By the second season following, she had matured into the world’s premier woman sprinter. She had made a shambles of the national AAU meet, and her times proved that not even the cream of the Marxist damsels were in her class. By then, too, the young black girl was something of a folk hero, rising from obscurity to magnetize media people all across the wide land. Her somewhat empty glance was crystallized on scores of glossy covers. Never chary of herself, Lizabeth Sue gladly granted interviews with all comers, and, being as uncoached in grammar as in her sport, she endeared herself to youth everywhere. On the occasion of her single, live television appearance, she had said …
20 June 2022
I just learned that my novel, Black Keys, is now available at Amazon.com. Following is an excerpt.
She intercepted the car door with a relentless grip and stared madly inside at David and his wife. Flakes of snow danced wildly around her head. “l love her!” she skirled defiantly and clawed the air. “l love her!” Long after the white curtain obscured her she stood in the road protesting the death in a shrill lament and daring the powers of the universe.
My proof copy of a great novel, Black Keys, is in the post to me. It will be available at Amazon.com soon, and I’ll announce that here. Please tune in now and then.
I can’t take credit for creating it, but welcome to my nicely remodeled website. Read about two of my novels and a children’s book, illustrated by my wife, all available at amazon.com, plus an exciting new novel coming soon.
REVIEW OF “BUN-BUN’S AMAZING TRAVELS”
“The story is told with elegance, and, of course, I love … the ballet studio. Jane’s illustrations are delightful, their tone perfectly calibrated to the tone of your story. Congratulations on it!”
Mindy Aloff, editor, essayist, journalist, and dance critic
Author, Dance Anecdotes, 2006
Leaps in the Dark: Art and the World, 2011
Reaction to The Tender Care Murders from Steve Mark, Executive Vice President of the Tenzi Corporation
“Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed your story. A perfect bedside read even if Viola didn’t have perfect bedside manners. I’m sure you have the Hollywood casting all envisioned in your head.”
An odd pair of model citizens conclude that their only protection, and that of their friends, against a powerful and dangerous adversary is MURDER. Needing additional brain- and muscle-power, their first task is recruiting a gang but keeping the other members innocent of the crime.
This novella, at once humorous and frightening, chronicles their painstaking, handicapped effort to devise and carry out a feasible plot while avoiding detection. Firearm, knife, poison, flames? Follow their amateur investigations and schemes as they refine a plan to dispatch their enemy and balance on the thin line between their perceived duty and their religious belief.
The tale also dramatizes the plight of some unlucky inmates of shoddy assisted-living facilities, for these are wheel chair conspirators beyond their mid-80s, and confined in one. They are justifiably fearful of being “hospiced to death” by the unprincipled, profiteering owner. But how can they form their frail bodies into an effective force?
Suspense, twists, and more than a few laughs lie around every corner of the titillating story.
My researches and publications on Helen West Heller, the finest artist in Canton, Illinois’ history and among the greatest woodcut artists of all time, continue.
I was invited by the National Academy of Design to contribute an article to its journal, NAD Now, and my piece, “The Compressed Visions of Helen West Heller,” appear in the 15 April 2020 issue. It may be found at
It was just a few weeks after I started at the Tower when Esther’s mother and step-father came the first time. It turned out, then, that they came every month or two but never stayed longer than a weekend. Pete was a retired factory worker, and Lila was always afraid somebody would steal their pension and social security checks out of their mailbox, so they always had to get back for some check or another. It was only about ninety miles to their town, and they would usually come on a Friday morning and leave Sunday afternoon. Lila refused to let Pete drive after dark – she always had plenty to say about what he did or didn’t do, such as how often to take a bath – and she said her eyes were too bad for highway driving day or night. It seemed that one check or other arrived every Monday, so they could never stay beyond Sunday, or maybe that was just an excuse not to stay too long.
Pete was seventy-something when I first saw him, and Lila was several years younger. She had wire-rimmed glasses, very thin, fine hair that started pretty far up her forehead and was always cut short, and was a small woman, but there was never any doubt about who ran that show. She had a way of setting her thin lips together, wrinkling her eyebrows, and tilting her chin up just a little that meant nothing on earth would change her mind. Sure, that’s a good thing – if a person’s always right, which is generally not the case – but if you’re stubborn when you’re dead wrong, that’s another story. There was one big thing that Lila was not right about.
Pete was a quiet, easy-going guy and had been hard-working all his life. He didn’t feel unlucky about that and figured that was what he was meant to be. I think he thought that a working man was the best thing to be – if he got treated fairly, but did one ever? He belonged to the Socialist Labor Party, and the only time he was not easy-going was when he got started on “The Economic Question-” he pronounced “economic” with a short “e,” which was not the way it was done around where we lived – as he called it. Then he would start lecturing everybody and generally stand up and wave his arms to help make his points, which were that Capitalism was all wrong, and his party had the right slant. Usually it was Bill who set him off, and I think he did it on purpose. Bill was like that; he loved to tease people and make fun of them in ways they didn’t realize. Anyway, once Pete’s fuse got lit, it took all of them to settle him down, and even then it was a long job. Sometimes he’d get quiet for a few seconds, then think of something and flare up like a rocket again. This didn’t happen so often, though, and I liked Pete. I liked Lila, too, only she could have a mouth like a rattlesnake when she wanted to.
Anyway, you see that motel housekeepers might also have QC inspections done on their work. I wasn’t surprised one morning, after I’d been on the job about a month, when Bill walked into unit 12 and said he thought it would be a good idea if he inspected my work. That was okay by me, because I knew I did a good job, but I was a little miffed at him. … Now, of course, 12 is the farthest from the housekeeping closet, which is inside the laundry shed, between their house and number one. If you think you’ve had some dud grocery carts, you should have seen the wheels on my housekeeping wagon. Also, the sidewalk had more cracks than a bad comedian, so getting down to twelve was no picnic. This is why I was miffed at him.
Back then he could walk around, though not so well, because the M.S. affected his balance, but in he walked and announced he wanted to inspect my work. I was just about to get the clean top sheet tucked in nice and tight, so I had said “sure thing” and bent over to get on with it. …
when I bent over Bill started inspecting a whole lot more than my work, and his hands were doing most of the inspecting. It was like QC done by a blind man. To tell the truth I didn’t know what to do. He was the boss, or thought he was, sure, but he was also in a bad way, and I never thought Evelyn treated him so well, seeing he was sick with M.S., which meant he would die from it – or with it. Also, as I already wrote, I’m not so pretty, and I was sort of flattered that a man would jump me like that. Well, to make a long story short – and that day I helped something else long get shorter – before I knew it, I had that bed to make all over again, and another sheet to wash. I asked him if that was the reason he’d rented unit twelve, the far one, the night before, that this was all planned, and he said, no, it was just an accident. The way he grinned, though, I knew it’d been deliberate.
… Anyway, he never once complained about the quality of my product. He’d tried real hard that day, you know, but he was sick, and it wasn’t all that great. Somehow or other I couldn’t forget the extra work he’d made for me.