Christos Anesti!

For the Eastern Orthodox, today ushers in 40 days of Pascha, or Easter. It’s not a one-day event, but the joyous response to Great Lent, culminating in the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost.

The center of the ceiling in an Eastern Orthodox house of worship typically displays a large icon of Christ Pantocrator, or Ruler of the Universe. Here is the image from Annunciation Greek Orthodox church in Dover, with four angels and what I presume are the authors of the four gospels. Every time I look up at that face, the thought arises, “I could follow that man.”


Well, it was fun trying to envision the possibilities of the new operation. But I left plenty of detail in the final version of my new novel, What’s Left, as it is.

In contrast to her father’s desire for a bold contemporary design, here’s a whimsical touch from an earlier draft:

Graham suggests we plant climbing ivy. Says it’s subdued, reflects the campus across the street and softens the harshness of the old textbook building itself. He’s right.

Why stop there?

In the emerging design, a permanent awning extends over the sidewalk. Graham’s suggestion of not just ivy on the wall but flowerboxes under the windows meets widespread approval. And the entry opens into a light-filled atrium.


Well, I’m starting to like the look of it. Now, to see what happened to this.

I do have to remember that all of this is a backdrop for a bigger story – Cassia herself.

Which reminds me. There are many fun movies about food, wine, and restaurants. Which of your favorites would you suggest we see?


A Greek Orthodox icon of St. Nicholas by Nicholas Hartmann. (Via Wikimedia Commons.)

Cassia’s roots included inspiration like this.


In my new novel, What’s Left, there’s one thing you can say about aunt Yin: she adds another fashion touch to the family. I love the aprons she introduces to Cassia’s aunt Pia, Yin’s brother-in-law’s wife.

Oh, those two form quite a contrast!

And yet? They play off each other perfectly.


I’ve never been a suit-and-tie kind of guy, although I do have a wild tie collection for use, when needed. I’ve been more known for my Converse sneakers (before they were “in”), my Hawaiian shirts, or even my scarves back when. (Scarves were a writer’s thing in some circles.) These days it’s more likely to be turtlenecks, by the way, with my ponytail.

What’s your most distinctive fashion flair or statement? Something simple? Or do you like to go quite elaborate?


Traditional Greek Easter lamb and kokoretsi. I do wish the cook was wearing an apron. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In the family, Cassia may have had food like this.