Vicki Baum(the author of Grand Hotel) for Modern Screen:
If I say that Greta Garbo as the dancer is much better than I expected, that’s not of small consequence. For I expected the utmost. I expected that she’d be Greta Garbo and that would have been enough! But this time she did more than usual. She played, so to speak, two roles. First, the weary, lonely dancer, aching for success–and then the awakened woman experiencing a great love. I’ve always maintained that the ability to transform one’s self constitutes great acting.
Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919), better known by his pen name L. Frank Baum, was an American author chiefly known for his children’s books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
From our stacks: Cover and illustrations from The Tin Woodman of Oz. A Faithful Story of the Astonishing Adventure Undertaken by the Tin Woodman, assisted by Woot the Wanderer, the Scarecrow of Oz, and Polychrome, the Rainbow’s Daughter By L. Frank Baum “Royal Historian of Oz” Author of All the Oz Books. Illustrated by John R. Neill. Chicago: The Reilly & Lee Co., 1918.
The Sea Fairies by Lyman Franck Baum (1856-1919), author of the Emerald City of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Ozma of Oz, The Road to Oz, The Land of Oz, etc…
Illustrated by John Rea Neill.
The Reilly & Britton Co.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz. L. Frank Baum. Illustrated by John R. Neill. Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1913.
“Horrid?” she replied. “Why I’m thoroughly delightful. I’m an Original, if you please, and therefore incomparable. Of all the comic, absurd, rare and amusing creatures the world contains, I must be the supreme freak. Who but poor Margolotte could have managed to invent such an unreasonable being as I? But I’m glad—I’m awfully glad!—that I’m just what I am, and nothing else.”
Was doing some editing, and I want to see something like this SOON. We got Olitz all dressed up, but without much interaction. Bring it on, Scandal!
The bright light of the bathroom was harsh and frightening.
She blinked rapidly at her reflection in the mirror, not quite recognizing the
person staring back at her. Dark eyes, already bright and prominent, were made
even more dramatic with skillful help of her make-up artist. Her plump lips
were colored soft pink and she wondered fleetingly how long she would be able
to keep the gloss on before his hungry mouth would kiss away this
cherry-flavored cover. Her cheeks were touched up by rosy hue, but she was not
sure whether the blush was due to her make up, or her nerves that would just
not settle tonight, turning her into a quivering mess.
Olivia Pope-Grant gave herself another once-over in the
mirror, unsure whether to scream or cry, or do both. She refused to recognize
the gorgeous woman staring back at her, and desperately wished to take all of
this finery off and crawl into bed.
Just then, the door to the bathroom opened and Fitz
sauntered in, looking dashing and sexy in his eveningwear. Olivia’s scattered
thoughts ran completely amok as she stared at him in the mirror, looking him
over and over again, but unable to catch his gaze.
“Damn, you look breathtaking!” – his lazy smile and low
voice sent a shiver through her body, and some of the warmth that she was
missing from her heart slowly returned.
He slowly approached her and encased her in his warm
embrace, setting his chin on her exposed shoulder.
“Are you hiding in here? – Fitz inquired playfully “because
I can see that you are ready, and we need to go, but I am sitting there
downstairs and my date for the night is nowhere to be found”
Fitz was really looking forward to the benefits gala they
were supposed to attend tonight. It would be their first public outing as
husband and wife, and the thought of people watching them, judging them,
gossiping behind their backs while vying for their attention unsettled and
Fitz could feel her body stiff as a bow in his arms. He knew
she was uncomfortable and he knew she didn’t want to go, but she never voiced
her concerns and prepared for the evening meticulously and determinedly, as if
preparing to enter a long-term confinement in a state prison. He didn’t want
her rattled and upset for the evening, gala was important for him, and he
wanted to have fun with Olivia, but not at the expense of the ease of mind.
Slowly turning her around in his arms, he stared at her and
when she tried to shift around and lower her gaze, he caught her face in his
large hands and gave her a deep, thorough kiss, stealing her ability to think
“Baby, if you are really uncomfortable, we don’t have to go.
We can go downstairs, order pizza, and have a nice night in with the kids. I
want to go, but we don’t have to. And I hate to see you so upset and nervous.
Why are you like this? Talk to me…”
Fitz’ kiss gave Olivia courage but she still lacked some
clarity of mind. She could not really explain why the prospect of attending the
gala with him made her so uneasy.
“No, we will go. I know it is important for you to be there,
there will be tons of speculations all over media tomorrow why you didn’t make
“Well, we certainly are not going if it is only to appease
“No, wait Fitz, that’s not what I meant. It is important for
you to be there, and I want to be there with you. Just the idea of all these
people around us, when they know we are married now, and they will stare and
whisper and talk, I just hate it! – she finished with a cry.
Fitz leaned forward and place a gentle kiss on her neck
before giving her a small, playful bite. Olivia gasped, but drew him closer to
“Of course everyone will stare, do you know how gorgeous you
are?? As for whispering, I think the worst of it is over. So let’s go and
party! I am dying to dance with you in public, and only with you, all night
His joyous voice and suggestive tone restored some of
Olivia’s equilibrium. She nodded her head and turned around to re-applying her
lip-gloss, smirking to herself that she didn’t even make it out of the bathroom
without losing it from her lips.
They descended the stairs to the first floor of their house
to be greeted by boisterous sounds of a PlayStation game. Karen was home for
the spring break, and she and Teddy loved to compete with each other playing
“Hey you two! No playing all night long! One more hour, and
then please give it a break” – Fitz’ voice was gentle but stern.
“Yeah, dad” – they both chorused.
Olivia approached the kids, and Karen abandoned her game, to
Teddy’s protests, squealing at Olivia’s outfit and overall look.
“Liv! OH MY GOD, you look awesome!!”
Teddy chimed in, saying that Olivia looked very nice which
caused her to blush and she hugged both of them to her side. Out of all things
they went through with Fitz over the years, the relationship with his kids was
something that was surprisingly effortless and loving. Karen displayed her
moods from time to time, but she truly loved and admired Olivia, and Teddy
worshipped the earth Olivia walked on.
“OK, you three, please break your love fest, we really need
to go” – Fitz felt left out of the group-hug his family was currently engaged
it, so Olivia decided to placate him by giving him a nice “I love you” kiss.
They walked out of the house to the chorus of “Ewwww” from the kids behind
Olivia stepped into the ballroom holding Fitz’ hand and felt
multiple eyes zeroing on them. The host greeted them warmly and walked them to
their seat. Olivia walked past the tables, recognizing some of the people and
nodding a polite hello to them, all the while clutching Fitz’ hand like he was
her life savior.
When they finally settled down at the table, Fitz leaned in
closer to her and whispered “Breath, baby, it’s OK”
She smiled at him, scrunching her nose, and made her
shoulders relax. Turning around the table, she greeted the companions they had
for the dinner and started the small talk.
Two hours later, the dinner and the evening’s entertainment
were over, and the orchestra started to play some quiet music. Olivia walked
into the ballroom after spending the last couple of minutes in the ladies’
room, trying to locate Fitz to no avail.
“Olivia!” – John Baum called for her, and she figured it
would be totally impolite to ignore US Secretary of State. She made her way to
him, trying to figure out if the gentlemen and ladies from his circle were
familiar faces to her, simultaneously preparing for unpleasant conversation to
“So good to see you” – John declared insincerely, “how is
married life treating you?”
Ah, he is not beating around the bush.
“It’s going really well, thank you. How is yours?” – she
should have cut on the sarcasm, it was the worst kept secret that John had a
lot of lady-friends that his wife was very aware of. The lady in question spoke
“How is your business going? Are you still solving DC’s
worst problems? We haven’t seen you on TV in a while”
“I am more behind the scenes now, my associates are very
capable of handling the majority of cases by themselves. I just consult”
“Ah, and what do you spend your days on? Have you taken
crocheting?” - false and annoying laugh
filled the group and Olivia tried her best not to snap at the preposterous
woman. Before she could come up with a polite rebuke, she felt a familiar warm
hand hug her waist and the scent of his cologne filled her nostrils, calming
and soothing her irritation.
“There you are, I have been looking for you” – Fitz gave her
a quick kiss on her temple and turned back to the rest of the group – “Linda,
gentlemen, good to see you again”
“Mr. President, how are you doing, sir?”
“Great, great, very good, keeping busy with the library, the
memoirs and all my speaking engagements”
“Right, right! I saw your speech at the United Nations last
week, Mr. President, and it was truly inspiring and impressive!”
“Oh really, yeah, the speech turned out great, didn’t it?
Olivia wrote it”
Fitz turned to beam at Olivia with pride, but the
mischievous and slightly devilish gleam in his eyes confirmed Olivia’s suspicions
that Fitz heard Linda’s dismissing comment about crocheting. She hugged him
tighter to her side and smiled back, trying very hard not to give in to her
instincts and give him a thorough kiss right in front of these judgmental
“Oh, I didn’t know Olivia did speeches too…”
“Yeah, she worked on quite a few speeches of mine over the
years, and they all turned out to be amazing. Now, if you will excuse us, I
want to dance with my beautiful wife before the evening is over”
Not bothering to wait for their response, Fitz tugged Olivia
behind him, and she found herself on a dance floor, wrapped in his arms
“Are you alright, baby?” – his voice in her ear made her
wanton and needy, she just wanted to have him and at once, but that could definitely
not happen right there in the middle of the gala.
“Yeah, I am good. It was actually kind of funny. Thank you
for coming to my rescue, kind sir, you deserve an award for that”
“An award?” he drew back at her suggestive tone and looked
her deeper in her eyes, trying to read her. She shook her head yes, teasing him
and enjoying herself immensely.
They continued to sway to the gentle sounds of jazz, quite
oblivious to all stares and whispers that surrounded them.
“I really enjoyed myself tonight” – it was her turn to draw
back so that she could watch him – “ I loved holding your hand in public, and I
loved referring to you as my husband, and now, dancing with you in front of all
these people, it’s just… everything” – her voice caught in her throat when she
Fitz could not help himself but drew her closer and joined
their lips in a tender kiss. They heard the gasps around them and broke the kiss
reluctantly, smiling against each other.
“We will make the front page of tomorrow’s papers after