This month, The First Two Pages continues to feature posts by some of the authors who contributed stories to Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 (Level Best Books, September 2017), the fourth anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/ Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.
As a lifelong New Yorker, I’m keenly aware of how people view the city. Many see the New York of today without knowing its backstory. Whether they admire one of its great buildings or a piece of art in one of its museums, they don’t always know how it came to be, or how its creation may have shaped someone’s life. This look into how the past impacts the future of my protagonist Chloe is what I wanted to come through.
As I read your story, Cathi, one of my thoughts was that you must have had a lot of fun making up the MoMA-worthy photographs in which Otto combines the themes of fashion, the moon landing, and the beautiful young Chloe. I’ve done the same in my fiction–once an exhibition of paintings in a SoHo gallery, once an imaginary Vermeer that gets stolen from the Met–and we really get to do whatever we want, don’t we! It was also fascinating to read about Chloe’s world because I lived through the same years in New York and remember the moon landing vividly, but I was more of an intellectual. I didn’t give a hoot about fashion (blue jeans were not “fashion” yet), and I knew I would never be as thin as Twiggy, so she barely crossed my radar.
Cathy, I found Chloe to be an intriguing protagonist and I think her story and her character were enriched by the connections you allowed the reader to make between the present and the past.
You really make Chloe come alive, Cathi!It’s intriguing the way you weave the past and present together. From now on, I think I’ll be looking more carefully at the people I see sitting in museums, gazing at a photograph or painting., wondering what secrets they carry hidden deep inside….
I am fascinated by how you and I both use art and an elderly model to tell such different stories! Our protagonists would have been best friends!
I’d like to think Anabell would have told Chloe it’s time for her to shake off the past and kick up her heels, it’s not to late to live a little. 🙂
Artist come and go. Some are in favor today and casually remembered tomorrow….. Cathi has me not only buyin’m, but gifting as well…
Cathi, congrats on hitting the mark yet again! Nothing casual about your writing.. Awesome..
dan marti wells
Cathi, your story is filled with knowledge and compassion and has a lilt to it that reflects you. All your stories are
filled with art and light.
Cathi, I loved the way you evoked memories of the sixties in NYC with just a few names and places: Eighth Street apartments in the Village, Trude Heller’s, Max’s Kansas City, Twiggy, the Factory. And your protagonist made it into that world…made a success. So it is so poignant when we see the old lady sitting there, and find out all the glitz and glamour led to…”an old lady with nowhere to go and nothing left to lose.”
Thank you all for your comments. I loved the sixties. I grew up then and studied fashion, so I was very into all of that and loved going to all the discos where I had to show my phony proof! I, like nearly everyone around me, had moon fever and I will always remember the moon landing. It was great fun for me to mix all of these elements into my story. I was also an advertising copywriter, so to mis-quote the bard (sorry!): “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to…write! That’s the best fun of all.