Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Artwork by Parker Kaufman


Throughout my life I've studied under some ardent and wonderfully talented art teachers.  I was always encouraged to create works that were truly reflective of the world as seen through my eyes and experience, regardless of what the popular definition of "art" was at the time.

Having a visual challenge, I never saw the world as it "really is".  Color, texture, and perspective, wasn't the same for me as it was for  a person with 20/20 sight.  In my youth, I didn't comprehend  that I had quite a unique view of things.  I eventually came to realize I was blessed with the ability to see something that "isn't"  there, in something that "is" there.

I first worked in colored card stock, creating landscapes and celestial scenes.  I soon added computer generated figures and forms printed on white card stock, cutting and gluing them into the weave of the piece.  I advanced to working with textured stock which gave things a slight dimensional quality.  I followed this with layering several sheets of stock together to gain even more depth.

Not long ago I discovered papers with printed patterns, which ignited my imagination and heightened my sense for seeing "what isn't there".

Featured above are two of my works; the top one depicting geese in flight in semi-realism and the bottom portraying the same in the "what isn't there" manner.

What I hope that you take away from this is, your creativity is only limited by what you allow yourself to see and the boundaries you set for you imagination.

Episode Twelve   Ambush at the Drugstore

    "Yes, our wedding day was the happiest day of my life to that point.  I was ecstatic!  I couldn't believe I was so lucky.  You've made such a huge difference in my life, Sam."
    “Oh, just you wait!  I’m not done with you yet,” she giggled and crawled on top of him.  Days turned into weeks.  Samantha was becoming very comfortable with Jaks.         
    “Sam, I need to run to the drugstore to pick up my allergy prescription.  Want to come along for the ride?”
    “Not really, honey.”
    “Oh, come on.  I’m not comfortable leaving you alone yet.  What if you don’t feel good while I’m gone?  Come with me.  You love to walk up and down the aisles of the drugstore and look at all that female do-dad stuff.  And I’ll buy you whatever you want!  We won’t be long.  Come on,” he reached his hand out to her.
    “Oh, okay.  I guess I must really love all that female do-dad stuff!”  They drove to a small drugstore far off the highway.  She walked around while he picked up his medicine and met him at the cash register.
    “There’s a concert in the park tonight,” said Jakson as they walked to the car.  “Those acapella guys you like from Linton University.  Feel like a little outdoors music?”
    “Sure!  I love those guys!  They remind me of...”
     Somebody grabbed her from behind, pulled a pillowcase over her head, and threw her in a nearby vehicle.
    “Jaks!  Jaks!” she screamed, kicking and fighting.
    “Shut the hell up, bitch, or we’ll kill him,” a man growled in her ear.  Samantha froze.  She heard roaring in her head.  She screamed.  Everything started to spin.  Breathing was difficult.  Everything went black.

    “Sam!  Samantha?  Where are you?” he whispered.  “Sam?”
    “Jaks?” she whispered back.  “I’m right here.  Jaks, are you hurt?”
    “No, I don’t think so,” he said.  “Somebody knocked me out at the car.  Are you okay?”
    “Yes, I think.  But there’s something over my head and my hands are tied behind me.”
    “Yes, me, too.”
    “Where are we?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Jaks, what do they want from us?”
    “I have no idea, Baby.  What could they want with us?  It can’t be ransom if they took us both.  Are you all right?  Does your head hurt?  Honey, I heard you scream.”
    “I’m okay, Jaks.”  
    “Can you... can you scoot toward me?  I’ll do the same.  Come on, Sam, come to me.”  She wiggled toward the sound of his voice.  She bumped into him, recognizing his scent.
    “Okay, turn around and try to untie my hands.  Good, good.  You’re getting it.”  His hands were free.  He removed the pillowcase from her head and began to untie her hands.  “Are you sure you’re okay?”  Her hands were free.
    She grabbed him and hugged him.  “I am now.”  She started to cry.
    “Sh, sh, My Darling.  Please don’t cry.  It’ll be okay.  We’ll get out of here, I promise you.”  He held her tightly and kissed her head.  She thought she heard him crying, too.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Carol Ann Kaufman

When Nicole decided to step back into life in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico with Richard, a young British actor who professed his love for her on a daily basis, she mistook his enthusiasm for little more than youthful impetuousness.  She had no idea their unlikely, unconventional love would span the continents and more than a decade of their lives entwining them closer and closer, while career, family, and unforeseen circumstances pulled them farther apart.

This first book in the supernatural love story series, Time After Time, follows a pair of lovers their lifetimes together.

Excerpts of Reviews:

"... a truly epic romantic novel, spanning over ten years in time.  It crosses the United States and the Atlantic to England, Ireland, and Italy, and even a trip to Aruba.  It is a true tale of the Power of Love here and beyond.  If you enjoy romantic novels interspersed with action and the occasional quip that makes you smile, you'll enjoy this book."
                                                                             - 5 stars by Jeannie 49

"This is a fun, intricately plotted story of two lovers on a wild ride.  I especially enjoyed the tenderness of the love scenes and the candid treatment of the May/December relationship."
                                                                            - 5 stars from Emilia D.

"Good reading with lots of action and locations all  over the globe."
                                                                            - 5 stars from Erika B.

"... a beautiful story, it reminded me of 'The English Patient'."
                                                                            - 5 stars from Salsa T.

Carol's work is available at amazon.com  for the kindle.  Visit her author page, Carol Ann Kauffman, on Facebook.

Episode Eleven    A Little Present

    "Sam?  Samantha?  Where are you?" he called.
    "I'm out on the balcony, Jaks" she called.   He rushed to the balcony and gave her a gentle kiss.  
    “Close your eyes.  I have a little present for you.  Here,” he handed her a tiny box.  “It’s just something little.  It’s something you saw in a magazine.  Before you got sick.  You thought it was pretty.  So I ordered it for you.  It just came in.”
    “Jaks!  I can’t remember anything.”
    “I know.  Just guess.”
    “Okay.  You said ‘it’, so it’s one, not a pair, like earrings.”
    “You’d rather earrings?  You did find your jewelry box, didn’t you?”
    “Yes, I did.  Beautiful pieces in there, I love every one of them, but you told me to guess, so I’m just guessing.  It's too small for a bracelet.”
    “Maybe you should just open it and quit guessing.”
    “Honey, whatever it is, if YOU bought it for me, I’ll love it.”
    “Open it.  You’re killing me here,” he said.  She giggled and opened the box, eyes still closed.
    “It’s a pendant on a chain.  It’s… its a little heart!  Can I open my eyes now?”
    “Yes.  And look, Love, it’s engraved with our names and our wedding date, so you won't… forget.  It may look like silver, but it’s platinum, so it won’t tarnish or discolor.”
    “Aw, how sweet!  I love it!  Put it on me.  I’ll wear it always,” she kissed him.  
    “Oh!  I’ve really missed those kisses of yours.”
    “Really?”  She kissed him again.  “How much?”
    “Terribly.  Achingly.  They’re wonderful kisses, you know.  And highly addictive.”
    “We could… continue this inside… if you want.”
    “What, you don’t want to make love to me right here on the balcony, Mr. Blake?”
    “Mrs. Blake, I'm British, and rather reserved.  But if you insist!”  He closed in on her.
    “No, we’ll go inside.  I wouldn’t want to give dear, sweet, old Mrs.Watchter a heart attack.”
    “So, you remember the old woman in the condo across the way from us, but you don’t remember me?  Am I so damn forgettable?”  He held his head in his hands, pretending to be devastated.  “I am crushed.  So crushed.  I need… more kisses.  Lots of kisses.  Tons of kisses.”
    “Oh yea?”  She giggled.  “And just where would you like those kisses, Mr. Blake?”
    “In the bedroom.”  They made their way to the bed and got comfortable.  Jakson pulled her close to him and kissed her forehead.
    “Jaks, we got married on the beach, right?  I think I’m starting to remember.”
    “Really?  That’s wonderful!  Yes, we got married at the Sheraton right up the beach from here.  Tell me what you remember, Sweetheart.”  He hugged her.
    “I remember… gardenias.  I remember the beautiful fragrance from my bouquet.  It was white gardenias.  I remember Mr. Pendleton and I walking out the back door of the hotel and down the stone walkway to the beach.  He said he was so happy for us.  I remember seeing you near the shore waiting for me, smiling, looking so handsome in your white dinner jacket.  Folding chairs on either side filled with happy people.  Familiar happy faces, no names.  I remember Annette was our maid of honor.  She wore yellow.  She looked stunning.  She carried yellow roses.  And Tom!  Tom was our best man.  I remember Father Guido.  I also remember that was the very first time I ever saw you nervous.  And so excited.  Just so filled with love and joy.  I’d never seen a happier groom in my whole life.  You were absolutely bubbling over with emotion.”

Wonderful Book

YOUNG AMERICA: Treasures From the Smithsonian American Art Museum  by Amy Pastan and Watson Guptill.

I  came across this magnificent book many years ago while taking art courses.    A great source of inspiration, this book is chock full of portaits, still lifes, landscapes, and everyday scenes which are part of a traveling exhibition from the American Art Museum.  It is the embodiment of the wisdom and ideals of our country as it evolved from a handful of single colonies into a united nation.

The sculptures and paintings, 54 in total, were created in the 18th and 19th centuries and are fine examples of life in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.  The works include those by artists like John Singleton Copley, Charles Wilson Peale, Thomas Cole, and Horatio Greenough.

Not only is this an artistic view, it is also an historical testament to the humble beginnings of America.  You will find this a most enjoyable collection of works.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dear Readers,
    Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments here and on my Facebook Author Page.  I am so pleased you're enjoying  CHARMING DECEPTION.  I've enlarged the type for those of you who requested it, and I've been adding an episode daily instead of three a week, as I originally planned, for those of you who wanted more per week.
     Look for exciting developments coming soon.  After all, CHARMING DECEPTION  is a sci-fi romantic adventure.  So, hold on and enjoy the upcoming ride! 

Episode Ten  Lost and Alone

    "No, Jaks, it was just an observation."  He accepted that and they cleared up the plates and finished their wine on the sofa.  He laid his head down in her lap.
    “Love, since you’ve been ill, I’m the one who’s felt lost and alone.  And, I’ll admit it, frightened.  Having you with me has been the greatest joy of my life.  You understand me, you think I’m funny, and very charming.  And, um, handsome,” he smiled that faint, sweet smile shyly.  “I’ve never felt so loved, so happy in all my life.  When you woke up and had no idea who I was, I was heartbroken and thought I would certainly go mad, I thought I had lost my mind.  You kept telling me to go away and leave you alone.  And if I came anywhere near you, you’d back away like you were afraid of me, and scream at me.  The love of my life had been torn away from me.  And this identical twin they left in her place?  Well, she didn’t know me at all, and she certainly didn’t like me.  Sam, my greatest fear is that you will never remember me again, or, worse yet, remember me, but… not love me anymore.”
    “Jaks, I know we’re connected, I feel it,” she hugged him and played with his ear.  “I know that you love me.  You show it.  Just be patient a little longer, okay, Honey?  I remembered the lighthouses today.  Maybe tomorrow, something else will ring a bell,” she stroked his head, calming him down.  “Dr. Reynolds said one hundred percent recovery.”  He nodded.
    “We’re in this together, Sam.  I’ll do whatever, Baby, whatever it takes to help you remember, and to keep you safe.  You can count on me.  You’re not alone.”
    “I know,” she nodded.  “I know you’re strong and brave.  I feel safe when I’m with you.”
    “Good!”  He smiled that wonderful smile of his and kissed her fingers, closing his eyes.  He settled back and took a nap in her lap.  She stared at him.  Something about him was so deeply familiar, the dimple, the splash of freckle across his nose and cheeks, those gorgeous quicksand brown eyes.  That sweet, tiny grin, like he was in on a secret.  And that heart-stopping smile.  She knew him.  Knew him well.  Maybe he was her husband.  Maybe she had been with him for a year and a half now.  Maybe all this was true.  Part of her really wanted it to be true.
    But part of her remembered smatterings of a completely different life.  Working for a trucking company.  Being alone.  Living alone in a tiny, frugal second floor apartment near the center of a dusty drab little town.  Within walking distance to work, the drugstore, the grocery store, and the coffee shop on the corner.  The bar around the corner, noise and beer.  A dull, lonely, isolated, meager existence.
    The next few days were filled with relaxing on the beach together, cooking together, sleeping late, strolls on the beach, and laughter, tons of laughter.  
    “Sam, do you want to look at this?  It’s the photo album from our honeymoon in Bermuda.  St. George’s Beach.  I don’t want to push, but I though it might help you remember something.”
    “Great idea!”  She took the album from his hand and sat on the sofa.  “Come sit beside me.  So you like the water in Bermuda?”
    “Ah, yes, it’s pure and very clear.”  She turned the pages slowly. 
    “This place is incredible.  And this is such a beautiful photo album.  So artistically done.”
    “You… made it for us, so we wouldn’t forget one moment of our wonderful, romantic honeymoon.  We used the delay button on the camera and took most of the photos of us ourselves.”  
    They sat and looked at the album together, laughing and joking.  The photos showed a very happy couple that loved each other very much and laughed a lot.  Samantha nuzzled up next to Jakson as he narrated with sweet and funny stories of their two wonderful weeks in Bermuda.
    Happy days turned into pleasant weeks together.  She became very comfortable with the sweet, attentive, romantic Jakson Blake.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Episode Nine    Lighthouses

    "Do you want to step out for an early dinner, DiStefano's maybe, for Angel Hair Marinara?"
    "No, I'm really tired.  I'd rather stay home.  Let's cook."
    “Okay.”  They went into the kitchen.  Sam thought it was the most beautiful, well-designed well thought-out kitchen she’d ever seen in her life, complete with stainless steel appliances, white marble countertops, whitewashed cabinetry, and grey tiled floor and backsplash.  Crisp.  Clean.  Modern.  Laid out for maximum flow and efficiency, but yet still beachy.
    “We have frozen vegetables,” he said as he looked in the freezer.
    “We have rotini pasta,” she said looking in the pantry.  “How about Pasta Primavera?”
    “Sure.  Here’s the veg.  I’ll put the water on for the pasta.”
    “Jaks, what’s that?”  She pointed to the attachment on the faucet.
    “It’s a special water purifier.  We’ve got them all over, sinks, shower, we even take them with us when we travel.  I have water issues, My Darling.”  She nodded, accepting it without question.
Samantha was busy making a sauce for the vegetables.  Jakson picked out a bottle of wine for dinner, set the table, and soon they were sitting down next to each other having dinner.
    “Sam, this is very good!”
    “Thanks, Jaks.  I’m glad you like it.  This is a wonderful kitchen.  I just love it.  It’s so well planned.  Great flow.  And it’s so beautiful.”
    “Well, you planned it and you picked everything out.  I’m glad you still like it.  Honey, does anything seem familiar yet?”
    “Yes.  The little lighthouses in the bathroom,” she said.  “I remember them.”
    “What do you remember?”  He held his breath.
    “I remember buying some of them on vacation a long time ago.  I remember walking into a little shop on the boardwalk and picking one up, marveling at the beautiful intricate detailed work and how much it looked like the lighthouse we just visited.”
    “Do you remember, uh, me… right there with you?”
    “No, not exactly you, just that somebody was with me.  Sorry.”  He put his head down.
    “That’s okay.  But I was there.  I was right there next to you, my legs still aching from all those steps up to the top of the lighthouse and back down.  But the view was breathtaking.  Worth it.”  She nodded, not because she remembered, but to soothe him.
    “And I remember you bringing me one back every time you had to go away without me.”
    “Yes!  Yes!  That’s right.  Oh, thank God!  You remember me, ME bringing you one home from any trip I ever had to take without you?”  She nodded, but really didn’t remember anything else.  “You usually come with me when I travel.  I never leave you home alone unless I’m going into a dangerous place, but sometimes it happens.  I was hoping once I got you home, and you could relax, your memory would start to return.  Who would have thought the little lighthouses would do it!” He jumped up and hugged her, picking her up and twirling her around, kissing her head, her cheek, her ear.  “I love you.  And I know you’re going to be just fine!”
    “Lighthouses light your way when you are lost,” she said.  “Sometimes people who feel lost or alone or frightened find comfort and solace in lighthouses, with their beacons of light to guide one’s way back home.  How long have I collected lighthouses?”
    “You had a few when we met.  Let me think, you had one from Cape Hatteras, one from Cape Cod, one from Cape May, and one from someplace on Lake Erie.  You bought those yourself while traveling.  You had them in the living room at your apartment.  On top of a bookcase,” he nodded.         “Sam, do you feel lost or alone or frightened?”

Friday, April 26, 2013


Episode Eight  In the Gulf of Mexico

    They walked a short way down the shore to the water's edge.  The beach was deserted.  She kicked off her shoes and picked them up, letting the water lap her toes.  They strolled silently, listening to the calming sounds of the ocean.
    “I’m going in.  Are you coming?” she said.
    “No.  I’ll take your things and wait for you on that chair right over there, see it?”
    “Why don’t you want to go in the water?”
    “It’s wet.  And it bur… oh, I just hate the water.”
    “Brr!  You HATE the water,” she stifled a giggle, “and we bought a condo on the beach?  Why on earth?” she laughed out loud.
    “Yes, why on Earth.  Because you love it here.  And you love the water.  And I… I love you.”
    “Jakson Blake, you are too good to be true!”
    “No, Babe.  I’m not.”   He looked at her with a deep sadness in his eyes for a moment, and then it was gone.  “Go!  Swim a little.  But don’t go out too far.  I’ll get some sun.  I do like the sun!  Look for me in the chair over there, so you don’t drift off too far south, okay?  There’s a bit of a current today.”
She nodded and handed him her shoes and cover up.  Again she saw the sadness in his eyes once more just as she turned away to run into the water.
    “You okay?” he shouted to her as she bobbed around, only her head showing.
    “Yes, I’m fine.  Don’t worry about me.”
    “Is it cold?”
    “No!  Not at all.  It’s almost like bath water.  It feels wonderful!  Are you SURE you won’t come in and join me?”
    “Only to save your life, My Love, would I brave that water and come in there!  Have a good swim.  Be careful.  Watch my chair.  I’ll wave.  You wave back.  You shout if you need me.  But try not to, Love.”
    “I’ll be fine, Jaks,” she laughed.  “Quit fussing!”  Samantha bobbed around for a little longer.  She swam up toward the public beach, then back swam down the other way.  Every now and then she looked for Jakson and waved to him.  He waved back, ever watchful.
    She loved being in the water.  It took all her cares away.  It gave her a layer of insolation from the real and hurtful world.  It strengthened her, made her feel stronger, so she was better able to deal with whatever the hell life threw at her.  It made all those very frightening dreams she had seem less real, less threatening.  She slowed down in the water, like her life was a slow motion movie, in this case a very lovely but completely unfamiliar one.  This place was so beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  The condo was gorgeous, furnished and decorated to suit her taste.  Her closet with filled with beautiful clothing and accessories.  Jakson was handsome, sweet, and attentive.  He seemed genuinely concerned about her and was very romantic.  But she couldn’t shake the feeling that all this was some elaborate set-up.  But why?  And by whom?  About an hour passed.
    “Sam, are you ready to come out yet?”  Jakson stood and shouted at her.  “I’m starving, and you have to be getting all water-wrinkly by now!”
    “Okay,” she laughed, swam toward him, and walked up from the beach.  He held out a towel and helped dry her off.  He helped her on with her blouse as she slipped on her shoes.  They headed back upstairs, hand in hand, in silence.


Thursday, April 25, 2013


IMPRESSIONISM   is a painting style characterized by very fine, but visible brush strokes, open composition,  common subject matter, pure, bright, colors and a highly accentuated play of light.

As with Fauvism, Impressionism also had it's beginings in Paris during the 1870's and 1880's.  The style was highly criticized by the traditional French art community because it broke the rules of academic painting.  Contrary to the status quo where realistic scenes, landscapes, and portraits were painted in studios, the Impressionists worked outdoors capturing the effects of sunlight and acheiving a sense of movement to their art.

I'm a huge fan of MAXFIELD PARRISH, an  awe-inspiring American Impressionist artist and illustrator. (July 25, 1870 - March 30, 1966)    His works featured intense hues  (Parrish Blue) and dazzling luminosity.  You can find some interesting examples of Parrish's talent in the background of Elton John's  "Caribou"  album cover and also a variation of Parrish's  painting "Daybreak",  on the cover of the Moody Blues album titled "The Present".

Pictured above is "Ecstasy, 1930"  by Maxfield Parrish.  Note the intense blue sky contrasted with the subtle eroticism of the female figure.
Episode Seven    Very Healthy and Extremely Neat

    "Are you hungry?" Jakson asked.
    "Okay.  Then, how about we go for a little walk on the beach?  That usually makes you feel better.  Want to change just in case you get the urge for a little dip?"
    The idea sounded wonderful to her.  She nodded.  He took her hand and led her into their bedroom, pulling open a drawer and pulling out a pair of white swim trunks with navy and red piping down the sides.  She looked around.  The calming beiges and taupes of the bedroom reminded her of sand and shoreline.  It was set off dramatically by the classic dark cherry Queen Anne furniture and a bit of English country garden influence.  It was warm, inviting, and restful.  And everything was very neat.
    "Jaks, I..."  He anticipated her question and pulled open a drawer in the adjacent dresser.
    "You keep your bathing suits and coverups in here.  Water shoes are in the bottom of the closet.  I'll get them and some towels while you change."  He went into the master bathroom.  She walked around the very large comfortable room.  She opened a door, surprised to find a large, perfectly organized closet full of beautiful clothes and shoes.  She checked the labels.  Size ten.  If I'm married to sweet, handsome HIM and I live HERE is this gorgeous tropical paradise, and all this beautiful high-end stuff is MINE, then why am I not skipping around doing the 'I'm the luckiest woman in the world' happy dance?  Why do I have this nasty, dark, suspicious, paranoid streak as wide as Cleveland?  He came out, looking very good in his swim trunks, with towels for them both.  He pulled a navy shirt out of his closet.
    “Is my sweetheart suddenly shy?  Want to change in the bathroom?”  She nodded, went in, and closed the door. The bathroom was a beautiful, restful oasis with its sea green glass tiles and seafoam green shower curtain.  More odd-looking water filters.  White shutters adorned the window, and there were some shelves on both sides of the window displaying little lighthouses from around the world.  She recognized them.  She bought some of them herself on vacation when she was in college.  Look! Lake Erie and Cape May.  And my husband brought me one every time he had to go away on a business trip without me.  She touched them to make sure they were real.  They were.  She pulled off her clothes and stepped into a one piece, one shoulder black swimsuit.  Very nice.  Expensive.  She looked in the mirror.  It fit her.  It fit her WELL.  In fact, she looked damn good.  She slipped a black lace blouse over her suit, but didn’t button it.
    She quietly opened the medicine cabinet and poked around, looking for something else to jar her memory.  First-aid items, alcohol, peroxide.  Dental care necessities.  Aspirin, shaving items.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  According to the contents of this medicine cabinet, they were two very healthy and extremely neat people.
    “Sam?  Honey?  Everything okay in there, Babe?  Need help?”
    “No, Jaks.  I’m fine.  Be right out.”  She quietly closed the cabinet door and came out of the bathroom.
    “Ah!  There she is!  The irresistible woman who stole my heart!”  He stood there and looked at her for a moment, as if he expected her to say something.  She didn’t.  “I have our water shoes and some towels.  Let’s go.”  He reached for her hand and they walked toward the back of the building, entering a tall, gleaming, glass elevator.  He pushed some buttons and the elevator began its slow descent while she took in the breathtaking, paradise-like view.  This was the most beautiful place she had ever seen.  And, yes, it did feel like home.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Episode Six      Going Home

    They drove down toward the Gulf coast, crossing the Tampa Bay Causeway.
   “Oh, this is so lovely!  I’d forgotten how truly beautiful it is here.”
   “You love it here.  You said this was your favorite place in the world.  That’s why we bought the condo here on the beach.  Remember?”  She didn’t answer.  What she was remembering was nothing like what Jakson and Dr. Reynolds told her.
   “Dr. Reynolds gave me a prescription for my allergy medicine.  I’m almost out.  I’ll probably have to pick it up soon.”
   “How long has Dr. Reynolds been my doctor?  I swear I never saw the man before today.”
   “For about a year now.”
   “Since we’ve been married then?”
   “What about before that?  Who was my doctor?”
   “You didn’t have one, Honey.  That’s why I took you to my doctor.”
   “So, I have no family.  I have no doctor.  I love things, and I do some kind of fluff job for, who?”
   “You work for the Pendleton Markson Corporation, PenMark, and its not fluff.  You make a real difference in the lives of the children we work with, in health care, educational programs for mothers and children.  Vaccinations.  Sanitation.  Preventive medicine.  Food.”
   “Oh.”  She remained unimpressed.
   “And you love me, very much,” he nodded with just the tiniest smile.  She eyed him suspiciously, but then smiled at him.  It’s going to be impossible not to, she thought.
   The area grew more beautiful with every passing mile and soon they pulled into the parking lot of a very tall, white condominium complex.
   “Well, this is it, we’re home!  Let me take you up stairs and get you settled.  Then I’ll come back down for our things.”
   “Nonsense!  I’ll grab my bag and you take yours.  Don’t fuss, Jaks, it makes me think that I’m  terminal or fragile or ready to fall apart or something.  Don’t worry.  I’m not.  Let’s go.”
   “Hi, Sam!  Hi, Mr. Blake.  How are you?” said a waving, bubbly young girl in the lobby.  Sam smiled at her and said hi, but did not recognize her.
   “Hello, Shay,” said Jakson.  “We’re fine.  How are you?”  They got in the elevator and went up to the seventh floor.  He pulled out his keys and opened the door to 702.
   “Here we are, Love.  We’re home.  Does anything look familiar?”  She nodded.  Yes, she’d seen it before.  The condo was beautiful.  Whites and light blues dominated the living room with a pop of peach accents.  White sheer curtains pulled back allowing the breath-taking view to spill into the room.  From the doorway she could see the Gulf of Mexico.  The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, but it was the clouds that were most impressive.  There were great big white fluffy ones high up, and thin wispy ones moving quickly underneath them.  The gulf water was calm and a lovely milky blue color.  The view from the balcony was panoramic, with expansive white sandy beaches up and down the shoreline and palm trees dotting the landscape.  Floral shrubs lined the property in shades of pink, from pale to fuchsia.  White deck furniture set in small groups accented the grounds in lovely little vignettes with cushions, potted palm trees, and flowering shrubs.
   “Jaks, this place is gorgeous!”
   “Our place, Baby, yours and mine.  And, yes, it is.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Episode Five     So Who Am I?

   "Tell me about myself," she asked.  Dr. Reynolds picked up her file and sat back in the chair.
   "You are Samantha Kay Hannery Blake," he read from her chart.  "You were born February 22, 1985, in Fulton Valley, Ohio.  You graduated from Youngstown State University with a degree in early childhood education.  You are employed by PennMark, have been for the last three years, working to improve children's health and educational programs, nationwide and internationally.  You started out doing relief work for the Red Cross when a devastating tornado hit your hometown.  Last year on your birthday, you married Jakson Allan Blake in Clearwater at a beachside wedding ceremony.  I was there.  You were a stunning bride.  And Jakson, well, I’ve never seen him so happy in his whole life.  You two live on the beach in a condo on Gulfview Drive, just across the bay on the coast.”
   “Do I have any family?”
   “Parents are deceased.  No siblings.  But you have Jakson.”  Again, how convenient, she thought.  
   "Okay.  Tell me about Jakson."
   "Jakson Allan Blake.  Parents are wealthy diplomats in Great Britain. Jack and Miriam.  Wonderful people, they’re good friends of mine.  And they’re crazy about you.  They claim you brought their son back to life.  Jackson was born on May 4, 1980 in London, educated at Oxford.  He’s a worldwide problem solver, a peacemaker, and an international miracle worker.  Brilliant!  Speaks seven languages.  By occupation, he’s a binding arbitration mediator.  And he gets fantastic results.  He’s in very high demand all over the world."
   "And he married ME?"
   "You two are a perfect match!”  Dr. Reynolds laughed heartily.  “And I must say... he loves you, Samantha.  He’s been so worried about you.  In the hospital, he never left her side, even though I told him you didn't even know he was there.  He sat with you and held your hand and kept telling you everything was going to be all right.  He's devoted to you."
   Samantha walked to the window.  None of this was familiar.  She remembered a small, lonely life.  She remembered paperwork and maps and trucks and truck routes, a headful of numbers and formulas.  She remembered huge manuals with state regulations.  She remembered bad office coffee and good cheese Danish from the corner coffee shop.  She remembered a small, quiet, dusty, colorless town.
   “Any other questions?”
   “Complete recovery.  You can go home.  Call me if you have any strong or unusual head pain.  Jakson has medication for you if you, so tell him if you need it.  But call me immediately if you have head pain, or a blinding migraine, or nausea.  Make an appointment in three weeks for bloodwork, and I’ll see you in a month, here, okay?”  He handed her an appointment card.
   “Okay.  Home.  It sounds wonderful,” she nodded.  “Thank you, Doctor.”
   Dr. Reynolds left.  She saw him talking to Jakson outside, Jakson nodding, looking very concerned.  She read his lips.  He said ‘yes, she’ll do it.’  Then the doctor left and Jakson came in.  Do what, she wondered.
   “I hear we’re going home!  Great news, yes?”  She nodded as she packed.  Soon they were ready to leave.
   “Let’s go, Sweetheart.  You’re going to feel so much better once we get home.  Familiar surroundings, with all your things, the things you love.”


Art that steps outside the realm of realism has always excited and inspired me.  Artists whose works depict the world as it "isn't" have served as the impetus for a number of my own endeavors.  Some of those styles include, cubism, fauvism, and expressionism.  Today's brief focus is on Fauvism.

FAUVISM   A short-lived style of painting from early 20th century France.  It is recognizable by its bold, clashing, arbitrary colors - hues that would not appear in objects in the natural world.  The word "fauve" is French for " wild beast".

Les Fauves,  was a small group of modern artists that produced works boasting strong colors - colors characteristic of Impressionist paintings.  The movement originated with Gustave Moreau, well known for being a controversial professor of art in Paris.   Moreau taught the likes of Matisse, Marquat, and Rouault.  Henri Matisse was the most noted of the fauvist students.

Pictured here is "Woman With A Hat" from 1905 by Henri Matisse.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I thought for my inaugural post, I would briefly introduce you to one of my favorite forms of art.  FANTASTIC or FANTASY ART, is a genre that has intrigued me from my childhood days of daydreaming and sketching.  Some of you may know it as dream art  and others may associate it with surrealism.

In it's beginnings it was mainly found in comic books and cover art, consisting mostly of paintings and illustrations.  Modern day fantasy artists now employ photography in their work.  This genre is rooted in many subjects, for example, science fiction, the occult, and mythology.  A great deal of this category of expression stems from fantasy literature, such as the writings of J R R Tolkien and Ray Bradbury.

I have been profoundly influenced and inspired by the likes of science fiction/fantasy artists Vincent Di Fate and Frank Frazetta.

Pictured here, "Fantasy", a piece that I created after rereading  "The Martian Chronicles", a collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury written in the 1940's.

Fantasy  by  Parker Kaufman  2012

Episode Four    Enter the Doctor

    There was a knock at the door.
    “Remember, Babe, calm,” he cautioned her quietly.  Jakson answered the door.  He and the doctor whispered for a moment before the doctor entered the room.
    "Well!  You’re looking very well today, Samantha.  How are you feeling?”
    "Fine, thank you, Doctor," Sam smiled.  The doctor shot Jakson a happy look.
    "Yes, Doc, she feels much better today.  She’s herself this morning.  I think we're ready to go home."
    "I’m happy to hear that.  If you didn't improve soon, I was going to have to start medicating Jakson."  He laughed.
    "He's kidding, Sweetheart.  Don’t scare her, Doc.  I'm fine.  Just seasonal allergies."
    "He's been very worried about you.  You've got yourself a good one here, Samantha.”  She looked at Jakson uncomfortably.  Why did she feel she was being manipulated?  She nodded.
    "So, you’re feeling better?"
    "Yes, Doctor, I feel fine."
    "Jakson, any hostility today?"
    "No.  She is her old sweet self."
    "Doctor, what happened to me?"
    "We’re not quite sure.  A virus, we suspect.  It disrupted your memories.  They'll come back.  But you’re not very patient with yourself."
    "A virus?  A virus took away my memories?  But I can still speak and walk and tie my shoes?  Did anyone else contract this selective memory-destroying virus?”
    “No.”   How convenient, she thought.
    “And you’re sure it's not Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia?"
    "No dementia of any form.”"
    "Are my oxygen levels within the normal range?”
    “And is my bloodwork normal?”
    “Yes, bloodwork is good.”
    “Any drugs in my system, like... oh, say, Rohypnol?"
    "No date rape drugs in your system.  And you haven't been out of control?"  He shot Jakson an alarmed look.
    "You'll have to ask Jaks!" she smiled.
    "No, Doc, she's been fine.  A little confused about her situation, of course, but that’s to be expected, isn’t it?  Could you give her a little background information on herself?  I'll go for a little walk, so that you two can have some private doctor-patient time," he said.  Then in a soft whisper to her he added,         "Ask him anything about me, anything at all.  I want you to trust me again, okay?"  He left the room and went outside.
    "What can I help you with, Samantha?" the doctor asked.
    “First of all, where am I?”
     “At our private clinic.  For my private patients.  In Tampa, Florida.  Head injuries, brain trauma, and memory problems.  My partner and I own and operate the clinic and we try our best to make it as comfortable and homelike as possible for our patients and their spouses.”

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Episode Three     Jaks

     "So.  Who the hell am I?" she asked coldly.
     "You are Samantha Blake.  Samantha Hannery Blake.  You are my wife."
     "Bullshit!" she shouted at him.  "If I were married to you, I'd know it!"
     "Okay, now calm down.  Our doctor is coming to check you out.  He should be here soon.  Maybe he can explain it to you better than I can.  Come on, Babe, try to relax.  You want to be calm when he gets here.  Calm.  So we can go home.  Okay?  Wait a minute!  Was there a veiled compliment in there somewhere?  I think there was!"  He smiled at her shyly, blushing a little.  She smiled back.  "Aha!  I knew it," he teased.  "You rather like me, don't you?  Come on, admit it!  A little bit?  Maybe?"  She giggled.  He brought her a robe and helped her on with it, and held her gently in his arms.  "Everything's going to be okay.  I promise you."  He kissed the top of her head loudly and piloted her to the table and chairs near the window.
     “Please try to remember, I’m on your side.  I am not the enemy."  They sat and drank their coffee looking out at the courtyard in silence for a moment.  "I’m here for you, Sam, no matter what.  I know this is scary for you, but you’re not alone.  You have me.  And I love you.  I’m in this with you, one hundred percent, no matter what.  Okay?
     Now, it might be a good idea if we shower, so we can go home as soon as the doctor releases you.”  He went into the bathroom and turned the shower on.  “Well, come on.”
     “Yes, yes.  We always shower together.  Come on.”  She followed him into the bathroom.  He adjusted the water temperature.
     “Ah, hot, just like you like it!”  He helped her into the tub and pulled the shower curtain closed.            “Now I really think he’ll release you today.  But you have to be calm, or at least pretend to be calm, just until we get out of here.  Okay?”
     "Okay.  What do I call you?"
     "Jaks.  It's Jakson Blake, but you’ve always called me Jaks.  You are, by the way, the only one who calls me Jaks.”
     “And what does everyone else call you, Jaks?”
     “Everybody else calls me Mr. Blake,” he said haughtily, but with a grin.
     "Thank you, Jaks. I'll try to behave myself.”
     "Oh, that'll be the day!"  He clutched his chest and laughed.  "You don’t need to behave yourself for me.  I like you just the way you are.  All I want is for you to feel better."
    "Jaks, how long have we been together?"
    "Long or short version?"
    "Short, please."
    "We will be married one year this February.  We were together for six months before that.  We’ve been together since the day we met.  We just... clicked.  Whenever you feel up to it, I’ll give you the long, convoluted version with, oh let me see, parallel worlds, and dimensional doorways, doppelgangers, a nasty vicious king…”
     “Stop!  I’ve heard enough craziness for one day,” she laughed.  “But… is there a love story in there somewhere?”
     “Oh, yes, a very good one,” he nodded.  She smiled.
     They dried off and dressed.  She pulled her hair up in a chignon, applied a bit of make up, and put on the earrings she found on the dresser.  She thought she looked presentable.  And calm.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Art collections are found all around the world.  Most of us won't have the opportunity to view the majority of them in person.  But thankfully there are books dedicated to presenting the awe inpiring art from these collections that we all have access to.

One of my personal favorites is "Art Beyond Isms:  Masterworks from El Greco to Picasso in the Phillips Collection".  This beautiful book was compiled  by Eliza Rathbone & Johanna Halford-McLeod and is an introduction to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.    It provides insight into the creation of one of the greatest private collections of modern art in the world.  There are beautiful photos and stunning color plates and it spotlights more than 50 European works from the Phillips permanent collection.  These works include Van Gogh's   House at Auvers,   Picasso's    The Blue Room, and  Renoir's  Luncheon of the Boating Party.

I promise it is a book you will go back to time and time again.

Episode Two A Charming Companion

Episode Two  A Charming Companion

  "Good morning, Sweetheart!  I'm so glad to see you're feeling better this morning.  Why don't I make us some coffee?  Okay?" he cooed.  She nodded.  Wow!  All this sweet talk and he made coffee, too?  He got up, unfolding a tall, slim, very attractive body.  She watched him walk over to the coffee pot in the entryway, rethinking her 'Hey, Bozo' speech.  Soon she heard the puffing and dripping of a coffeemaker.
  "Yes, I do feel better,” she agreed, “but how did you know?"  He let out a squeaky laugh while putting on his robe.
  "Easy!  You didn't scream at me at the top of your lungs, or call me ‘Buddy,’ or the more gangster-like version ‘Buster,’ or my absolute favorite morning insult, the clownish ‘Bozo.’  And you didn’t order me to get the hell out of here, as you gestured toward the door like a demented flight attendant during the emergency drill on the flight to hell.  You didn’t tell me to leave you alone.  And you didn’t threaten me with legal action."
  “Legal action?”
  “To get our marriage annulled.”
  "Oh!” she nodded.  “I'm sorry!"
  "It's okay.  I understand," he beamed a gorgeous smile at her.  "I'm just so happy you're feeling better!"  He brought her a cup of coffee.  “Here, your favorite blend.”
  "Thank you.”  I have a favorite blend?  Since when?  She took a sip.  “Mmmm, this is really good,” she said pointing to the cup.  “Yea, well, about that.  I feel fine, but I don't really... remember.  Anything."
  "I know," he said looking down at the floor.
  "No.  No, I don’t think you do.  It’s not that I simply don’t remember what we did last night.    I don't remember how I got here.  I don’t remember where I work, or what I'm driving these days."
  "I know," he said softly.
  "No.  NO!  It gets much worse!  I don't know who I am, and I sure as hell don't know who you are!"
  "I know," he said on the brink of tears.  He held his arms open.  "Come here, Sweetheart.  At least this morning you don't think I'm some bad guy.  At least today you know that I'm your husband.  And you know you're safe when you’re with me, and you know I won't ever let anything bad happen to you."
  "Anything else!" she snarled at him.  He put his head down. 
  "Yes, Love, anything else."  He put his arms down, realizing she wasn't coming to him for comfort, the comfort he needed as much as she did.  Maybe more.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Amnesiac Samantha Blake wakes up naked in a hotel room.  A man she doesn't recognize is sound asleep beside her.  Has she been drugged?  Should she make a run for it?  Find out what happens to Samantha tomorrow in Episode Two.

Some titles of upcoming episodes of "Charming Deception':
       5.    So Who Am I?
     13.    Encryption
     15.    Through a Silvery Portal
     30.    Vegas, Elvis, and Twinkies

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Episode One Confusion

Charming Deception
Carol Ann Kauffman
September 2, 2012

Episode One   Confusion

    Okay, where the hell am I?  She opened her eyes and didn't recognize her dimly lit surroundings.  She looked out the window.
It was still dark outside, very cloudy, not a star in the sky.  She was lying in bed.  Naked.  And judging from the smell of the lavender scent on the perfectly ironed, high thread-count sheets and pillowcases, she was either in a very high-end luxury hotel or in one of Martha Stewart's guest rooms.  A snore interrupted her thoughts.  She glanced over at the noisy lump lying beside her.  Nope.  Didn't recognize him.
    There's a very strong possibility, she said to herself, that I've been teleported back to the free-loving sixties.  She got up to go to the bathroom.  A glint of gold caught her eye from the ring finger of her left hand.  I'm married?  Oh, shit!  When did THIS happen?  This isn't the sixties!  This must be Vegas, Baby!  She crept quietly into the bathroom, closed the door, and snapped on the light.  Definitely a hotel.  Antiseptic.  Martha Stewart's guest bathroom would have scented candles and a sense of style, hospitality, and luxury.  And not so much white.  White walls, white floor, white towels, white shower curtain.  A rather bizarre-looking attachment on the faucet, and another one on the showerhead.  She looked in the mirror.
    Yikes!  Well, I give that bony lump sleeping beside me credit for marrying me when I look so bad!  Good Grief!  HE must be a total loser!  She examined her dull, spotty complexion, wild Einstein hair, and the bags under her eyes.  She rehearsed her speech to Bony Lump.
    "Hey! Bozo! Whatever happened between us, it was just some bizarre mistake.  Gather your things and get the hell out of here!  I'll contact my lawyer to annul this fiasco as soon as I get home.  Now go!"  Then she would point to the door for dramatic effect.
    As soon as I get homeHome?  Where was home?  She couldn't remember.  She looked back at her reflection in the mirror.  She couldn't remember where she lived, or how she got here. She couldn't remember where she worked, or what she drove. 
    Hmmm. did Bony Lump drug me?  Did he drug me, take advantage of me, and then, MARRY me?  No, no, why would he do that?  That makes absolutely no sense.  She wiggled the gold ring with a very decent-sized brilliant cut diamond in the center.  Weighty.  Expensive.  Good fit.  And… slightly familiar.  She thought it was very beautiful.  Oh, look, a tan line!  Now, how can that be?  This has to be a dream.  She snapped off the light and crept silently back into bed and sighed.  The sooner I go back to sleep, the sooner I’ll wake up, and this bad dream will be over.  Bony Lump rolled over and pulled her to him gently, hugging her, patting her shoulder.
    "It was just a nightmare, Love.  I'm right here.  You're safe," he whispered sweetly in a sleepy voice.  "Go back to sleep.  I’ll protect you.  Always."  He kissed her head gently.  He had a wonderful voice.  British accent.  Kind.  Reassuring.  Gentle. Very touching.  And so she did.  She fell asleep in his arms, with her hand on his chest.