At the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop (EBWW) in April I was fortunate enough to meet many, many talented writers, including a few from my home state of New Jersey. Carol Binkowski is one of them. When I saw Carol at EBWW I “recognized” her from “somewhere.” After a few furtive glances and a lot of smoke rising from my memory-challenged brain, I failed to “place” her. So I walked over, stuck out my hand and introduced myself, hoping that she’d help me fill in my middle-aged brain blank.
We did a classic rundown: Writer’s workshop? Her music connections? My garden club, PTA or town affiliations? Nope. Nope. Nope.
We ran down a few more possible connections and then we realized: We kick boxed together for years! Carol worked out in the left rear of the large studio and I in the front right.
What began as a nodding acquaintance in kick boxing class developed into a friendship at EBWW. Carol, in addition to throwing a mean right hook, is a musician and writer. She also happens to be a published non-fiction author who is about to begin publicizing her second book!
Carol and I met for breakfast this week to catch up on our lives and talk about our futures. We talked about my essay, published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Married Life, and how thrilled I am to see my writing, my name in an-honest-to-goodness book. I can’t wait to tell her that it looks like I will be doing an author’s reading and book signing this fall! I hope you, my friends, will attend. I’ll keep you posted closer to the time.
We talked about Carol’s newly published book, her second, which is a biography: Joseph F. Lamb, A Passion for Ragtime. Carol is an accomplished pianist; Lamb who had very little in the way of traditional musical training, first captured Carol’s interest when she heard “… an ascending arpeggio from a lone piano, haunting in its minor key …” It was 1980, she was in Broadway’s John Golden Theatre, and she was listening to the beginning of “Ragtime Nightingale.”
I love when my friends introduce me to books I might not otherwise find on my own; I’m not “musical,” but Carol’s story is about Lamb, the man, and the times in which he lived; she weaves details about his music throughout. Take a peek inside the book and you’ll see what I mean.
Lucky me! Carol gifted me an autographed copy of her book, which is prominently displayed on my desk. I can’t wait to read it! If I’ve whetted your interest and you read it before I do, please stop back and tell me what you think!