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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Writer's Life 6/1 - Odyssey

Barring the unforeseen, an accident or illness that shuffles me off this mortal coil, I plan to eventually have eleven books available, nine novels, two story collections. The last will be American Ulysses, influenced by James Joyce's work, of which I understood ten percent at most. Maybe I should subtitle mine Ulysses for Dummies. It is tentatively scheduled for January 2019. Here's an excerpt. It's as the main character, essentially me, has arrived home from work. For those unfamiliar with the original novel, it is stream of conscious -- what pops into a person's head during an ordinary day:

"It-tica, It-tica," he whispered to himself. Professor Smith’s trip to Greece, guide pointin’ out Ulysses' home land. Odyssey for all of us, isn’t it? Roam around all our lives tryin’ to find home, what it’s all about. And where is it? Woman’s arms? Between her legs? House on a quiet suburban street? Pages of a book? Only glimpses. Keep lookin’, never satisfied. Always fallin’ back into our own isolation. Would Penny chase that feelin’ or would we only help each other bear it? "Find your bliss," Joseph Campbell says. Smith must've retired by now. May be dead. Not even a professor. Secretary called him that for some reason. Brownie points? Didn’t correct her, either. Too tactful or too arrogant? Still holdin’ a grudge? Wonder if he’d give the novels a C+ too. Maybe that's all they are.
His knees buckled.
Freshman year. White socks all the time. Ma must’ve bought twenty pairs. And those shirts. What could’ve possessed someone so conservative to buy such flashy clothes? Probably looked at it as a celebration. First in the family to go to college. Had to dress up for it. Moccasins that day the snow was eight inches deep. Look on Mr. Mann’s face. Dios mio, es loco. Just a kid puttin’ himself through a silly test, pretendin’ to be an Indian. Everybody said you looked like one. Didn’t realize how dumb it was ‘til he stared. Other kids called him Barry. How d’you call your teacher by his first name? Poor guy drummed out too. Why? Just as good as anybody else in the department. ‘cause he was a fruit? Looked it, anyway. What’s the difference if he kept it to himself? Pat didn’t mind the moccasins. Slipped on that step. There to catch her, Johnny on the spot. Held hands for a second, longer than it seemed we should’ve. Thrilling. She sendin’ a message? Positive you were deludin’ yourself. Girl like that couldn’t possibly be interested in a guy like you. Christ, haven’t gained an inch of self esteem in twenty years. Married that basketball player. Can’t kick ’bout that. Good kid. High school sweethearts tryin’ to date others. Didn’t work. Still together? Still happy? Hope so. That redhead with big knockers with her. One Nate married? Pam? Think so. Not sure. Should’ve gone to his exhibit. Too jealous. Michigan photographer makes good in the Big Apple. Home boy writer still strugglin’.

My thanks to the woman who purchased the thriller in Russian, or spasibo, I should say. The floating book shop is seeing a lull. But the weather is beautiful.
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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