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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/30

Since the street paving crew was working right beside my usual sunny nook, I had to move the floating bookshop to my warm weather spot, which is in the shade of a six-story apartment building. Fortunately, it wasn't that cold, despite the wind, but I decided to cut business by an hour to be on the safe side. I was immediately rewarded when a young man who works with the handicapped approached. I told him I had a copy of Introducing Rousseau. "Jean Jacques Rousseau?" he said in his islands' accent, eyes wide. He is pursuing a Masters in Philosophy.
A few minutes later Big Al the Beat Poet appeared. I hadn't seen him in weeks. He does not venture out much in the cold. I loaned him my friend Carlos' poetry CD, Written in Pain, and he purchased Desert Moon, The Lost Poetry of Victoria Valentine, my literary angel. I have a signed copy on my shelf.
Later, Alan visited and had trouble finding something to his liking. Knowing his penchant for mysteries, I suggested Dick Francis' Straight. "I'll try it," he said.
I was happy to see John approaching. I told him I'd posted Killing directly to Kindle, and he's working on posting one of his own novels, an indictment of the war on drugs. He questions me every day. I'm happy to help. He purchased Close to the Edge a couple of years ago and I always feel indebted to anyone who takes a chance on one of my books. He's frustrated, as the formatting of the test copy isn't right. I made suggestions and offered to make a house call if he continued to have problems. John is amazed at the number of people who greet me in passing. The other day I counted 20.
As I was packing up, I put aside Laurie Halse Anderson's Winter Girls, which I intended to read. It'd been ignored. Since the jacket was missing, I was clueless as to its content and what to tell potential customers. Sure enough, a man with a heavy Russian accent spotted and bought it. Such delightful oddities make life so special.
Thanks, folks.
Please remember that the packaging of Close to the Edge and A Hitch in Twilight at Amazon qualifies one for free shipping, $35.63+tax. Edge takes place almost entirely in Brooklyn. Many of the stories in Hitch take place in Brooklyn.
Read Vic's stories, free:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/29

Guilt, the emotion that keeps the world from descending into even further chaos, was my friend today. I heard raindrops falling on the fire escape outside my windows. The forecast had called for showers, so it wasn't a surprise. By the time I finished lunch, the rain seemed to have stopped. I could have easily rationalized staying indoors, as I'm in the home stretch of the fourth round of editing Bob Rubenstein's The White Bridge. My ridiculous personality wouldn't allow it, of course. I would have felt like a slacker if I didn't at least check on the conditions. The streets were wet and the sky was overcast, but it wasn't raining. Since a two-block stretch of East 13th is being resurfaced and heavy vehicles are raising a ruckus, I decided to forgo my usual nook and head for the isolation of the viaduct at East 15th. Not one person stopped for the first hour, which I'd expected. Then Pe'er, 30-something, came along and purchased A Hitch in Twilight. I'd never heard the name and assumed it was Orthodox, although her attire was not overtly conservative. I was unable to find a definition online, but I noticed that a couple of Israelis shared the same first name. Here's something else I found through the wonder of the PC: Toda lakh. Thank you also to the woman of color who bought Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations with God, Book 2. And once again one of my main mantras proved correct: Take a shot, you never know what will happen.
So Barney Frank is retiring. It doesn't matter. The damage he and his confederates, Dodd and Kennedy, have done is irreparable. They succeeded in accelerating the country's descent into Socialism. Roughly speaking, 50% of Americans are resisting, but that number decreases daily as Democrats cater to the entitlement mentality. I hope the next election proves me wrong. Newt Gingrich is proving he is far and away the leading candidate to lead the opposition, but his personal baggage is heavy. Still, it would be interesting to see him debate Obama.
The fun story of the day must have the OWS crowd and its supporters tearing their hair out. Three Connecticut financiers, one-percenters, have won the highest lottery payout in the state's history. Love it!
Fret not Giants fans. The team has too much youth and inexperience to mount a serious playoff charge, but it may be building a solid foundation for the future. And Osi and Tuck are a shadow of their former selves, so the biggest need is obvious. Jacobs played well, but he is a stooge. That display after he scored the touchdown was reprehensible. I hope he doesn't return. For now, revel in the play of Jason Pierre-Paul. Imagine a defensive lineman making tackles way across and downfield. He is a coach's dream.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/28

I didn't sell any of my own books today, but I did sell five romance novels to a young home attendant. Thanks, ma'am.
It's time to introduce another of our All Things That Matter Press family of authors. Give the kid a shot:

Spawned in the cornfields of rural Illinois in 1984, he grew up with a wholesome face and an uncouth mind. A love of physical challenges and lush landscapes inspired him to join a volunteer wildfire squad in 2003, and it was here that he was put on the search and rescue team for the Columbia Space Shuttle, which had broken up over Texas on re-entry that February. During his month working on the Columbia mission, Nick was perplexed by the daily absurdities that came of working for a secretive, hierarchical government organization under adverse conditions in the middle of nowhere. This brought about paranoia, which in turn brought about his first novel, Shooting Angels, now available from All Things That Matter Press.

Shooting Angels is the heavily fictionalized story of a team of wildland firefighters who go to east Texas to investigate a fallen Space Shuttle. As the crew endures physical and emotional hardship, however, they soon realize that the crash was no accident: it was the result of a cosmic conspiracy, involving NASA, Mr. and Mrs. God, and a foul-mouthed, disembodied head which has taken up its residence in the cellar of an elderly rancher. Shooting Angels races from the jungles of Texas to the dark corners of undiscovered space to the smoggy streets of Central Heaven, where people, no longer cowed by the threat of mortality, are free to give in to their most detestable urges. Part science fiction, part adventure, part humor, and part philosophy, Shooting Angels is an action-driven exploration of the relationship between science, religion, and the human imagination.

Currently, Nick lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he is a writing instructor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. When not writing or selling his time to the halls of academia for a pitiable wage, he is going for long-distance runs, traveling internationally, catching up on the news, or looking for dates. (He prefers the strong, silent, immensely wealthy type.) His next novel, The Calamari Kleptocracy, is forthcoming from All Things That Matter Press.

For more information about Nick’s fiction, please visit his website:

To purchase a print copy of Shooting Angels, go here:
And for a Kindle edition, go here:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/27

Life has a way of mocking us, albeit gently most of the time. I was steaming today, waiting for a parking space to open on Bay Parkway. My one chance was usurped by a woman who pulled up just as someone was leaving. I had decided to play the good citizen, staying beside a hydrant rather than blocking traffic by double parking. I tried to tell myself to be happy that it was another beautiful indian summer day, but I couldn't fool myself. After 45 minutes I surrendered. Unfortunately, option two at 24th Avenue and 86th Street wasn't any better. I dreaded going to Avenue U, although many Italian-Americans still live there. Studies have shown that as a group we are not avid readers. There is also a significant Asian presence there now, and many do not speak English. And the pedestrian traffic is considerably less than at Bay Parkway. While en route, I wondered if the forces of nature were sending me there. Yeah, right, I thought, sniffing. Sure enough, minutes after setting up, Joey, 30-something, exited the On the Hill bar and grille, taking a smoke break while the Jets game was in commercial. He noticed the floating book shop and approached. When he learned I was a goombah, he bought A Hitch in Twilight. He dropped out of Lafayette HS his junior year, earning a smack on the head from Joe Gambuzza, the legendary baseball coach, and went to work on Wall Street. That didn't work out, but, given the wad of cash he pulled from his pocket, he seems to be doing fine. Thanks, sir, and also to the young woman of color, who bought two self help books. I have only four copies of Hitch left. I've been building my paypal account up with earnings from survey sites in anticipation of the purchase of more.
I signed up for Kindlegraph this morning at the the urging of a member of our All Things That Matter Press family. The service is free and allows readers to secure an electronic signature from an author. The idea seems so silly and is an obvious marketing ploy, but silly ideas have taken off in the past. It isn't even a genuine signature, but one that is chosen. Then again, what do I have to lose? Here's a link to my page there:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

George Will's op/ed piece in today's NY Post listed absurd reasons to be thankful this holiday season. This was the one I enjoyed most: "A market-research firm found that people who buy the $43,000 Chevy Volt (seats four in space not taken by its 400-pound battery) or the $34,500 Nissan Leaf, and who get a $7,500 government bribe (aka tax credit) for doing so, have average annual incomes of $150,000, and half of the buyers own at least two other vehicles." It's just more proof of who the real enemy is. Is there anything more absurd than the American government?
It is believed humans use only 20% of the capacity of the brain. What if there were a pill that allowed the usage of 100%? This is the premise of Limitless (2011), which I caught up to last night courtesy of Netflix. I went in with low expectations, as the reviews upon its release were tepid. Since I find the idea so fascinating, I decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. Based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, who co-wrote the screen play with Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire), the story was kept simple and logical. Neil Burger (The Illusionist) directed. Bradley Cooper was fine as the lead. Robert DeNiro played a powerful mogul. He was okay. It seems he will never again approach the heights he did in Raging Bull, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas and The Godfather Part II. Anyway, on a scale of five, I rate Limitless three-and-a-half.
I set up shop in Park Slope today and had a bit of luck, selling The Great Pianists and a children's version of Oliver Twist to a woman who teaches English to immigrants. A gentleman purchased a book on power and influence, and another bought a beautiful pictorial on New York, both from Abdul's donation yesterday. And I sold A Hitch in Twilight to Judy, who was decked out in a Jets sweat shirt, pessimistic about her team's chances of making the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl. Since she is such a big football fan, I expected her to take Adjustments, but she changed her mind at the last minute. Regardless, thanks, ma'am.
Live 365 is currently playing Joanie Summers' Johnny Get Angry, a bouncy pop song whose break is dominated by kazoos! It also contains a lyric that would be frowned upon these days: "I want a brave man/ I want a cave man...." It's a different world than the one I grew up in.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/25

Black Friday was only modestly successful for the floating bookshop. I thank Alan, who purchased a Sci-Fi compilation, the lovely woman who bought a beautiful book on food, and Abdul the Friendly Porter, who donated a bunch of non-fiction books, two of which an elderly woman immediately pounced on: one on Jerry Orbach and the other on Kaballah.
Here's a bit of advertising for those with book lovers on their Christmas lists - an excerpt from Strain, a story in my short story collection, A Hitch in Twilight. You'll recognize the main character. Have a little sympathy:

Seated at his desk, legs propped up, eyes closed, he listened intently, head bobbing rapturously to the dulcet tones of a soprano. He frowned as he heard the door creak. "Ssssh!" he said, raising a hand, then waving it as gracefully as a conductor.
His assistant, a horribly disfigured woman, stopped in her tracks, breath bated, folder pressed tightly to her lone breast.
 "She brings such beauty to them. What a waste. None of the pathetic wretches deserves it." He opened his eyes and snapped his fingers, and the music ceased. The sound of mourning was now prevalent in the background. "A voice like that - and she didn't even have to sell her soul. I want a complete file on her. She must be corrupted, if she hasn't been already. I want her here."
"I'm glad to see you happy, Master," said the woman humbly.
"Why wouldn't I be?" he said, a trace of resentment in his tone.
"Here are the reports."
"You're looking lovely today, Puta. I'd say you were an angel if I didn't know better."
She was stung by the sarcasm. She turned and paused.
"What is it?" said the Master, irked. "Let me guess - the lawyers are demanding a hearing. Ignore them. That's the point. They'll never have that opportunity again."
"No, Master," she said timidly, avoiding his gaze.
"The politicians? Let them compromise each other for eternity, as they deserve."
Puta lowered her head."What?" said the Master impatiently.
"I don't know. Maybe it's nothing."
"No doubt it is."
She sought his fiery eyes. "Lately I've been hearing some of the guests...."
"Guests? This isn't the Hotel California." He paused, eyes afire. "I want a file on them too."
She looked away and blurted: "They're happy here."
He stood motionless, absorbing the comment. "Nonsense. The only one happy here is me."
Her look evolved to one of compassion. "Are you happy, Master?"
His face became even more severe. "Are you analyzing me again?"
She coiled, afraid. "I love you."
He tittered. "That is so you, Puta. Damnation imitates life. You will love me in vain as you did the losers you let defile you."
She bowed her head sorrowfully.
"I'll be out in a minute," he said.
"Go in disguise. They wouldn't dare let you know they're happy."
He took a moment to muse. "Clever little parasites. It's not Adolf, is it?"
"No, although he did smile when he heard the partial birth ban was vetoed again. He...."
The Master threw his hands into the air. "If I ever find out who's responsible for these leaks...!" he raged, twisting in place.
Puta shrank and trembled.
"It isn't you, is it?"
She flinched as if she'd been slapped. "I would never betray you. As you say, I betray only myself."
"True." He paused, reflecting. "But if it's not Adolf.... All these years and this is the first I've heard of this."
"Adolf was happy only for that moment."
"That is a moment too many."
"He says his ideas live."
The Master smirked. "His ideas, are they? You'd think he'd be a little humbled by now. Then again, you'd think someone so thoroughly evil would be the one who enjoyed his damnation."
"I think he really believes he was right, that he's the victim."
The Master studied her with what was almost admiration. "You used those brains for debauchery and crime when you could have done so much more damage in psychiatry."
Her pupils contracted. "I'm so ashamed."
"I'm so glad. Get out. Wait. Where shall I look?"
"Everywhere. It started with new arrivals, but it's a trend now."
He was beside himself. "A new strain. Leave it to the maggots to find a way. Imagine - souls at home in hell. It takes all kinds...."
"Your work has become so good you've created a master race in your own image."
"Get out."

Buy it here:  Also available on Kindle.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/24

Today we pause to give thanks, and the first we praise are the men and women of the armed services, many of whom will be spending the day overseas, apart from their loved ones.
Thanks to the fire fighters, police offices, judges and prosecutors who vie to keep us safe.
Thanks to my family, which has always supported and nurtured me.
Thanks to the women I've loved.
Thanks to my friends, who have made my life so much richer.
Thanks to the wonderful artists worldwide who provide diversion from life's trials and tribulations, and valuable insight into the human condition. Special thanks to the creators of MI5. From its chilling opening theme, I am hooked by the no nonsense, compelling story lines, and fearful that one of its heroes may meet his/her demise. Malcolm, the tech whiz, recently retired, exhausted by years of fighting monsters. I worry that the lovely Jo will eventually have a nervous breakdown or commit suicide. It is a modern horror tale, expertly done.
Thanks to everyone who has purchased my books.
Thanks to those who have patronized and donated books to the floating bookshop.
Thanks to everyone who reads this blog.
Thanks to Arlynn and Bob for providing me work to help meet expenses. Special thanks to Bob for not getting bent out of shape about my editing of his second novel, The White Bridge.
Thanks to the publishers of my books: AuthorHouse, Phil & Deb Harris of All Things That Matter Press, and Water Forest Press, headed by my literary angel, Victoria Valentine.
Thanks to for allowing me to post my third novel, Killing, directly to Kindle. It is unlikely it would have ever been accepted by any print publisher, given its controversial climax.
Thanks to Luis, Frankie and Pedro, our building's crackerjack maintenance crew.
And thanks to anyone I have overlooked.
Happy Thanksgiving. Long live America.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/23

The floating bookshop was rained out today, so it's a perfect time to turn a negative into a positive by introducing another of our All Things That Matter Press family of authors, one of my personal favorites, the hardest working gal in show biz - that's right - the James Brown of ATTMP. Hey!
Just Who Is Monica Brinkman?
In her own words:
A supporter of the EBMRF Foundation, you will find Ms. Brinkman has written many articles that focus on opening people’s eyes and hearts to the E.B. Children.
In fact, Monica M. Brinkman’s first authored stage play, How Lucky Can You Get, performed in San Jose, CA some twenty-five years ago, donated all proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.  With a background in the theatre, Monica portrayed Lucy (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown), Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz) and numerous other characters prior to dedicating herself to full-time writing.
Her great love of animals shows as the "mom" of five cats and two dogs, all her babies. She now lives in Missouri with her husband of 28 years, Richard.
Monica’s novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, has pleasantly surprised many a reviewer with its twists and turns of horror, the paranormal, spirituality, and suspense. Indeed, it is not quite the story they anticipated. It is a story that she confesses just had to be written to give people hope, purpose, and accountability for their actions in life. Ah yes, the magic of karma.
You’ll find Monica and co-host Oana interviewing guests who bring knowledge, enjoyment, controversy and excitement to the listeners every Thursday at 8PM EST on their Two Unsynchronized Souls blogtalk radio show.
Radio Show:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/22

It's no surprise that the super committee assigned to find three-percent to cut from the budget came up empty. It was comprised of six Democrats, who favor tax increases, and six Republicans, who favor trimming programs. This will have to be decided by voters - continue the expansion of government or reduce it. It's not complicated.
This is why I love the PGA: David Duval was once the top ranked golfer in the world. He went into a mysterious slump and got by for years on the exemptions he earned for stellar play. Now those exemptions have dried up - and he finished 152nd on the money list, which means he has to go to back qualifying school. There are no guaranteed contracts in golf. Before anyone feels sorry for him, let's remember that he's probably set for life financially, unless he's been stupid with his money. And he can earn decent money on the Nationwide Tour, the golf equivalent of Triple A baseball, if his ego can accept the demotion. Good luck, sir.
Speaking of baseball, Ryan Braun has become the fourth Jew to win the MVP. Previous winners were Hank Greenberg, Tigers 1940, Al Rosen, Indians 1953, and Lafayette High School's own Sandy Koufax, Dodgers 1963. Mazel Tov, sir.
I didn't expect much action at the floating bookshop today, as it was as raw and gloomy as can be. Expecting rain, I initially set up at the viaduct on Avenue Z and was pleasantly surprised when a gentleman purchased an inspirational book by a woman who climbed K2. I eventually moved to my nook on East 13th and the rain held off long enough for me to sell Business in the 21st Century to a Russian gentleman, and an illustrated, simplified version of  Herman Melville's classic, Moby Dick(not a venereal disease, as the old joke went), to a woman for her grandson. Thanks, folks.
48 years ago today JFK was assassinated. Although it doesn't seem like yesterday, it certainly doesn't seem like virtually half a century has passed. I'm just a kid.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/21

Anyone who believes the Obama administration has spent judiciously is invited to make a direct contribution to debt reduction at this site:
I wonder how many of Hollywood's ardent leftists have actually participated in this. One day, Roseanne Barr was waxing political, saying anyone worth 100 million should surrender his wealth to the greater good and, if he didn't, should be put to death. Doesn't she realize there are people who feel the same way about those worth five million, which she must be among? Then again, maybe that was her strategy. Maybe she was thinking the wolves would be satisfied after savaging the richest of the rich, creating a buffer Willie Chichi of The Godfather Part II would be proud of between her and them.
One man's trash is another's treasure, as the saying goes. As I left the building the other day, the recyclables were at the curb awaiting collection. Sitting atop a TV set were eight pristine illustrated and simplified classics for children. Today I sold four to a woman for her ten-year-old grandson. A gentleman purchased John Irving's A Son of the Circus and The Water Method Man, an amusing novel I read 30 or so years ago. I vaguely remember a character holding a dead chicken by the neck while riding as a passenger on a bicycle. I also sold the last of Arlynn's books on needlepoint and a children's book to a young mom, and Truman Capote's blockbuster In Cold Blood to Alan, who has become a semi-regular. Thanks, folks. 
I had a CD I'd burned long ago playing in the car last Saturday. It kicked off with one of the most under-rated rock tracks ever, legendary British guitarist Jeff Beck's Ambitious - great vocal, great musicianship, interesting lyrics. I recalled the fun video, featuring cameo appearances by an odd assortment of celebrities, that accompanied its release in the early '90's. Sure enough someone has posted it on youtube. Here's a link to it. Enjoy:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/20

When is insider trading legal? Only when members of Congress do it. Peter Schweitzer raises the issue in his book Throw the Bums Out, citing it as common practice whenever lawmakers consider legislation that will affect markets. And it is not restricted to party. Each side engages in behavior that got Martha Stewart sent to prison. Is it any wonder that almost half are millionaires? And what's it say about the other half? Are they honorable or so dumb they cannot score in a rigged game? No wonder so many turn into lifers. They are in a class by themselves. Nothing manifests the need for term limits more than this.
I ran into an old Exchange buddy, Richie Tartag, today on Avenue U. After 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, he has taken a job as a security guard. Unfortunately, he is still smoking, although he has emphysema. Good luck, my friend.
I had one of the most unexpected book sales ever today. An obese woman, cane in hand, exited an SUV on the passenger side and struggled to cross the street, pausing to lean against a car to rest, breathing heavily. A young woman helped her onto the curb. I was surprised when she turned toward me instead of going into the train station, and even more so when she stopped at the floating bookshop. She purchased Judith Michael's Sleeping Beauty, a romance novel. Fortunately, she had only a few more steps to go, entering a building nearby. Moments later a young Asian woman bought Reallionaire, Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out by Farah Gray, who went from public assistance to his first million at the age of 14!
Thanks, ladies, and thanks to my friend Bob Rubenstein, author of the Ghost Runners and the forthcoming The White Bridge, who purchased two copies of my latest novel, Killing.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/19

I had a nice surprise early this morning. I check my book sale stats every Saturday. Killing, out a little more than a week on Kindle, was ranked 65,000+, the highest any of my books has ever risen. The version of A Hitch in Twilight is currently 600,000+. I have to temper my enthusiasm, as this may translate to only three or so sales. If the ranking stays below 100,000 for a long period, then I think it's safe to assume the book is selling regularly. Whatever - thanks to anyone who has bought it.
There are a couple of interesting political articles on the web today. One on says that almost half the members of Congress are part of the hated one percent, 140 Republicans and 110 Democrats. This should surprise no one.
A piece at Yahoo details the fraud occurring in the 64.7 billion dollar food stamp program. Thousands of merchants are paying cash for them at less than face value and pocketing the difference. People then use the money to purchase other items in the stores where the illegal transactions have taken place. Leave it to human beings. They will always find a way to finagle. The government has signed a 25 million dollar ten year contract with a security firm that investigates fraud. It is estimated that there was 330 million dollars worth of it in this program alone last year. This too should surprise no one.
I neglected to thank Dawn, who yesterday was kind enough to stop by the floating bookshop, despite the cold, and purchase Roger Boger's Your Einstein Complex, which helps one unlock the inner genius. Today Jack, employee of Chase, bought three more thrillers and gave me some advice on purchasing bond funds. Thank you, sir, and to the young lady who bought a self help book.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/18

I nominate the Denver Broncos' John Fox as Coach of the Year. I know there are still six games left to be played, but to completely revamp an offense on the fly, shunning NFL orthodoxy in the process, is most impressive. The experiment will probably fail in the long run. Even a QB as big and strong as Tim Tebow will eventually be worn down by the pounding he will incur running the ball so often at the pro level. And, for the team to get to championship contention, he will have to improve his passing. He missed several open receivers last night, looking woefully inept. Back to back losses might incite his receivers to revolt. But that last drive - wow! I laughed when he easily ran through the tackle of Darelle Revis, a great player, who during the week had boasted that the Jets defense would pound Tebow. And it was so much fun to see Head Blowhard Rex Ryan steaming on the sideline. Unfortunately, these two will probably not be cured on the modern athletic disease of trash talking. And kudos to ESPN for showing Tebow ignoring a reporter to join a prayer circle formed by players from both teams, a practice that has been banned at many high school games. Some people take comfort in prayer - get over it!
Congratulations to Duke's Coach K, always a class act and now the all-time winniest Division One basketball coach, surpassing his legendary mentor, Bobby Knight, who was not a class act, although his players did have a high rate of graduation. Given the recent scandals at the college level, it's difficult not to wonder if there are any ghosts in Coach K's closet. I would bet there aren't.
MLB is about to add two more wild card teams to its playoffs. This will probably improve the business model and further diminish the competitive model, as it will be even less likely that the best teams from each league will face each other in the World Series. Most fans love the wild card. I hate it, even though it is the only thing that offsets the spending advantage of teams like the Yankees. And it looks the Astros, who began play the same year as the Mets (1962), will be moving to the AL. It's all about the money, folks.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/17

There's luck and then there's dumb luck. It has rained the past two days in NYC, making it impossible for the floating bookshop to open. By chance, my friend Arlynn had back to back doctor appointments, so not only did I earn some dough, I got to fill in some time between shifts on the computer and prevent wall climbing. I've also gone a long way in fourth round of editing Bob Rubenstein's The White Bridge. Fortunately it has become easier, although it still needs a lot of work. Just when I'm about to surrender, I come upon a polished part I enjoy, and it keeps me going. It is a wild ride, at times completely over the top. I think I can safely say there has never been a novel like it. It has potential - if the telling of it improves.
Those Ivy League rascals are at it again. The Columbia University marching band has been banned from the final football game of the season. During last week's game at Cornell, another lopsided loss in a winless season, the band used its own lyrics in school songs, lampooning the team. Although my high school went through the humilation of a winless season in '65, and one for which I was assistant coach won only one game in '72, I find humor in this. In retrospect, the pain of those failures has faded and only rich memories remain. I'm glad to have been a part of it. There are a couple of regrets regarding good teams I helped coach, however. In '73 I inserted our best player, whom I did not believe was really injured, onto the punt return team. Naturally, the ball bounced right to him, whereupon he was hit hard and fumbled, which I believe cost us the game, even though it occurred in the first quarter. He did not return to the game. I'll never forget that. That game plays a major part in my second novel, Adjustments.
I also remember a gaffe I made in '75. The clock was winding down and the offensive coordinator was late sending in a play. "Run the dump," I hollered, my conservative nature preventing me from making the better call - 654, a crossing pattern involving our best player. Sure enough, the opposition's best player, a linebacker, who surely heard me, stepped right in front of the short pass and intercepted it. To this day, whenever the clock reads 654, I am reminded of my stupidity. Fortunately, the game ended in a tie. We only lost one game that year, and I still believe we underachieved. We didn't make the playoffs.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/16

The floating bookshop was rained out today. Fortunately, I earned some money accompanying Arlynn to the doctor, as I will again tomorrow.
Here's another of our family of All Things That Matter Press family of authors, a world traveler.
The full name is Abraham Firestone March.  My mother, a very religious person and prayer warrior, took the name Abraham from the Bible. She gave me her maiden name Firestone as my middle name.
My name Abraham has been a blessing and a curse, depending on where I happened to be. When I worked in New York, it was a blessing. In some areas, it was not a plus and I began using only the nickname Abe, as in Abe Lincoln.
My feet have trodden the earth in more than 30 countries. I have seen the sun rise over the Persian Gulf and the sun set in the Canadian Rockies. I sunbathed by the Mediterranean, roasted in Riyadh and dined in Damascus. I was beggar-beseeched in Baghdad, short-changed in Saudi Arabia and saw blood shed in Beirut.
I have been called Mister, Monsieur, Herr, Sayyidi, Kirios, Signor, Sir and other names.
I have eaten with Bedouins and dined with Royalty. I have also been rich and I have been poor. I like to think that I have a world view on many subjects and that I have a certain amount of wisdom. My experiences are reflected in my writing.
 At ATTMP, my book, They Plotted Revenge Against America was inspired by America’s invasion of Iraq.  My book, Journey Into The Past was inspired by my love of hiking and exploring ancient castles in Germany.
 They Plotted Revenge Against
Journey Into The Past

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/15

It's been a while since I've looked forward to an athletic event as much as this Thursday night's clash between the Jets and Broncos, led by Tim Tebow, who I enjoyed watching when he was quarterbacking the Florida Gators to a national championship. Never has a player's skills attracted such controversy. Many believe his ability to pass, the most important requisite of an NFL QB, is lacking. Maybe it is. Time will tell. I do know one thing - he has the heart of a lion. I will always root for someone like him. He is a coach's dream. I sense many of his detractors want to see him fail because he is a devout Christian, as if there's something wrong with that. Maybe they would respect him more after a few brushes with the law or if he impregnated several women. Although elites deny it, it's been open season on Christianity for years. The Brooklyn Museum is at it again, hosting an exhibit that features a four minute film wherein ants crawl over an image of Jesus, this only a few years after showcasing a painting of the Virgin at which excrement had been hurled. And we all remember the intellectually stimulating Piss Christ. Perhaps such masterpieces are simply beyond the grasp of yahoos like me. The fact that the exhibits are funded by tax payers is infuriating. In this case, free speech is not free. I'm still waiting for one of these cowards to depict The Prophet under such circumstances, but that would be politically incorrect, while Christian-bashing is not. For the record, I'm agnostic, but I respect those who believe. I wish I believed. I might be as forgiving as Tebow is.
I had fun at the floating bookshop today. A tall Russian gentleman who has a fondness for thrillers bought three more and donated one. A teacher's aid purchased three more, and three other people ponied up - and the 84-year-old veteran donated four. And I was visited by two regular characters: Political Man, who segued smoothly from Republican-bashing to how peanuts, which he loves, inflame his hemorrhoids, and Jack, protest placard in hand, who was stunned when I told him the Occupy Wall Street crowd had been dispersed. His electricity has been turned off. He hasn't paid his bill in months. Maybe he's hoping tax-payers will pick up the tab.
Thanks, folks.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/14

Yesterday I experienced urban delight, finding a parking spot as soon as I rolled up to Bay Parkway. Today it was urban despair, the law of averages catching up with me with a vengeance, as I waited two hours for a space to open up on home turf. I had to even sweat that one out, as it was across the intersection at Avenue Z and East 13th, and I was sure someone would take it before the light turned green, as had occurred with another spot a half hour earlier. Good thing I had cut the engine. Needless to see, I was miffed. As life so often does, I was soon handed a dose of perspective. Steve, the poet laureate of Sheepshead Bay, showed. His mom's house caught fire a few days ago, the source as yet unknown. Fortunately, no one was hurt. She will be living with him at least the next six months, the time repairs are expected to take.
Grandma bought a crime novel in Russian. I have one book left in that language and I've wondered why no one has seemed interested in it and why it has drawn scoffs from some. I asked a couple of women, who said it's about God, and I immediately recalled a cartoon that was in one of my elementary school textbooks at St. Mary's, of a stern teacher lecturing a weeping boy, pointing to a blackboard on which: "There is no God" had been scrawled. It sent chills down my spine. It was the 50's, a time of heavy propaganda, ideological war. A lot of the evil the Soviets were suspected of has since been verified. The cartoon doesn't seem off the mark in retrospect. I wonder if the percentage of atheism is higher in the former Soviet Union, which embraced the ideas of Karl Marx, of which "Religion is the opiate of the people" is one of the most quoted. Who knows? Spasibo, ladies.
Jack purchased Corporate Nation by Charles Derber and Ralph Nader, which he plans to bring to the Occupy Wall Street library. Seems like a perfect fit. Thanks, Jack.
Speaking of OWS, guess whose house this is in Michigan. He also has a luxury pad on Park Avenue in Manhattan.
Filmmaker Michael Moore, who considers himself one of the 99%. I imagine he is sharing the humble abode with those who have been foreclosed and the homeless.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/13

Had some luck at Bay Parkway today. As soon as I rolled up, a car was pulling out at the exact spot where I set up the floating bookshop. There was no long haul. Minutes later Bad News Billy showed up, fighting a cold. He bought two Tony Robbins DVDs. I have a natural skepticism toward that kind of stuff, although I enjoy Wayne Dyer's presentations on PBS, at least the parts I catch when the station is not in pledge break. Billy also purchased Books One & Two of Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations with God. Thanks, my friend, and thanks also to the couple who bought a book in Russian and to the young man who took Geoffrey Colvin's Talent Is Overrated.
I received the following email this evening. The sender says it's true. Even if it isn't, it's a fun read:
As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the  Internal Revenue Service , I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.
 My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the  United States  for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out. 
 Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005. 
 Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year. 
 Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications , as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States  for my son. 
 Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car. 
 If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance. 

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/12

 It took two days but I finally figured out how to download the Kindle application to my PC. I am so pleased with how Killing looks in that format. The text is beautiful. The only disappointment is the cover, which isn't quite as large as it should be, but that is probably due to an error on my end. Even if the novel is destined to be ignored by the reading public, I'm thrilled that my most meaningful work is out there. Thanks to the folks at Amazon for this wonderful opportunity. I nominate Jeff Bezos for CEO of the Year.
Maggie Tideswell is one of our All things That Matter Press family of authors. She is working hard to promote all our books. She hails from Cape Town, South Africa. Her book trailer at youtube is fantastic. Click on it after reading the synopsis of her novel:

Maggie walks in two worlds. The one is reality, the here and now: in the other there is no concept of time and space. But in both worlds love is what holds it all together. The love of the Superior Beings, the love between a parent and a child, the love between siblings, friends, for a project, or object, or animal. The world as we know it cannot exist without love relationships.
The ultimate love relationship is that between a man and a woman, and this is what Maggie explores in her writing. But as nobody exists in a vacuum, the world intrudes on every relationship.
In Dark Moon, Maggie took an extraordinary meeting between two strangers, added the world and wrote a book that will have the reader turning the pages until the thrilling end.
Book Trailer
Available in paperback & e-book format at:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/11

11/11/11 - today we honor those who have enabled our liberty, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They have safeguarded the right of free speech of all Americans, including the likes of me and the yahoos at Penn St. who protested the firing of a football coach rather than the rape of a ten-year-old. I guess we can expect them to join OWS as soon as they finish college. Their sense of entitlement and privilege is staggering. God bless our veterans and all our armed forces serving here and overseas.
I've spoken of our stellar porter, Frankie, many times. Yesterday I found out why he limps. As a young man he took up arms, supplied by Americans, in his native Dominican Republic when the Cubans were up to no good there. He said the streets of Santo Domingo were filled with bodies. A bullet shattered the upper bones in his left leg. A metal rod was inserted. He was only 16 at the time. Kudos, mi hermano.
I caught up to Source Code (2011) last night, courtesy of Netflix. It is an effective, if familiar thriller, involving time travel and parallel universes, starring Jake Gyllenhal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright, and directed by Duncan Jones, a Brit. I've always been at once intrigued by and skeptical of the theory of parallel universes, which Fringe covers so well. It's not that I don't believe they exist. I find it hard to believe they are only slightly different than ours. It seems that slight differences over thousands of years would lead to a world completely unrecognizable from ours. Then again, what do I know. Science was my worst subject. On a scale of five, I rate Source Code three.
Thanks to the kind ladies who purchased books today in Park Slope. I layered-up to fight off the stiff wind. When I got back to the neighborhood, I went to Delmar for a couple of slices. On the way home, I passed Waj's gyro truck. Ali Baba was holding another books donation from the 84-year-old WWII vet. Thanks, gentlemen.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/10

Ta-da! My latest novel, Killing is now available on Amazon Kindle, only $2.99. Here's the url:
I had a great day yesterday in Jersey. My great niece/godchild, Danielle, received her confirmation - and a lot of money. My sister's nephew, Anthony, served as her sponsor. Dr. Anthony has made us all proud. He has spent his career in the U.S. Army and recently became a Deacon. After the ceremony, he received a text from his commanding officer. A plane was arriving at Fort Dix from Iraq at 8:30 and he had to be there. He sees to soldiers coming from and going overseas. He is frequently separated from his wife and kids, who still live in Brooklyn. His daughter just began college, studying Nursing. His mom, Christina, used to call him Nini. I remember losing patience with her long ago, before any of her five children were born, for making me wash behind my ears before a holiday dinner. She and her husband, Frank, did a marvelous job raising their children: Rita, Anthony, Lisa, Maria and John. I think that's the right order. As I get older, I respect more and more those people who did things right. My mom used to describe Frank as a pinello, which I've probably misspelled. I understand it as someone beyond reproach, an example for all to follow. Kudos to a great family.
Danielle's choice for dinner was a Chinese buffet. I wasn't thrilled. I hadn't had Chinese food since about 1997 when the Exchange was still housed at Four World Trade Center. I came back from lunch at Eat and Run and people said I looked yellow. Soon my feet began hurting. Suddenly I realized I felt icky after every meal there - duh! From that day forward I've sworn off MSG. I'm happy to report that last night's meal didn't make me sick. I was stuffed, though. I mixed too many foods and topped it off with ice cream.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/9

The floating bookshop will be closed today as I head off to the wilds of Jersey for my the Confirmation of my great niece/godchild Danielle. Meanwhile, here's an introduction to another of our All Things That Matter Press family of authors, a Brooklyn-born goombah now living in West Virginny. When it comes to flash fiction, he is the real McCoy.

Just who is Salvatore Buttaci anyway?

A retired teacher since 2007, I spend much of my leisure time writing and submitting my poems and stories for publication. It’s not something new to me. I’ve been writing and promoting my work since my first publication in 1957 at age 16. It was an essay entitled “Presidential Timber” which was published in the Sunday New York News.
Writing has always been my favorite pastime. I enjoy the excitement of writing down the first draft. I even like the work required, delivering that first draft to a final one after revising and editing. With every completed poem or story, article or novel, I feel a grand satisfaction. Ironically, though I love words, I cannot adequately express the joy that writing brings me. That unexpressed joy seems to be the driving force that keeps me writing. A strong believer in a God Who gives us all certain talents to use and develop, I thank Him for His gift by writing everyday.
I had spent a good number of happy years teaching writing skills to middle-school and college students. To become writers, I explained to them, they needed to learn the skills of language, make use of the imagination, practice writing daily, build their own self-confidence, and submit their work for publication. Many of those students are still writing today. I meet them on Facebook all the time.
Of course, I follow my own good advice. I know that the writing craft, like any craft, requires knowledge, practice, and action. I keep myself involved in writing projects so that I am always learning, practicing, and promoting my work to those I feel confident would enjoy reading my poems or stories in journals and on the Internet, as well as those book buyers who are looking for their brand of reading pleasure.
In addition to writing, I am an avid reader of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I believe reading and writing go hand in hand. After all, I never met an author who seriously claimed he or she never spends any time reading a book. As for readers, I have heard many speak of the book inside them they hope one day to write.
Some of my other interests include studying languages and history, doing volunteer work at church, and spending as much time as I can with my wife Sharon, my life’s greatest inspiration. Since my retirement, the two of us live in “Almost-heaven” West Virginia and are loving it.
What do I most love to write? Inspired by the comic books of my 1950s youth, I have been writing flash fiction for more than half a century. Short-short stories under 1,000 words appeal to me, just as they appeal to so many readers out there who search the Net or for flash collections and anthologies. Flash fiction reflects our modern times in the sense that society moves at a faster pace and readers looking for a complete story can find it in as little as three pages of a book. It is the quick read, the fast tale, one of many desserts in a literary buffet. And because the stories are short-short, a reader can return to them and re-read them again and again.
In 2010, All Things That Matter Press published my first collection of short-short stories Flashing My Shorts. The book, as well as Kindle edition, contains 164 flash-fiction stories that run the gamut from A to Z,  adventure stories to zany stories and all other genres in between.
In 2011, ATTMP also published my second flash collection 200 Shorts.
I know there are many flash collections out there. I also know how difficult it is for book buyers to decide which of those collections to purchase. As the author, I suppose it would be politically incorrect for me to climb up on a soapbox and try to persuade you to buy my two books. However, judging from customer comments and reviews at and elsewhere, I would say you would not be disappointed. The stories will stay with you long after you have read them. I wrote them all with that intention in mind.
200 Shorts Kindle Edition: Print Edition:
Barnes and Noble Nook Book: 
Flashing My Shorts
Amazon. com Print Edition: Kindle Edition:  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/8

RIP Smokin' Joe Frazier, former heavyweight champion of the world. He had the heart of a lion and tons more class than his more famous contemporary, Muhammad Ali, who said outrageous things about his rival to promote their bouts, which would have been construed as racism had they been said by a white man. I regret that I rooted for the young, brash Ali, who my dad called "Bigga mouth." Frazier was the better person. Their three matches, the last two won by Ali, are legendary. Viewing them on a classic sports channel, it's amazing those men lived as long as they have, given the punishment they doled out to each other.
How sad that the legendary Joe Paterno, who recently became the winniest college coach in history, may leave the Penn St. under such a dark cloud. It's hard to believe he would have looked away while an assistant was molesting boys, no matter how vital that man's astuteness may have been to the program. The school's administrators now have an excuse to replace him, which would have been inevitable. Even he couldn't go on forever. To coin that memorable phrase from baseball mythology: "Say it ain't so, Joe."
We had an indian summer day in NYC. Thank you to the elderly woman of color who purchased a Bible, part of Svetlana/Vivian's donation. Since S/V had written in it and highlighted many passages, I asked the woman to name her own price, and she was very generous. I also sold more books in Russian and one on needlepoint. And, as I was about to leave, legendary neighborhood mailman Mr. Chow hailed me from behind. I opened my trunk and showed him some books on financial advice, two of which he bought.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/7

I put in a few hours today on posting my next novel, Killing, to Kindle. Unfortunately, I encountered some problems, two of which were corrected easily. The first involved the formatting of the title and dedication pages, which were spaced incorrectly. The second was basic. I assumed both a front and back cover would be needed. Since that is not the case, I decided to use the image from the back cover, which shows the 18th Av./Cristoforo Columbo Blvd. street sign more clearly. The third problem has me worried. When a page begins with a new paragraph, there is no indentation. This may confuse readers in some cases, and make me look like an incompetent. I checked my file and, as I expected, the formatting was correct. I couldn't have screwed it up so many times. I just sent a note to Amazon. Hopefully, there will be a simple solution. I tried to upload an html correction file, but my laptop didn't recognize it. Other than that, the Kindle file looks great. If there's no solution, I will post as is and hope readers realize the format transfer was the problem and not me.
At the risk of jinxing them, I've under-rated the Giants. It seems they've lucked into another good TE in Jake Ballard. I expected them to lose by at least ten yesterday and wouldn't have been surprised if they lost five in a row, given the difficulty of the upcoming schedule. It also looks as if the Jets have  found their mojo. Maybe the shortened training camp affected them negatively. It's only halfway, and the NFL power grid seems to shift every few weeks except for the one constant - the Packers, and injuries are such a big part of success, although Green Bay disproved that too last year, so there's no telling what will happen in the long run.
Thanks to the kind folks who bought and donated books today, especially the elderly couple who gave me a bag o' books in Russian, several of which sold.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/6

In my final two years at the Exchange, a dread-locked young man was hired to work data entry  under my supervision in the gold futures pit. Carlos was an original, his life filled with drama. There is a bullet lodged near his heart, inoperable, from his wild years. Even though he drove me crazy with his careless errors, I found it impossible not to like him, especially after he bought and read my first novel, Close to the Edge. Just about everybody liked him. One day as I was checking the sign in book, I noticed that he had an Italian last name. His family's origins are in Ethiopia, which was once conquered by Italy. When the Hughes brothers, two brokers whom I had the pleasure of knowing and ridiculing for 20 odd years, found out Carlos had Sicilian blood, those Irish dogs never let me hear the end of it. Anyway, Carlos would frequently show up carrying a notebook. He had many filled with his writing. I read some of it. It was good but sloppy, just like his work reporting trades. I encouraged him to attend open mike poetry readings. He was intimidated by it.
When the Exchange adopted electronic trading and the need for floor staff diminished, Carlos was in the first wave of those let go. I lost track of him, although I heard he'd had some luck and moved south. 18 months later I was given the boot. Some time last year I had a friend request from him on Facebook. He has adopted the moniker WrittenInPain. He sent me several of his poems, which I enjoyed despite the spelling errors. He even worked up the nerve to appear on And now he has issued a CD. I bought it about two weeks ago and have listened to the tracks several times. I am so impressed. It is so professionally done, beautifully recited in the way the pieces are meant to be heard - without the distraction of spelling errors - and accompanied by appropriate music or effects. And the profanity is at a minimum. I remember three cuss words in the eleven tracks, and there was not even a single use of the N word or bitches or ho's, which impressed me more than anything else. Of course, I disagree with the politics and worldview, but that's no different than how I view most of the stuff that comes out of the arts. And some of the rhymes are clever rather than logical, but, overall, the disc is wonderful, teeming with sincerity and passion. I particularly enjoyed the pieces on Jesus and Grandma. Kudos, cugino.
Sample the Final Warning track here:
Thanks to the three kind folks who purchased books today on Avenue U.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/5

I broke a long winning streak today. It had become a sort of game. I hadn't visited an ATM since March 2nd thanks to the employment Arlynn and Bob threw my way, and the dollars I earned running the floating bookshop. I doubt the next streak will be longer than two months, unless my latest novel, Killing, brings in more dough than I expect once it is posted to Kindle. It will probably follow a familiar path, an initial burst of sales to family and friends, and then largely indifference, an occasional sale here and there. There's only one way to find out - try.
According to an article on FoxNews. com, wind farms disrupt radar, causing blank spots in national defense and the forecasting of weather. Millions have been spent to solve the problem. This further illustrates that everything has some kind of drawback. I thought wind energy had great potential, although it eats up a lot of land and kills thousands of birds. Now I'm not so sure. We're still many miles away from finding sources of energy that work as well as oil and natural gas. That doesn't mean new sources shouldn't be sought, but it would be nice if in the meantime the traditional ones were given carte blanche. Of course, greeniacs fear that lower prices will doom innovation. I don't know why that should be. Any genius that comes up with a viable source of alternative energy will be rich and famous. That seems to be plenty of incentive, especially when many in government are willing to pick up the tab for the research.
Thank you to Jack, Chase employee, who bought five thrillers today on Bay Parkway. I ran into Vinnie, a former employee of that same bank, who is now in web design. A customer asked if he missed the bank. "Hello, no," he said, "just a minute inside brought back the bad morale."
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/4

Someone posted the above chart on Facebook yesterday. I imagine the divide will become wider as OWS becomes more and more absurd each day. Let's just hope no one is killed.
RIP Matty Alou, 72, who had a lifetime batting average of .307 and won the NL batting title in 1966 with a mark of .342. His brother Felipe finished second. Jesus also played in the major leagues. The three were in the first wave of the influx of Dominicans in MLB. They hold unique records as a combination: they occupied all three outfield positions in the same game in 1963 for the San Francisco Giants, and all three came to bat in the same half inning against the Mets that same year, the only time a trio of brothers has accomplished these things. They also hold the record for hits by brothers. The DiMaggios, Joe, Vince and Dom, are second.
I must have listened to the wrong weather forecast last night. It was brutal outside today thanks to a strong wind. I cut the session short by an hour. I was fortunate to sell a novel in Russian to an elderly couple, who asked if I would accept books from them in the future. Spasibo, folks.
I finally finished the third round of editing of Bob Rubenstein's second novel, The White Bridge. What a relief! Now I can concentrate on posting my own novel, Killing, to Kindle. I began the process this afternoon. It is not going to be as fast as I'd hoped. Since my laptop's writing program is Works, I will have to convert the file, which I had saved to PDF, to Word. Kindle works best with Word. I also had to create title and dedication pages, which was easy. Fortunately, Amazon has a guide on how to do the requirements properly. The conversion caused huge gaps between the pages. I have to close them. And the paragraphs require indentation, which I should be able to do in one swoop. A lot of publishers want no indentation. I will still have to go through the entire manuscript. I consider it my best work and I want as few errors as possible. I have no idea how long it will take, but it should be nowhere near as long as it took me to do Bob's book.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/3

Thank you to Michael and Abdul the Friendly Porter, who each donated books in Russian today. I sold about ten and still have five left to attract customers tomorrow. Among Abdul's donation was a huge textbook on World History, which a young man purchased. He also took Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Another young man bought a book on healing, Viktor the Ukrainian's female companion selected a pocket dictionary, and a teenager heeded my advice and opted for Jack London's The Sea Wolf.
And keeping on a positive note, it's time to introduce another of our All Things That Matter Press family of writers:
Just Who is Sandy Cohen, Anyway?
When’s the last time a novel made you laugh out loud?  When’s the last time you fell in love with a character?  In Revelations by Sandy Cohen you won’t be able to help yourself, you’ll do both.  Join Abis, trickster-god or mad man, you decide, as he guides Manny Markowitz, and you, through the wilds of Greece and the bogs and barrier islands of south Georgia, and ultimately back to life as they search for Abis’s boss, Willy Love.  Goofy, wise, and ultimately enchanting, this is the guidebook not just for anyone who has gone through one of life’s great tragedies, but for anyone who wants to return to the pure joy of living.  There are three ways to learn the meaning of life, namely reason, intuition, and revelation.  In Revelations, you’ll learn Abis’s, and your, great lesson—that life has no meaning any more than a flower has meaning, or needs to.  It is the beauty and fragrance that enchant.  Life is simply an experience to enjoy and exalt in.  For here, and now is your eternity to enjoy. 
Check it out here:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/2

The beautiful weather did not help sales today, but the floating bookshop did get visits from several of its friends, and one scary drunk. The guy, who one minute said he was 50 and another 47, was in prison for 25 years. He worked as a roofer yesterday, his first day on the job, and called in sick today, sore from head to foot. He once owned his own business but drank it all away. He spoke of two fights he'd had that very morning. His conversation was sprinkled with colloquialisms: bro', weed, whack, and the most common profanity. He referred to himself as Ant', short for Anthony to those of you outside NYC. His girlfriend passed away a year to the day. She was considerably older than him. He'd met her in rehab. Although he didn't say how she died, I imagined the worst. He's mad at his sister, who evicted him from the basement apartment in her home in Gerritsen Beach, where he grew up, for a single incidence of drunkenness, he claimed. He's fed up with her "tough love." Imagine how she must feel. He kept sipping from a large can of beer and told me all about jet skiing, pulling his pants up and showing the scar across his patella, which he'd torn completely loose when he crashed into a wave and banged his knee against one of the handle bars. He went on for at least a half hour. I said as little as possible, hoping he'd get tired of talking. I hope he doesn't become a regular, and I hope he gets his stuff together. It was similar to talking with Jack, who is busy with the Occupy Wall Street movement these days, in that nothing of what is being said may be true, only Jack is not remotely scary. He was wearing an FDR button yesterday, placard in hand. Ant', on the other hand, seems an accident waiting to happen. Good luck, sir.
I caught up to Unknown (2011) last night, courtesy of Netflix. It stars Liam Neeson, January Jones, Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella. It was as effective as thrillers get. I am always leery of how mystery is resolved. Too often it is ludicrous. This time it was as intelligent as could be. I was clueless, although in retrospect there was at least one hint. The only drawbacks were the far-fetched participation in action by one of the characters, and the question of another's conversion.  Kudos to director Jaume Collett-Serra, a Spaniard, and screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. On a scale of five, four.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Selling My Books on the Streets of Brooklyn 11/1

The temperature was higher today than yesterday, but a stiff wind made it a lot colder. I sold the last four of the 20 Ed McBain thrillers Joanne donated months ago. A young man bought Dr. Spencer Johnson's best seller on adapting to change, Who Moved My Cheese? Another guy purchased Judge Judy's Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining, which is one of the worst book titles I've ever heard. It didn't matter - the Judge is a gold mine. Finally, Al came by using a wheeled walker and donated two Tom Clancys and a non-fiction on the Pacific Northwest. When he showed interest in a large atlas I'd put out for the first time today, I told him it was his, fair exchange. He said he realized his ex-wife no longer loved him when she lined her bird cage with his cherished Rand McNally Atlas, the first book he'd bought after cashing his initial check as a city employee. Ouch. Thanks, folks.
Another green energy company, Beacon Power Corporation out of Massachusetts, has gone belly up. This time the taxpayers' price tag was only 43 million. As Ralph Kramden would say: "a mere bag of shells" compared to Solyndra. Meanwhile, thousands of jobs in oil and gas exploration and extraction are blocked by environmentalists.
The only ones surprised at the Yankees re-signing of C.C. Sabathia are the New York sportswriters given to sensational speculation. What other team could afford such a contract? And why would the Skanks let a terrific pitcher still in his prime get away?
Kudos to Tony LaRussa for going out on top. I do not like him, but no one could argue with his success. Although he lost two World Series as an overwhelming favorite while managing the A's, he won two as an underdog with the Cardinals. And he is leaving a team that figures to make another serious run next year if their offensive prowess proves to have been more than a hot streak and stud pitcher Adam Wainwright is as sound following surgery as reports state.
And special kudos to golfer Erik Compton, who has had two heart transplants, for finishing in the top 25 of the Nationwide Tour, which qualifies him automatically for the next year's PGA tour. Wow!
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