For some reason I can add sidebars, but not new posts. Please check back later. I have been working on a variety of things including switching my blog soon from this one, which was set up with my now-defunct West Wisconsin Telcom account. I hope to have my new blog through Gmail up soon. I will provide a link and announcement when I've got everything straight. 7/2/11

Monday, May 30, 2011

Recently read: Ines de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic

I love books about style and beauty and fashion, and this is a particularly fun one. Chanel icon de la Fressange still looks as chic as in her modeling days. This style guide, co-authored by Sophie Gachet, explains lightheartedly how the rest of us (all who do not live in Paris) can emulate Parisian Chic. Divided into four parts, the book discusses how to dress like a Parisian, French beauty basics, what distinguishes the Parisian home, and concludes with a guide to all of de la Fressange’s favorite stores, boutiques, neighborhoods, museums, spas and hair salons, restaurants (naturellement!), nightclubs and hotels. In addition to the beautiful photographs, the book is lavishly illustration with delightful drawings by de la Fressange herself—I was so impressed and immediately wished I was able to draw as well. A good book to add to your collection.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recently read: Ruth Rendell's Portobello

Rendell is a long established master of the British thriller, whether writing as Barbara Vine, as herself in the Inspector Wexford series, or her dark psychological works such as this one. In this suspenseful work, a well-meaning and prosperous middle aged man discovers a cash filled envelope lying in the street near Portobello Road. He posts an ad for the owner, despite the misgivings of many of his friends as well as his fiancée. Thus a series of events are unleashed that reveals secrets, sickness and sorrow. As are all Rendell’s books, this is a must read.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recently read: Tami Hoag’s Deeper than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave

I like Hoag. Her books are easy reads with good plots and characters, much suspense, and well written. These two books are set in the mid-1980s in a prosperous California town. Deeper than the Dead is the first book. A school teacher, Anne, and an FBI investigator, Vince, team up when several of Anne’s grade school students find a dead woman in the park. More bodies show up. Vince is asked to help the community track a serial killer using a new technique: profiling. In the second book, Secrets to the Grave, a respected single mother is found brutally murdered in her home with her four year old daughter unconscious. Anne and Vince (now happily married) again work to find the killer. You really need to read these books in order, because for some reason in the second book Hoag discusses the serial killings of the previous book in great detail, including the killer’s identity. So unless you don’t mind knowing all the answers ahead of time, you’ll want to start with Deeper than the Dead.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Colleges that paved the way for women

Photo of Moravian College in Pennsylvania from

In recent years, women have comprised the majority of college students at all levels from undergraduate to post graduate. See for information on ten colleges that paved the way for women. I am missing teaching, but not quite enough yet to check out the opportunities in the many colleges and universities in the Denver area.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recently read: Jo Nesbo’s The Redbreast

This is the first book I’ve read by this highly acclaimed Norwegian writer, and I’m looking forward to reading the two more books by him I’ve bought. His detective, Harry Hole, is in the pattern of my favorite protagonists like James Lee Burke’s Robicheaux and Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse (the books, not the TV shows). This book slips between contemporary Norway, and Nazi Germany, examining Norway’s role in World War II, which I knew little about. This is a fascinating history with excellent plot, and complex characters, and narrative that is well written by Nesbo and well translated by Don Bartlett. This is a memorable thriller that follows a small group of elderly Norwegians who had served on the Eastern Front for Hitler’s army. And one of them may be about to kill again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lakewood Cultural Center Annual Juried Holiday Show & Sale

Photo from

One of the many great things about living in Lakewood, CO, is the Lakewood Cultural Center and its sisters, the Heritage Center and the Washington Heights Arts Center. Every year, the Cultural Center hosts a juried exhibition and sale of artwork by Colorado artists and artisans. This year, applications digital images of submitted art must be postmarked or emailed no later than July 15. The judges decide based on quality, originality, and salability. There is a $20 jury fee, with a 40 percent commission on all work sold, with the Cultural Center being responsible for the collection and payment of sales tax. If you are a Colorado artist, this is an excellent venue for your work. Contact Jeff at 303-987-7756 or via email at for information and applications.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Nation magazine is looking for student writers

The Nation, the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the U.S., is looking for high school and college student writers for their Student Writing Contest. All students are eligible. Entries answering the question, “What do you think is the most serious issue facing your generation?” are accepted through June 30. Winners will be published in The Nation, receive $250, and a subscription. See

Monday, May 2, 2011

Recently read: Terry Taylor’s The Artful Storybook

Like Taylor’s book of paper dolls, this is lush with splendid photos of artists’ stories made visual. Taylor asked a number of artists to “explore the storybook form.” The results are mixed media, three-dimensional pieces of art that inspire individually as well as collectively. Taylor also provides use with practical advice on creating our own, including how to choose a book format and tips on bookmaking. He includes the Working Process of each artist’s work, which gives a fascinating glimpse into how a creative project is conceived, planned, built and finalized.