Friday, October 21, 2011


On Saturday, October 15th, my husband and I attended a memorial service for a dear friend. We met Boots Martin in 1973 through Stagedoor Comedy Playhouse, where I had the joy of working with her in many plays and replacing her in several others when she was busy doing other shows.

Everyone who spoke about Boots talked about her passion for theater. It didn’t matter how small or how large the role, Boots always brought her considerable arsenal of talent—her passion—with her.

Which made me think about why we writers keep writing—despite rejections, poor or nonexistent reviews and even when confronted by the terror of writer’s block. It’s our passion for the written word; the passion that demands we tell the story; the passion for the characters who compel us to tell about their successes and failures, their goodness and flaws, their hates and—above all—their loves. About their abiding passion for life and for each other.

Many years before I sold my first novel, Boots suffered through editing handwritten manuscripts, her edits also handwritten. Looking back, I wonder who had the harder time deciphering those scribblings. Boots kept reading and acting. I kept writing—all because we shared a passion for what we do, for what makes us who we are.

I miss you, Bootsie, more than words can say.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Ham and travel.

Say what?
This pix of sooooo many hams?
The Boqueria off Las Ramblas in central Barcelona!
Jamon, anyone? Iberico ham, cured to a melt-in-your mouth savory delight.
Expensive? As you can see from the signs, ABsolutely!
One of the many delights of travel is getting to taste the delicacies of other countries.
And since I like to eat....
What did I partake of in happy, hot Barcelona?
Anchovies. Fresh. NOT like those we get in the bottle or can. Sweet, crisp, large and used in everything.
Clams. You could tell these tiny shell-dwellers had come from the sea just hundreds of feet away that morning.
Lobster! Succulent.
Paella. Savory broth with prawns and clams and sausage, then done to a fine point.
CHOCOLATE! So many chocolatierias in Barcelona mean you could re-name the city! The finest I tasted were right around the corner from the Picasso Museum, where a 5" diameter and 1/2" thick disk (NOT kidding!) of luscious stuff cost 2 Euro. oh. be. still. my. heart. And it came in white, dark and milk chocolate, with or without almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips. I salivate to tell you.
And for 2.4 Euro you had a similar selection of truffles, filled with alternative chocolate creams.
Just as yummy were the luscious caramels made by the monks atop Mount Serrat. Making candy, aside from their publishing business, is how the Benedictine monks support their more than 1000-year-old monastery compound. Pictures of those to come!
And in the meantime, if you look for a new goody to read, do try my latest, LADY STARLING'S STOCKINGS, 99 Cents in Kindle , Smashwords