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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Writer's Life 6/21 - Friends & Wisdom

I'm really enjoying Houdini & Doyle, which airs at nine PM Mondays on Fox. Last night's episode featured Bram Stoker, threatened by readers who believed his fiction promoted satanism. Doyle and Stoker were actually friends in real life. Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) was a classmate of Doyle's at the University of Edinburgh. JM Barrie (Peter Pan) was a teammate on a cricket team. I wonder if those two will appear in future episodes. Doyle was an early motorist and even entered a competition, partnering with his second wife, that pitted British cars against German cars. He was also an avid skier. He died at 71 in 1930, collapsing in his garden, clutching his heart with one hand and holding a flower in the other. His last words were to his wife: “You are wonderful.” Following his death, a seance was conducted at the Royal Albert Hall. Thousands attended, including his wife and children. A row of chairs were arranged on the stage for the family, with one left empty for Sir Arthur. Even though he did not appear, many in the audience claimed they felt his presence among them. This coincides with the portrait of him on the show, where he is open to the supernatural, while Houdini is a skeptic. Bram Stoker died in 1912 at 64 after a series of strokes which some attributed to tertiary syphilis, which was mentioned in the episode. (Facts gleaned from Wiki and an article by Rachel Ward {not the Aussie actress} posted at Here's a pic of Sherlock Holmes' inventor:

Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana, is now president of Purdue University. Here are highlights, which George Will detailed in a recent op-ed piece, of the address he gave at the school's graduation ceremony honoring the class of 2016: “As employers have come to learn, many diplomas tell little or nothing about the holder’s readiness for work or for life.”...  “I hope you will tune out anyone who, from this day on, tries to tell you that your achievements are not your own. I’m not saying that luck never plays a part; of course it can.” But unless it is tragically bad luck, “it almost never decides a life’s outcome.” Although you cannot eliminate luck from life’s equation, “you can tilt the odds in your favor” with common-sense behavior — making healthy choices, getting and staying married and, especially, working hard. Daniels quoted Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” And movie pioneer Samuel Goldwyn: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” And Frederick Douglass: “We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is work.” Daniels said that “even more absurd” than the idea that life is a lottery is the idea that “most of us are victims of some kind, and therefore in desperate need of others to protect us against a world of predators and against our own gullibility.” Will concluded the piece by lamenting that Daniels isn't running for president.

It looked like a day of zero return for the floating book shop until the last 15 minutes of operation. My thanks to the young man who bought the four works of non-fiction in Russian, and to Matt, who purchased Killing, which he plans to begin reading tomorrow on the bus to Philly, where he has several business interests. My thanks also to Herbie, who donated a Danielle Steel romance in hardcover.
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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