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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...

Word Play Challenge 1

Word Play Challenge

I was never a good reader as a child, but I’ve always loved words: their sounds and the way their letter combinations can jump around to make different words. I always had trouble with transposing those common primary devils saw-was and help-play. As a new teacher, I learned I was mildly dyslexic. I also learned that confusion included numbers as well. If you ask me to read a long string of numbers I might start anywhere telling you the numbers (of course they’d be out of order) and then writing them down in correct sequence. Strange huh? I’d have never...

One-Sentence Challenge 1

One-Sentence Challenge

Here’s a fun exercise to stretch your mind and use up brain cells. Try writing one l-o-n-g sentence that creates an image or shares a cohesive idea.   One-Sentence Challenge Yesterday I sat waiting for the doorbell to ring which meant my books arrived and I’d hold the early copies in my hands and then rush to the phone to call Linda and share the news that I’d finally completed 84 Ribbons, book one in my trilogy/ writing cycle which started as an overnight idea when I couldn’t sleep so I sat in my living room and let Marta’s story...

Letter Writing Follow-up 1

Letter Writing Follow-up

In January I wrote about  the lost art of letter writing. Since then I’ve received FIVE unexpected letters. Four arrived together as compact 4×6 note cards, one as a full, typed page. All represent the first letters I’d received in a long time (especially since only a handful of friends write holiday letters anymore.). Let me share the essence of their content. My “biggest fan” letter arrived from Canada via Arizona. A young dancer wrote to me telling me how much she enjoyed 84 Ribbons and that she identified with Marta, the main character in the book. Talk about being...

Carol: A Sketchy Character 1

Carol: A Sketchy Character

Character sketches are fun and part of an author’s ‘research’. They may be based on people we know, or they may be total fabrications. Sometimes, we take the best or worst traits of people we know and use them to jump-start our thinking. Then there is CAROL: the character many of you love to hate. Where did she come from and why? CAROL is a natural antagonist, just like some people we know. Life gave her lemons and she decided to squeeze the sourness onto everything and everyone she knows or comes into contact with during Marta’s story in 84...