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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Writer's Life 4/11 - Flights of Fancy

The story of the day seems to be the United airlines fiasco. Although I've made umpteen pickups of relatives at airports, I haven't been on a plane since pre-9/11. Given the hassle of security, I hope I never again have to fly. I don't know anything about what goes on except for the occasional complaint of someone who has just landed, and a glance at negative story headlines, so I won't comment on whether the company's bumping of that man from a flight was unjust or not. On his radio talk show this morning, Mark Simone played audio of the incident. I do know one thing - I'm glad that guy's not my doctor.

From Yahoo Sports, edited by yours truly: Last night the Detroit Red Wings played their final game at Joe Louis Arena, where they won four Stanley Cups. Many of the greats from those teams attended. Their enforcer, Bob Probert, who succumbed to a heart attack at 45 in 2010, was there in spirit. He played 474 games with the Wings over nine years, but the number fans remember most is 2090 – the penalty minutes he earned when he was the NHL’s uncrowned heavyweight fighting champion. On Sunday his widow brought him back one last time. Dani Probert, wearing a locket with her late husband’s ashes inside it, decided on the spur of the moment to spread his ashes inside the penalty box. Here's the best picture I could find of it:

I've put aside the file of the novel I plan to self-publish in January, but I keep a list of thoughts that might fit the narrative. The title is Present and Past, and throughout it the characters reminisce. One is particularly enamored of his experiences. This line occurred to me recently, spoken by his friend: "How d'you even know you're rememberin' this stuff right after so long?" My first reply was: "They may not be exact, but the essence is right on." I wasn't satisfied with it, but let it be. This morning another occurred to me, which I will incorporate with the first, most likely preceding it: "True. When I'm watching a movie I think I have completely down pat, I'm always surprised it isn't exactly how I remember it." That's happened to me countless times. Yesterday I came across an interesting quote on the subject by Jessamyn West: "The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future." Note that she uses "almost." Although humans are frequently given to delusion, I believe we nail the essence of what has been. I recall how deluded I was about my athletic ability, believing I would be able to play college football. I now occasionally wonder if I'm as deluded about my literary aspirations as I was about my athleticism. I don't believe I'm deluded regarding my memories. The mind is wondrous, full of twists and turns, ins and outs, ups and downs. Wiki lists 21 books, all fiction, under West's name. Her most famous is The Friendly Persuasion, the story of a Quaker family, published in 1945, adapted to the screen in 1956, starring Gary Cooper, directed by William Wyler, nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. It was originally released without a screenplay credit, as the writer, Michael Wilson, was blacklisted. In another fun bit of trivia, West was a second cousin of Richard Nixon. A Quaker herself, she died in 1984 at 81.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought wares today, especially the elderly Russian gentleman who purchased eight DVD's and the woman who took the Oprah pictorial I've been displaying prominently for a month. Special thanks to my Tuesday benefactress, who donated another marketable cache of fiction and non.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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