The Writer's Life

My adventures promoting my books on the streets of Brooklyn, and my thoughts on books, film and current events.

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vic fortezza

vic fortezza

I've had more than 50 short stories published worldwide, and I have four books in print: novels Close to the Edge, Adjustments & Killing, and story collection A Hitch in Twilight.

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There will be an abbreviated session of the floating book shop today, then I'll be off to Jersey to celebrate the 14th birthday of my great niece/godchild Danielle. Meanwhile, here's a preview of the story I've been working on the past week. It's about 95% done. I used a few Italian terms. I'm not sure about the spelling of one, i sciarri, marital arguments. I'll have to ask my sister and oldest niece, Isabel, about it. I changed the title of the piece from Paradise Lost, already taken by John Milton, to Bad Form, mala figura, to use the Italian phrase: Clarissa and Vinnie exited the theater holding hands. Vinnie’s eyes brightened as he took in the beauty of the summer night, the bustle of the Brooklyn street. “That was the worst,” said Clarissa, miffed. He chuckled. Her face tightened. “How can you laugh? It’s not like movies are cheap anymore.”...
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There were two particularly interesting op-ed pieces in today's NY Post. George Marlin focused on the pay of legislators. In Texas it's $7200; in Connecticut $28,000; New Jersey $49,000; New York $79,000 - and they want a raise! And this doesn't even count their perks. An elite class of the corrupt and entitled has been created. Too bad their pay scale wasn't up to the citizens. I'd vote that they receive the national average, which might have many rushing for the exits. Then again, they could always make up the difference in bribes. What a racket! George Will addressed the dangers of football, a game he dubs a mistake. The average life expectancy for those who play five years in the NFL is less than 60, even lower for offensive linemen, many of whom are in excess of 300 pounds these days. I was an assistant coach at the high school...
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There's a maniac on the loose in our section of Brooklyn. On June 6th a shop keeper was murdered at 7718 5th Av. in Bay Ridge. The creep used a .22 caliber handgun. This past week another at 1877 86th Street met the same fate. Neither victim was robbed. Police are wondering if the similarity in the building numbers is purely coincidental. Today I saw a young man, walking with a friend, who fit the description, sunglasses at the crown of his head. He was looking back and mimicking shooting at someone in the distance, his hand made into a gun. He seemed only stupid. Witnesses described the suspect as disturbed. Here's a sketch of him and a picture of his latest victim: Bad News Billy visited the floating book shop today, sporting a welt on his arm. He recently was attacked by a co-worker at a minor, private construction job....
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Carla Neggers has been writing since she was eleven. She has had great success, publishing 60 novels in the romantic mystery genre. Her work has been translated into 24 languages. I just finished Kiss the Moon (1999). Set in rural Vermont, she describes the area convincingly. The characters are believable and interesting. The mystery worked, although the climax did not ring quite true. It's not easy to create something that is plausible and exciting. As for the romance, it's just not my cup of tea. Of course, I understand this is what her fans expect of her. I simply prefer a cut to the chase. The writing is solid. On a scale of five, two-and-a-half. Tami Hoag's A Thin Dark Line remains the best mystery I've sampled. It transcends the genre. Joy Fielding and Daniel Silva are the smoothest writers. I've restricted myself to one book per mystery writer, so I...
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This week I watched a television production of Dr. Zhivago (2002), courtesy of Netflix. It was in two parts, each less than two hours. Based on the novel by Boris Pasternack, one can't help but compare it to David Lean's 1965 film, which won five Oscars. The first is more cinematic, of course, the second more intimate. Which Lara was better, Julie Christie or Kiera Knightley? Christie was so beautiful, her blue eyes so devastating, that she was irresistible. Knightley, in one of her early roles here, displayed the talent that has made her one of the world's best actresses - toss up. And the villain - Rod Steiger vs. Sam Neill? The former was volatile, the latter chose a more reserved sense of menace - toss up. As for the hero.... I was never a fan of Omar Sharif. Hans Matheson, 27 at the time of release, was excellent. Of...
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