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Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Writer's Life 2/6 - Visits

I made the usual Saturday trek to the old house. While the washing machine was going, I told sis I was headed to McDonald's. She said there were cold cuts in the fridge. So I went to the People's Bakery, which, despite its name, is not a communist enterprise. It's half the size of its former incarnation, Reliable Bakery, which had been in the neighborhood as long as I remember. These days the bakers and counter girls are Latino, not Italian, but the bread and pastries are as good as ever. I bought a sandwich roll on which I placed a couple of slices of provolone, ham, mortadella and roasted peppers. That boy was tasty. Once the wash was hung, I headed to Bay Parkway, where I lucked into a convenient parking space. The haul of the four book crates to the front of the Chase bank was only 50 yards. As I was setting up shop, Gina approached and told me she'd read Rising Star, which is 400 pages, in two days. She usually gives her books away but is holding on to this one, which I signed, so that she might say: "I knew him back when." Soon Chris came strolling along, drunk but coherent. Only in his 40's, he does not work, despite a college degree, because of his problems with substance abuse. He babbled at length, then politely made his exit when a young woman showed interest in a hardcover of John Grisham's The Partner, which she bought. The highlight of the session was a visit from B. S. Bob, whom I hadn't seen in months. Past 70, he had an infection that kept in the hospital for three weeks. He's still working on his screenplay, Christmas 1945, and also has an idea for a TV series, which came about when the phrase "Barks like a duck" popped into his head. The show is about a retired Army Colonel who wins the lottery and opens a veterinary clinic in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Bob would have bought Billionths of a Lifetime, which contains two screenplays, but he had no cash on him. He was on his way to see his grandkids in Jersey, since his usual Sunday visit has been preempted by a Super Bowl party. Jack spotted I, Michael Bennett on his return from a short break from the bank. It's a James Patterson co-write, this time with Michael Ledwidge. I'd be surprised if Patterson did anything but take a quick look at these manuscripts, but so what. No one forces anyone to buy them. Ralph was in the bank so long I thought I'd missed his exit. He put a hand in front of his mouth, complained about the long line and whispered that every Asian ahead of him had a benefits card. "I bust my butt and..." he said, shaking his head in dismay. As usual, he bought several works of non-fiction. Finally, author Bill Brown stopped by. He is changing careers, abandoning proofreading for the teaching of English as a Second Language. So far he's putting in 16 hours a week and really enjoying it. Most of his students are in their 20's. He has stopped checking his book sales, so discouraging have they been. I know the feeling. I received a couple of tax statements in the mail from publishers this week, and the total wasn't even $30. I have way better success selling my books on the street, 74 in 2015, four so far this year. Why do I insist on chasing the literary holy grail? Maybe it's time to visit a psychiatrist.
Thanks folks.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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