Closing Out 2011

Posted By on December 31, 2011

It feels good to be working on Invisible Soul, my Cleveland soul music book, on the last day of a busy, fast year. I’m writing several chapters to send to a publishing house at a university in the south in hopes that citadel of higher learning picks up on the proposal and helps me with the research and funding. I’m cautiously optimistic.

I’ve spent the past few months writing a lot of hotel and travel stories, both for trades and for consumer. My package on Colombia, which I visited in early October, should be out in the Plain Dealer the second Sunday of January, and I’m eager to start assembling a similar package on Dubai (which I visited in early December for the second time) for the PD, too. I’m still writing book reviews for the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Christian Science Monitor, but those have dwindled, just like bookstores.

Feeding time at the Rosario Islands Aquarium

A snapshot from a car of Calima Darien town center

The Dubai Mall from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifah

Since I last posted at the end of August, I’ve also traveled to New York, drove with my friend Ron to Virginia Beach for the U.S. Nationals Table Tennis Championships in mid-December (don’t ask) and have written a gang of reviews for Jazz Times. My recent favorite jazz album is Andrew Cyrille’s Route de Freres, on TUM. I also contributed to the upcoming PazznJop poll in the Village Voice, though I was hard-pressed to come up with 10 memorable pop albums in 2011.

I’ve been reading Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian author whose Harry Hole books I recommend. Karen and I just saw the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a knockout as terrifying as but slicker than the Swedish version. We’re going to spend New Year’s Eve dining well at home, maybe watching a movie.

I predict 2012 will be bruising politically, pitting Church of Bob ringer Mitt Romney against Obama in high-stakes battle for the operation, if not the soul, of the country. I’m pretty sure whom I’ll support, if not with my original enthusiasm. The world gets grayer, it seems, along with my hair.

Happy New Year. I think and trust it will be an improvement on the shrill, murky one rushing into the past.


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About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: