What is a Point of View?

What is a Point of View?

If you’re a writer of fiction, you’re familiar with these three letters, POV. My character’s point of view often eludes me. I make the silliest and most obvious POV mistakes, but my editor is swift to point them out. Trust me. I’m  biting my nails just thinking about POV.  POV can jump from character to character, called “head-hopping.” Enough to confuse the best reader. Some famous authors get away with it, mostly because they know what they’re doing. Or the POV can stay with one character for several paragraphs or a whole chapter. In my story, POV is divided between the heroine Allie Baldwin and the hero Peter Harrison. When there is a switch between characters, I can leave a space, or use asterisks to show the change. But make no mistake, Allie is my star. I would love to be Allie, she’s a powerhouse, and she’s real.

Guess I don’t have to say the story is about Alli. It’s not that she has red hair, but what’s unique, even challenging about her hair, if you can find something unique about ‘hair.’ That’s putting it in simple terms. Every characteristic must be important and unique. Do you like reading about Tom Cruise and his antics? Do you read the social columns? Do you watch Extra on TV? It’s sort of like a biography, what foods does she like, where was she born, what kind of music does she like? What are Allie’s goals? What does she want the world to know? I don’t have to write the book as a biography. I need to know these qualities to write the book. And all this will give my readers a glimpse of how Allie and these great women lived and put up with poor treatment in the late1800s in America. In their day, there were women heroes like Allie fighting for their vote and freedom.

Allie writes for a newspaper in New York City. There were journalists then, heroes indeed. What does she write, is she the Dear Abby of the nineteenth century? Is she a chef and writes about food? Imagine going to a picnic and then writing a critique about the food. How about politics, do you think she would be permitted to get involved with that heavy duty subject? Allie’s has a passion for change. Can she balance her desire to make positive changes for women and her life?

The writing of my book is taking longer than anticipated, if I could only get that POV right, but I’m having a good time with this historical romance set in 1886 New York, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, Book 1, The Gilded Age Heiresses Series.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.




abcbe26bf3ea48e94a7326b5f24ca723 bachata_danceBachata musicians and dancers have overcome many struggles over the course of the genre’s often overlooked history.

Dance, all kinds, always fun, challenging and curious. Where did it all come from? All the dances have history, but I was curious recently, when I was asked if I knew the Bachata. I asked, “What is that?” It’s a rhythm dance. Born in the Dominican Republic, where the music also was born, it has a history that’s rich and stretches back to the beginning of the 20th century. Upper-class Dominicans looked down upon Bachata as a style that was considered too backwoods and low class, holding back its popularity.

marin-bachata-lessonIn  the Dominican Republic, censorship was rampant under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Bachata music remained in the closet. In 1961, after Trujillo was assassinated, music loosened up but Bachata remained in the Dominican society until the 1980s when it began to move into other countries as a beautiful, sensual rhythm dance. It has become popular in ballroom dancing. I began embracing ballroom dancing in the last year, where, last week, I learned about Bachata. There are many more dances to learn, dances that I didn’t even dream existed, like the Salsa and the Hustle.1347907244.jpg

It was in the 1980s when Bachata really began to take off as a popular dance and music style. The music began to appear on the radio and eventually even on television, and parts of the upper class that had looked down on Bachata began to accept it as a positive aspect of Dominican culture.

bachata1Bachata continued its growth into the 1990s and 2000s, and today is one of the most popular and still fastest growing Latin styles. Bachata has emerged successfully! What fun to dance to its music.


So you want to dance?



I wrote in an earlier blog, A Dreamland of Fun, Food and Folic, about saving the Coney Island Pumping Station. Here’s newsy news folks . . .

 Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community's use. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use. Photos by Lore Croghan of Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Back in the day, the Coney Island Pumping Station saved many lives and properties by providing high-pressure water to firefighters.
Educator Merryl Kafka wanted to drive that point home visually — so she wore a firefighter’s helmet to testify at a city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) hearing on October 8th.

“Coney has lost much of its architectural framework, but we can save this 1938 modern masterpiece preserved as public art … with a new purpose,” said Kafka, the co-founder of the Rachel Carson High School of Coastal Studies in Coney Island. “Let this building be the one.”

Preservationists from the Art Deco Society of New York and numerous other groups turned out to testify that they want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use.
The pumping station at 2301 Neptune Ave. was one of seven Brooklyn historic sites that have been on the LPC’s calendar for consideration as landmarks for many years without a decision from the preservation agency.

The hearing was a first step in an intensive LPC campaign to clear up that calendar backlog. There are 95 properties citywide on the backlog list.
The lozenge-shaped Arte Moderne-style pumping station was the only public work designed by prominent architect Irwin Chanin. It boosted the water pressure available for firefighters in Coney Island, which was frequently stricken by devastating conflagrations.

Merryl Kafka

Merryl Kafka wears a firefighter’s helmet to the October 8th Landmarks Preservation commission hearing about the Coney Island Pumping Station. BEST HAT. EVER!

Decorative Art Deco-style limestone statues of winged horses were removed many years ago from the long-decommissioned pumping station and loaned to the Brooklyn Museum.
“The Elgin Marbles are waiting at the Brooklyn Museum for reassembly,” testified Sean Khorsandi, an alumnus of Cooper Union, like Chanin himself.
“The power lies with you,”  Khorsandi told commissioners.
“Give a landmark to a neighborhood that basically is NYCHA public housing,” Dick Zigun, known as the unofficial mayor of Coney Island, said at the hearing.

Does this interest you? What is your take on saving America’s history?

Coney Island Pumping Station’s fans muster at Landmarks hearing

This is a repeat of this blog today 6/8/16, with the Good news as of October 8, 2015. The Pumping Station has been saved. Here’s the building now, and my oil painting of the site.

Original existing pumping station and my oil painting

Top: Original existing pumping station on Neptune Ave in Coney Island and below: my oil painting on anodized aluminum 12×24″


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