Merla completed The Rollins Chronicles on her twenty-first birthday. This was not her most amazing feat. That honor goes to her securing a mega-advance within three days of her sixteenth birthday.
She was able to skip the agent part. She sent her work directly to a young editor who completely understood.
At sixteen, Merla left her Tea, South Dakota, home for good.
She rode a bus all the way through Chicago to Boston, found Beacon Hill, visited her editor and settled in a small apartment on Mt. Vernon Street.
None of this came to light until the launch of her 1500 page novel on September 22. 2013. It's history is being made as we speak.
On the day the book appeared, Merla ceased being Merla. She became Pearl again.
No one could find her. She had a a shell that would do any oyster proud.
Her legend grew. She was a next thing, Gertrude Stein, Danielle Steele, and John Grisham, rolled into one. She rivaled the rise of gadgets, the collapse of the GOP and every disaster on the horizon.
There was only one fly in the ointment.
The Rollins Chronicles broke all records and penetrated every market. A copy of the first paperback edition thus found its way to the top of a pile of romance novels back in Tea. Pearl's mother put things to together quickly. She correctly surmised that Merla T. Morrow, invisible author, was indeed the plain, stand-offish child who had walked out the door five years before.
It took only days for messages like Merla's Mom Calls Daughter a Bitch and Dad Suffers while Merla Rakes in Big $$$ to circle the globe. Recondite Mt. Vernon Street was inundated by film trucks, TV rigs, eager citizen-journalists, and writers still on salary.
There was only one problem.
The world failed to credit Pearl with the intelligence it took to get her this far. Unbeknownst even to her one confidant, that editor up the hill, she had already disappeared.
This did not stop conjectures. Powered by a complete lack of information, the Merla craze produced endless tweets, Facebook pages and videos detailing real and true encounters with the mysterious author.
The truth is less garish.
Merla AKA Pearl was last seen engaging in energetic contra dancing on the second floor of the Brattleboro, Vermont, Town Hall. Vermont remains an excellent place to disappear from the face of the earth,
Apparently, whatever her present name, hair length, weight or daily routine is, she's hard at work on a sequel. It is said to deal with the life of Sarah Rollins, heiress-entrepreneur, following her kidnapping and subsequent escape from prison.
Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.
This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.
Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …
Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…