C. A. Pack

Musings & Brainstorms & Rants

March 2012

Library of Illumination - The Orb - Chapter Two

The Library of Illumination - The Orb

Chapter Two

          Johanna paced nervously. “Let’s be logical about this. Where do you think the device might have come from?”
          Jackson shook his head. “You’re the curator. You tell me.”
          She nudged a piece of lint with her toe and then bent down to pick it up. “Do you think someone could have broken in while we were in the antechamber?”
          He looked at her in disbelief. “I doubt it. You know how hard it is to break into this place.”
          “Maybe they knew to ask for illumination,” she hedged.
          “Maybe the sphere came out of a book,” he answered.
          “Spontaneously?” she mocked him.
          “Why not?”
          “Because a book wouldn’t just fly open.”
          “Are you sure?”
          “Right now,” she sighed, “I’m not sure about anything.”
          Jackson tried to touch the orb again. This time the shock was not as mild. “Maybe we should call the police.”
          Johanna shuddered. “The police will ask too many questions. They might poke around and start opening books. It could be a disaster. And after what happened with the pawnbroker, I’d rather not call them.”
          Jackson could not understand her reluctance. “If it’s dangerous...” he said with emphasis, then paused realizing he sounded confrontational. He changed his tack. “Maybe it’s from Mal,” he speculated in a quieter voice.
          “Like a fount of knowledge,” she said wistfully. She reached out to touch it, but Jackson grabbed her hand.
          “I would think a fount of knowledge would be... I don’t know... friendlier?” He realized he was still holding her hand and blushed as he dropped it. “You don’t want to touch it.”
          “Do you think it came from another planet?”
          Jackson made a face. “You mean like the planet Krypton?”
          Johanna rolled her eyes. “I meant from a planet with intelligent beings on it. Maybe it’s a communications device.”
          “Or maybe H.G. Wells visited to the Library again in his Time Machine. You told me that once happened here, right? So maybe he dropped it off while we were in the back.”
          Johanna narrowed her eyes at him.
          “You look sexy when you do that.”
          “I didn’t mean to say that out loud.” He had the good sense to look embarrassed. “Sorry.”
          She took a deep breath to regain her focus. “The first thing we have to do is determine if it’s dangerous. I just don’t know how to do that without getting any authorities involved.”
          “Why don’t you just open up a book about Albert Einstein?”
          Johanna’s face lit up. “Jackson, you’re a genius!” She walked over to the science stacks. “Of course, you should take that compliment with a grain of salt, because if you really were a genius, we wouldn’t need Einstein.”
          She found a manuscript of Einstein’s
Relativity: The Special and General Theory and opened it. A man with dark, wiry hair who looked like he had just stuck his finger in a live electric socket, materialized in front of her. He had a dark mustache that matched his hair, and was wearing a shapeless cardigan.
          Einstein stared at Johanna for a moment before breaking into a warm smile. “I’m Albert Einstein. What is this place? I don’t remember traveling here.”
          “Dr. Einstein, we’d like your opinion of a worrisome object that, as far as we can tell, has appeared out of nowhere. It’s giving us cause for concern.” She led Einstein to the blue orb.
          He studied it for several minutes before trying to touch it. Like Jackson, his hand was repelled. “It contains a great deal of energy.”
          “Yes, but what is it?”
          “Do you have notes or drawings outlining the construction of this device?”
          Jackson shook his head.
          “Formulas?” Einstein continued. “Schematics? Without those, I can only theorize that what I see before me is extremely powerful.”
          “Is it a bomb?”
          “Perhaps?” Jackson practically shouted. “Is that the best you can do? You’re freakin’ Albert Einstein!”
          Einstein looked at Johanna. “Who is this young man?”
          “Jackson.” She lowered her voice to a whisper, “He works here.”
          Einstein turned to the boy. “Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.”
          “What does that mean?” Jackson asked more calmly.
          “Why do you think I, more than you, should know what this is?”
          “Because you’re a genius.”
          “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”
          Johanna, who was still holding the manuscript on Relativity, closed it. Einstein disappeared. She removed a later work by the physicist.
          A white haired version of Einstein appeared to them. He looked at the blue orb and smiled. “I remember this from earlier in my career. It’s still here.” He studied Johanna and Jackson. “You, too, remain and have not aged.”
          “We’re trying to determine if the sphere is dangerous?” Johanna continued.
          “Where did it come from?” Einstein asked.
          “We don’t know,” she said.
          “This technology, while intriguing, is not within my field of expertise. If you believe it to be a bomb, then may I suggest J. Robert Oppenheimer as a suitable expert? He is a theoretical physicist with a great deal of knowledge in the area of explosive devices.” He paused. “How long has it been since I was here last?”
          “Just a few minutes,” Jackson said.
          Einstein smiled. “Then it’s true. The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
          “Who is this Oppenheimer guy?” Jackson asked as Johanna re-shelved the second manuscript.
          “He was the director of the Manhattan Project and is known as ‘the father of the A-bomb.’”
          “So you agree, it’s a bomb?”
          “You’re the one who said it was ticking,” she observed.
          “So where would I find a book on Oppenheimer?”
          “I’ll get it,” Johanna said, taking the stairs to the second story. “Look around to make sure no one got in while we were in the back room.” It took her several minutes to find the right book. “Here goes nothing,” she said, opening it to a page at random.
          Instantly, a small group of scientists, engineers and mathematicians appeared. They were deep in conversation and scarcely noticed that their surroundings had changed, except for one man. He was lean, with thick hair, bushy eyebrows and clear blue eyes. He took a deep drag on the pipe he held clenched between his teeth, before speaking. “I will not even hazard to guess how we got here, when mere moments ago, we were sitting in my office at Project Y. I do wish to know what you want with us?”
          “Are you J. Robert Oppenheimer?”
          “I am.”
          “Albert Einstein told us you might be able to help us. We need to know what you think this is?” Johanna pointed to the blue orb. The others had already noticed it and had gathered around it.
          “Where did it come from?” Oppenheimer asked, mesmerized by the pulsing blue light. The hypnotic strobe cast a ghostly pallor on the faces of the men gathered around it. Oppenheimer reached out to touch it. He felt the energy of the force field, but not the sphere itself.
          “Spooky, huh?” Jackson asked. “I tried that, too. There’s a force field around it.”
          “It would seem our esteemed director has been warned off.” The others began talking excitedly about what could create such an energy shield.
          “It just appeared,” Johanna told Oppenheimer. “There was nothing here an hour ago when we went into a back room to work on an illuminated manuscript. We found it when we returned. The Library is a locked facility and there are no signs of a break in.”
          As Oppenheimer listened, he surveyed his surroundings. The words ‘Library’ and ‘illuminated manuscript’ piqued his curiosity. “What is this place?”
          “It’s the Library of Illumination,” Johanna answered. Her attention was diverted as a scientist who tried to touch the orb for the third time, cried out when the shock became painful. She moved closer to him to make sure he was all right.
          The diversion didn’t faze Oppenheimer. He walked over to the nearest shelf to see what treasures it might hold. On it, lay the Gutenberg Bible, which had not yet been placed in the display case. He gently ran his finger across the richly tooled brown calf cover that carried the scars of more than five centuries of use. He gently lifted the front cover. Recognizing the history and value of the book, Oppenheimer carefully turned the pages to the book of Genesis. It wasn’t long before Adam an Eve sprang to life, standing naked before him.

To be continued…

Who Knew?

Photobucketesearch can be so fulfilling!

In the Library of Illumination - Book Three, Johanna and Jackson are exhibiting a 15th century Gutenberg Bible for an upcoming Library Board meeting. I had an opportunity to see one of these books years ago, in the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany. At that time, I had no idea I would ever refer to the first mass-produced book - in a future book of my own. But that has now happened, and I wish I had payed better attention. As I was writing a description of the bible, I wondered if it would have been produced with a cover? I Googled images of the bible and saw some that appeared to have covers, but that didn’t tell me if the covers were original. So I sent an email to the Gutenberg Museum. In the interim, I glossed over the cover issue, and then forgot about it.

Until now.

I received an email from Dr. Claus Maywald of the Gutenberg Museum in which he described the origins of the bible, saying Gutenberg (or any printer at that point in time) would print the contents as quires - a word that was unfamiliar to me. I looked it up and learned that quires are 4 pieces of paper folded in half to make eight pages. A printer would sell the quires to a customer. The customer could then hire a rubricator - a scribe who specialized in illuminating the manuscript and adding decorative details.


The final step would be to send the manuscript to a bookbinder to be bound with a cover. According to Dr. Maywald, a typical 15th century cover for the Gutenberg Bible might have been made of brown calf leather with hand tooled decoration and a clasp binding.

You can learn more about the Gutenberg museum here.

Past and Future Artists Meet the Present


Decades ago, as a design major in college, I was once unceremoniously escorted out of the Emilio Pucci Lounge at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, for sketching some of the designs. I was working on a course assignment from a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, so the idea of “plagiarism” had never entered my consciousness. However, it was a word SFA employees bandied about, as a security guard showed me the door. In retrospect, it was the beginning of the end of my design career.

I can’t help but wonder if I would have felt less embarrassed if they had labeled me a
corporate spy. To a teenager, that might have seemed more sophisticated and less ugly than plagiarizer.


Fast forward to St. Petersburg, Russia in the 21
st century. On a recent tour of The State Hermitage Museum, I learned that art students in Russia are encouraged to copy the works of great masters.
And some of those students were quite good. There were the realists who matched brush stroke for brush stroke…


...and the more adventurist students, who gave old paintings a new twist.


The Hermitage is one of the largest museums in the world and has a history that spans a quarter of a millennium. With a collection that includes nearly three million works of art, the museum holds a vast array of canvases to capture students’ attention.

Hermitage Bright

After having personally been denied the opportunity to do something similar years ago, I now feel exonerated. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Library of Illumination - The Orb - Chapter One

I’ve been talking about blogging my next book and here is the first installment:

The Library of Illumination - The Orb

Chapter One

          Late morning sunlight filtered through the tall, narrow windows of the Library of Illumination, capturing the intricate design woven into the Persian rug, within the geometric ghost of windowpanes. Suddenly, the play of pattern and light was replaced by something more visually stimulating, yet so ominous and unusual, it would soon test the resolve of everyone who came in contact with it.


         Illumination. Even though the gold leaf highlights on the richly illuminated text had faded with age, the impact of its beauty was no less powerful.
         “Look at the delicacy of the acanthus leaves surrounded the main letter. They’re only a small part of the whole, yet their intricate beauty lends depth to the illustration.” Johanna, curator of the Library of Illumination, was giving her sixteen-year-old assistant Jackson a lesson on restoring illuminated manuscripts.
         As she sighed in awe of the beauty of the artwork, Jackson sighed inwardly over the beauty of Johanna. He had been working at the Library for several months, and when school went on summer break, he had jumped at the chance to work additional hours at the Library. He didn’t know if she knew how he felt about her. Nor how she felt about him. For now, it was enough for him to have an excuse to be near her five days a week. So here he was, sitting a hair’s breadth away from her, inhaling her scent and becoming intoxicated by the tone of her voice.
         Johanna was older than Jackson, but he had no idea how much older. She didn’t really look any older than him. He appeared mature for his age. And he was at least eight inches taller than she was, making them
look like contemporaries. But he knew she had an active social life, because he’d once seen her having dinner with some guy when he and his pals were walking home from the movies. Johanna and her date had been sitting at a window seat in Le Chat, Exeter’s excuse for a French bistro.
         “...the ink isn’t absorbed by the parchment. So the pigment merely lies on the surface of the page, which is why it’s so delicate and has a tendency to fade.” Johanna turned toward Jackson. In doing so, her thigh brushed against his bare leg. It was the middle of July and they were both wearing shorts and tank tops to stay cool in the heat.
         Jackson felt every nerve ending in his body jump to attention. His face reddened.
         “It’s too hot back here, isn’t it? I can tell you’re hot just by looking at your face.” Johanna continued, “I’d better read Mal’s diary tonight to see if he mentions whether the Library has air conditioning. If this heat keeps up much longer, the books are going to melt.”
         “Yeah,” was all that Jackson could think to say.
         “Why don’t you go get something to eat? The luncheonette has air conditioning. The pizza place has fans, but with those big ovens going, you couldn’t pay me enough to eat there.”
Was she asking him to have lunch with her? “Sure. Wherever you want to go.”
         “Oh, I can’t go. I’m expecting a call from Book Services about a delivery. You go. I think you need to cool off.”
         Did he ever, but he had no intention of telling
her that.
         They walked out of the Library antechamber. “When you come back, we’ve got to finish setting up the display for the Gutenberg Bible. We don’t want the Board of Directors to get their hands on it during their meeting here on Thursday. They may decide to open the cover and we don’t need Moses parting the Red Sea in the middle of the Library. I know it’s hard to believe, but even though they represent the Library of Illumination, they have no clue that these books can come to life. And I think it’s best if it remains that way. Mal, the former curator, felt the same way. He said some of the Board members were just doing it for the prestige and power of being on the Library Board. And he said ‘power corrupts.’”
         Johanna often spoke this way about Mal. Jackson had never met him, but you would think Mal was a god the way Johanna spoke about him. Jackson stared at her wondering if she felt about Mal, the way Jackson felt about her?
         “Don’t stand there gawking at me. Go to lunch.”
         Jackson felt his face redden, yet again. “I was just wondering,” he said, “do the books come to life, even when they’re loaned out?”
         “There are a few, select scholars and universities that have been approved to receive the enchanted books. I usually have to borrow books from other libraries for people who aren’t on my master list.”
         “Who approves them?”
         “Well... Mal approved them, I guess, and then when someone who’s on the list retires, he or she usually recommends someone they trust, to be added to the list. So I guess it’s self-perpetuating.”
         “So when they open the cover, stuff happens, even though they’re not here in the Library?”
         “Yes, but they know how to handle it.”

         “What is that funky, blue light?” Jackson wondered aloud as they rounded the information desk. They stopped in their tracks when they spotted a large sphere in the middle of the room. It was about three feet in diameter and appeared to be studded with smooth silver disks. On closer inspection, the metal disks were attached to internal spikes, aimed at an eighteen-inch matte black globe, suspended in the center of the orb. An iridescent blue and purple gelatinous substance surrounded the globe and appeared to pulsate, emitting a dull blue light.
         Jackson reached out to touch the sphere.
         “Jackson, no!”
         The teenager’s hand never made contact. Instead he felt a buzzing sensation that propelled his hand away from the orb – like a mild electric shock. “It won’t let me touch it!”
         “What do you think it is?”
         “I don’t know, but it doesn’t look good.”
         “Why do you say that?”
         “Because it looks like something from a science fiction movie; it came out of nowhere; it’s got it’s own defense shield; and it’s pulsating.”
         “Like it’s alive?”
         “Like it’s ticking.”

To be continued…

I'm in Love

… With the most beautiful and unusual writing desk I’ve ever seen.

In my ongoing search for the perfect place to write, I think I’ve found the perfect desk. It’s called a Lyre Secretaire and it used to grace a private estate in Holland.

lyre secrétaire

I love the unusual shape, and being my mother’s daughter, appreciate the carved winged griffins that support each side of it. My husband always says, “If you see something you like, buy it, because you never know when you’ll see it again.” It’s a maxim I usually subscribe to, however, I think I may have to let it pass me by. The price is $39,000.00. And then I’d have to pay another stratospheric amount to have it shipped from the Netherlands.

So all I can do is dream. Or maybe I can take this picture to a graphics company to have it blown up into a life-size poster that I can decoupage to the front of an old boxy armoire.

Close… but no cigar.

Need a Niche

There’s nothing like an article about Working from Home to get the juices flowing. Not the creative juices, sadly enough, but the need for a designated workspace. As a writer, I do a lot of research. I’m constantly surrounded by pads and pencils, sketches and notes, and my absolute favorite notebooks - Circa - by Levenger. They’re made up of covers and individual pages that are held together by plastic (or wood or stainless steel) discs. And being the type of person who can get lost for an hour in a stationary store, I’ve got tabbed inserts and a whole punch and specialty pages for my Circa Collection. And now, Staples has come up with something similar, at a much lower cost. Whoopee! Since Staples provides immediate gratification and I don’t have to wait a week or two for my goods to be sent to me, I find myself transitioning over. But I digress.


All this stuff needs a place to live, that is both handy but non-obtrusive. And it has to live with reams of paper and labels and boxes of ink and guidebooks, dictionaries, maps, books on writing technique, post it’s paper clips, stapler, whole punch, pens and pencils and files. Lots and lots of files. All I need is a 7 foot square section of quiet space to call my own, with tall shelves on top ad hidden storage on the bottom. A credenza perhaps with a nice desk to go with it.

My problem isn’t finding the furniture. I’m very good at that. The problem is finding space in my condo. It’s not like I can put an addition on the place or bump out the roof with a dormer. And enclosing my balcony is definitely not allowed. So now what?

This may become an ongoing lament as I continue writing, because more words = more books = more notes = more stuff in need of a permanent home.

Fission Fiction

I’ve got a new idea for a segment of the Library of Illumination, and to write it, I need a little illumination of my own on what a nuclear device would look like. So, lazy me, I went to Google images and found something like this:

nuclear bomb

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I guess my mind has been tainted watching too many films and too much TV. What happened to all the cool bombs built into stainless steel or aluminum cases? It didn’t seem very promising.

I also found this:

bomb 2

It would be perfect if my genre was steampunk.

I didn’t really see what I was looking for, and in the end, I came up with a device of my own design, after all, I write fiction. I absolutely love where my research is leading me, but after several hours, diamagnetic levitation, Calabi-Ya manifolds, and bubbles of charged plasma all blend into one another and leave a muddle puddle where my brain once lived.

This is the story I said I would blog, so I just want you to know, the research has begun, and the first blog will soon follow.

Erin go bragh.

WLNY Merger

I just saw this on TV Spy and since it involves people I know at WLNY, I thought I’d include it here.

With WCBS Merger Looming, WLNY Will Suspend News Operations This Month
By Merrill Knox on March 15, 2012 2:00 PM
Long Island’s WLNY will suspend newscasts at the end of this month, two months before the station is expected to officially merge with WCBS.
WLNY’s last 11 p.m. newscast will be March 29, according to the
New York Daily News. The station will air “Entertainment Tonight” in that timeslot until the two stations merge, which is expected to be in mid-June. WCBS, the CBS O&O in New York City, plans on expanding Long Island coverage with the acquisition of WLNY.
“We are excited to be acquiring WLNY and making it a bigger and better station,” a WCBS spokesman
said. “Once the sale is finalized, we will be investing in additional people and resources so that we can provide Long Island and the entire tristate area with additional newscasts.”
The Daily News
reports WLNY employs 55 people and 30 of them have been told they will stay after the merger.

Siri Schmiri

I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the Apple commercials featuring Siri lately, but she’s supposed to be your own little BFF. In case you’ve been off-planet, Siri is a voice-activated assistant that will check your appointments, make phone calls for you, get directions to your favorite restaurant, and even call you a “Rock Star.” Except when she won’t. I don’t think Siri get’s along with everyone, because she sure as hell doesn’t get along with me.

I recently had trouble finding a restaurant where I was supposed to be attending a meeting. I risked picking up my cell phone while I was stopped at a light, to ask Siri to give me directions. I’m sure she thought, Ha! Gotcha! when she said, I’m sorry Carol, but I can’t help you right now. Please try again in a little while. Sure, she apologized, but it always seems that when I need her most, she’s got something better to do.

I also think Siri’s a little hard of hearing. The Black Forest Brew Haus in Farmingdale became the Brew House in Queens. And once, when I asked her to call Bob Lipper, she answered, Do you want me to call Bill Bleyer’s home number or his work number? “Bob Lipper,” I said a little louder and what I hoped was more clearly. I don’t see Barbara Lipper in your contacts. Perhaps you want me to call one of these: Bob Lipper… Barbara Paskoff…” “Call Bob Lipper’s cell phone,” I said a little more confidently. You don’t have a cell phone listing for Bill Bleyer. Would you like me to call Bill Bleyer on his home phone or his work phone?

And God forbid I continue asking the same question in different ways, hoping Siri will eventually catch on. She actually gets snippy in her replies. But the absolute worst is when she feigns ignoreance. I’m sorry, Carol, but I don’t understand the question. Just because I asked her what I should buy my brother for his birthday…

All I’m saying is, don’t expect Siri to be your bosom buddy, because she can turn on you on a dime.

John Steinbeck's Words of Wisdom

I was looking through various discussions on one of the LinkedIn writers’ groups that I belong to, when I saw one on writing advice from John Steinbeck. I figure the man knows what he’s talking about, since he’s a Nobel Laureate.

When he won that honor in 1962, the Nobel Prize Organization said it was “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.”

The following article is a reprint from theAtlantic.com

6 Writing Tips From John Steinbeck

The legendary author explains why you should abandon all hope of finishing your novel.
If this is indeed the year of reading more and writing better, we've been right on course with David Ogilvy's 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller's 11 commandments, and various invaluable advice from other great writers. Now comes John Steinbeck—Pulitzer Prize-winner, Nobel laureate, love guru—with six tips on writing, culled from his altogether excellent interview it the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.
1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn't exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn't belong there.
5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
But perhaps most paradoxically yet poetically, 12 years prior—in 1963, immediately after receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception"—Steinbeck issued a thoughtful disclaimer to all such advice:
"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story."
If you feel bold enough to discount Steinbeck's anti-advice advice, you can do so with these 9 essential books on more and writing. Find more such gems in this collection of priceless interviews with literary icons from half a century of The Paris Review archives.

Who has the time?

I love to hear what other writers are buzzing about and one of the best ways to do that is to join a writer’s group on LinkedIn, and there are lots of them. There’s The Writers’ Network, Fiction Writers Guild; Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors & Writing Professionals; The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators; Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators; International Thriller Writers… the list goes on, and so do the postings.


The problem, of course, is that if you read and respond to (or as the buzzword puts it: engage) other writers on those sites, you’ll never have enough time left over to actually write. And even if you do, you’ll probably have to use it to market your last book, instead of working on your next one.

A well-known thriller writer taught a workshop a few years back that speculated if a writer could pen just 3 pages a day, which sounds totally feasable, (s)he could write at least two books a year. But even three pages a day is a stretch, when you’re also busy blogging, responding, engaging, reading and researching. Notice, I didn’t even mention eating, sleeping, or day-to-day living.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I wish someone could beam the information straight into my brain. Just don’t email me, because that takes up an additional hour or so - all by itself. And who has time?

Vatican Archives

If you saw the film Angels & Demons, this should spark your imagination the way it did mine.

There is an exhibition of priceless archives in Italy that have been stored away in the Vatican vault for centuries. One hundred historic documents are going to be on display at the Musei Capitolini in Rome until September, 9, 2012, and I can’t think of anything more interesting. The exhibit includes a letter written by Marie Antoinette and the judicial acts of the trial of Galileo. An up close look at some of these archives would probably provide fodder for several segments of the Library of Illumination. That makes me a motivated traveler.

Take a look:

I can’t think of a better way to while away a few hours…

It’s time to plan a ROAD TRIP!

Where do you put the prisoner?

I can’t tell you how much information I had to wade through to learn that the New York City Police Department didn’t have a fleet of police cars in 1918.
Paddy wagons?
You bet! Some of them were even outfitted with machine guns. Gotta keep those anarchists in line…

NYPD Motorcycle1918

But patrol cars?

Not really.

As far as I can tell, a fleet of cars wasn’t added until the 1920’s.

Hitler's Artwork

I’ve been researching Germany - after the fall of Adolf Hitler - for Evangeline’s Ghost - The Bridge - and came across this water color of the Old Vienna Opera House that Adolf Hitler is said to have painted about one hundred years ago.

Hitler Watercolor of Old Vienna Opera House

Billie Burke's Former Digs

I’ve been working over the past few weeks to help journalists enter the 2012 Press Club of Long Island Media Awards Competition. This is the first year the application process was solely online, so there was a learning curve for everyone. The good news is, we took in more than 460 entries. The bad news is, I know of people who did not enter, because as they put it, ”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Still, all the people who did choose to enter kept me busy with a steady barrage of emails.

All while I was trying to compile my annual tax returns.

So ask me if I’ve written anything? I already have two new ideas for segments of The Library of Illumination (LOI), and a completed outline for a second Evangeline’s Ghost book. What I don’t have is any completed pages of new work.

I’m hoping now that the initial awards activity has settled down, and my tax prep is behind me, that I can start getting back to what I love doing best. And what I’m planning to try is blogging my next LOI segment. It’s my way of welcoming spring.

Thank God That's Over

I’ve been working over the past few weeks to help journalists enter the 2012 Press Club of Long Island Media Awards Competition. This is the first year the application process was solely online, so there was a learning curve for everyone. The good news is, we took in more than 460 entries. The bad news is, I know of people who did not enter, because as they put it, ”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Still, all the people who did choose to enter kept me busy with a steady barrage of emails.

All while I was trying to compile my annual tax returns.

So ask me if I’ve written anything? I already have two new ideas for segments of The Library of Illumination (LOI), and a completed outline for a second Evangeline’s Ghost book. What I don’t have is any completed pages of new work.

I’m hoping now that the initial awards activity has settled down, and my tax prep is behind me, that I can start getting back to what I love doing best. And what I’m planning to try is blogging my next LOI segment. It’s my way of welcoming spring.