Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy almost mid-week!

I had to miss my regular Sunday blogging time this week, so I’ll catch up here. We had a great celebration with the in-law family last week. Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and Niece all enjoyed an extended stay at the Shrader’s Italian Villa B&B! Mother-in-law (a permanent resident) was overjoyed to have her family all together at the same time. To top it off, the Daughter-in-law was stunning as Cherubino in Nozze di Figaro at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Thanks to Medici TV, I was able to watch the telecast live! It all was an in-law extravaganza! I am so honored to be part of this group of extraordinary people. Of course, Son singing at Glyndebourne Festival and Daughter administrating at the Caramoor Festival is also pretty exciting. It’s a wonderful life!

I actually spent some time in the closet that serves as my new office yesterday. How the mighty have fallen! But it’s fine …  I needed to communicate with my online students about a variety of registration issues to make sure they have access to the proper course content. Today I’ll set up the poolside office and try to spend some time seeing what Nick Flemons is up to. I’m excited about the Olympics opening this weekend, so that may take away from writing time as well.

The new school year starts on August 1 and classes begin on August 13. I’ve got three new preparations this semester, so I’ll be pretty busy getting ready to go.

OK, updates:

Choral – nothing new. I’m looking through some older manuscripts to see whether they might become part of the free PDF catalogue. If you, or your choir director are interested in performing those compositions, contact me at jashrader@gmail.com.

Mozart book – still at printers as far as I know. I’m hoping that a package will arrive soon with some copies for me. I was offered an advance from Mellen, so when the book is in print, I’ll turn to that issue. That money is earmarked for the “puppy” fund. One thing that came to mind when attending the Caramoor Festival a few weeks ago, was the idea for a second non-fiction book on the Choruses in Rossini’s Serious Operas. I would be a logical next step as Rossini bridged the gap from serious opera to Romantic verismo. It’s just a question of whether I have the research chops to undertake another major project.

Twin Killing – of course I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped, especially with guests in the villa. Plus, I find myself re-reading and editing as I go despite the promise to myself to push to the end and THEN do all that stuff. The case, at this point, has broken down into three distinct areas: 1) Nick has an idea that the beer vendor was not the actual target; 2) Laster, Hulet, and the cops are interviewing the stadium security personnel; and 3) Lester Bonacci and his gang are trying to come up with plan B to get Shane Hovis, since plan A failed.

The snippet today has to do with the cops interviewing the security people at the stadium. They find an interesting subject in Elijah Placke who has some startling revelations for them, Enjoy …

     Placke took some deep breaths and began to tell his story. “Yesterday, about 3:30 pm, I got a call on my cell phone. The team was over in Orlando, so I was at home. The voice on the phone said, ‘Listen carefully. We have your daughter. We will return her unharmed if you do exactly as you’re told.’  I’ll never forget those words or the sound of that voice.
     
     He told me that I was to get my pass key to the private suites copied. Later that night, I should put the key on the steps to my back porch. He said that if I called the police or looked out a window to try to identify him, I would never see Aisha again. When he had the key, he would call again. He said he would put a rifle on the porch and I was to take it inside. Then, early the next morning, I was to sneak the rifle into suite 212, and lock the door. I asked about Aisha. He said if I did everything, she would be returned to us after the game. I asked if I could speak to her, but he hung up.”
     
     “How old is Aisha?” Laster asked.
     
     “She’s only seven. She was scared out of her mind.”
     
     “You say that like she was returned.”
    
      “Oh yes, she was. About two o’clock, she was dropped off at a corner two blocks from our house. My wife, Carmella saw her walking home and ran to bring her inside. Carmella called me right away.”
     
     “So, if Aisha was safe, why didn’t you just tell us all about it?”
     
     “I was afraid. I’m probably going to jail for my part in this and if I said anything to you, my family would be in danger again. They got to us once, they can do it again.”
     
     “Elijah, as I said, we can help you here. I’m afraid I’ll need to talk to Aisha down at the station. Officer Johnson will go to your home and pick up Aisha and Carmella and bring them down.  You ride with Sergeant Hulet and me and we’ll all meet up at headquarters. You have been very helpful and cooperative. I’ll make sure the DA knows that when we start thinking about charges. Call Carmella and tell her what’s happening and then let’s go.”

***
That’s all for now. Please share this blog with anyone who may have an interest in any of my ongoing projects. I hope to get back to the Sunday blog schedule this week, so until then, I’ll see you online! -JAS

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