a sweet time, but not many details. Are there more that will trigger my memory?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  1:18 pm       

Subject: Re:Golden day

 

I do have other details, but I’ll wait until I figure out how to formulate them, if that’s okay.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 6, 2014  11:18 pm

Subject: Re:Re:Golden day

 

Okay. I’ll be patient. Long day – business dinner – this time with some potential sponsors. It could have been a nice time, were it not for the talk of politics – Tea Party line – ship immigrants back, they said – perhaps meant to include wetbacks like you, for all I know.

 

Goodnight. ILU

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  4:56 am

Subject: Anniversary

 

Happy Anniversary, my Adam.

 

A sudden flash of that golden day, that last day we were ever together, an experience that’s so private and internal, it won’t jog your memory at all. We spent the day at the Cleveland Art Museum, their 50th anniversary show, 1966. Then we were in the car, at night – the parking lot of our Roosevelt Junior High School. The street lamp the only illumination. I was next to you, with you, intimately. Looking into the side window, I saw my own reflection, but it wasn’t my face I saw, instead it was an amalgam of both our faces – I couldn’t decipher the parts, couldn’t separate one from the other.

 

It’s hard to put such a mystical moment into words. It cheapens it too much. But the vision had temperature, a warmth to it – beatific, glowing, with some interior golden light. Most amazing. It felt so right.

 

I never dreamed I would have a chance to mention it to you.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  8:08 am

Subject: Golden day too

 

Happy Anniversary, Sweets!

In the silence here – I’ve read that message now a dozen times – that vision of us as one – I don’t have words, only now a sensation (of longing I think) that I can’t really describe. When your earlier note said you didn’t know how to put the details of our “golden day” in words, I thought that something ominous had happened or I did or said something unredeemable. How the image stayed with you, Sarah – that image – is making me want to cry – a release of feeling – not sadness.

 

And then there are the years and years in between – all the June 7ths – which, if you wish, I could tell you about later.

  • _______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

  • June 7, 2014 10:19 am
  • Subject: Re:Golden day too

 

Maybe I just need to hold the stillness a while longer. I’m a bit overwhelmed too by the memory – and for the occasion of being able to share it with you – and by my own reaction of tears – streaming tears – a weight off my heart too – and I know I could never have delivered this vision by phone – certainly not in person – so I’m glad we write – it will always stabilize the feelings now – always re-readable – I’m so glad you know now how deeply inside me you have lived.

 

More later, promise

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

  • June 7, 2014 11:01 am
  • Subject:

 

You should know, Adam Wolf, the joy I feel when seeing your name in my inbox. No matter who else wants to get to me, I leap to you.

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  12:54 pm

Subject:

 

I’ve spent the whole morning daydreaming of what I was going to say to you today and tomorrow. I think I would be in your inbox all the time, if I could.

____________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  1:29 pm

Subject: Distracted

 

All along these many years I knew that no one could replace you. The idea of you. The fit. I see now how we fit. I feel the fit and marvel at it. I’m crazy and distracted. Nicole jabbers at me. I pretend to be listening, but I’m itching to get to your emails. I resent having to leave the screen for a customer. Don’t they know I have better things to do with my time? Don’t they know Adam Wolf might be there waiting for me? Fools.

_______________________________________________________________

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  2:48 pm

Subject:

 

I’d like to be on the computer for a few hours with you too. But I have to go on the air in a few minutes. Hold that thought. I’ll do a little work and touch your inbox in a while.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 7, 2014  5:17 pm

Subject:

 

Just wondering, Adam, is your email, our correspondence, secure from prying eyes?

 

I won’t be able to write much more today. Gordon’s invited me out to dinner and I better get ready.

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 8, 2014 8:57 am

Subject: Trustworthy

 

To answer your question about our privacy. Sure. Absolutely. No one here would snoop around. I trust them.

 

Does Gordon know we correspond?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 8, 2014  10:48 am

Subject: Re:Trustworthy

 

Yep. I mentioned you and I were in contact. How about Lola? Does she know we’re in touch?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 8, 2014 10:53 am

Subject:Re:Re:Trustworthy

 

No, but she knows who you are.

________________________________________________________________

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 8, 2014  11:02 am

Subject: Amanda?

 

Tell me about Amanda. She scares me. Does she know about us?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 8, 2014 2:14 pm

Subject: Re:Amanda?

 

No, Amanda doesn’t know about us, but she thinks I’ve been acting strange lately. Asks me a dozen times what’s the matter. Keeps suggesting we meet over drinks to talk this over – that we don’t spend enough time together anymore. Forget about it. Nothing to be scared of, Sarah. We just have a long relationship at the station. We’ve travelled together. We’ve worked on the program guide for years and years.

 

Lola has me doing hateful jobs around the house today. But most of my time has been spent chasing a chipmunk out. The cat likes to bring them in as souvenirs for us. You should see me with a wastebasket trying to swoop down on the scurrying, frightened thing. This isn’t the first time. But just now the neighbor stopped over and mentioned that I could get it out by laying a trail of peanuts to the open door. And sure enough, it worked.

 

So I’m back with you, where I really need to be.

________________________________________________________________

 

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 8, 2014  4:23 pm

Subject: Re:Re:Amanda?

 

You do talk about Amanda a lot. “We” this and “we” that. What do you wish me to know about her? Are you trying to tell me something?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 8, 2014 5:28 pm

Subject:Re:Re:Re:Amanda?

 

Nothing to tell. Promise. I guess she’s conditioned me to call it a “we”.

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 8, 2014  7:08 pm

Subject: Off for a week

 

Adam, I may have forgotten to tell you. I’m getting ready for a wonderful vacation, beginning tomorrow. I’m going up to Kennebunkport, Maine – an artist’s retreat, with a teacher I had before. I do especially good work with him, learn a lot. Alas, dear friend, I kind of doubt they have internet there. I’m there until the 14th.

 

I’ll write as soon as I return. Promise.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 8, 2014 8:05 pm

Subject: Re:Off for a week

 

Oh. How come you didn’t tell me? How nice for you. Not so nice for me. How am I supposed to survive even a few days without you? Write if you can, but perhaps the whole point is to concentrate on your painting, uninterrupted.

 

I’ll miss you. Hurry back. Are you going alone?

 

Goodnight dear Sarah. ILU

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 9, 2014  9:17 am

Subject: Re:Re:Off for a week

 

Bye bye, Adam. It just slipped my mind. I’ll miss you too! Remember me. Remind me there’s good reason I’m leaving on this trip. I’ll contact you if I can.

 

Yes, alone.

______________________________________________________________

 

 

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 9, 2014 9:28 am

Subject: Have fun!

 

You’ll have a grand and rejuvenating time. Enjoy yourself. And no worries, I haven’t forgotten you all these years. I’m not about to now. BYE, SARAH. Would you try to get the plane to touch down in Chicago, if only for an hour. I could meet you at O’Hare and we could hoist a few.

______________________________________________________________

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 14, 2014  5:44  pm

Subject: Back from Maine

 

I just walked into the house, Adam, grateful that I can finally be in touch again. Wonderful, productive time. I think it stretched me. I worked with watercolor, pen, pencil on the same page. Maybe I’ll get up the courage to send you some pictures. Pleasant people on the trip. Their critique was gentle, but to the point and constructive. Great fun.

 

How have you been?

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Subject: Re:Back from Maine

 

YOU’RE BACK!!! HURRAH. YOU DIDN’T FORGET ME!

 

The blackout was impossible.

 

So glad you had a great time. By all means let me see what you’ve produced!

 

Me? I’ve been okay this week. Same old drudge. My life is not as varied and exciting as yours. I wish I could change that. I spent most of the week longing for you.

 

The reunion’s coming up soon. Text and emails come everyday – an on-going pep rally. People trying to convince me it’s going to be transformative. I’m working myself up to it. Only a week til it’s over with.

 

Welcome home,

 

Your Adam

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

June 14, 2014  9:52 pm

Subject: Re:Re:Back from Maine

 

I just unpacked. I’m not one of those people who can put that off.

Wiped out. A long day. First getting to Boston, and then a 5-hour flight from Logan. I think we might have flown over your house. I should have waved.

 

Good night, dear Adam.

 

As far as I’m concerned, the reunion is already underway. And it IS transformative. And permanent. You and me.

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf < adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 7:56 pm
  • Subject: Back from the future

Sarah, my love, picture this filmic episode:

 

We’re 14 years old. It’s 1960, a late spring afternoon. A path. Cain Park. I’m there waiting for you.

 

The dialogue begins:

 

Sarah: “Adam, where on earth have you been? I’ve been frantic. Your parents have been frantic.”

 

Adam: “Been away, far away. Actually I’ve travelled to the future. Landed in 2014. Guess what? Everybody has air conditioning. Everyone has a phone you can keep in your pocket. Anybody can order movies and watch instantly on their portable televisions.  And, guess what else, my love? Cleveland still hasn’t won a World Series. But most important, you and I are together. What do you say to that?”

_______________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 8:04 pm
  • Subject: Re:Back from the future

 

I would have said, “You mean we’re together six feet under, in adjoining plots?”

________________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 8:17 pm
  • Subject: Re:Re:Back from the future

I’d tell you to hold on to your hat and not to be upset.

 

I’d say: “Except for one day and two phone calls, we haven’t been together since high school – for most of our lives. Half a century later, though, we’re back together again! Come to the future with me now, Sarah, and we’ll skip the years in between. They’re not worth it anyway.”

 

Sarah, would you have come with me then, into the future? What would you have said?

  • _______________________________________________________________
  • From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 8:31 pm
  • Subject: Stop pulling my leg

 

No, I certainly would not have come with you. And I would have said, “Okay, Mr. Looney Tunes. Adios. Aufwiedersehen. You’re crazier than I ever guessed. I’m not going with you anywhere, not now, not in the future. I’m going home.”

 

I would have added, “Fess up and tell me the truth now. Where have you really been since Monday afternoon?” That’s what I would have said,

 

And furthermore, I would have thrown in, “Oh, I get it, you’re breaking up with me. Your voo-doo glimpse into the future, HA! Just a cover so you can wander off into the sunset with Claire Carlsen. Yeah, and when you turn old and your girlfriends don’t want you anymore, then you’ll expect me to push you around in your wheelchair, right? No deal.” I would say, “See you, chum!”

_______________________________________________________________

From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

To: Sarah Ross<sarahross64@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 9:13 pm
  • Subject: Not pulling your leg

 

But I would insist I was telling the truth: “Au contraire, my Sarah. We may be in our late 60s, but not decrepit, not at all. A few ailments, but we avoid doctors, so we don’t dwell on them. Besides you and I have Medicare”. (And you would have asked me what Medicare was.)

 

“Most amazing, Sarah,” I would continue, “I never would have believed it either, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Two septuagenarians rolling around the bed all night, a blowjob every morning.”

 

What would you have said then, if I had promised you that?

________________________________________________________________

From: Sarah Ross <sarahross64@gmail.com>

To: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>

  • June 15, 2014 9:27 pm
  • Subject: Re:Not pulling your leg

 

1960? I would have asked, “Adam, what’s a blowjob?”

________________________________________________________________

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Chapter Reveal: One-Way Ticket Home by K.C. Hardy

one-way-ticket-homeTitle: One-Way Ticket Home
Author: K.C. Hardy
Publisher: Casbury Lane Press
Pages: 262
Genre: Christian Inspirational Fiction

Days before boarding the plane to Italy for her daughter’s wedding, Julie Whitaker receives an unexpected phone call from her past. The memory of Mark Jennings, a handsome and charming Top Gun pilot, had haunted her for decades. Their fairy tale wedding was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but it quickly turned into her worst nightmare.

Starting a new a life without Mark proved to be much harder than Julie had imagined. But in her darkest hour, God revealed Himself in a miraculous way, giving her the strength she needed not only to battle depression, but to face a diagnosis of breast cancer that threatened to cut her life short.

Now, amidst the splendor of the Italian Alps, on the eve of her daughter’s wedding, Julie’s thoughts are catapulted back to Mark and the reason for his call. After thirty years, will Julie have a chance to see him once again? And would she even want to?

Based on true events, One-Way Ticket Home will take you on an unforgettable journey of love, loss, hope and forgiveness. With grace, candor and an indomitable wit, K.C. Hardy reminds us that it is often in our darkest hours, that the strength of the human spirit shines the brightest.

For More Information

  • One-Way Ticket Home is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

First Chapter:

Chapter 1

San Antonio, Texas

June 6, 2008

It happened just as Julie Whitaker turned off the last set of lights in the office. The ever-present amber glow from the receptionist’s desk lamp cast long shadows that gave the normally bustling workplace an eerie, ghost-like feel. Always the last to leave, she stayed long after coworkers had darted off to cart their kids to soccer practice or squeeze in last-minute runs to the grocery store. Having successfully raised two independent daughters, Julie no longer had such obligations. There were no children to pick up from school, drive to soccer, piano, or basketball. There was no husband who expected her to have dinner hot and ready when he walked through the door. She answered to no one…that is, except Clark O’Brien, her boss, mentor, and friend for the past ten years.

And Julie liked it that way—the freedom…the independence…the idea of being able to jet off on exotic vacations whenever she pleased. An idea that always enticed her but which she never had acted upon. Ironically, there still was no time for such luxurious pursuits. There were interviews and database checks at the court house. Deadlines and court dates always loomed. Which was exactly why the grating, high-pitched ring of the phone was even more irritating than usual.

It could only be coming from one place—her desk. She could ignore it, activate the alarm, turn the key in the deadbolt, walk the twelve steps to her car, and be done with work for the next fourteen days. Or…she could answer it. Julie knew who was on the other end of the line. Just before shutting down her computer, she’d shot off a last-minute email to Clark. The message was short, and should have come as no surprise.

Clark,

The Sanchez case has been completed and sent to the D.A.’s office. I’m shutting down my computer after I finish typing this and will see you in two weeks. The offer still stands for you and Jodi to join our family in Italy if you would like. Let me know, and I’ll overnight the tickets to you.

Ciao,

Julie

Why couldn’t she just ignore the ringing like any other rational person on the eve of their first vacation in over two years? Why?

Dedication. The trait that had helped guarantee her job during the recent string of layoffs was now irritating her. She zigzagged across the room, dodging cubicles that impeded a straight shot to her office. Defiantly determined not to be here a single minute longer, she didn’t bother switching on the light in her office, much less sit down. Breathless, she answered the phone before voicemail picked up.

“This better be good, Clark, because my vacation actually started three hours ago!”

“Then what the heck are you still doing at work, Whitaker?”

She almost dropped the phone and had to smother the gasp of shock that made her knees buckle. It wasn’t Clark. There was no mistaking that deep husky voice that sent her heart pounding and her head reeling from the instantaneous churning of emotions. It was a voice she hadn’t heard in over twenty years.

“Jules, you there?”

Running her tongue over her lips to both lubricate and pry them apart, she answered his question with a question of her own.

“Mark. What a surprise! How’d you get my number?”

Working as a private investigator, Julie knew how easy it was to locate anyone, anywhere. And if she was being perfectly honest with herself, she’d secretly longed for this call. Yearned for this somewhere inside the most private chambers of her heart. The lack of closure had left a gaping wound that hemorrhaged for years deep within her soul. A casualty that resulted from the swift, premature severing of their relationship. Forcing emotions and memories to be buried so deep, only Roberta Flack’s sultry voice, late-night showings of Top Gun, or the familiar, nostalgic, musky scent of his signature cologne could unearth them. Still, a part of her wondered: why now? Why after all this time?

“How are you doing?” Julie mustered in the most nonchalant voice possible.

“No complaints. And you?” Typical Mark Jennings. He could’ve been in a Tomcat,

taking fire from all directions, and if someone would have asked how he was doing, he would’ve responded “piece of cake.” It was part of what made him so good at his job.

“I’m doing great.”

He cleared his voice. “So you’re into the Sherlock Holmes thing now, huh?”

“Yep…gotta keep an eye on everyone like you out there,” she teased.

“I bet you make one heck of a private eye.”

“You’re darn right I do,” she laughed. “What about you? You still flying with the Navy?”

“Still flying. But now I’m with American. Been with them nine years. In fact, that’s why I’m calling. I bid the San Antonio run at the end of the month and was wonderin’ if you’d like to meet up for dinner? For old times’ sake?”

Typical Mark, cutting right to the chase. She knew what she should say, what she had rehearsed saying over the years, if this opportunity ever came along again. The phone call from him twenty years ago unraveled the cocoon she so carefully and meticulously constructed. The sound of his voice sent years of therapy, healing, and pieces of her splintered heart swirling erratically into oblivion.

Twenty years ago she had every reason to say no. Back then there was too much to lose. But now things were different. And yet, for some unknown reason, Julie found herself hesitating.

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, Mark…” She couldn’t believe her own words even as they left her lips. Every part of her yearned to see him. To get lost in his hypnotic eyes and run her hands through his unruly, thick, sandy hair. She yearned to trace her fingers across his full lips and down his toned arms.

He was quiet for a moment. “What have you got to lose?” he asked, breaking the silence as if reading her thoughts.

Everything, she wanted to say. This time there was no longer a marriage, a husband, or children—lives that could be ruined. All the reasons for not meeting him before no longer applied. And yet she wavered, for the one life that could still be ruined was her own.

“I’ll think about it, Mark.”

“That’ll work I guess.”

Suddenly, she was anxious to cut the conversation short before she was reduced to the vulnerable woman who still lurked inside. Even decades later, Julie feared succumbing to the seductive charm of the man who somehow always managed to make her weak in the knees. “Mark, can I get back to you? I’m not trying to cut this short, but I was actually about to

leave—”

“For vacation. I gathered that,” he laughed but with zero mirth. She sensed a tinge of annoyance creep into his voice.

“I thought you were my boss.”

“Wow! You must be really comfortable with your boss!”

“I am.” Julie knew Mark well enough to know exactly what he was insinuating, that her relationship with Clark must extend beyond business. It couldn’t be further from the truth, but she decided to let him squirm a little in the realm of the unknown.

“Well, think you could have an answer for me when you get back?”

“Sure…I’ll let you know in two weeks.”

“Two weeks?”

“I’m going to Italy for my younger daughter’s wedding.”

“Your three year-old’s getting married?” he teased.

“My twenty-six year-old is getting married.”

He let out a long whistle. “Time certainly flies, doesn’t it?” His voice took on a somber tone.

“Does it ever!” Julie sighed, nostalgic. It was a sentiment she had felt a lot lately—

one that had sent her to Sam’s on more than one occasion to stock up on economy packages of Kleenex.

“Jules…”

“Yeah…”

“I really hope we can meet up…”

She didn’t say she hoped so too. “I’ll call you when I get back. And thanks for calling. It’s great hearing from you.”

“Be safe over there.”

“I will…thanks.”

Julie sank deeper into the chair after putting down the receiver. The blinking green light on the laptop bounced off the beige walls in the dark room, sporadically illuminating the framed pictures of her girls. Baby pictures. Pictures of them riding their first bikes. Pictures of their proms. Identical pictures taken at their graduation from the University of Texas with the tower lit up behind them amidst a sea of fireworks. There were so many accomplishments, milestones, other loves, and other losses. She had lived a life largely without looking back. Mostly free of regrets.

That is, except for one….

About the Authors

kc-hardy

Kristie Hardy, whose life is the inspiration behind this book, holds a B.S. in Education, a minor in English, and is a former teacher. But her most recent profession as a private investigator spawned a desire to unearth the long-suppressed details of her own personal story. She is a mother of two, and a thirty year metastatic breast cancer survivor. Kristie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband.

Cate Hardy, Kristie’s daughter and co-author, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Cate lives in San Antonio, Texas with the loves of her life: her husband and two children.

Kristie and Cate are the mother/daughter writing team of K.C. Hardy. Their latest book is the Christian inspirational fiction, One-Way Ticket Home.

For More Information

Watch the Trailer!

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/kIfyNDcWz2Y?rel=0

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized