Friday, May 28, 2010

The Howling Of The Wolf!

For a long time I didn't remember seeing them. But I remember their
howling, like true Gypsy music it went right to my heart. It enabled my
soul to lift above my body and fly. Taste the beauty of freedom. For I
knew that while the wolves howled, we were safe in those forests, or in
those abandoned buildings, where we hid getting away from Nazi killers,
or anybody else who killed before asking questions in the war zones of
World War II. For who knew the forest better than the highly
intelligent wolf? Always on the prowl, communicating with each other,
they knew before anybody else if there was an intruder, a killer on the
prowl. Then, a few days ago, while walking my beloved pooch around a
pond, I noticed a black dog standing in the water and intensely staring
at his feet. That's when I remembered a wolf, like the dog, fishing.
Then other memories came back, witnessing a wolf, almost playfully
jumping up and down, while catching mice. "It's what they live off," my
father told me.

I buried most of my memories of war in order to be able to walk into the
future, but wolves left their imprint on my soul. I have since studied
them through reading. They live by moral codes we most value in man:
they choose a mate for life, they are loyal to each other, they both
care for the pups, and in fact the whole extended family does. I've have
never heard of a wolf attacking man, except maybe in self-defense.

We must stop the killing of this noble and beautiful creature. Look into
his human eyes! Killing them from the air for sport, is abhorrent,
sub-human. Save the American Wolf!

Thursday, May 20, 2010



I was a teenager when I first arrived in the States. I arrived from
Italy where, as the poor relative of a wealthy family, I was told the
facts of life. Marriage was not about romance. It was an alliance of
mutual benefits. Since I was penniless, my sole assets were good looks
and health. The latter was of prime importance, since my major
contribution was to ensure the continuation of an old family line. (I
never signed on to that one on the dotted line since I was a rebel since
birth. I did, however, apply the concept later on in my life to the
breeding of top competition horses.)

Formal education for a "young lady" was not required, I was assured.
Instead I was taught to talk about art and music in multiple languages,
appear not too intelligent, and eat modestly when in company. Of the
utmost importance was virginity. How else could I guarantee not to
function as a cuckoo's nest? In those days, in the Italy I inhabited,
potential in-laws were allowed to study you in detail, whereas the
potential suitor was limited to a mere ogle, but any type of touch was
out of the question, as was time alone before an official engagement.
These suitors often had titles, but resembled in no way Michelangelo's
statue of David, which I in turn used to ogle, discretely, wondering.

With that preparatory introduction into life's facts, I arrived in the
U.S. There, in a small town, I was to attend an American high school for
six months out of the year. What I found were bobby socks, strange ways
of dressing, chewing gum and blowing huge bubbles, and a culture of
Romance; from going wild while dancing jitterbugs, to the grindingly
slow cheek-to-cheek dancing in the dark. Allowed were open appraisals of
a girl's curves, followed by whistles (behavior reserved for lower
classes in Italy, and mostly applied to tourists from Northern
countries). Rampant was an activity called 'Necking". This was carried
out mostly in the backseats of some parents' car, movie theaters, in
parking lots, or along riversides. Everything was allowed: touching,
'French' kissing, except………IT. Nice girls were virgins here too on their
wedding night. In America, if this was not the case, an American friend
told me, you simply assure him he is the second, i.e. slip-ups can
happen. In Italy by contrast, I was told there were surgical procedure
to put things back into order.

Any type of nudity was out of the question. No bikinis, as heavily
guarded virgins in Italy were allowed to wear, no nude pictures in
magazines. The kind of openly pornographic material I was used to seeing
on newspaper stands in Paris were, I believe, here were punishable by
U.S. law. I felt like an alien who had landed on Planet U.S.A. Of
course, instead of peer pressure, I had family pressure. Juvenile
American sexual behaviors were strictly off limits to me. Nor was I
tempted. Came prom night. Several young men, among them the high school
tennis star asked me out, but I was obliged to go with a young man,
intelligent, nice and nerdy, simply because he was my cousin's closest
friend. The evening was awkward, with much blushing and little dialogue.
When finally he walked me back up a hill to our house, and in front of
our entrance bent over and out of nowhere shot his tongue toward my
mouth, like a sleepy lizard catching a fly, my instinctive reaction was
to whack him across the face, which in turn sent him flying to his
parents stationed in their car at the bottom of the hill waiting for his

That same evening my cousin told me, he, the prom date, only did what
was expected of him. So did I. Of course now, 2010, Grandma Sonia knows
that date was somebody's most beloved son and hope for the future, who
had finally gotten up the courage in the chiaroscuro of our house
entrance. In retrospect I'd say, we merely remained, each of us, on our
own side of the cultural divide.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WRITING, good/bad …… versus…… LITERATURE, good/bad,What’s The Difference, Really?

Since I am either a nomad, -- which I used to be fulltime, but have
since forsaken -- or a workaholic, -- which I used to be part-time, but
now am full time -- I read strictly for fun. Now fun varies from person
to person, just as when someone reviews a book, he or she is merely
expressing his or her personal opinion. Do not let that influence you.
Make up your own mind.
As for myself, I actually had great fun reading Chaucer in Middle
English with the help of a great Chaucerian scholar. While I owned close
to 20 horses, -- i.e. muck muck muck stalls till you drop drop drop
--- I had almost as much fun reading Romance novels. I spent close to a
year reading close to one a day. (I didn't get much sleep when I was
young. One of the Pharoas said: Sleep is the brother of death, which
somehow stuck to me). I was amazed at how well these writers, the good
ones, were in command of their craft. So are the ones who write
marvelous series.

So why, would they never be considered for a Nobel Prize or the
Pulitzer? Which happen to be some of the great and few rewards for the
serious writer. It's the word "serious" that makes the difference.
Literature serves as the mirror to our lives and to our place in
history, even to our fantasies. It has to be brutally honest. It has to
have meaning. It, more than any other art form, goes into the depth of
our lives, easily combining the life of the body and that of the mind
and soul. To do this, the writer has to be master of the craft of
writing. He also has to be able to afford the time and isolation to
create such works of culture and history. He has to be able to make a
living. We have already lost some of our brightest minds to banking,
instead of the sciences because of the lure of the mighty dollar.

Striving for good literature is more important than striving for
commercial success. It is a cause for which writers and readers have to

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Perilous Maiden Flight Of The Newborn Novel.

You write, because your passion is the written word. You make love to
life, in order to give birth to creatures made of words. The incubation
is often longer than for any other creature born of mind or body. Labor
is long and painful. But at long last your creature born of passion has
come to life. You have to let it fly. But the journey ahead is perilous
and instead of friends is full of judges, who decide who will live and
who will die. First are the hunters, agents for those who have conquered
the power to decide who can seek the light and who will be banned to the
realm of shades. You, mother of your creation tries to shadow your
hatchling with wide spread wings. But those who judge your hatchling
from the ground below and you, will rarely see eye to eye. You are from
different spheres. When, suddenly, luck comes to your aid. One of your
own is chosen to claim a piece of glory for its own. You cannot help but
glow with relief and pride.

Not so fast, for there is more.

Last but not least, fellow writers, there are the reviewers. And, after
all that circling and search in flight they can swat your newborn to the
ground. By then you, its creator, have stepped naked into the world.
Every pimple, every scar, every part of your body is out there in the
open, there for the world to examine, to take apart, like a sentence
that can't be put back together again. But……………..

You not to worry, beloved writer friend. Never forget, it is you who has
the wings. It is you, who knows how to fly. All it takes is find the
proper place to land. Once there, shake your feathers, let brilliance
shine from your eyes, as you seduce your mate the reader, into your nest
of fantasy and life that knows no limits .