Monday, November 8, 2010

Reading on My Mind

About 30 people attended the reading at the Cell Theater on Sunday, Nov. 7, that featured Charles Salzberg, Katia Lief, Mary Stasia Concannon and myself. The theme was murder, and I don't think we disappointed anyone. I enjoyed myself thoroughly (deep down, I believe I'm a ham), and I even sold a couple of books. It was a great experience to hear the other writers; their work was interesting and twisted. Sometimes it's nice to realize that my mind isn't the only demented mind one out there.

The space itself was intriguing. It's a small theater on 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and the seats are all pews, which gives it a hushed, church-like feel. The ceiling soars and the space is open. We spent some time speculating about what it might have been before it became a theater -- a church, a Quaker meeting hall, a firehouse -- but we never did get an answer.

Besides the reading series, which is held once a month, the theater is also the site of plays, concerts and recitals, and performance art.

After the reading, we got a chance to mingle with the members of the audience while enjoying wine and nibbles. I even got into an interesting conversation with a man named Schuyler. What are the odds on that?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Reading

I'll be doing a reading with two other mystery writers at the Cell Theater in Chelsea on Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. The organizers are asking for a $5 donation to cover the cost of wine and nibbles at the event. That sounds reasonable to me, but then again, I'm not disinterested in this process.

Here's a link for more information:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper, R.I.P. (or Something)

I'm writing this at the request of my brother, Andrew, who reminded me of it upon the recent death of Dennis Hopper. The story, as I heard it, ran like this.

In the 1980s, when Hopper was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, he was called the morning the nominations were announced by a New York Times reporter. The conversation went like this (caution: all quotes are approximations and may, in fact, be apocraphyl):

Reporter: Dennis, congratulations, you've been nominated for best supporting actor.
Hopper: Thanks. To be honest, I've been expecting this. I've got something prepared, if you don't mind.
Reporter: Great. Go ahead.
Hopper (reading from a paper): I want to thank the acadamy for this honor. "Blue Velvet" is one of the greatest pictures I've ever worked on --
Reporter: Dennis --
Hopper: David Lynch is a genius, a true artist --
Reporter: Dennis!
Hopper: And one of the great directors of our time.
Reporter: DENNIS!
Hopper (nonplussed): What?
Reporter: You weren't nominated for "Blue Velvet."
Hopper (after a pause): I wasn't?
Reporter: No.
Hopper: Then what the fuck was I nominated for?
Reporter: "Hoosiers."
Hopper (incredulous): "Hoosiers"?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Reporter: That's right.
Hopper (increasingly incredulous): I was nominated for "Hoosiers"!??!?!?!? For that piece of crap?!?!?!? "Hoosiers"?!?!?!?!?!? I can't fucking believe it!!!!!! What a piece of shit!!!!!! "Hoosiers"!?!?!?!?!? Those fucking fucks in the fucking academy wouldn't know a good fucking piece of work if it bit 'em in the fucking ass!!!!!! Fucking "Hoosiers"?!?!?!?!!?!? Those fucking fucks ....

Apparently, it went on like that for a while. And, unfortunately, not a word of it could be related to the paper's readers.

The story, as I mentioned above, may be apocraphyl. But, for the record, if Hopper made that point, I think it was a really good one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

R.I.P. Dave Stern

I should have posted about this a few days ago, but the press of events has prevented me.

My college roommate, friend and writing partner, Dave Stern, died suddenly of a heart attack last weekend in his hometown of Marblehead, Mass. His love and commitment to his community were evident on Monday at his funeral -- about 1,000 people attended the service at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead.

Dave was 51, and left us all far too soon. We will always remember his humor, intelligence, energy, and innumerable kindnesses. In your thoughts and prayers please remember Dave; his wife, Sylvia; and their sons, Sam and Jeff.

Here is a link to Dave's death notice, which ran in The Boston Globe:

Book Panel

I hope to be blogging a little more about this as the date gets nearer. In the meantime, I'd just like to put out an alert that I'll be appearing on a panel titled "Hard-Boiled Mysteries: Killing With an Edge" at the Mid-Manhattan Library on Tuesday, March 23. The panel kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

Here's a link for more details:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jane Jarvis, R.I.P.

I'd be remiss if I didn't note the recent death of Jane Jarvis, the longtime organist at Shea Stadium back in the day. I have a lot of good memories of those games, and her organ-playing created a much better environment than the current insistence management has on inflicting eardrum-splitting noise on its paying customers.

Anyway, here's a link to the Times obit, which will probably tell you a few things you didn't know: