And that's how their tango begins -- he holds up his hand inviting her to join...
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Thursday, September 21, 2023
The sun rises in front of the wagons, and sets behind them. Towns appear and disappear. Rivers pass by, then forests, brick houses, motels. In Minsk they stop. He finds the three-story hotel quite fascinating at first, especially the curved rail of the staircase, which is meant, no doubt, for sliding down and yelling at the top of your voice. Of course, landing down on your butt, he finds out, is an entirely different matter—and so is the harsh, unforgiving look cast down at him by the hotelkeeper.
They settle down for the night. In the rented room, his mommy blesses the Sabbath candles. Her hands are tightly clasped, her eyes closed. And early the next morning they mount the wagon again, and the journey goes on in the dim light, guided by nothing but an instinct to survive, farther and farther away from home. Squinting at the rising sun, Zeev finds it more and more difficult to keep his eyes open. His mind is going numb listening to the wheels as they spin and turn, spin and turn, beating incessantly against the mud.
Friday, September 8, 2023
So this is a snippet for my animation, Tango, which is based on a series of my clay sculptures, featuring a middle-aged man who dances with a different girl in each of the sculptures. Here, she whispers to him, in her most sexy, throaty intonation, "I love your bald spot, your dwindling hair..."
Her voice will be narrated for the animation by Sarah Mallery, also known as S.R. Mallery. in different phases of her life she's been a singer, a composer, a calligrapher, a quilt artist, and an ESL/Reading teacher. Nowadays she's a USA Today Bestselling Author and a longtime friend of mine. I'm thrilled to incorporate her voice in this animation. Stay tuned...
Friday, August 25, 2023
I go on to tell him that I knew the old woman who used to occupy this bed. He seems to be listening, so I start drawing from memory how, on my first visit here, she would hunch her shoulders over her empty hands, and lift her head to gape at me, and how her mouth would breathe slowly into the air:
Then the traveller in the dark... Thanks you for your tiny spark... He could not see... Which way to go... If you did not twinkle so...
I sing these words for him, with a voice that is thin and barely audible, just like hers used to be. And I hope that it brings to his mind the musical mobile I have seen, in the window back home, hung between one blind and another. I hope he can fall asleep now, dreaming of reaching up, of pulling that string, to make the plush animals turn around, and go flying overhead faster and faster till all is a blur, to the sound of that silvery note, which is chiming, chiming, chiming, as if to announce a moment of birth.
Afterwards, I cannot figure out for certain at what point my voice has trailed off, leaving me lost in a jumble of memories, fearful to open my eyes, fearful to glance at my watch, to figure out the moment, the exact moment when I have realized that I am alone.
All I know is that somewhere along its arc, the light has crawled across the wall and leapt onto their pillow, and it is resting there now, on his open eyelids.
It is a fairly strong light now, a glare that can blind you if you look directly into it, which strangely he seems to be doing. So I rise to my feet to pull the curtain shut, and then, in spite of myself, I glance at him. His chest barely rises.
He lays there, having wrapped himself in my mother’s arms, his eyelashes still somewhat aflutter, his hands still shivering slightly over his heart, his face pale, nearly blue, and I know that if I would leave him at this moment to go look for Martha, the care giver, it would be over. Dad would be gone by the time I rush back.
So I draw closer and stand there, behind the head of the bed, over my sleeping mother. From this angle, his ribs seem to move—but I think it is because of her body clinging to him, and because of her breathing, which is so deep and so peaceful. I lean over her arms to take his hands in mine, absorbing his shiver, taking it into my flesh, until finally it dies down.
And the light, growing even brighter, washes his face, till all that is left is a smile, frozen.
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Saturday, July 29, 2023
My stop-motion animation is complete, please check it out.
It is based on my dance sculptures (clay and bronze) and a poem-duet I wrote the night I started creating the first sculpture in this series.
Friday, July 28, 2023
One way for Vlad to avoid me, avoid paying the price for his crimes, is to play dead; another is to play dying. And who knows, perhaps it’s for real. Perhaps it’s not a game.
Still, I can’t help but remain on guard, even if to others, it may seem pointless. Last time I saw him—about half a year ago—he lay contorted on the stretched hospital sheet, seemingly immobile, and never once lifted an eyelid to meet my gaze, which brought pity to my heart—but didn’t expunge the fear.
I keep telling myself there’s no reason anymore to be cautious. I shot him, and now he’s said to be in a coma. About that, I have my doubts. Having spent enough time in his company before the hit, I know him all too well. Vlad rejoices in the pain he inflicts. To him, it means being in charge. He is not likely to relinquish it. Even if his power slips away, it’s not going to be for long.
My brush with his Russian gang is something I’d like to forget. It left me struggling to piece my life together. Like an ink stain, the memory of what happened to me in their hands is somewhat shapeless and yet—indelible. Perhaps the only thing I can do now is give it more definition. If only I can learn his secrets.
I try to think the way he does. What would Vlad do now that the police arrested most of his gang, now that he is no longer in control? He would bide his time until finding the right moment to grab it again. And what better place to lay low than a hospital bed?
My boyfriend, Michael, says I’m overly suspicious. There’s no way to fake being in a coma. I do want to believe that—but having been diagnosed a few months ago as a vegetable myself, I know from experience that faking it is not entirely out of the question. Especially when you start to regain your senses, and no one but you knows you’re already alert.
So I just smile at him and say, “Time will tell.”
(Volume IV of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
Friday, July 21, 2023
So by now I'm seeing the end-of-the-tunnel of my three-minute animation. This snippet is one of my favorites, because it requires the animator (me) to think about not only the motion of the figures but more importantly, of how they express their feelings.Stay tuned for more...
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Friday, July 7, 2023
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Friday, June 30, 2023
Two dozen partisans, wearing threadbare clothes and shoes that were falling apart at the seams, advanced towards us
They surrounded the two SS soldiers, forced them to kneel down, and tied their hands behind them.
The Germans were shivering in fear. Were these the same people who—only a few days ago—had strutted around their victims on the way to the execution site? Were these the same people who had charged ahead, wielding their batons, to capture the boy and me? Their sense of authority had collapsed.
And the little French they used to know must have flown right out of their heads, to the point that not a word was left. One of them cleared his throat a few times, started to say something, then took a breath, somewhat haltingly, only to end up swallowing his spit. And the other made a failed attempt to deny who he was. In a weak, shaky voice, he mumbled, “Ich bin kein Deutsch.”
“Really?” said the leader. “You are not a German? Could have fooled me!”
He made a slight gesture to his men and at once, they raised the Germans to their feet. Then they took them away, not before stripping them of their boots. After all, good footwear was nothing to sneeze at.
Meanwhile, the traitor wiped the beads of sweat off his upper lip. “Will they be shot?” he asked, anxiously.
“No,” said the boy. “They will join the others, down at our camp.”
“Those who escaped from the burning vehicles. We have rounded them up.”
“Too bad,” said the traitor, who must have been hoping, up to this moment, to be rescued by the Germans. “I mean, too bad for them.”
With that, he swung around and was just about to dart out into the woods when two of the partisans laid their hands him. They relieved him of his Pistolet Automatique and shoved him to the ground.
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Monday, May 15, 2023
Monday, May 1, 2023
Author Anna Belfrage invited me to write a special feature for her wonderful blog--aptly named Stolen Moments--and I'm grateful to her for the opportunity!
Please check out here
Thursday, April 20, 2023
So, here is my animation of SHRED (with my paper-engineered creation) -- turn up the volume!
Monday, April 17, 2023
I pulled him down, bringing him on top of me, and there on the dirt we grappled, blow by savage blow
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Lenny’s gone, but still, I’m thinking about him, about how he’s touched on that time, the lost time nearly five years ago, when I went out the door, swearing I ain’t gonna come back to him, not ever. What he hasn’t said—and what left such a bitter taste in my mouth—is how he told me, back then, “You are a nice kid, Anita. Go, go back to where you came from. Go back to your mama.”