Monday, February 9, 2009

What's All The Fuss About Octuplets?

Doesn't seem like such a big deal. My wife, Myra, has had octuplets
since this past Christmas. Of course, they're hedgehogs, but
still. Our daughter and son-in-law found them in the Loch Ness Gift
Shop. Here they are, sitting on a row of my mystery novels during our recent
Puget Sound Sisters in Crime Holiday Gathering. That's Sister Morrie
Robkin in the chair behind them.
All together, counting plush hedgehogs, glass and ceramic hedgehogs,
concrete, metal, and pine-cone hedgehogs, Myra has well over a
thousand of the little guys. So what's all the commotion about a
mere fourteen sibs?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Now I'm A Performer

One of the interesting things about research and promotion is that
you keep finding yourself in novel situations. Musically challenged
as I am, I never dreamed I'd be up on a stage as part of a music
show. True, I've presented research seminars at the Scott Joplin and
West Coast Ragtime Festivals, a step in the general direction, but
no, not really a performance.
But as of last weekend, I'm officially a performer. Here's a
picture of me with Donald Sosin, a terrific ragtime pianist who also
does a spectacular job of providing musical accompaniment for silent
films. Donald came all the way from Connecticut to do this
show. We're at Kenyon Hall in West Seattle, providing an evening of
Ragtime in Music and Words. Don played the music, I spoke the words
- the history of and stories about ragtime pioneers such as Scott
Joplin, John Stark, Irving Berlin, and Brun Campbell (The Ragtime Kid).
Putting on a performance feels very different from presenting a
seminar or a bookstore event. It's actually fun, a real kick. Who'd
ever have believed it? Not I. But now, I'm looking forward to doing
more shows. Stay tuned.