Hi there! I'm Mae. I write things. Some of you probably know me from A Small Press Life, which I started in December 2011. My favorite blogging subjects are old books, dead writers, classic movies, tea, and random musings about whatever catches my fancy. Two months ago, I started a colossal real-world project: researching and … Continue reading Writing a Life Not My Own
Here is a blurb from a newspaper review of The Student Prince. The date was 11-17-25. The place: Pennsylvania. "J, as Kathie, was a winsom (sic) miss with her charming manner and her fine soprano voice. Concert stars have often failed to measure up to the standard that she set last night." Without any extant … Continue reading A Winsome Miss
Today is a milestone! This is a bigger deal than my first wedding anniversary because book research is trickier than marriage. I'm using today to appreciate all I've accomplished instead of focusing on all there is left to do. Yay!
Why does having a project-specific business card design add gravitas to my research? I've no idea, but it does. Never mind that I have accumulated a year's worth of weighty, highly detailed information about J. Somehow, having a stack of 3.5" x 2" printed paper at my disposal makes everything feel real-real. I suppose this … Continue reading Business Cards
We moved house last week. I have a beautiful, spacious new writing studio. I'm still unpacking books, hanging art, and putting everything in its place. I'll share after pics as soon as I can. Before
This eloquently expressed idea is always in the back of my mind as I sift through the ashes of J's career. Her contributions to the cultural fabric of her era deserve to be resurrected, reexamined, and reevaluated. May she be one of many women whose lives are thrust into the light of visible history.
I've already spent almost eleven (!) months researching J's personal and professional background. For someone mostly forgotten to time and changing tastes, there sure is a startling amount of information to be found on this remarkable woman...if you know where to look. In fact, it would be all-to-easy to suffocate under my growing pile of … Continue reading An Avalanche of Resources
13 AUGUST 1922: J spent the summer of '22 appearing in a series of operas at Fontaine Ferry Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Among the productions were The Bohemian Girl, Martha, and that week's offering, Madame Sherry. When she wasn't rehearsing or performing on stage, she was still working! On 13 August 1922, J and four … Continue reading J on This Day: 13 August 1922
When J was born in 1900, film was still in its infancy. She grew up with the "new" medium. By the time she graduated high school (1918), it was a true cultural phenomenon. Since starting this project, I've often wondered about her attitude toward the movies. Her love affair with stage theatricals, especially operettas, was … Continue reading J’s Celluloid Dreams: Publicity or Reality?
9 JULY 1922: Ninety-nine years ago today, J was in Louisville, Kentucky, preparing to open in a production of The Bohemian Girl. The opera, by M.W. Balfe and Alfred Bunn, premiered in 1843. J had the starring role of Arline, which gave her the opportunity to sing several arias, including the pivotal and well-known "I … Continue reading J on This Day: 9 July 1922