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Monday, January 2, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/2 - Mae, NFL, Elvis

Nothing struck my fancy in today's news, so I ran a search for interesting items. I found the following in a Top Ten at
By the time Mae West starred in her first movie in 1932, she was already a prolific playwright and stage actress. She used the pen name Jane Mast. In 1927 she wrote and performed a play titled Sex, and was arrested on obscenity charges, fined $500 and sentenced to 10 days in jail. The next year she wrote The Drag and was again arrested.When she transitioned to the silver screen, many conservative groups protested. They claimed her “filth” was not suitable for the movie business. Several newspapers refused to advertise her movies. There's a collection available at Amazon: Three Plays: Sex / The Drag / The Pleasure Man by Mae West, Hardcover $70, Paperback $36, Kindle $26. She also novelized Pleasure Man, wrote The Constant Sinner, and is credited with another, Peel Me a Grape, which lists Joseph Weintraub as "Editor." She also wrote: Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It: The Autobiography of Mae West. The hardcover lists at $115, the paperback $75. I'm not surprised by the bio, but who knew she wrote plays and novels? Here are two of her most famous quotes: "When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better." "Is that a gun [or pistol] in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" (from She Done Him Wrong {1933}) She was half a century ahead of her times.

The NFL playoffs are set. I don't see anyone blocking New England's path to the Super Bowl in the AFC. In the NFC, Dallas is the favorite but Green Bay is red hot. The Packers will host their recent playoff nemesis, the Giants, who have beaten them twice at Lambeau Field in their marches to their last two championships. Is Big Blue destined for another improbable run? It would be even more surprising that the previous two.

I was adding songs to my Windows Media Player today and clicked on Elvis Presley's G.I. Blues, which came up this past weekend on one of the CD's I keep in the car. I listened to it fairly closely and noticed this clever rhyme: "We'd like to be heroes,/ but all we do here is march/ And they don't give the Purple Heart/ for a fallen arch..." It was written by Brooklyn boys Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, who published 300 compositions as a team, 42 for Elvis. Their most famous overall is Red Roses for a Blue Lady. G. I. Blues is one of the King's neglected tracks. My buddy Bags downloaded it and emailed it to me. He also passed along two other tracks that rarely receive airplay, She's Not You and My Baby Left Me. Any fan not familiar with them should give them a listen. They are beauties.

I'd hoped my new novel, Five Cents, would be available today. Alas, I'm finding errors in the second proof copy, five in the first 81 pages. Curiously, three are omissions, missing words; be, a, his. The other two involve the letter s. One needs to be added, the other dropped. So it looks like publication will be pushed back two weeks.

The floating book shop was rained out today and probably will be tomorrow too.
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