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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/9 - Present & Past

My eighth book will soon be on the market. I now have only three unpublished novels left. Here are the opening passages from the one I hope to self-publish next January:

   "Fred Canto?"
   "Right here," said a tall, dark-haired, well-groomed man, ris ing.
   He squeezed through the cramped space between the rows of seats, carefully lest he trample toes, inwardly amused at the irony, as the trampling of toes seemed what it was all about here
   "From the top."
   He climbed onto the small stage, script in hand. The sleeves of his flannel shirt were rolled up to his elbows, revealing forearms of a wiry muscular definition. He had no idea how to tackle the part. He thought the writing weak, colorless. He sens ed it was comedic, but wasn't sure. The actors who’d preceded him had shed no light on the subject, nor had any of those still awaiting a turn. He'd encountered many of them at previous audi tions. None seemed comfortable, although he suspected some might have been playing dumb in order to gain an edge.
   He doubted the play would ever escape the tiny theater. He was kept in place by a shred of uncertainty as to its worth. He would hate himself if it turned out he'd turned his back on a work destined to become a cult classic. Besides, he'd been told by his teachers that any audition was valuable. In ten years, how ever, he'd yet to grasp of what value they were. He was no more comfortable now than he’d been at his first open call, but he kept at it, determined to land a role, however insignificant, before he died.
   "Okay, we'll call you," said the director, scanning his notes.
   "Yeah," Freddie scoffed, louder than he would have liked.
   He paused, stunned at this rare loss of self control. He'd allowed his inner voice to betray his feelings. He was averse to showing emotion to people who weren't important to him.
   The director was staring at him. Freddie avoided eye contact. Several of the actors were covering their mouths, amused, pleased that a competitor had eliminated himself. How he hated them. He stifled the urge to protest. What good would it do? He'd given his best. If three minutes was all they would allow, why should he be upset? The hour he'd spent commuting, the two wait ing, would have been passed in bed. He'd rather be up, doing. He didn't want to sleep his life away. There wasn't time enough any more. What difference did it make if he didn't earn a living as an actor? He still had his classes, where he performed the work of masters, not hacks. Fame didn't matter. It often had nothing to do with excellence.
   Sour grapes, he told himself, hanging his head as he reached the exit.
   The day was mild for mid January. As he waded through the pedestrian traffic of midtown he imagined he was slaloming. His face was dark, despite the fact that it was midwinter. The reflection of the sun against the slopes kept it so. In summer he was almost black. His friends teased him about it. Women raved.
   The subway ride to Brooklyn was tedious, the train pausing be tween many stops. He passed time reading the advertisements, con centrating especially on those in Spanish, testing skills he'd acquired in college, which had become rusty. He also observed the passengers, especially the derelicts. He gave change to a blind panhandler who worked the train singing, microphone in hand, tiny amplifier strapped to his chest, hound in tow. His anger at having failed was not quelled by the good deed..

The Giants didn't lose because young men partied six days prior to a game. Would anyone be surprised if players from either team partied the night or two nights before?... I thought the Lions would make a better showing... The other two games went as expected... As for next weekend's match-ups: Patriots big over the Texans, Steelers over the Chiefs in KC, although I hope I'm wrong. Seahawks-Falcons, Packers-Cowboys look like toss-ups... As for tonight's college football championship game, the most interesting aspect will be whether Alabama's offense has been thrown out of kilter by the dismissal of OC Lane Kiffin, and the hiring of Steve Sarkisian, who has been with the team little more than a week. That was a curious move. Given Nick Saban's track record, it's tough to argue. If the Tide struggles to put up points and loses, the press know-it-alls will be merciless.

The opposition to the appointment of Jeff Sessions is pathetic, based on a 40-year-old joke, as outlined recently in a op-ed piece by Rich Lowry. The quip came in the course of an investigation into a Klan murder of a black man whose throat was slit and corpse hung from a tree. Barry Kowalski, a trial lawyer from the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department at the time, recalled explaining to Sessions how difficult it was to nail down what the Klansmen were doing one night because they had smoked marijuana and their memories were fuzzy. Sessions said, ironically, he used to support the Klan until he learned they smoked pot. His opponents, of course, understand irony. They are not stupid but blindly partisan. They are attacking Sessions the same way they went after Robert Bork, and the way they do Clarence Thomas. I hope this will rally even more people to Trump's side.

Again there wasn't enough sunshine to take the bite out of the cold, and the floating book shop remained sidelined. The forecast for tomorrow is encouraging. The three-day hiatus may end.
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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