15 August 2017
Where might the heroine of my next novel,
The Horseman's Word
have stayed when she went to Saratoga for the race season in 1865?
09 August 2017
Really fun discussion with Kenneth Wishnia this afternoon.
Two "demented doctors" talking about the very unprofessorial subjects
of murdering people and miracles. Thank you
Inwood Branch of The New York Public Library
02 August 2017
In anticipation of my upcoming MWA-NY panel presentation, NY: Scene of the Crime
, on Aug. 9 at
the Inwood Branch of the NYPL
, I thought I might offer:
Top Five Lost Scenes in Inwood
10 July 2017
Lady Jane's Salon
Romance Writers of America/New York
19 June 2017
Please help me celebrate my birthday on July 10, by joining me for a reading/signing of
The Curse of the Braddock Brides
Romance Writers of America/New York
Lady Jane's Salon
New York's only all-romance reading series.
Time: 7-9 PM July 10
Cost: $5.00 All
proceeds donated to women in need.
Madame X.'s "The Sexiest Bar in NYC."
94 W. Houston St.
02 May 2017
Thanks to the Saugerties Public Library for helping me promote The Curse of the Braddock Brides.
A special thanks to Tiffany Lydecker for helping to set this up.
Don't forget next week's
Bevier House in Stone Ridge, NY
Ulster County Historical Society,
at 3PM, Saturday,
04 April 2017
look at the fantastic press release
Public Impact Media Consultants
created for my upcoming talk at the
Ulster County Historical Society.
Saturday May 6, 3PM
Ulster County Historical Society
28 February 2017
Please join me for some unrepentant historical fun. Enjoy the
first chapter of
The Curse of the Braddock Brides
You can even order it from
21 January 2017
Great turnout and a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone that came and special thanks to The Golden Notebook!
17 December 2016
11 October 2016
Aaaand.... we're LIVE! So excited that The Lazarus Vector
is out from
Amphorae Publishing Group
Blank Slate Press
Get the book here: http://bit.ly/lazarusvector
Starred review in Publishers Weekly!
Thank you again
Blank Slate Press
Thank you again
Amphorae Publishing Group
25 July 2016
I am taking this opportunity to ask anyone who knows me through MWA-NY to please check out my post on their
As many of you know, this is
my second year chairing the Mentor Committee, and I'm soliciting ideas about how we can improve the
program to better serve our members. Any feedback either on the MWA-NY site or on Facebook would
be greatly appreciated.
18 July 2016
The purple-fringed orchis were a little disappointing this year - and on my birthday, no less. Only three plants in bloom.
Still, George, my trusty associate, managed to get some nice pictures of the plants and other things...
Woodstock's newest hot spot, did inspire in us a new methodology for the following week.
And a cooling beverage afterward at
The Station Bar and Curio,
20 June 2016
Or so the Algonquins called the full moon in June, because it signaled the perfect time to harvest ripened strawberries.
Others called it the Rose Moon. The Mead Moon. And the Honey Moon.
Whatever you want to call it, last night was a full moon on the same day as the Summer Solstice for the first time since 1967 -
and if I recall correctly, that one ushered in the Summer of Love.
23 February 2016
George and I were taking a walk down the greenway last fall, when we passed a Parks Department sign that pointed to
the "American Redout Marker." Confused, we launched an enthusiastic discussion of the meaning of the word, finally
arriving at the conclusion (verified by smartphone only that evening) that a redoubt was (as its relationship to the
word "redoubtable" suggested), a sort of natural fortification.
07 February 2016
At last! I can make the dentist's appointment I have been skulkingly avoiding ever since my dentist
helped me set up my first book signing at
The Corner Bookstore
-- for fear he would ask me when my
next book was coming out. So happy to have signed with
Amphorae Publishing Group
for my second novel,
THE LAZARUS VECTOR
They are an incredibly talented and fun bunch of people, and I am so excited
about working with them.
25 September 2015
We went to see the Pope buzz through Central Park on Friday afternoon.
Crazy, stupid weird, yeah, sure. But what was craziest, stupidest and definitely most awesome was to be with
80,000 people packed together in such a good mood.
Here are some pictures we took while there.
20 July 2015
How were we to know we'd wind up chatting orchids with a DEC ranger who pointed us toward a blooming stand of lesser fringed purple orchis?
Or that we'd run into a dozen hikers stalled by a bear foraging beneath a stone in the middle of the trail? A very big bear.
21 June 2015
Seen Sunday morning on the Mt. Guardian trail...
15 June 2015
So, can one ever get jaded about Cypripedium acaule
? It only seems like a year ago (actually, it was 3) when we stumbled across our first
one blooming on the hiking trail across the road from our house, and we got hooked. Which is why this
is how we spent our summer vacation.
09 May 2015
So how do you describe Friday Mountain and Balsam Cap?
"These hikes are intensive and demanding and should only be undertaken by individuals with comprehensive backcountry navigation
skills and those who have spent significant amounts of time hiking on trail. These are not hikes for the novice."
28 March 2015
The Western tradition celebrates the feast of St. Lazarus of Bethany on Dec. 17.
However, the Orthodox Church celebrates this feast in accordance with the assertion in John 12:1 that
"six days before the Passover [Jesus] came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead."
04 February 2015
Mystery in All Its Variety
From the darkest secrets to the frothiest moments,
February's panel of mystery writers tell the stories behind
the stories. We have it all: a writer who works with teen
gangs. An academic who is now telling her own tales. A
creator of darkly humorous thrillers. A specialist in
Hollywood's Golden Age.
Featuring Mystery Writers of America/New York Chapter:
Dirk Robertson (Moderator)
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
6:30 PM on the Sixth Floor
455 Fifth Avenue (@ 40th St.)
New York, NY 10016
All programs are FREE
19 January 2015
Happy Birthday to Edgar Allan Poe. It would seem the Poe Toaster has visited the Catskills...
27 December 2014
And George forgot to carry the "1." So a planned 7 mile annual outing (well, actually 7.5) turned into an 8.9 mile close call.
09 November 2014
(Or as we like to call it these days, The Lazarus Vector.)
So how do you describe finishing a book, getting ohsoclose to getting an agent, only to read their reasons for finally turning you down, and
realizing there was a far, far better way to get into this material?
11 September 2014
Ah, the writing life. It only took one incisive criticism from an interested agent
-- and a helpful talk with
to convince me that I love these characters too
much to give them anything other than an extraordinary book - and maybe even a series. Hold tight. Sample chapters will be posted.
In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from
(my third novel).
28 July 2014
Not Peredur. Not Galahad. Not Bors. Nor Lancelot. Not even Indiana Jones with a whole bunch of Nazis on his tail. But the Grail's gone
missing, stolen from the house of a desperately ill woman who had been loaned the relic for its healing powers - something I frankly have a
hard time seeing even the evilest Nazi doing.
15 July 2014
ASK Writers Festival
Buy a copy of
Back to the Garden,
get a copy of my doctoral dissertation,
The Wunderkammer of Lady Charlotte Guest -
a book my own mother called "unputdownable"* - for FREE! (While Supplies Last)
*Actually what she said was "Where in God's name am I going to put this?" But that was what she meant, wasn't it? Wasn't it?
Saturday, July 19 from 1 until 5
Arts Society of Kingston
23 June 2014
St. John's Eve. The day the Devil walks the Earth (as well as the day that, for no connection I can see, you can't die from drowning).
Seems to me (being in the Catskills) we have the inside scoop on which route he's going to pick.
15 June 2014
The Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, continues its reading series.
Experienced and emerging writers share their crime fiction stories.
Reading this time: Erica Obey
, Henry Chang, Hilary Davidson, Tim Hall, Richard A. Herman, Catherine Maiorisi, Jon McGoran, and Narween Otto.
Hosted by Richie Narvaez.
Tuesday, June 17 from 6:45pm - 9:00pm
85 E. 4th St., New York, New York 10003
10 June 2014
Arguably the most intriguing headline The Boston Daily Globe
ever produced was "Did Kitchener Wield Excalibur? Was He Reincarnation of King Arthur?
Growing Belief that Kitchener Fulfilled a Prophecy." The article's author, who quite understandably preferred to remain "Anonymous," goes on to
In England the belief finds growing credence that Lord Kitchener was the reincarnation of King Arthur.
Merlin's prophecy that he should live again
and Arthur's own words as he lay dying are recalled.
19 May 2014
The next stop on my tour of daft Arthurians was supposed to be J. Dunbar Hylton's
Arteloise: A Romance of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table
How can you turn down a book whose review in The Literary World
includes the sentence
"We could not, in the comparatively brief space at our disposal, undertake a bare enumeration of the times that his champion hero,
Sir Beau de Main, carves a ferocious demon and deluges the surrounding landscape with the creature's exuberant life blood."
And soon, I will return to Mr. Hylton's poem, affectionately dedicated to his son. But somewhere in Hylton's
"strange story of the past...wild as ever Fiction drew," I found myself sidetracked by Thomas Wentworth Higginson's
Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic
16 April 2014
One of the odd joys of teaching "The Dream of Rhonabwy," from Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, is being able to
cite myself - even if most internet sources seem to be completely unaware of my book, as well as several other biographies and published
versions of her diaries. What's worse is that all of them use the same dreary portrait of her as a formidable dowager.
Formidable she was, no doubt. But a cougar rather than a dowager, dying her hair over her daughters' angry objections and taking her son's
tutor, Charles Schreiber, sixteen years her junior, as her second husband.
26 March 2015
Trail conditions were poor around St. Patrick's Day, but we came upon some Little People once we did get out.
01 March 2014
Which leaves us to celebrate St. David's Day with... what? The Disneyland Paris Welsh Festival where Disney characters appear dressed in
Welsh garb? Yes, seriously. I didn't make this up.
13 February 2014
One of the great joys of teaching a course on Arthurian romance is taking on the pleasantly ridiculous task of trying to read everything
ever written by someone bitten by the King Arthur bug. As always, I began with the nineteenth century, since it has always been my window
into Arthurian romance, from my first Dover editions of Andrew Lang to my book on Lady Charlotte Guest. This time, I tried William Henry
Babcock's Cian of the Chariots
07 April 2014
Do you love Phyllis A. Whitney as much as I do? Oh, come on, you know you do. And if you don't, this cover - featured on this week's
"Book you Have to Read" on the Rap Sheet
- should convince you.
If you need more reasons, why not read my new article on one of my favorite authors at
The Rap Sheet?
05 March 2014
As the polar vortex has its way with us, even snowshoeing the trail across the road from our house can begin to feel like an effort.
So it seemed like a good time to pull out some old pictures from a trip to Dartmoor following old legends of Druids,
and curl up by the fire as we plan a trip to
Glastonbury and the Ridgeway Trail for next summer.
20 February 2014
Finally! An actual run that didn't involve me picking my way along icy sidewalks and soaking my feet in puddles I inevitably misjudge.
New York City is back to normal - I'm even hoping I might be able to wear shoes I actually like to work. But as for Woodstock? One word.
04 February 2014
This was supposed to be a seven mile run. Mother Nature had other ideas. So my neighbors that had to abandon their cars downhill and I had a wonderful
walk back up the hill to home.
01 February 2014
Strange days for groundhogs indeed. Happy Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog Day, and Superbowl Sunday!
23 January 2014
Schunemunk Mountain is the highest in Orange County, at 1,664 feet. Despite its relatively modest height, it's a reasonably tough mountain,
which may explain why it was reputed to be a Lenape stronghold called "Maringamus' Castle," as well as the last refuge of Tory outlaws such
as Jacob Rose (Roosna), as well as the notorious Claudius Smith.
05 January 2014
Hooray! Officially at 27 chapters, or 3/4 of Daughter of Man
(read the first two chapters here
). Time to dedicate a book that's rooted in angelology to
Harahel, the guardian angels of libraries, archives, and cabinets (like the
Wunderkammer of Lady C.
, for example).
It can almost make me happy about sticking a big, fat German compound in the title of my first book. Well, no.
Not really. I like to believe I've learned since then. I didn't even think about calling this book
Countdown...at least for long.)
(The chart shows progress as of now, so Pythagoras might not agree with the angles suggested above.
Especially since this looks suspiciously DONE now. Expect a new post soon.)
25 December 2013
While hiking in the woods near Woodstock this Christmas, we came upon this faun and lamppost.
And they say Christmas never comes in Narnia...
09 December 2013
I'm so pleased to be officially 1/3 of the way through the final revision of Daughter of Man
a book that involves angels and angelology has led me into many weird and wonderful discoveries, including
the fact that vegetarianism is a demonic doctrine - a theory espoused by no less a figure than St. Augustine
himself. (Something about the belief that animals having souls equal to man's being diabolically-inspired
heresy. All I really know is that it makes menu planning hell.)
23 November 2013
The legend of the Catskill Witch is as old as the gnomes playing at ninepins or the Headless Horseman, having made her first appearance as a postscript to Washington Irving's tale of Rip van Winkle, where she is described
23 October 2013
Last weekend, we took our annual fall foliage hike up Blackhead Mountain. There are several ways to access this view,
21 June 2013
St. John's Eve, the summer solstice, means only one thing for us: a hike on the Devil's Path. It was a tradition we began when we actually attempted to hike all 25 miles over six 3500-foot peaks in one day - and figured we'd need the longest day of the year to come close to completing the task.
09 June 2013
Finally! I'm done with the first quarter of the final revision of my novel Daughter of Man
, the first of a trilogy rooted in the
legends of the Crusades (as well as some Cathar heresy and angelology - you know how these things go). And so I thought
I'd celebrate by writing up some of the crusader legends I have been reading as background material. I've been delving
into everything from Tasso to the lyrics of the troubadours to Walter Scott and his fellow Romantic poet, Eleanor Porden.
But I thought I'd start with Edith Rickert (1871-1938), whose translations of early metrical romances were among the first
sources I turned to.
01 June 2013
We set off up the Catskill's Ashokan High Point with the arguably tongue-in-cheek goal of discovering the "luxuriously appointed cave, complete with a Masonic Temple, visited by George Washington himself" described by DeWitt Clinton Overbaugh in The Hermit of the Catskills: A Tale of the American Revolution.
15 April 2013
Hikes in your back yard are easy, right? Unless, of course, they involve the Catskills' most challenging hiking trail, the Devil's Path.
01 March 2013
The Minnewaska Sphinx is far from the only mysterious stone structure in the Hudson Valley that has captured peopleís imagination. Indeed, the regionís cairns, root cellars, dolmens and petroglyphs have been the subject of a great deal of study. Many believe these structures were used by Native Americans to mark either hunting grounds or sacred places and burial grounds,
15 January 2013
The first rule of cross-country skiing in Lake Minnewaska - especially after a 2-year hiatus because of the bad snows - is that you need to remember to bring your ski poles. Blame it on our enthusiasm, but we failed in that task. Still our furiously embarrassed return trip gave us time to wonder whether there are any legends associated with Lake Minnewaska.
10 February 2013
A recent cross-country skiing trip to Minnewaska State Park led me to the adventures of Minnewaska, Minnehaha's adopted
daughter, as chronicled by Mrs. Ina E. Wood van Norman, along with the work of Jared Barhite, who took time off from his
duties as the Superintendent of Schools in West New York to pen Dalmaqua, a Legend of Aowasting (Awosting) Lake
other poetry collections.
20 November 2012
Yes, the Scots' view of romance is grimmer than most. But the ballad of "Tam Lin" is at once so indefinable
and so universal in its appeal, that people have attached mystical significance to it for centuries. And yet
why should people be so attracted to a story that revolves around a possible rape, pregnancy, a planned abortion,
and human sacrifice, as Tam Lin does?