Eloise Living Large at the Plaza

“I am Eloise.  I am six.  I am a city child.  I live at the Plaza.”  And so begins the intriguing, zany, wonderful story of Eloise, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight.  This book was given to me in the late 50’s, and, I’m delighted to report,  has become a three generation must-read for me, […]

Dying To Be Noticed

Sadly, many creative people aren’t recognized in their field until they are six feet under. Of course, back in Plato’s day fame wasn’t such a big deal because it didn’t exist as it does today. In fact, before the Industrial Revolution authors were said to be doing well when they were simply recognized in their […]

How Many Charlies Fit into a World?

In the early days of December, in a fit of indignation , I joined two political groups. This is surprising because although I’m political, I’m also a disillusioned introvert. Basically no system in America is left enough for me, and I wouldn’t attend your rally unless it had fewer than ten people. But I can […]

Mapping the Fictional Universe

The history of fantasy maps in books goes back at least as far as Jonathan Swift and Gulliver’s Travels. Swift’s satirical account of adventures in imaginary lands was modeled on the real-life exploration narratives that were popular in his day, and like many of these travelogues, it included engravings of maps. Two centuries or so later, […]

“Are You Ready for the Country?”: Nashville in All Its Songwriting Glory

Some cities have a unique way of relating to the world around them. They have a hum, a certain lifeblood, a raison d’etre, if you will. Washington, D.C. runs on politics. In Los Angeles, that hum is the entertainment industry, referred to simply as “the industry.” Even ordinary folks know what’s playing at the NuArt, […]

What Would You Do if You Were Orphan #8?

Orphans – we are captivated by their stories. From Huck Finn to Oliver Twist to Jane Eyre to Anne Shirley, their stories endure. Even children, perhaps from fearing the unthinkable loss of parents, find orphan stories fascinating. I’m thinking of Madeline, The Box Car Children, The Whipping Boy, and Mary Lennox in her secret garden. […]