Hold the Presses!!! An Excerpt

Confession: I had to place this blog on hold until I hear back from my editor. He is completing his novel and we seem to be having a bit of conflict. I believe it might be pressure relating to his completing his novel. I am hoping to get the final draft of my novel by year’s end.

I did want to thank you all for hanging in there and continued support. Once I get the final draft I will be more consistent with my posts. I did want to thank you with a holiday card and another excerpt from the novel. I want to wish all of you a healthy and productive holiday season and New Year.

I do appreciate your comments and feedback. Share the love.

We mean it !!!

Excerpt from the new Novel ” Cleveland” by SH Begleiter

The Roommate ©SHBegleiter2020

A week passed and I almost forgot that my sister was moving out. I was on the Upper

East Side knocking down old walls with a sledgehammer when Derek came up to me and

announced, “Well, I think it is all set. I just got off the phone with your sister and she said

you will have your new roommate by the beginning of September.”

“What?” I said irritably. “Don’t I get to meet him first to see if I want him as my

roommate?”

Derek put his hands up defensively.

“Rachel only told me that she had a friend who had a brother that was about your

age and was looking to find a place in Manhattan. I am sure he is fine. Your sister

wouldn’t set you up with a bad roommate.”

“So I have no say?”

I looked at Derek waiting for some response. He smiled.

“I guess not. It will be fine. I am sure he’s OK. According to your sister he is

studying psychology and comes from a good family from Long Island. Plus he is your

age.”

“What’s his name?” I asked.

“Howweeee,” Derek said with his best Long Island accent.

“Howie” turned out to be a guy from Rosemont, Long Island, an affluent Jewish

community. Out in public he fashioned himself the young Freud, with thick black beard,

and he was always wearing a tie and a vest with a pocket watch. In the apartment he

transmogrified into a Hassid, stripped down to his white Fruit of the Loom T-shirt

(stained under the arm pits), ankle-high sweat pants, and white socks.

For the newcomer, surviving New York is all about making rent. Even though

Derek employed me part-time, I needed another job. Going through the Village Voice I

came upon an ad that read, “Sell over the phone. No experience needed. Good pay.” I

called the number, I showed up for a job interview, and I was hired. I was now a sweettalking,

sell-anything, clock-watching telephone solicitor. I was also getting very

depressed. This was not why I came to New York.

My lifeline to the world had always been my camera. I was Cartier-Bresson,

Irving Penn, Richard Avedon. Yet I was working as a telephone solicitor selling

subscriptions to Reader’s Digest to old women in Kansas. It paid the rent but it was

excruciating. For hour after hour, day after day, I watched the second hand of the clock

slowly moving towards my liberation. Worse, I was good at the job! I almost always met

my quota early.

I lasted about three weeks before I was fired for using the phones to call my

friends around the country.

Walking up Broadway to my apartment I pondered what to do next. I needed a job

to pay my rent. I wanted to get paid taking photos. I had a college degree and college

debt.

When I got home I found a message on my answering machine. It was my friend

Mark, who was free that night and wanted to get together with me. He said he had a

proposition. ###

Another Excerpt from my novel Cleveland

I suppose the true sign of a good novel is the opening sentance. So, in this post I am putting it all out there and printing an excerpt of “opening” . Since it is the first few pages there is no need for an intro.

For all my Cleveland friends living in Cleveland, please don’t be offended by my desire to get out of Cleveland as a young man. As we all know growing up in Cleveland had some great and scary moments. In my novel, Sam Cohen goes back to Cleveland, flashbacks, a novel device give context to the story.

A metaphor for the transitional time in life might be ” we are like seeds from the milkweed flower. At some point the wind carries the seeds in all directions to grow.” Our protagonist got swept all the way to NYC, the beast.

©Felix the Cat

I wanted out of Cleveland and so after college I had moved to Toronto, hoping to land a

job as a news photographer, only to be told by the Toronto Star that I needed to live six

months in Canada before I could be hired. I probably should have known this. I had a

friend in Boston who said I could crash on his couch until I found work and so I jumped

in my Toyota Corolla and drove back to the US, heading southeast on Route 403,

hugging Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls, and then connecting to Interstates 190 and 90. I

had $500 in my pocket.

To this day I cannot sit for long periods in a car and not conjure up unpleasant

memories from my Cleveland childhood, such as Sundays after temple school when my

family, minus my father who was always working, would jump into the powder blue

Oldsmobile and “go for a ride.” My mom would pick us up at the temple with the car

radio tuned to the “Melody Hour.” We’d go out to lunch to Corky and Lenny’s Jewish

Deli. Afterwards, my mom would drive us around the wealthy neighborhoods of Shaker

Heights to look at the mansions. My sister Rachel would complain about our modest

home and demand we move into a bigger one. Eventually the complaining would get so

bad my mom would stop the car in the middle of the road and explode in anger. “Just

shut up!” she’d yell. “We live in a fine home and in a good neighborhood. Count your

blessings!” We’d all sink back into our seats and remain silent for the rest of the car ride.

Every goddamn Sunday!

excerpt from the Novel ©Clevend by S.H. Begleiter

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