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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/23 - Creativity

RIP Ralph Branca, 90, the man who in 1951 threw the pitch that became the "Shot Heard Round the World," the greatest moment in the wonderful history of Major League Baseball. Bobby Thomson drilled that fastball into the lower leftfield deck of the Polo Grounds, resurrecting the NY Giants from the dead and breaking the hearts of the Brooklyn Dodgers and their fans in what was a bitter rivalry. Branca later learned the Giants had stolen the signs to the two pitches he threw Thomson. That rumor was confirmed in The Wall Street Journal in 2001 when Giant Sal Yvars admitted he relayed them to Thomson. In 12 seasons Branca was 88-68 for the Dodgers, Tigers and Yankees, His ERA was 3.79. He eventually became friends with Thomson and they made joint television and trade show appearances. Branca was a pallbearer at Jackie Robinson's funeral. Although his mom was Jewish, he is a member of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame. His memoir, published in 2011, is A Moment in Time. In an odd bit of trivia, he won 17 consecutive games as a contestant on the game show Concentration and appeared on its Challenge of Champions in 1963. Well done, goombah. I always get chills watching a clip of that incredible moment. Here's a link to it: (Facts from Wiki)

Human beings are so creative. Of course, this applies also to those who work the dark side. Case in point, from the Weird But True column in the NY Post, in my own words: Drug dealers in New Zealand are sending packages of crystal meth for pickup to mailboxes at empty vacation homes. Police have caught on, so the pushers will have to find another diabolical tactic, which no doubt they will.

I ran a search on creativity and found an article at Six Unusual Habits Of Exceptionally Creative People by Travis Bradberry. I'm eliminating his commentary and including how the half dozen pertain to my life:
1. Wake Up Early - I rarely sleep past 5:30 AM. Now that my focus is almost exclusively my literary efforts, I look forward to each day with gusto.
2. Exercise Frequently - I do, but it is light exercise: a half hour walk each morning, one set for each arm on a dumbbell, back and hip strengthening exercises, stretching.
3. Stick to a Strict Schedule - Mine is absurdly strict. One could set a watch by my actions.
4. Keep Your Day Job - I'm grateful for the almost 25 years I was employed at the Commodity Exchange. The pay was okay, the benefits excellent, and I was out the door most days just after three PM, which allowed me ample time to write.
5. Learn to Work Anywhere, Anytime - Just about all my writing has been done at home, but I brought my work with me to a job as a summer camp counselor in 1977. And, in the early stages, ideas would flood into my brain 24/7, wherever I might be. That still happens, especially on my morning walk, but only occasionally. I've almost run out of things to say.
6. Learn That Creative Blocks Are Just Procrastination - I've never felt blocked, only that I needed a few days off. However, I'd be surprised if I publish more than eleven books (the eighth will be out in January, if all goes well). I don't ever want to feel as if I have to write. Then again, I blog almost daily, although sometimes it's really hard to come up with something interesting to say.

Here's a case of the creativity of surgeons. These twins, Anias and Jadon McDonald, were conjoined at birth and separated by doctors at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. They face more operations but are doing fine. The pic below ran in today's Post:

The wind finally abated at my usual book nook, but no one was interested enough to buy any of my wares today. My thanks to Herbie, who donated one of those thin books James Patterson has been selling. As many folks said to me this afternoon, Happy Thanksgiving.
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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