Character Traits 1

Character Traits

What makes a good character? Here’s a starting list. Please send me your ideas so I can grow the list and re-share it with you. *  flawed with strengths and weaknesses, scars and oddities in their lives *  well-developed personality *  distinctive ‘voice’ (you often know which character is speaking without the ‘said’ tag) *  approachable yet filled with secrets *  has a story worth our time learning about as we read *  share both their inner and outer conflicts *  grow and change over the course of the story

Researching Details for Books 0

Researching Details for Books

I have always loved research, but lately it’s become a challenge. Back in the dark ages (when I was in school), I’d go the the library, check out a handful of books and I’d be set to locate the needed details. Computer sites have simplified. intensified and complicated current-day research. These days, possible sites number into the thousands (stars for the wealth of sources) but they also create the problem of who to believe. Another problem for me, is getting lost in layers of research and finding little rabbit trails that lead me further and further away from my intended...

Summer Fun on TV is Coming! 1

Summer Fun on TV is Coming!

If you love exuberant dancers, be certain to check out Fox’s SYTYCD, aka So YOU Think You Can Dance summer series. Thousands of young dancers around the US tryout to become one of the 20 finalists who strive to be named most popular dancers of the season. The choreography is all freshly created. Dancers have less than one week to learn and perform their randomly selected partnered dance genre as well as their personal solos and at least one group number (which usually opens the show). You will see modern, hip-hop, Bollywood, ballroom, Broadway and many other styles. I love...

Quotes to Ponder 1

Quotes to Ponder

When I read, I am often stopped by a line or a paragraph in a book that triggers a sensation in my brain. Maybe some of these will provide something for you to ponder. Rex felt as if they were moving through space, that they were giant spacemen, threading in and out among trillions of tiny, luminous stars. (they are in snow)    The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard, p.19   A rainbow of colored umbrellas punctuated by black bumbers favored by the suited class.   Assault & Pepper by Leslie Budewitz, p. 214   Words or fists, it didn’t...

2 Ballet Dancers: Misty Copeland and Marta 1

2 Ballet Dancers: Misty Copeland and Marta

Misty Copeland, a soloist with New York’s American Ballet Theatre was interviewed last Sunday, May 10th, on 60 Minutes. [See: 60 Minutes Season 47 – Episode 33]  As I watched, I wondered how Marta, my 84 Ribbons and When the Music Stops leading character compared to a real ballet dancer. Let’s find out. Both young women stand at five feet. Both were raised mostly by their mother. Both began their training in simple settings rather than ballet academies and worked far beyond their regular class hours to perfect their dancing. Both felt music rather than danced to music. Both sustained...

After the Story is Written 3

After the Story is Written

I used to think after I wrote the words and sent the book to be printed I was finished. Not so! That’s when the real work begins as I strive to locate reviewers as well as readers. Like most authors, this phase pushes me w-a-y outside my comfort zone. It involves lots of additional writing and decision-making as well as additional expenses. Here’s my list of tasks for (WMS) When the Music Stops-Dance On: 1.  Send unbound copy of WMS to Library of Congress. ($) 2.  Have e-book produced to begin collecting reviews. This also becomes the kindle/Nook book.($) 3.  ...

Letters from Friends 3

Letters from Friends

When the mail arrives and contains a letter or a thought-filled card, it makes my day! Yesterday was a banner day. My friend Gretchen sent me a funny card with a page torn from the weekend pictorial. She knows I write about  ballet and the article was called New York City Ballet : By the Numbers. Here are a few of the numbers that may surprise you. NYCB has performed The Nutcracker 2,342 times. In the production they use 50 pounds of fake snow during each performance. The lovely ascending-descending curtain at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater weighs 1...

Writing with Kids – Scolding Adult Authors 1

Writing with Kids – Scolding Adult Authors

I have the distinct privilege of working with third and fourth grade writers in two local school Working with kids writing using their creativity keeps my writing fresh. Their imaginations go to places we’ve long forgotten to explore. Watching them plan out their stories, watching them smile when they find a funny/curious/outlandish idea and watching them put their ideas down is a highlight of each week. My goal is to encourage them to add details, write complete thoughts and find endings that ‘close’ their stories. It only takes them a few minutes to grasp the idea of ending rather than...

13 Popular Ballet Movies with Synopsis 0

13 Popular Ballet Movies with Synopsis

Ballet movies run the gamut: dark and foreboding, melodramas, character studies, and reality-based. The following random listing of ballet-themed movies interest me**.  I’ve seen many of them and enjoyed the world of ballet they choose to share. Personally, I enjoy real dancers in real studios working on real choreography. Enjoy. Let me know which ones catch your interest and imagination. *                           *                           *                             *                         *                              *                              *                                   * La Danse – Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris….. 2009….. 159 minutes Synopsis: In La danse, Wiseman allows us to observe multiple corners of the Paris Opera Ballet, from rehearsal studios to...

Important April Dates to Celebrate Dance 1

Important April Dates to Celebrate Dance

National Dance Week – April 24-May 3 The dance-related organization became a non-profit institution in 2011. It’s purpose: introduce people to the enjoyment and benefits of dance through community awareness and dance in school. I also encourages continuing education for professionals. International (World) Dance Day – April 29 This day of celebrating dance began in 1982 as an initiative of UNESCO. The purpose: attract people to the world of dance by suggesting they attend performances, classes and lectures  and read magazine and news articles on dance. How can I get involved from near my home? 1. Attend a ballet performance...