“After the Rain …..”

This spring, it has rained a lot in Nice.  More than I remember last year, or the year before.  Being from Los Angeles where it seldom rains, I enjoy rainy days.  But, last week, it rained every day. Ugh. Cabin fever, galore.  By Friday, I was walking, no matter if I got drenched.  And, true to form, it rained off and on that day.  But, during the morning, the rain was more off than on.  YES!  Fresh air.  Rough seas.  Interesting skies.  SO, out of bed and out the door for an “after the rain” photoshoot! Everything looked clean. Trees, bushes, flowers, sidewalks – what to shoot first. It all glowed. Everything had a different look.  Few people out.  No matter.  Some cafes open, most are closed.  For the first mile to the port, I walked, breathing in and out – filling my lungs with the delicious air.  Once I got down the hill from Place Garibaldi to the Port, time to go to work.  Out came the camera.  I even had my recharger in case I needed extra battery.  Get ready, Jayspeakblog, photos are on their way!  Now, I took a lot of pictures, but these are some of my favorites, along with the Nickleback Lyrics to “After the Rain” – my favorites.
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All of your life has been rambling, scurrying
Take your time rather than hurry
Never too late to write the rest of your story
Remember to breathe or else you’re gonna be sorry
Life’s no race, it’s a companion
Always face with reckless abandonment
A ticket to life as the mother once told me
Stick with your pride and you’re gonna be lonely.”
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“Everybody says that life takes patience
But nobody wants to wait
Everybody says we need salvation
But nobody wants to be saved
The light in the tunnel is just another runaway train
The blue skies we wait on
Are gonna have to come after the rain.”
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“Spend your days happy and grateful
Avoid the taste of wanting and wasteful
Every good thing will come in moderation
Envy and greed will only lead to frustration
Choose your friends, carefree and kindly
Choose your words, careful and wisely
Always be there to lend a comforting shoulder
One will be there to share a day when you’re older (a day when you’re older)”.
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“Everybody says that life takes patience
But nobody wants to wait
Everybody says we need salvation
But nobody wants to be saved
The light in the tunnel is just another runaway train
The blue skies we wait on
Are gonna have to come after the rain.”
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“Old mistakes committed upon us
Always take a toll on the conscience
Every regret is a gift that you live with
Never forget to remember forgiveness.”
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“Everybody says that life takes patience
But nobody wants to wait
Everybody says we need salvation
But nobody wants to be saved
The light in the tunnel is just another runaway train
The blue skies we wait on
Are gonna have to come after the rain.”
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“Gonna have to come after the rain (rain, yeah)
Gonna have to come after the rain (rain)
Rain, yeah
Rain
Gonna have to come after the rain.”
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Nickleback Lyrics
Songwriters: Ali Tamposi / Chad Kroeger / Chris Baseford / Daniel Adair / Mike Kroeger / Ryan Peake
After the Rain lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Reservoir Media Management Inc.
Best,  Jay and Missy
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“Just Wondering….”

I consider myself a “photographer” – sorta, kinda – if taking a camera and shooting a picture counts.  Haha.  No training, no planning – just doing it A LOT.   With digital cameras and Google storage, I photograph everything.  If you and I were having a coffee, chances are I would have a picture of you or me or both of us or the coffee or the restaurant or the flower on the table or….   I love it!  If I post the name of the restaurant, they love it.  I cannot speak for my friends, or strangers, or the waiter, but most people have gotten used to it.  Even the vendors at the flower market have gotten used to me.  At first, some tried to stop me.  Now, most people smile as I am shooting the insides of a cantaloupe.  Haha.  (The artists don’t like it.  I understand.)  They all think I know what I am doing.  I don’t.  I just go with something that looks interesting to my eye.

 

You see, photography for me just happened.  It started with a Blackberry Smart Phone that I got in 2005, when Steve and I moved from Brentwood to Westwood.  The Smart Phone had a camera.  What??  Who needed a camera and all those apps to make a phone call?  Apparently, I did.  So, during my morning walks, I decided to learn how to use the camera.  First, I needed to start by taking a picture.  A picture of what?  Well, that rose is pretty.  I’ll try that.  I showed Steve the picture of my rose, and, as a fluke, he said why don’t you post it on Facebook.  So, as a joke, I did.

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When I started getting “likes”, I thought that was a hoot!  I started posting a picture a day.  I posted a closeup of a rose on Facebook, and later on Instagram, because that was what I liked to shoot.  At some point, I started posting roses on Foap.com, a Swedish website for photographers. I got the attention of Getty Images. Several of my photographs were chosen by them, and one sold!! This is the one that someone purchased.

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Now, thirteen years later, I am an avid photographer as the result of a fluke. I post pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Foap, Jayspeakblog, book covers (“Moments in Time” and “Capturing Beauty” by Jay W. MacIntosh), and other venues.  Is most of life like that – a fluke? Steve and I often laughed about the way we met at Dodger Stadium.  We both wondered if it were a fluke.  I’ve wondered if my meeting Andrea Emond on Angloinfo.com was a fluke.  It was my first posting on that site and not something she often checked.  If it were not for her and her excellent guidance for a year-and-a-half, answering our questions, Steve and I might have missed eleven wonderful months together, in France – two kids in love.  

Have you wondered about Life by Fluke?  It makes as much sense as predestination or “meant to be” or such.  AND, if you are wondering about anything at all, you are intelligent!!  How do I know? Well, read this.  I saw it last week and made note (haha):

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I think the post was meant for Trump. But, I took it to heart.  I wonder about everything.  I am intelligent!!! YES!!  Vasudev said so.  Who??  I looked the name up – Vasudev was either 1) Vikas Vasudev, an acclaimed portrait and fashion photographer, currently based out of India and working across the world; or 2) Jaggi Vasudev, an Indian yogi and mystic who founded the Isha Foundation; or 3) Mr. Chander Mohan Vasudev, who served as a Secretary of Ministry of Finance, Government of India and was in charge of the Department for Economic Affairs, Department of Expenditure and Department of Banking; or, 4) P.M. Vasudev, who joined the University of Ottawa in January 2011,  and specializes in business law; or, 5) Naveen Vasudev, a Clinical Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.  Bottom line, we don’t know who said  ‘those who wonder are intelligent and the rest are a bunch of idiots’.  I’m going with Vikas – the acclaimed portrait and fashion photographer, currently based out of India and working across the world – because he is an acclaimed photographer.  If he didn’t say it, he should have.  We don’t like idiot photographers.

Now, if you look up “fluke”, the Collins English Dictionary says, “If you say that something good is a fluke, you mean that it happened accidentally rather than by being planned or arranged.”  Hello.  Yes, I know, I know – you are going to tell me about God’s Plan.  Well, today, I am wondering.  Besides, most things happen accidentally.  Remember Vin Scully, “If you want to make God smile, tell him your plans.”  Well, I don’t want to be an idiot, so I will keep on wondering.  Hope I can keep from telling God my plans.  I have a lot of them…..

Enjoy the photos. I had fun shooting them. 

Best, Jay, the Photographer

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For the Record…..

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TRUTH, OR LIE?

Next week is my birthday – my annual time to take stock. Where have I been; where am I now; where am I going; what matters to me at this time in my life?  Is there a truth that fits my reality?  Aphorism of the week – “Man keeps looking for a truth that fits his reality.  Given our reality, the truth doesn’t fit.  If you experience it, it’s the truth. The same thing believed is a lie. In life, understanding is the booby prize.”  Say what? 

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“Obviously, the truth is what’s so.  Not so obviously, it’s also so what.”  Ugh.  Truth, or Lie?

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Today, Young People and Adults are marching – “March For Our Lives”.  Kids in grammar school, high school, college.  Parents, educators, citizens.  Many have experienced it.  Truth, or Lie?  This matters.

 

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Next Sunday is Easter.

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Truth?

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Lie?

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Truth?

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LIE?

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TRUTH?  or LIE?

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GET IT?  IT MATTERS.

Thanks for sticking with this to the end.  I have no answers.  I have a lot of questions and will be “taking stock” for days, weeks to come.  I know where I have been. I know where I am now.  I have no idea where I am going.  That is the truth.  I know, I know – so what.

Best, JAY

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PONDERING FRENCH CREATIVITY….

The aphorism that I am pondering this week is this one: “One creates from nothing. If you try to create from something, you’re just changing something. So, in order to create something, you first have to be able to create nothing.”  Say what?  How can you create nothing?  There is always something.  Take the French and Francophiles in Nice, for example. They are very creative.  They take the Sea.  They add a lot of rocks.  And, somebody built a bunch of kitchens and bathrooms into retaining walls.  Haha. That’s creative.  This is what happens – as best I know at this point in time. 

In the winter, there is the beach, the Sea, and the retaining walls with access stairs.  Now, I don’t know whether the kitchens, bars, and toilettes are permanent or temporary.  I have not gotten that far in my research.  Haha.  And, as far as you can see, there is nothing. Well, that’s not true. There are a LOT of rocks and a gorgeous sea. Witness what I mean. 

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In the summer, that all changes.  Gorgeous restaurants – one after another – are everywhere.  Beach chairs and umbrellas are on the rocks.  Wow.  That’s creating something from nothing. But, there was something – rocks, sea, walls.  So, I guess theoretically speaking, that is not “creativity”, according to this aphorism. To me, it is so creative, I am constantly amazed at how they transform a bunch of rocks into a fine dining experience.  Haha. 

Below are pictures of a restaurant on the beach, called “Castel Plage & Restaurant“.  I was at Castel last summer.  The American Club of the Riviera held its 4th of July celebration there.  A stage, performances, dancing, elegant dining.  Amazing.  

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Wednesday morning – when I was walking by the Sea, I saw the beginning of the process.  A-ha!  As I rounded the bend, past the “I Love Nice” sign (touristy – ugh), I saw a bulldozer moving rocks around, clearing a concrete area at the foot of the steps by the sign – “Castel”. 

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On Friday noon, when I was again walking by the Sea, I say more signs of beginnings. I think this was beginnings of the Lido Plage Restaurant, but I am not sure.  I guess March is the month to commence proceedings. It is still cold with a lot of rainy days, but Spring starts next week!!  If you build it, they will come.   Or, something like that.

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My favorites are Beau Rivage and Le Galet.  I go to those more than others because they are closest to me.  There are others I plan to try, especially Lido.  Great places to take company and meet friends for lunch.  Good food, not too pricy, great ambiance – if you like the Sea.

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Andrea and Slav had their wedding at Plage Restaurant Delibo in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

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The American Club has held other events at beach restaurants in Cannes. My granddaughter Jamie and I went to the Cannes Film Festival luncheon last May when she was visiting – at the lovely Carlton Beach Club Restaurant

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Then, my friend Barbara Marcus and I went to the AMC Dinner and the fireworks concert at the 3.14 Beach Restaurant on the Croisette when she was here last August.

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Well, you get the picture.  Probably more pictures than you ever wanted to see.  Yeah, d’accord.  Creating something from something makes more sense to me than creating nothing.   Oh, brother.  Makes my head dizzy.  Peace.

Best, Jay

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IN MY COPIOUS FREE TIME….

During those moments when I am not thinking or over-thinking everything else, I ponder “wisdoms” or “philosophical quotes” or “Up to My A.. in Aphorisms”.  The one that is getting my attention this week goes like this, “If you could really accept that you weren’t ok, you could stop proving you were ok. If you could stop proving that you were ok, you could get that it was ok not to be ok. If you could get that it was ok not to be ok, you could get that you were ok the way you are. You’re ok, get it?”  That will give you something to think about when you are over-thinking everything else.

Now, a word from our sponsor….

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Back when, I read a book called “Don’t Push the River, It Flows by Itself” by Barry Stevens.  It involved a catchphrase of the 1960s and 1970s — “don’t push the river”.  That was an epithet thrown at anyone who acted tense, anxious, and uptight in those hippie and post-hippie decades filled with pop therapies like Transactional Analysis, Gestalt Therapy, and many others.  I personally got very involved in Fritz Perls’ Gestalt work for a couple of years.  The basic concept was this:  Anything you fear or resist out in the world is part of you and inside you, and becoming aware of its presence and vitality will free you from pushing and move you into flowing.  Is that the same thing as “It’s much easier to ride the horse in the direction he is going”?  Haha. Pay attention! These aphorisms are just getting started.  

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That book, along with others like Barry Neil Kaufman’s “The Magic of Happiness” are long gone from my bookshelf, but the messages remain.  Now that I have time to “think”, I am revisiting the basic concepts, especially since I have to remind myself often that I am ok. You see, having been a person of action ALL my life, I instinctively look for ways to complicate things.  I don’t like time on my hands. On the other hand, this is a time in life to simplify. Ugh.  The back and forth in my head wears me out. 

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Wine and good food help. I am SOOO glad that City Market is next door! There, I can find fresh fruit, delicious vegetables, and cheeses that go well with vin bordeaux rouge et Sauvignon blanc ou Côtes de Provence rosé.  Give me some goat cheese, whole wheat crackers from Sweden, Coteaux d’Aix en- Provence Cabernet Sauvignon, and I am a happy camper.  Add to that, a British mystery on the Eurobox, and …, well, you get the picture.  As my friend Brian Chase would say, “BAM”.  Haha. My new catch phrase – thank you, Brian.  

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Here’s another aphorism for you to ponder, “Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are and are not the way they are not.”  

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Another one –  “You don’t get to vote on the way it is.  You already did.”  

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And now, “One, for the money……… 

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Two, for the show……….. 

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Three, to get ready………..  

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And, four to go………….   

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My thanks to the cartoonists who contribute to the “interesting times” in which we live.  My apologies to those I have offended.

Let’s see, who can I blame……..

Best,  Jay       BAM!!

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A WINTER WALK IN NICE

This is my third winter in Nice, France. In comparison to the other places I have lived, it is nice.  Not warm, like Los Angeles, California. Not cold with ice storms, like Gainesville, Georgia. Not FREEZING, like Madison, Wisconsin.  Not mild, like San Antonio, Texas. But, as winters go, Nice winters are different.  Cold.  (Usually) Very blue skies.  (Usually) Very blue Sea.  Frequent rain. Snow-covered Alps in the background, with great ski resorts an hour-and-a-half drive away.  AND, no matter what the temperature, people in down jackets are eating, drinking coffee, or sipping wine – outside!  Rain is the ONLY thing that keeps the French inside. Even then, they open doors and windows for fresh air.  Amazing.  

So, in my pursuit of “the French lifestyle” and healthy living, on a typical winter day, I  will put on my walking gear and head out the door, putting one foot in front of the other. That is my mentality as I walk into the cold.  Don’t think.  Just put one foot in front of the other.  This is what I see when I go down the elevator (from the first floor – Frenchspeak.  In the U.S., it would be the second floor – don’t ask) and start out the door.

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I turn right and start down my street – Rue de Lepante, passing my favorite shops and familiar storefronts.  First, I am greeted by the smell of fresh-baked croissants and coffee, coming from the corner bakery.  It beckons me, but I keep walking – having gone about 20 steps. haha.  This shot doesn’t give this place justice. But, I was on a mission to take photographs during this walk. So, it will have to do. 

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I cross the street to the aroma of chickens, cooking on a rotisserie at Giusta.   Oh, my heavens. I want to eat grilled chicken for breakfast! Maybe lunch, …or dinner.  I make mental note to buy a chicken on my way home.  For now, keep putting one foot in front of the other….. Haha 

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On past my neighborhood ATM (haha), my favorite bakery, wine store, butcher, and flower shop, heading for the Sea. 

After I leave my street, Rue de Lepante, I cross the Boulevard, heading for the Contemporary Art Museum. Once there, I cross through the arch of the Museum, and arrive at Garibaldi Square.  (Note to Reader: This is Jayspeak, not Frenchspeak). 

From Garibaldi Square, it is a few blocks walk to the Port. Once there, I see them – gorgeous yachts and the Sea! The beauty never fails to take my breath away. 

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I turn right, and head for the crest of the hill, walking along first one side, and then the other of the street. On the right side, I like to browse in the antique stalls. Some of the sellers have interesting things to sell – like this brass flamingo (“pink wannabe”).  

I cross over to the left side – the walk on the side of the Sea, heading up the hill, among walkers, runners, amblers, bicyclists….

I round the bend. And, I see it – the famous coastline of Nice, France. The Bay of Angels.  Snow-covered Alps in the background, visible on a clear day.

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On to the Flower Market, past the fruits and vegetables, buying some roses, heading for Justice Square (more Jayspeak) and breakfast!!

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YES!!! By now, I am sufficiently “cold” and wanting hot coffee, fresh orange juice, water, and the restroom – not necessarily in that order. Haha.  

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From there, it is back past favorite shops, up the “donkey steps”, across the park, heading for home. Sometimes, I walk back down Avenue Jean Medecin, past Notre Dame, maybe lighting a candle or five. 

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Then, it is back home.  The average walk covers approximately four miles, according to how many stops I make, in and out of shops, exploring and looking, making a concerted effort NOT to buy (unless it is a chicken at Giusta’s). After a good walk, I feel exhilarated and tired, ready to go to work (at my computer).  I am currently doing my 2017 income taxes, working on Steve’s books, and writing my own.  Plus, every day, I spend at least 30 minutes, working on my French. It is definitely better. Slowly, but surely.  And now, as Paul Harvey would say, “you know the rest of the story” – A Winter Walk in Nice.  Signing off for now,

Best, Jay

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A PROJECT WORTH DOING – This is how it happened, and what I am doing about it.

Steve Orlandella loved to write. By July, 2016, he was on a roll – brimming with ideas for his blog “Stevespeak”, his next novel CASINO KILLER, A Vic Landell Mystery, and witty, satiric, sarcastic Facebook posts.  He had fun writing, then reading and re-reading what he had to say.  I think he had more fun than anyone, formulating his next “posting”. 

In September 2011, Steve and I were living in Westwood.  I was practicing law as an entertainment/employment attorney.  He was working as a videographer for attorneys, video-taping depositions and “A Day in the Life” segments.  That fall, I was invited to be on an e-publishing, self-help panel for members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The panel sought to empower writers to create new opportunities for work in film, television, new media and transmedia. Since WGA did not cover book publication regardless of format, it was thought that e-publishing could be a stepping stone towards potential work on Guild-covered adaptations.  On September 20, 2011, I joined WGA members Lee Goldberg (True Fiction), Derek Haas (The Way I Die), and Alexandra Sokoloff (author, Book of Shadows), and Mark Coker (Smashwords). Our task was to discuss the latest ebook/self and indie-publishing developments. It was a power-packed evening with information, questions, and answers.

When I came home that night, our lives were changed forever.  I said to Steve, “You need to write a book”. To which he answered, “I have nothing to say.” I laughed.  Steve ALWAYS had something to say.  After that, we both began writing and publishing our works.  At the time of Steve’ death in 2016, he had published eight books as paperbacks and E-books. He was writing his ninth CASINO KILLER, A Vic Landell Mystery, at the time of his untimely death in August 2016.  I have written seven books.  More about that on another day.  For now, I want to tell you about Steve, what I am doing for him that is important to me.

Steve took an idea and ran with it.  His first book was STEVESPEAK: Three Years on Facebook.  This was the book he said he “did not know how to do”.  Wrong.  This is a man who won an Emmy for his hour-long documentary on Jackie Robinson that he did for the Dodgers. Anexcellent, award-winning piece.  He knew what he was doing.  STEVESPEAK is a witty, personal look at Steve’s life and times.  Original postings and writings that he had shared, or not shared, on Facebook.  A fun read throughout.  That book gave him the confidence he needed to delve into his obsession – the Titanic.  That disastrous night to remember.  

Once STEVESPEAK was on the boards, Steve began pouring his life and soul into TITANIC. That book became his masterpiece. He spent a lifetime studying the Titanic, reading books, watching movies, collecting art works.  TITANIC records the results of his research.  As an E-book, his thoughts and pictures will exist forever.  As a paperback, it is a keeper – a book you want on your bookshelf.  His slant on the passengers, the people, and the companiescaptures your attention.  The reader boards the liner with the people, excited and looking forward to the historical voyage.  He breathes life into an event that impacted the world at the time.    

After TITANIC, Steve needed a break. It was an exhausting project for him. So, for relaxation, (haha), he spent time writing about a sport that captured his love at an early age – baseball.  He wrote THE GAME. Steve loved baseball. He spent most of his life in sports television, producing and directing baseball games and programs about baseball.  He wanted the reader to understand and love baseball and ball parks like he did.  It was (and is) America’s game.  Steve loved America.  Steve loved apple pie and hot dogs.  Steve loved baseball.  In THE GAME, Steve introduces baseball savvy to the reader.  As an E-book, his point of view will last forever.  As a paperback, one for the bookshelf. 

It was at this point that Steve decided to try his hand at novels.  He wanted to write a series of mysteries using a lead detective or investigator who had been a baseball player in his youth. Someone left-handed. He was left-handed, so he knew a lot about left-handed baseball players.  Possibly a private investigator who solved murders occurring in a ball park somewhere in the USA.  And, there must be a “babe” girlfriend – someone tall and red-headed. In other words, his dream girl. (Haha.) He always said he wanted a Southern Blonde, but I think he would have loved a tall, red-headed Southern babe. Oh, well, I got him. So, I didn’t mind if he spent hours in his head with his dream girl “Marcia” from Texas.

That was the beginning of five mysteries involving characters and places where he could spend interesting hours, writing and creating fun dialogue.  Thus, Vic Landell  and “the redhead” appeared on the scene. He spent hours with them, selecting locales he loved – Sarasota, Florida; Washington D.C.; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; and New York City.  The first one was BURDEN OF PROOF. Second, CAPITOL MURDER.  Third, MARATHON MURDERS. Fourth, DANCE WITH DEATH.  Fifth and last, MIDTOWN MAYHEM.  

He was 46 pages into his next one, titled CASINO KILLER, when he died unexpectedly.  It was set in Nice, France, and “dedicated to John and Gloria Cataldo, once and forever”.  He was writing every day on the patio in Sardinia, after he came in from the pool during our delicious vacation we took just before he got sick.  For those who don’t know, he got double pneumonia (???) and died of heart failure during a month-long stay in Hopital l’Archet, in Nice. CASINO KILLER was a challenge for him because it involved French criminal law. He was researching police procedures and French gun laws and developing locale.  This is his opening paragraph:

“What’s in a Name?

It is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in the southeast corner of France, beneath of the base of the French Alps.  There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west.  The area is a Department of the French Government – Alpes-Maritimes.  There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.  As the French might refer to it – beau ravage – beautiful shoreline.

It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century.  With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, including Queen Victoria.  It was the English who coined the phrase, the French Riviera.

After World War II, the south of France became a popular tourist destination and convention site.  The area went off the charts in the 1950s when a beautiful girl from Philadelphia moved into the Royal palace of the one and only principality.  Millionaires and celebrities built homes there and routinely spent their summers.

The region has one more name.  In 1887, a French author named Stéphen Liégeard published a book about the coastline.  So taken was he by the color of the Mediterranean, he used the words Azure Coast in the title – in French that translates as Côte d’Azur.”

I have thought a lot about legacy since Steve’s death.  E-books last forever.  Friends and family pass with time. Memories fade.  E-books last. So, I am spending time and dollars to get Steve’s E-books, his legacy, out there in a format that works. I have been editing and getting professional help with covers and formatting to attract an international audience of readers.  So far, I have finished and published on Smashwords and Amazon’s Kindle BURDEN OF PROOF, CAPITOL MURDER, and MARATHON MURDERS.  I am currently working on DANCE WITH DEATH.  I plan to do all of his books before I begin tackling mine.  That way, our works will remain long after our deaths. 

My favorite is MARATHON MURDERS.  Why? It is about Boston.  It was his home in his heart.  He knew its streets, its restaurants, its stores, its history.  He loved Boston, the Red Sox, and Fenway Park, passionately and not necessarily in that order.  That love pervades his words throughout.  When I was working on it, I felt his presence, his being there, in the room with me, sharing love and teaching me about his home and his people.  The edited version with the new cover and formatting has just been published on Smashwords and Kindle.  I will get to the hard copies in the future. 

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Janet and Steve

PLOT TWISTS

There are so many plot twists going on right now that I am dizzy. The woods are on fire in the United States; revelry is happening on the streets of Nice; and skill extraordinary is on display in the mountains and flats of South Korea. When I turn on the television, I don’t know whether to watch U.S. news, the Olympics, or local news on Channel 15 – to say nothing about the various disasters going on in the rest of the world.  Sometimes, I cannot take any of it so I watch something distracting, like “Vera” or “Silent Witness” on Netflix or my Eurobox. What can I do about any of it? Stop watching the news?  Update my address on “Oversees Voter”?  Exercise?  I don’t know. 

The activist part of me wants to watch the news, yell and scream on Facebook IN ALL CAPS,  retweet posts on Twitter that work for me!!  The athletic part of me wants to watch the Olympics – especially downhill skiing and all ice-skating events OR do stretches on the floor and go for a 4 mile nighttime walk by the Sea. The “interested in local events” part of me wants to go take 100s of photographs of the people, floats, and events of Carnival. The pacifist part of me wants several glasses of wine and to watch a good movie on Eurobox.  None of this surprises me.  In fact, I predicted it a year ago to a few  people here and there.    

What I AM doing – for the record, I am updating my Voter Registration data on the Overseas Voter website for the April election.  And, continuing to collect cartoons (for some unknown reason).  I have enjoyed satiric cartoons (also satiric plays, novels, poems) all my life. Tongue-in cheek.  As a young girl, I read the Saturday Evening Post’s cartoons. I searched them out in New Yorker and Esquire. And, today, I save them when I see cartoons on Facebook. Read them on the covers and cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly magazine, browsing them in newsstands. So, today, I am posting cartoons that I have saved – without comment and in no particular order. In addition, I am posting a couple of Carnival pictures (Joyce Marshall, photographer) – without comment. You can draw your own conclusions. 

 

Best, Jay

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The Sea Speaks to Me

I call it “Seaspeak”. It is true – the Sea speaks to me. It always has, but now more than ever. When I walk by the Sea in the mornings, I have a favorite place to sit and face the sun.  I let go.  It never fails.  I walk away, feeling better.  These are few of my favorite shots.

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My Little Corner of the Côte!

This is not what I had in mind when I got on the plane to Nice, France, in the fall of 2015, mind you. But, after much bemoaning and bewailing about having to downsize, I actually am enjoying my little corner of the Côte. No, I don’t have a Sea view. No, I don’t have a mountain view.  This is my view – from the living room, from my bedroom/office, and looking up. (Sigh.) 

That said, I have a huge patio with lots of potential. As you can see, I have already started positioning plants. Some were here when I arrived; some I purchased. But, remember, it is winter!! This is the “before”. Wait until Spring arrives!! I will keep you posted re the “after”.  I plan to have flowers and plants everywhere – a beautiful garden for all my “neighbors” to enjoy.  (Inside joke – Andrea, Slav, and Kate, Chris and John, and Richard will know what I mean!!  Haha.)

PLUS, I entertain – the birds!! Haha.  This Bird Bath was here. I cleaned it up and fill it with water.   The birds come! Fun!! 

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 I am still trying to figure out who is throwing cake crumbs on my patio for the pigeons.  That and cigarette butts. Ugh. Oh, well, people stand out on their patios, and …. I clean it up. It doesn’t happen a lot, actually. 

The inside of my apartment is beginning to feel like home.  I am not sure whether the change was internal or external. Once I quit resisting change, my surroundings started fitting my new life style. What is my new life style, you ask? Well, it changes from week to week (haha), but as best as I know – it is filled with a lot of walking and writing and reading and dining – 

and taking photographs. I have a list of projects – books, blogs, Journals, linking, connecting, golfing – that keep me busy.  Thus, I need my home base to be comfortable.  This gives you an idea.  I have been here – in this apartment, for four months.

There is a large entry at the front door. It leads into the living room/kitchen, and a long hallway to the bathroom, “toilette”, and bedroom/office/dressing room (haha). For one person, it’s fine.  Actually, I think guests would find it comfortable, too, …with a garden right outside their door. The sofa in the living room is convertible.  The price is right.

All in all, it is a life style that allows me time to work – very different from my life in the U.S. Every morning, I wake up with ideas and plans. First thing, I check to see if my eye whites are still white, not red. Yes!! Great!! It’s a new day!   

Best, Jay

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