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Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/30 - Eight Is Enough

I've always enjoyed Quentin Tarantino's movies. He has yet to make one that ins't, in the least, entertaining. Despite his ridiculous comments on police brutality, I choose not to privately boycott his work. I accept free speech at its worst as well as its best. If one decides to protest the liberal idiocies of Hollywood, it will take a lot of fine entertainment off the table. That said, unless a film featuring the likes of Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell and various other know-it-alls gets raves, I will not watch. I looked forward to The Hateful Eight (2015), which I watched last night courtesy of Netflix. Set in Wyoming during a blizzard, post Civil War, it is the story of hard men in confined quarters. The pace is measured, slow, but the viewer knows a blood bath is coming. It is, after all, a Tarantino film. It is filled with his trademark, pull no punches dialogue. Profanity and the N word are used liberally. I have no problem with that, but in this instance there is a feeling of rehash. I was never bored, but neither was I completely swept up in the events as I was in Reservoir Dogs (1992) or Jackie Brown (1997). The film is appropriately titled. The characters carry enough hatred to fill a reservoir. Is there a point to it all, to the slaughter? Other than taking Americans to task for past sins, I don't see any beyond entertainment. The flick was nominated for three Oscars. The nod for Robert Richardson's cinematography was deserved. Ennio Morricone won the Academy Award for Best Score. What is remarkable about it is that there isn't a single echo of the fantastic music he provided for spaghetti westerns. at least not to my ear. Jennifer Jason Leigh, who has specialized in vile characters in her distinguished career, was a natural for the pivotal part of the woman on her way to being hanged. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The rest of the cast, which features several Tinseltown veterans (Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth) performs capably. Young Channing Tatum pops up late in the proceedings. 227,000+ users at IMDb have rated The Hateful Eight, forging to a consensus of 7.9 of ten, too high in my estimation. On a scale of five, I say three. Anyone squeamish about violence or foul language should pass. The DVD version has been pared from the three-hour-plus theatrical release to about 2:45. The film did not do well at the box office, at least in the U.S., where it took in "only" 54 million on a budget of 62 million. It probably went into the black on overseas distribution and DVD sales and rentals. It might be one of those films that improves on furthering viewings. I'm hoping Tarantino, who also wrote the screenplay, comes up with something fresh next time. Perhaps it is time he filmed the work of other writers.

The floating book shop was shelved today for an impromptu family gathering.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/29 - As Seen on TV

RIP Philip Kives, 87. Who? He was the founder of K-Tel International, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its ads have been running, "As Seen on TV," since the '60's, hawking music compilations and devices such as the Veg-O-Matic and Mood Ring. Its biggest seller, 28 million, was the Miracle Brush. It has sold a half billion albums in several genres. Kudos, sir.

Speaking of TV, The Blacklist is floundering badly. Last night's episode was dull and slow. I wouldn't say the series is television at its finest -- "Must See TV," in NBC's own words -- but it had provided fast-paced diversion. I sense the writers are trying to figure out where to take the story line now that Megan Boone, who is pregnant in real life, is gone. The past two episodes have deviated from the hunting/elimination of the evil men on the list.

From Yahoo News: An Indiana University student has been named the Indianapolis 500's first official poet since the early 20th century. Adam Henze beat out more than 200 people who submitted Indy 500-themed poems for a contest co-sponsored by Indiana Humanities. It has revived a tradition from the 1920s, when an official poem was included in the race day program. Henze, an educator and doctoral candidate, receives a $1,000 prize and two tickets to the 100th running of the race on May 29. His poem is titled For Those Who Love Fast, Loud Things. It will appear in the official race program, and he will read it at the Speedway during qualification weekend.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books and DVDs on this unseasonably cool day. Occupy Jack stopped by. He and his cronies are devising a petition demanding a recount of the New York Democratic Primary results, which they believe was stolen by the Clinton machine. Good luck with that, guys. My thanks also to Luis, the porter of the building that towers above my book nook. He provided a bunch of marketable books, fiction and non, hardcover and paperback by authors such as Gay Talese, David Baldacci, Faye Kellerman and George Eliot, and bios of Rush Limbaugh, Leona Hemsley and Shirley Maclaine,
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/28 - Muses


Seth Lipsky devotes an op-ed piece in today's NY Post to someone I've probably often seen but never heard of. Here's the gist of it, pared and edited by yours truly: "June will mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Audrey Munson, the greatest artist’s muse of the 20th — or maybe any — century. New York boasts at least 15 statues of her, including two flanking the entrance of the Brooklyn Museum. Statues of Munson personify the city’s glory. Wearing gold-plated robes she stands atop the municipal building as Civic Fame, the largest statue of a woman in the city save for the Statue of Liberty. As the goddess Pomona, Munson stands at Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza. As Columbia Triumphant, she’s atop the memorial to the USS Maine. She’s Alma Mater in Columbia University’s quad. Munson reclines in the little park at 106th and Broadway, in a memorial to Macy’s owner Isidor Straus and his wife Ida. On the Titanic, Ida spurned a lifeboat and chose to go down with her husband. The Frick’s fa├žade features Munson, the New York Public Library too. The Metropolitan Museum has two statues, as does the Fireman’s Memorial in Riverside Park. Not only did she inspire our greatest sculptors but she did so in a daring and groundbreaking way. She was the first woman ever to appear fully unclothed in a non-pornographic movie (the print has apparently been lost). She posed as the Setting Sun, Commerce, Liberty (on the half-dollar) and Autumn. Yet what about representations of real women? Among the hundreds of statues in the city only five are of actual, non-allegorical women: Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein and Harriet Tubman. Central Park features statues of 22 men but not one (non-fictional) woman. A recent video about Munson refers to her as the 'most visible person never seen.' Did her invisibility as a person contribute to her descent into madness? That began when, according to some accounts, Munson fled the advances of her landlord, who then murdered his wife so he could be free to pursue the muse. He was convicted, and hung himself to avoid the chair. Munson’s downward spiral is chronicled in a new biography by James Bone. She failed at suicide and was, at 40, committed to an upstate asylum, where she lived more than 60 years, dying in 1996 at the age of 104. During her years of madness she dabbled in race theory and blamed her troubles on Jews. My own view is that shouldn’t stop the Brooklyn Museum — or any other — from honoring her someday, as Munson’s errors coincided with her illness. The art she inspired will abide for centuries."
I've had muses, two in particular. Here's how Munson looked in real life:


ABC's Nashville has recaptured me, at least through one of its multiple story lines -- 16-year-old Maddy's attempt to free herself of parental control. The legal term the writers have been using is "Emancipation." Most of the rest of the series is relying on soap-like, change partners plots, which is fine but old hat. One aspect I've been anticipating is an all-out smackdown -- or worse -- between Layla and Juliette. Of course, since Hollywood is dominated by liberals, Will's fight as the only openly gay country artist goes beyond a call for tolerance and acceptance, begging approval. I know that's the way society is headed, but it still gives me the creeps to see men kissing the way men and women do. And the thought of buggering -- yikes!

My thanks to the two kind folks who bought books in Russian, the only sales of the day. Wish I had one for every complaint about the cold I heard the past couple of sessions.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/27 - Dedication

Many artists are odd. I certainly am in my quiet way. Multimillionaire singer Enya is a recluse who has sworn off love, lives in a castle with cats and sings in a make-believe language. She is profiled today in a fascinating article in the NY Post by Natalie O'Neill. Here are highlights, pared and edited by yours truly: "The 54-year-old singer — whose moody new-age tunes often throb through day spas and dental offices — was outed last week as the richest female in British and Irish history. She boasts a $169 million fortune and has sold more than 75 million albums. But nobody — including neighbors, relatives and paparazzi — knows much about this oddball, who’s been seen leaving her Dublin home only twice in the past decade. Cats are her closest companions, in part because men find her 'dark and difficult,' she once said. At one point she had a dozen of the furry friends. She spends her time holed up in her sprawling Victorian mansion, toiling over her tunes. To keep her creative juices pure, she refuses to listen to music made by any other artists. She won’t go on tour or respond to fan letters and spends nearly every waking moment with an elderly married couple with whom she makes her music. She spends months on every detail of her songs, some of which are overdubbed with vocals more than 500 times. And she sometimes sings them in languages created by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien. Her financial success is tied to her 2001 single Only Time, which CNN used as a backdrop to 9/11 footage months after its release. She later gained fans after she released it as a charity single. But none of her peers imagined her music would become so popular. A source said: 'Nobody at the record company thought she’d ever be this big. And it’s almost impossible for anyone to become so huge without touring or promotion, let alone singing ethereal tunes in a weirdo language... Throughout the music business there’s no one else who is so successful about whom so little is known. She doesn’t socialize, she’s barely seen out of the house, there aren’t any clues in her lyrics about her life... Even at her album launches, label bosses will hold a large event rather than ask her to do individual interviews, as they make her so uncomfortable. She’s a huge question mark.' A local resident said: 'When she bought the castle there was a lot of work done and plenty of money put into security — cameras, gates and lights. People come looking for it from all over the world but you can’t see through the gates. You wouldn’t even know there was anyone there most of the time.' The singer has admitted choosing music over men. She said: 'After a bad day in the studio I’m dark and difficult to be with, I want and need to be on my own. What sort of man would be able to adapt? Falling madly in love and getting married would be the most horrific thing that could happen. My affairs are with melody and words and beautiful sounds... I had partners. But I find long relationships, well, how can I say it without appearing strange? I’m too much devoted to my music. Some people think it sounds sad but believe me, I’m happy. I am my music.' The singer, who got her start in a Celtic family band at age 19, calls music 'my first love and my present love.'"
When I'm not outside selling books, I pretty much isolate myself the way she does, but I doubt I'll ever not desire the company of women, and I cannot imagine not reading the works of other writers, although I have always worried about subliminal theft. Other than that, I admire her dedication to her craft. I spent some time at youtube, listened to four of her tracks. It's unfair to judge a song on one listen. I will only say they are nice, pleasant. Here's a link to the aforementioned one. It is preceded by an ad that can be clicked off after five seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wfYIMyS_dI 
My thanks to the kind folks who bought wares today, particularly the gentleman who bought all the Russian books pertaining to plants, and the one who was ecstatic about his purchase of Mermaids (1990), his all-time favorite film, on DVD.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Writers Life 4/26 - Players

What do all the following NFL players, many of them Hall of Famers, have in common?
QB Tony Romo, in the league since 2004.
RB Joe Perry, 1948-'63
RB Priest Holmes, 1997-'07
WR Wes Welker, since 2004
WR Rod Smith, 1995-'06
TE Antonio Gates, since 2003
OL Jason Peters, since 2004
OL Jim Langer, 1970-'81
OL Jay Hilgenberger, 1981-'93
OL Mick Tingelhoff, 1962-'78
OL Larry Little, 1967-'80
DT John Randle, 1990-'03
DT Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, 1953-'62
DE Cameron Wake, since  2009
DE Rich Jackson, 1966-'72
LB James Harrison, since 2002
LB Sam Mills, 1986-'97
LB London Fletcher, 1998-'13
CB Willie Brown, 1963-'78
CB Dick "Night Train" Lane, 1952-'65
S Emlen Tunnel, 1949-'61
S Willie Wood, 1960-'71
P Sean Landeta. 1985, '05
K Adam Vinatieri, since1996
All were undrafted! At the start of the 2015 season, 35% of the 53-man rosters were comprised of undrafted players. They comprised the all-time team in that category comprised at Yahoo Sports.

So Tom Brady will be suspended for the first four games of 2016. Have we finally heard the last of Deflate-gate? Please let it be so.

The Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups since 2010. They went down fighting this year, extending the St. Louis Blues to a seventh game, which they lost 3-2. Kudos to both teams.

The floating book shop was a frustrating affair today. As forecast, it began drizzling at about 11:40. I packed up and, since my car was not in an advantageous position, I went home. An hour later I grabbed a bag full of recyclables, thinking and headed out. It wasn't raining and there was a parking spot open on Avenue Z. I raced the old Hyundai around the corner and, to my surprise, the spot was still available. This allowed me to run the operation from the foot of the vehicle. Unfortunately, it was all for naught. Only two women browsed seriously, but I did get to chat with several of the acquaintances I've made through the years, so it was a complete waste of time. Some days the endeavor makes a fool of you.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/25 - Love

My thanks to the generous woman who purchased three Harry Potter DVDs for her beautiful daughter today in Park Slope. Here's an excerpt from the novel I'm working on, titled Five Cents. It has four levels: love story, the adjustment of a Vietnam vet, the five senses, and the social changes that occurred in the 70's.

   Kitty sent Tom to the general store for supplies. Upon his return, he could smell the burgers cooking on the outdoor grill. His stomach growled. Gazing into the thick woods, he froze, his mind suddenly back in Vietnam, the grilled meat reminding him of burning flesh. He was shaken to the present by Kitty, calling out to him from the house. He shook his head and took a couple of deep breaths. It’d been so long since he’d had a flashback or nightmare. What had triggered it? Was it survivor’s guilt? Was it a reminder that life is not always as idyllic as it seemed at present? 
   “What were you doing out there?” said Kitty.
   “Thinking about the book,” he lied, refusing to put a damper on the day.
   “Tell me.”
   “If the thought’s any good, you’ll be reading about it soon enough.”
   “Those burgers smell so great. Call Linda and Bill.”
   He was about to tap at the door of their room when he heard moaning. Unable to resist, he stood there a moment listening. He tore himself away before succumbing to the temptation to peek through the keyhole.
   Kitty looked at him as she entered the kitchen, where she was tossing a salad. “Are they coming?”
   He smiled, scratching his head. “They’re busy.”
  Kitty laughed out loud.
  They were seated at the table on the back porch when Linda and Bill finally pushed through the back door. Tom gave Kitty a nudge with his foot, and she immediately understood his intent. The Hartes feigned being offended. Linda’s face was scarlet, her expression grave. Tom sensed she was about to cry, and was no longer able to pretend to be miffed. He guffawed.

   “You should’ve seen your faces,” said Kitty, giggling, burger in hand. “I wish I’d had a camera handy. Sit down and eat. Love is what this place is all about.”
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5
Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/24 - Popi

The NY Post is at its best today. Unfortunately, it is mostly doom and gloom, the more discouraging because all of it is plausible. Here are snippets from three op-ed pieces: Retired Army Colonel Ralph Peters writes: "Russians are much better off financially than they were before Putin appeared and — most important of all — Russians expect life to stink. Deprivations that would shock Americans don’t even register. And Putin’s stage management of the economic downturn has been masterful. His popularity rating remains higher than Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s combined. Unlike our leaders, Putin knows his people. He came from the streets, not from Harvard."... Kyle Smith quoted a liberal from an outfit named Vox: “There is a smug style in American liberalism,” wrote Emmett Rensin. “It is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them... Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat... Stupid hicks don’t know what’s good for them. They’re getting conned by right-wingers and tent revivalists until they believe all the lies that’ve made them so wrong. They don’t know any better. That’s why they’re voting against their own self-interest.”... Peggy Noonan laments: "Because my country is in trouble. Because I felt anguish at all the estrangements. Because some things that shouldn’t have changed have changed. Because too much is being lost. Because the great choice in a nation of 320 million may come down to Crazy Man versus Criminal." (Although I'm not happy about Trump's ascendance, I don't believe he's crazy. I do believe Hillary is a criminal.)

And of general interest, Larry Getlen produced yet another great article. Here are excerpts, pared and edited by yours truly: "It was one of the most expensive films ever made, plagued with set problems, cost overruns and a mercurial, egomaniacal director. It was Titanic. No, not that one. In his new book, The Nazi Titanic, Robert P. Watson reveals a little known chapter of the Third Reich, when film buff Joseph Goebbels tried to produce the ultimate propaganda movie for Adolf Hitler. The hero was German, the villains were Brits. When Goebbels finally saw the film, which ran just under 90 minutes, simply titled Titanic, it was clear that the original director and his replacement had created the ­perfect propaganda film — for Britain. Goebbels realized the entire project was a catastrophic mistake, a film about helpless people on a sinking ship commandeered by a foolish leader that mirrored the situation in Germany. Goebbels initially banned the film but relented the following year, allowing it to be shown outside Germany, where it became a smash. Still, following those limited runs, he ordered the film locked away. Other than a brief release in West Germany in 1955, it was forgotten until 2005, when it was rediscovered, restored and re-released. The director, jailed for inflammatory remarks, was hanged in his cell."

In 2007 65% of Americans had investments in stocks. That figure is now down to 52%.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books in Park Slope today, especially the lovely young Latina who purchased two romances and six of the J. R. Ward Lover series. She said: "Thank you, Popi." It was music to my ears, Mommy. A woman openly smoking a joint in front of her two young sons, neither older than seven, bought the Coraline DVD. I hope her kids aren't as at risk as I fear they are.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/24 - Rock n Roll

My thanks to mother nature for halting the rain so that the floating book book shop could operate, and to the kind folks who bought books, especially Hugh, who purchased Rising Star. Here's the first few paragraphs of it:

1 "...I know it's only rock 'n roll, but I like it...." (Jagger/Richard) 
    The small crowd huddled before the stage, which was but a platform that rose a foot from the floor, tucked into the corner of the dark, smoky club. In design the place was like a roughly finished basement. The people cheered as the band capped its number with a deafening flourish.
   "Awright!" howled the singer, a tall, athletic, bearded blond whose locks fell well beyond his shoulders, whose taut flesh glowed with perspiration. "You're beautiful -- at least some of you are. All you pretty girls now, don't forget to leave your name and number. You ugly ones take care of my fat friend back there on drums."
   He was bombarded by tiny paper balls. Laughing, he tried to avoid the barrage. The bassist bent, gathered as many of the papers as he could and stuffed them into the pocket of his shirt.
   "We're gonna do one more before we go, but before we do let me introduce the rest of the guys. On drums, fatboy himself -- Richie DeSalvo." Richie banged out a crisp flourish and clash of cymbals, his dark mane whipping about. "On keyboards, our token Jew -- Mitchell Weinstein." Slim, clean-cut, fair-skinned, Mitchell smiled as he sent out an eerie riff. "On bass -- nervous Mike Scarpa." Mike bowed his short, compact frame over the fretboard of his Rickenbacker. "On guitar, the ice man -- Paul Ranga." Tall, thin, bespectacled, Paul struck a chord on his Les Paul that reverberated throughout the club. "And on vocals, last but certainly not least, the only non-ethnic, non-New Yorker in the group -- meet John Doe."

   Doe received the most applause and let out an appreciative howl. "You have such great taste. This one's called Star Chaser. You better like it."
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/22 - Boomer Faves

On Wednesday night Decades, channel 112 on Cablevision in NYC, aired two old half-hour TV series back to back. I had no recollection of the first, Colonel March of Scotland Yard, which shot only 26 episodes from 1954-'56. Did it even make it to syndication? It starred Boris Karloff -- sporting an eye patch! Of course, baby-boomers will always remember him as the Frankenstein monster and The Mummy (1932), as well as for his stint as host of Thriller, which ran on NBC from 1960-62, 67 episodes. The British born star, real name William Henry Pratt, had a long career, spanning 1919-1971. Unbelievably, he was not invited to the premiere of Frankenstein (1931). He was considered an afterthought by the producers. I guess he showed them. Married five times, he has 206 credits under his name at IMDb, which does not count multiple appearances on TV shows. He died in 1969 at 81, his last three films released posthumously. Here's a quote attributed to him: "When I was nine, I played the demon king in Cinderella and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster."

The second show featured one of Hollywood's all-time beauties, Anne Francis. In the 1960's it seemed she was a guest star on every series. Her career began early, modelling at six, Broadway at eleven. But her best medium was TV, her gorgeous face radiating from the small screen, her adorable beauty mark mesmerizing. Oddly, her own series, Honey West, where she played a private eye, lasted only one season, 30 episodes. She accumulated 167 credits, also not counting multiple spots as a guest. I always link her in my mind to The Untouchables. To my surprise, she made only one appearance on it, The Doreen Maney Story, which aired in 1960. In it she played an armored car robber. She passed away in 2011 at 80.
Mr. Philly gave me an update on his law suit in the City of Brotherly Love, where he was struck by a bus about a year ago. His lawyer was offered more than a million to settle and suggested a nix, since a big chunk of that would be eaten up by his fee. Mr. P, an ex-marine who's about 70, is almost completely recovered. If the case should go to trial, he expects to be asked to enter the court on crutches or in a wheelchair.

My thanks to Mother Nature, who pushed back the rain that was forecast, and to the kind folks who bought books and DVDS. Dmitri purchased H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. He is attending Hunter College, majoring in Italian. He could easily pass for one. He calls me "amico preferito." He is involved in student theater and will find out today what part he will play in an adaption of the Anton Chekhov novella The Duel. Buona fortuna, amico mei.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/21 - Princes

April 23rd is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. His effect on the world is still powerful, his works translated into almost every human language and performed all over the globe. In an article in today's NY Post, Andrea Mays & James L. Swanson relate how those works would have been lost but for the efforts of two men. Here are excerpts, edited and pared by yours truly: "He hadn’t even published his plays — during his lifetime they were considered ephemeral amusements, not serious literature. Half had never been published in any form and the rest had appeared only in unauthorized, pirated versions that corrupted his original language. Enter John Heminges and Henry Condell, friends, fellow actors and shareholders in the King’s Men theatrical company. They conceived a way to honor him — one that would make them the most unsung heroes in the history of literature. They would do what Shakespeare had never done for himself — publish a complete, definitive collection of his plays. The two had up to six types of sources available to them: Shakespeare’s original, handwritten drafts; manuscript 'prompt books' copied from the drafts; fragment 'sides' used by the actors and containing only the lines for individual parts; printed quartos — cheap paper-bound booklets, unauthorized and often wildly inaccurate versions of half the plays; after-the-fact memorial reconstructions by actors who had performed in the plays and later repeated lines to a scribe hired by Heminges and Condell; and the editors’ own personal memories. No first-generation sources for the plays exist. None of Shakespeare’s original, handwritten manuscripts survive — not a play, act, scene, page of dialogue or even a sentence. Without Heminges and Condell, half of the plays would have been lost forever. They went to work after the bard’s death. At a London print shop workers set the type by hand, printed the sheets one by one and hung them on clotheslines for the ink to dry. The process was methodical, done by hand. It took two years. Published in 1623, 'Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies' revolutionized the language, psychology and culture of Western civilization. Without the First Folio, published seven years after the bard’s death, 18 of the iconic works would have been lost. If the Bible is the book of God, Shakespeare is the book of man on earth. We use the words he invented, speak in his cadences, and think in his imagery. Whether writing about gravediggers or kings, he divined the profound commonality of man, mourned life’s frailty and brevity. Not an intellectual or cloistered scholar, Shakespeare wrote to entertain the common people but spoke universal truths. We can see ourselves in his characters. Without the First Folio, his evolution from poet to secular saint would never have happened. The story of that book is an incredible tale of faith, friendship, loyalty and chance. Few people realize how close the world came to losing Shakespeare. Today it is one of the most valuable books in the world. In October 2001, one sold for more than $6 million. Of the 750 copies printed, two-thirds have perished. 235 survive. The unpredictability of the future is one of Shakespeare’s great recurring themes. He would relish the drama of his own improbable tale. Time has performed many conjuring tricks, but few so fantastic as the making of the First Folio. Shakespeare went to his grave a mortal man destined to fade from memory. Today he is eternal.  As we commemorate the 400th, let us celebrate the forgotten men and the luminous book that saved the name of William Shakespeare, in the words of Macbeth, 'to the last syllable of recorded time.'" Hail Heminges & Condell and Mays & Swanson.

RIP Prince, 57, found dead today in his home in Minnesota. I never gave his music a chance. It just didn't grab me, but many people I respect, including celebrities, dubbed him a genius. The singer/songwriter was a multi-instrumentalist, a prolific artist who produced 39 studio albums, four live, six compilations, and six others under different names. He won seven Grammys and an Oscar for Best Score for Purple Rain (1984). Gone way too soon. Well done, sir. (Facts from Wiki)

This morning radio host Mark Simone weighed in on the replacing of Andrew Jackson's image with that of Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill. He wonders what liberals will think when they find out Tubman was a Republican and a gun owner.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought and donated books and DVDs on this gorgeous day. All sales were of Russian works. The highlight of the session was a visit from both Mountain Man and Occupy Jack. Both believe the NY primary was rigged. Jack believes the Pentagon and Wall Street rule America. MM believes America is finished.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/20 - Philosophies

During the film Youth (2015), the characters portrayed by Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine mention reading Novalis. I'd never heard of him and wondered if he were fictional. It is the pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, a poet, author and philosopher of early German Romanticism, who died at 28 in the early 1800's. Here are quotes attributed to him: "We are on a mission: we are called upon to educate the earth." "Philosophy is properly home-sickness; the wish to be everywhere at home." "Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason." "Learning is pleasurable but doing is the height of enjoyment." There are many books listed under his name at Amazon. Most were written by others about him. (Facts from Wiki)

Recently, the Cleveland Browns traded the #1 overall selection in the 2016 NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams for a package of picks. Today they swapped the #2 pick to the Eagles, moving down six places to #8. They now have six of the first 100 picks, two first rounders in 2017, and two second rounders in 2018. Kudos to management. Now don't blow it! Two years ago they traded up to select Johnny Manziel, who has wasted his talent on partying and now seems persona non grata to league execs. Not even teams desperate for a QB are willing to take a chance on him.

I usually listen to the segment of the Sean Hannity radio show that follows the four o'clock news. Despite his conservative credentials, he has been very critical of the Republican nominating process. Yesterday Ted Cruz was his guest, and today three party reps. He grilled them harshly though civilly. Kudos.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books today, and to the gentleman who donated three in Russian, all of which sold, and to Pedro, one of Atlantic Towers stellar porters, who put aside a bunch of books in Russian a resident had discarded. They are an odd lot. My guess is that most are about plants and flowers. I have no idea how that will fly.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/19 - Controversies

Saturday Night Live has a history of controversy. The latest involves a faux ad excoriating Trump as a racist endorsed by bigots. I found it mildly amusing. Was its intent political persuasion or simply comedic? If the creators actually believe Trump is racist, how would they explain that he allowed his daughter to marry an orthodox Jew, and that he demanded his Florida country club be integrated over the objections of key members? Anyway, here are some other hairy SNL moments, gleaned from Wiki, pared and edited by yours truly: Two parts of a stand-up routine by Sam Kinison in 1986 were edited for the West Coast, and later airings replaced the audio and video with a silent image of the previous season's cast. Kinison was clearly ahead of his time in the first offense, asking for the legalization of cannabis, saying: "You can't get any more pot. If you give us back the pot, we'll forget about the crack." His second offense was a joke about the Crucifixion, which he'd been asked to remove... In 1992 Wayne's World made fun of Chelsea Clinton. Wayne noted that while "adolescence has been thus far unkind" to the then-12 year old. Garth said that "she could turn into a babe in waiting." Hillary was publicly critical, and the quips were subsequently edited out of all repeats and syndication rebroadcasts. Myers sent an apology letter to the White House... The episode hosted by Rainn Wilson in February 2007 featured a sketch that prompted the criticism of Jon Colman, the CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, which led to the words "Down's syndrome" being bleeped in later rebroadcasts.
More interesting, here's a list of people who have been banned from the show and why, my comments in parentheses:
In 1976 Louise Lasser bumbled through her stint as host, disoriented and incoherent. She would appear only in sketches in which she was alone or with Chevy Chase... In December 1977 Elvis Costello was slated to perform Less Than Zero due to pressure from his record company. After roughly 30 seconds, Costello stopped the performance, stating: "I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here." The band then broke into Radio Radio. Lorne Michaels banned the artist from the show for nearly twelve years. In 1989 Costello was invited back. He even parodied his own stunt on the 25th anniversary show by interrupting the Beastie Boys' performance of Sabotage, which quickly morphed into a joint performance of Radio Radio (both were awesome)... In 1977 Charles Grodin hosted an episode that revolved around his forgetting that the show was live, and he proceeded to wreck sketches because of his failure to prepare accordingly... In April 1979 Milton Berle's reputation for taking control of an entire production came to the fore, causing major on-set stress. Berle's sins included upstaging, camera mugging, doing spit-takes, inserting old comedy bits, and climaxing the show with a maudlin performance of September Song complete with a prearranged standing ovation. The episode was barred from being rerun until 2003... Frank Zappa was banned after his 1978 episode for doing a disastrous job of hosting, mugging for the camera and even announcing to the audience that he was reading from cue cards... Andy Kaufman's wrestling of women drew the ire of then-producer Dick Ebersol. Kaufman proposed an audience vote to let him stay or force him off the show. More than 350,000 people responded, 25,000 or so more in the negative. Kaufman never again appeared on SNL. The show did air a tape of him thanking the 169,186 people who voted yes for him. (I laugh whenever I recall his brilliant billing of himself as the Inter-Gender Champ)... In 1982 Robert Blake was banned after crumpling a script and throwing it into the face of writer Gary Kroeger... In 1986 The Replacements were banned after they came out completely drunk during their performance of Kiss Me on the Bus. However, Paul Westerberg later went solo and was allowed to appear... Steven Seagal was banned after his stint in 1991. He didn't cooperate with the cast and crew. In a later episode hosted by Nicolas Cage, Lorne Michaels got in a jab at Seagal. When Cage lamented during his monologue that the audience might think he's the biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show, Michaels responded "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."... In 1993 Cypress Hill was banned after DJ Muggs lit a joint and smoked it during their performance, which was capped by the group trashing their instruments...  A portion of Martin Lawrence's 1994 monologue concerning feminine hygiene has been removed from all repeats and replaced with a voice-over and intertitles(?)... In 1997 Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows complained about how host Chevy Chase treated the current cast and crew. While Chevy Chase no longer hosts, Michaels has called him in to appear in minor parts like a Land Shark reprisal... In 2003 Adrien Brody ad-libbed an introduction to musical guest Sean Paul while wearing fake dreadlocks and speaking in fake Jamaican Patois for 45 seconds, prompting Michaels to ban him.

My thanks to the young blonde beauty who purchased The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, and paid in change. She expressed an interest in Billionths of a Lifetime but was strapped for cash. I'd guess she's 20 and trying to figure out her place in the world. As she left she congratulated me. It would be hard to top the thrill she brought to the floating book shop, but Occupy Jack gave it a run. He pedaled by on his bike, holding a Sanders poster aloft and saying: "Bernie! Bernie!"
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/18 - T-Bird

Anne Rivers Siddons has had 19 novels published. Now 80, she is a graduate of Auburn University, where she worked on the school paper until she wrote a pro-integration article, which led to her ouster. I just finished her 14th novel, Nora, Nora, which is set in 1961 in a small town in Georgia, her home state. It is told from the point of view of a 12-year-old girl whose mom died soon after giving birth. Her existence is suppressed, largely through her own doing and partly because of a distant though loving dad. Her life changes when a 30-year-old cousin, the titular character, visits and stays long. Nora, who drives a pink Thunderbird convertible, is blunt and light years ahead of the populace in terms of social change. She takes a job teaching the town's first integrated class, introducing it to books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. The former fits naturally, the latter seems a stretch, even though she asks her students to keep it a secret. She isn't so naive she wouldn't know word would reach parents. I guess Siddons would have readers assume Nora simply wouldn't care, which is possible given her personality. That aspect didn't work for me, as I wonder if TOC was ever on any secondary education list even long after it ceased to be considered porn. Anyway, that's a minor quibble. This is a fine novel filled with realistic characters and interesting confrontations. Given the year, I feared it would take a tragic route, and I was happy it didn't. Late in the book I anticipated a different sort of bombshell, and was glad I was wrong about that too. It does have a painful climax, but one within common human boundaries, not suicide or cancer. I got misty. The prose and dialogue are fine for the most part, although there were a few instances where I did not grasp what the author was saying. Unlike ...Mockingbird, which was released when the civil rights movement was in its infancy, Nora, Nora, published in 2000, lacks the immediacy of that conflict, as those issues have long been resolved. Of course, racial tensions still and probably always will exist -- such is man. 85 users at  Amazon have rated the book, forging to a consensus of 3.7 of five, which seems right on the money. There have been two adaptations of Siddons' work. Her first novel, Heartbreak Hotel, became Heart of Dixie (1989) on the silver screen, and The House Next Door (2006), a horror story Stephen King lauds, was filmed for TV. (Facts culled from Wiki)

The best recent news is the failure of the meeting of oil producers to result in a slow down of production, which would have caused a spike in the price of crude and subsequent rise in prices at the pump. Where would the American economy be without the relief the lower cost of gasoline, heating oil and natural gas have provided consumers? It has helped defray the burden of Obamacare.

There was an amusing report out of northern China about angry construction workers having a demolition derby type battle with bulldozers, but the video has vanished. I assume the government has quashed it. How disappointing, and how lucky we are to be Americans, where such a video would have received millions of hits.

My thanks to Jack of Chase, who bought two thrillers, to the lady carrying a new-born infant, who purchased a huge book on quilting, and to the young woman who bought a children's book.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/17 - It's Academic

In an op-ed piece in today's NY Post, Kyle Smith highlights a new book, Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University by Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn. Many conservative educators keep their political beliefs a secret for fear of retaliation, especially in terms of career aspiration. Here are excerpts from the article, edited and pared by yours truly: "Among the disturbing anecdotes: A study of sociologists found that, given a choice between offering a job to a Republican and a communist, they’d prefer the latter... There are more avowed Marxists than Republicans serving as professors in the United States... After defending the post-9/11 war on terror, a professor discovered a colleague was circulating a leaflet accusing him of training Nazis. His office door was covered with swastikas and yet administrators shrugged: 'I was the nuisance that was bringing it up.'... Academics who sought to do research on reverse discrimination against whites and/or men had more difficulty getting projects approved, often for explicitly political reasons. A typical reaction was this: 'The findings could set Affirmative Action back 20 years if it came out that women were asked to interview more often for managerial positions than men with a stronger vitae.'... A Jewish historian at a state college said that when he advocated political diversity for a panel on reparations, one colleague 'called me a racist while another called me a Nazi.'... A professor who accepted a job in the Bush administration found that colleagues 'I’ve known for years stopped speaking to me.'... A sociologist who had attended Catholic college was 'shocked' by the 'venom' that spewed forth from colleagues whenever he expressed a pro-life sentiment... A political scientist said his free-market ideals offended his colleagues, one of whom chastised him for possession of ideas 'so far outside the parameters of normal discourse that they were disruptive.' Belief in campus discrimination against conservatives is widespread: 81% of conservative professors say they feel it, and even 30% of liberal professors agree that conservatives face a hostile ideological workplace. Only 7% to 11% of faculty members in social sciences and humanities are Republicans, according to surveys. Yet of 536 federal elected officials in Washington, 301 are Republicans. This isn’t a fringe group. It’s America’s leading political party. 31 governors are Republicans against 18 Democrats. While virtually every college and university in America receives federal funding, and many are funded by their states, higher education is unabashedly hostile to conservative thought. Colleges are essentially ignoring the ideological preferences of roughly half of the citizens who so lavishly support them."

And on to fun stuff. Last night Movies!, channel 113 on Cablevision in NYC, ran Ship of Fools (1965), which features an impressive international cast. It was an hour before I realized who played the Captain -- it was Carlos, the dancer in that famous episodes of The Honeymooners, which ran ten years prior to the film. He was born Geza Korvin Karpathi, not in a Latin country but in what is now Slovakia. Professionally, he was known as Charles Korvin. Although he was blacklisted in 1951, he was not ruined. He amassed more than 100 credits and lived into his 90's... Barbara Luna, born in NYC, played a flamenco dancer/prostitute. Her blood has many flavors: Italian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese and Filipino. Now 77, she is still active, her latest film in post production. She has 106 credits under her name at IMDb, which doesn't count multiple appearances on popular prime time TV series. She will always have a place in the heart of Trekkies for her role in Mirror, Mirror, the fourth episode of season two. She was married only once, for two years, to TV star Doug McClure, the second of his five wives. I doubt she lacked suitors.

My thanks to the young woman who bought a book on memory enhancement, the only sale on this glorious day.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/16 - Old Pros

Serious films are rare these days. That should be rephrased. All artists are serious about their work, be it light entertainment or weighty trips into the meaning of life. Last night I watched one of the latter, Youth (2015), courtesy of Netflix. Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, an Italian from Naples, it is a meditation on life, chiefly from the point of view of two men on the cusp of 80, a composer/conductor played by Michael Caine, who is 83 in real life, and a director played by Harvey Keitel, 76, The characters have been friends all their adult lives. They are at an idyllic spa in the Alps, Caine's character retired, Keitel's refining a work in progress. The script is all over the place. Thoughts and feelings often seem contradictory. I assume it's intentional, as humans tend to be at least occasionally contradictory, especially when at their worst. There is no plot. The narrative delves into the lives of the artists and others visiting the spa. The cinematography is spectacular and the overall workings frequently arty. Dreams are a big part of the narrative. I found all of the characters interesting. Rachel Weisz plays Caine's daughter, just dumped for a younger woman by Keitel's son. Somehow she looks 10 years younger than the last time I saw one of her films. Maybe her husband, Daniel Craig, has her working out as hard as he apparently does. Paul Dano, who to me is a dead ringer for Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, plays an actor preparing to portray Hitler. Jane Fonda (how I hate to mention her) has a part perfect for her -- foul-mouthed actress/diva set to star in Keitel's film. There are several memorable scenes: a fat, former soccer great, based on Diego Maradona, kicking a tennis ball high into the air repeatedly, not allowing it to touch the ground until he finally runs out of gas; the screenwriting crew with their heads literally together, hashing out the script; Keitel having a vision of multiple actresses standing in a field, reciting dialogue, presumably from his works; Caine visiting his wife, who has been in a catatonic stupor, for the first time in ten years. The audience gets to hear two of his character's famous Simple Songs at the end, one in concert, the other during the closing credits. Although they are performed excellently, I cannot say I liked them. One listen is not enough for proper judgment. The film was not a box office success, which is not surprising, as it is not what the general public wants. Is it a success artistically? I think so. The commentary section at IMDb is almost equally split be admirers and detractors, masterpiece or pretentious. 34,000+ users have rated Youth, forging to a consensus of 7.4 of ten. That seems fair, although I suspect I'd appreciate the film even more upon further viewing. Sorrentino, whom I had not heard of before this morning, has been active, credited with 18 screenplays and 22 stints in the director's chair. In 2014 his La Grande Bellezza was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. I commend him for taking risks and opening himself to criticism. Youth runs about two hours. Its pace is leisurely. I suspect its appeal is limited to those who dwell on life's mystery, and those interested in the creative process and the life of artists. It's tone is not positive, despite the success the main figures have achieved. Although I pretty much share its view of life and the constant battle vs. futility, it also forces me to remind myself of those friends who have gotten existence right for the most part, the shining example and hope they provide. I respect them all the more.

My thanks to Ann, who bought Billionths of a Lifetime, which contains two screenplays. She has a friend in the business. I don't expect anything to come of it, but one must try. Thanks also to the other kind folks who bought books on this glorious day.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

 

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/15 - Monkeying Around


A chimp that escaped from a Japanese zoo led handlers on a two-hour chase. Here is fascinating footage of its capture: http://www.reuters.com/video/2016/04/15/north-korean-missile-fails-to-launch?videoId=368127057&videoChannel=117760&channelName=World+News

What if a socialist and someone who pretends she isn't a socialist have a debate? Add punchline here ______.

The Blacklist is a fast-paced hour of violent nonsense. Last night NBC alerted the audience that a "bombshell" was coming. I was surprised by who was eliminated, although I wouldn't be surprised if it were some sort of ruse. Anyway. Song accompaniment has become a staple in TV shows. For the most part I hate it, and the playlist the creators of The Blacklist come up with is often bizarre, intentionally so, I assume. Last night, after wild shootouts and car crashes, Having My Baby, performed by Odia Coates, not the song's writer, Paul Anka, was cued as the female lead was delivering, not in a hospital but in a warehouse unknown to those who wished to abduct her . I suppose there are those who enjoyed it. I thought it was as lame as could be.

Here's a list from uselessfacts.net. Replace any or all with the name or names of politicians:
Icelanders consume more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.
Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
Most toilets flush in E flat.
2,000 pounds of space dust and other debris fall on the Earth every day.
Approximately 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.
Each month there is at least one report of UFOs from each province of Canada.
You can be fined up to $1,000 for whistling on Sunday in Salt Lake City.
It takes about 142.18 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie pop.
The serial number of the first MAC ever produced was 2001.

My thanks to the four kind folks who bought books today.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/14 - Magical


"It's fun to catch a leprechaun -- but nobody can." Baby boomers will remember that phrase, used by the Lucky Charms animated spokesman. The man who voiced it, Arthur Anderson, has passed away at 93. Although that three-decade gig defines him, he did much more. He played opposite Orson Welles on radio, did some Broadway, and logged 31 credits in TV and films, including appearances on Car 54 Where Are You?, Law & Order, and bits in Woody Allen's Zelig (1983) and Midnight Cowboy (1969). "Magically delicious," sir. Here's the face behind the voice:


Except for the Russian jets that buzzed a U.S. Navy ship, coming within 30 feet, the news seemed old hat today. Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump are ending their rift, Hillary is still corrupt, and Mayor de Blasio continues to lower the bar for all politicians -- yawnnnnn!

By far the most interesting stories have come from pro sports. Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors, who broke the NBA record for regular season wins. They went an astonishing 73-9, a winning percentage of 89%. The only question remaining is whether they've expended too much energy attaining the mark, leaving them vulnerable in the playoffs... Kudos to Kobe Bryant, who in the final game of his Hall of Fame career with the Lakers scored 60 points... The NFL's Tennessee Titans did just what I would have had I been their GM. They traded the number one pick to the Rams and now have six of the first 76 picks in this year's draft -- and an extra first and third rounder in 2017. The Titans are set at QB with Marcus Mariota, who showed flashes of brilliance in a rookie season marred by injuries. The Rams have rolled the dice. According to the talent assessment experts, the top two at QB are Carson Wentz, who played at North Dakota St., a Division Two school, and Jared Goff of Cal. The Rams seem loaded at every position but QB, but it usually takes several seasons for a QB to develop. Time will tell which team was wise. Perhaps it will be a rare case where both were.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought and donated books. For the first time in a while no one complained about the cold. It was beautiful out there today.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5Vic's 4th novel: tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic's Short Story on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/k95k3nx
Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/kx3d3uf
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j