WHY I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO OSCAR DYSTEL

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Learned in his obit today that he was one of the pioneers of the paperback industry. Some prices from Amazon.com

The Hobbit : Hardcover $13.59  Paperback $6.28  Text: Exactly the same  Coffee spill: Pretty much the same result. Well, maybe a little worse with the paperback, but if you buy another, you’re still ahead, and I’m sure you will have learned your lesson about drinking coffee and reading by then.

WRITE WHAT YOU WRITE

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In the endless pursuit of publication I’ve come across a few sites that are only accepting works that fit their theme or style of the month, like stories that take place in a hatbox, or characters who speak in Haikus. Ok, those are made up, but I actually came upon one that only wanted stories written in annotated triptychs. No, really! So here’s what I think. If you already happen to have a story in that form, that is called writing. If you intentionally write one in that style, because the site might consider it, that is called an exercise. Although if you are an artist and someone pays you to paint their portrait, that is called a commission. And if anyone wants to commission me to write a story in annotated triptych form, I’m sure I can do it.

QUERIES ARE LIKE AUDITIONS: PART WHO’S COUNTING ANYMORE?

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‘Scrambled Feet,’ a review about life in the theatre that played the Village Gate for two years, had a couple of my favorite lines ever.

“I’d like to audition for the Public Theatre.”

“I’m sorry. We only work with people we’ve worked with before.”

Raise your hand if you’re old enough to remember the Village Gate. Oh, come on you guys. It was open until 1993. Image

 

NEVER SAY ‘I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER’

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Except, in my case that was almost true, if you count ‘since 22’ as ‘always.’ I had this great revelation about it this weekend. I never post on weekends or holidays…no, that’s not the great revelation. Even you have already noticed that. But three days without posting mean 72 hours to have an actual revelation, so here it is. When I was in my early 20s my then significant other (should there be a comma in there somewhere? I have no idea) was studying at City University with some very significant writers. Then he became a very significant writer. All this made me extremely self conscious about writing anything more literary than a letter to the editor. Two years ago I threw caution to the wind, and when it didn’t immediately blow back into my face, started writing. And there you have it.

On the rare chance that you might assume that this is a photo of my ex, it’s not. It’s Jerzy Kosinski, one of the significant authors who taught him.Image

QUERIES ARE LIKE AUDITIONS: PART WHATEVER

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Yesterday’s link reminded me of the various ways I was treated at auditions in my powerless actor days, and the reason I try to treat auditionees nicely, even when they come in unprepared, or they’re not even a little bit like what we asked for in the notice, or they walk in pushing a luggage cart with a large pumpkin on it. Yes! That actually happened!

TODAY’S NAME DROP

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I once had dinner with a famous TV anchor. He didn’t say anything of any significance to me, which wasn’t surprising, since there were 50 other people there, and also it was Wolf Blitzer.