Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm Off To Greece.

This is my final States-based post for six-months. I’m off to Mykonos on Tuesday.  I know, you’re all crying for me. Don’t worry, for I shall persevere…in the face of constant challenges of the sort expressed in the photo at the top of this post.

I’ll arrive on Mykonos in the middle of Easter week. This year Eastern and Western Easter fall on the same day, both during Passover. Yippee, we’re closing in on World Peace.

Last Monday I got to say goodbye to Washington & Jefferson College where I’d taught mystery writing during the frozen month of January.

I was invited back for a springtime address to the English Department. What a great bunch of folks. Some of my students even showed up, and others stopped me on the campus to say Hi. I guess it pays to be an easy grader.:)

It beats a wanted poster.

One of my students really surprised me. She’s a freshman and unbeknownst to me a rising opera star.  She was one of a dozen singers awarded a coveted position this summer in EPCASO (Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera—and you think governments are big on acronyms). In its 32nd year, EPACSO’s website describes itself as a month-long Summer Opera Program with concentrated study and training in voice, repertoire, and language for singers. The program is specifically designed for those singers whose abilities indicate a realistic possibility for a career in opera.

Ezio Pinza (1892-1957)

Well done, Jesse!  And after that buildup how can I not share with you a sample of her singing.  Undoubtedly it was my mysterious teaching that made her the star she is today.

Another of my students received a grant for this summer to study the habits of European-based mystery writers, of which Cara, Yrsa, and I are included as targets.  Savvy kids in my class.

And on Wednesday night I said adieux to my Mykonos After Midnight book tour with a MWA-NY panel titled “Mysteries in Translation” at the New York Public Library.  Annamaria, Chris Pavone, and I were the panelists, moderated by Shizuka Obate.

Later, Annamaria, Chris and I joined friends in a spontaneous dash over to a nearby Greek restaurant and a great fun time in a warm-up for my coming week.

Now it’s on to finishing up farm work, packing, and writing. Yes, finally, after five months of everything but writing…or so it seemed…the time has come to turn to Andreas Kaldis #7 for 2015. Assuming I can come up with an idea.

But that’s why I return to Greece, folks. For inspiration.  And it never fails.

Bye-bye for now. Yiasu!



  1. Nice to see Ezio Pinza's smiling face. He was a great singer and an all around class act. His World War Two experiences with the Enemy Alien Board worked their way into Face of the Enemy.

  2. Thanks, Bev. Just another reason for everyone to read "Face of the Enemy." I remember my parents listening to his records, and I believe I still have a copy of "South Pacific" bearing his photo on the album cover. He was quite the star in his time, bridging both the operatic and general music genres.

  3. What a wonderful, rich winter you had. So sorry you have to go to Mykonos to recover :). And yes, it's a good week this week. I only the world got along as well as the calendar.

    1. That's a wonderful prayer, Lil. I'll have to remember it!

  4. Ah, Bev and I are dating ourselves! Ezio Pinza, one of the first opera singers to appear on Broadway (South Pacific). Your parents, hmm! Have a great time Jeff and happy writing. I am still looking forward to reading Kaldis 6. (Notice I mastered the reply process on this blog?)

  5. Welcome aboard the Merry Ship MIE, Barbara. Now that you've found us, never let us go. How's that for a (Broadway) tuneful welcome? :)