Welcome to Cal's Cosmos

Allow me to roll out the red carpet and usher you into my world--the world of writing. I am a blessed man; a man blessed with the enjoyment of creating worlds on a lifeless sheet of paper or a blank computer screen.

You'll find many things at Cal's Cosmos: information about my long and passionate love affair with writing, my views on literature, my musical heritage and thoughts on current events.

Please, come back often to see what's happenin' on Cal's Cosmos.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Like Etta James, I'm singing, "At Last..."

After years of working on The Phantom Lady of Paris, I've been offered a contract. I have worked on this project on and off, in fits and starts, through sleepless nights and endless days since I spent a year living in Paris. At times another story would capture my attention and I'd stow away my chapters. Then a few years later, I'd pull the Phantom Lady from her resting place in the closet, blow off the dust and work on it some more, reliving my time in the City of Light.

While in Paris back in '68 and '69, I settled into a comfortable routine. Each morning after dressing, I'd run down three flights of stairs, sprint up the street to the neighborhood dairy to purchase a container of yogurt, step across the street to the bakery for a fresh croissant and return to 21 rue Galande to retrieve my copy of an London newspaper, Herald Tribune, from the mailbox. At that time, the mail was delivered twice a day and deposited into a communal box in the vestibule where the building's residents sorted through the pile of envelopes, advertisments, magazines and newspapers to find the items addressed specifically to them. Newspaper, notebooks, pencils and breakfast in hand, I'd walk a narrow street to Boulevard Saint Germaine until I reached my "writing cafe," Cafe Balkan. There I would eat my breakfast, sip my espresso and read my paper before settling into completing my writing quota for the day.

One morning when I sorted through the mailbox, my paper was not there. The address band was in the box, but not my treasured English newspaper. To say I was upset would be an understatement. Who would have stolen my paper? What a rotten thing to do! As I sat at Cafe Balkan, my temper cooling and my writer's imagination heating up, I thought...hey that would make a great idea for a story. A teacher on sabattical, much like me, has his paper pilfered. The thief posts a note on the bulletin board over the mailbox, signing it "The Phantom Lady of Paris." The novel's protagonist posts one in response, and a dialog via notes occurs....and then...

The Phantom Lady slowly revealed herself and I, in my meager ways, tried to capture her for a brief moment within the pages of a novel. A novel that will soon be published. At last...

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