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Friday, March 10, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/10 - Obligations

Here's a snippet of a quote about the GOP's Health Care bill. It appeared in today's Fast Takes column in the NY Post. It's from an article in the National Review by Ian Tuttle: "... Afraid of a strident reform that upsets anyone. They've put forward a timid reform that upsets everyone." Nailed it, sir. Kudos. The chief flaw, according to conservative pundits, is that the government and insurers, not consumers, still have the most power. If costs continue to rise and insurance companies go bankrupt - guess who will pick up the tab? Taxpayers. I hope the pundits are wrong and those who created the bill are right but. when politicians and businessmen collude, bad things usual happen.

It's been 17 years since legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight was fired. Here's how he feels about it today: "...As far as the hierarchy at Indiana University at that time, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for those people. And with that in mind, I have no interest in ever going back to that university... I hope they’re all dead.” He is one of a kind. (From Yahoo Sports)

I've completed the first proofing of the novel I plan to publish in January, Present and Past. The last three days I worked on the logistics of the last 40 pages or so. According to the Word file, it's 185 pages, 94,010 words. Something's fishy. The file of my latest novel, Five Cents, is also 185 pages but only 65,640 words. I just stored P&P in Google Docs, and it's 224 pages there. Just for the hell of it, I converted it to PDF, which I will have to do down the line anyway, and it came out 185 pages. Weird. Another funky aspect of the file is that certain sentences aren't going to the edge of the margin, no matter what I do to correct it. I hope PDF will correct that. I'll let manuscript rest until October, and then do as many proofings as it will need. I added a few things from my past to the narrative, the two most notable being a term my mom used, Dovere, which translates in English to "obligation, something a good person must do," and this passage: What a summer that was: sleeping in Yellowstone and Yosemite Park, hiking down the Grand Canyon, spending the night in a barracks at Fort Ord, where a friend was stationed; San Francisco, Hollywood, Beverly Hills. And the people he met! He lost all sense of time. He missed baseball's all-star game for the first time since he became interested in the sport - and it made no difference at all, as it seemed insignificant compared to his own accomplishment. And although he was never able to vanquish his fear of isolation or his suspicion of strangers or the anger aroused by hours of waiting for a ride, and although he did not attain the inner peace he'd expected such freedom to engender, he was proud and elated when he returned to Kalamazoo. One memory stood out above all the others. He was picked up by sisters on their way to camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The elder was a student at Florida State. They seemed relieved to have a male presence among them. The three made their way down the winding path, careful not to step in the donkey-do that littered it, and settled down for the night under a tree. The girls started a fire that a ranger put out minutes later. The canned ravioli was only lukewarm. He slipped into a sleeping bag the girls loaned him. In the darkness he had not noticed that he’d placed it over a root. He was reluctant to get up and move for fear the girls would think he was up to no good. As he was gazing up at the stars, moans of ecstasy sounded in the night. A couple nearby was going at it. The elder of his companions bolted upright, alarmed. Moonlight struck the side of her face. He would never forget it.  

The return of winter put the kibosh on the floating book shop but afforded a perfect opportunity to get the annual car inspection done. After the new battery was installed and the oil changed, the bill came to $258. Ouch, but at least that headache is out of the way. Next chore is an eye exam on Wednesday, then license renewal on the next foul weather day after that. I'll have to get to the dentist soon too, and my annual physical will be in May. Although I wasn't outside selling books, there was progress on the literary front. I got a Facebook message from a family friend, Robbin, who purchased Killing, the first of the collection of my works she plans to amass. I thanked her and later alerted her to the glossary of Brooklyn Sicilian at the back of the book... My new microwave arrived, which gave me something else to do today while stuck indoors. The instructions were inside the machine - and it took me a while to figure out how to open the door. Why wasn't a simple "Press Here" put on the tab? The oven was bigger than I'd hoped, so I had to rearrange things. There are so many warnings in the manual that I thought it best to isolate the thing as best as possible in my studio apartment.  
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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