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. ###

Cleveland , the novel synopsis…

One of my followers made a good point. ” I like the cover but I am not sure what the book is about.” She is absolutely right. I am new at this so hang in there with me.

I think it only fair that I share the synopsis of my novel. This should provide all my followers a better idea of which book cover is better….Here goes:

The novel is about a young man, Sam Cohen, who moves to New York City in the 1980’s to pursue his dream of becoming a professional photographer. His immediate plan is to distance himself from Cleveland, Ohio and all the emotional baggage of a father who survived the Holocaust and a mother who tried to fill in the gaps.  

Sam arrives in New York City and lands a job working for a celebrity photographer (Izzy), who is fighting her own demons. During his tenure with Izzy he meets famous artists, writers and actors who inadvertently conjure up visions and flashbacks of magical realism in venues such as in an elevator with Merce Cunningham and John Cage, Alice Walker’s remote cabin, the posh lobby of LA’s Chateau Mormont, and a desert shoot with David Hockney who challenges his understanding of photography as art. While struggling with the internal conflict of leaving his father to “mind the store,” he nonetheless pursues his chosen path with tenacity and some lucky breaks.

In the course of Sam’s work with Izzy he experiences life in the fast lane of the New York City 80’s art scene, with all its dirt and glamor, and navigates the daily crises of Izzy’s world. Along the way, he encounters a number of notable Jewish writers, Elie Wiesel and Isaac Bashevis Singer, who haunt his identity and sense of direction. When an opportunity arises to spend time with his father in Washington, D.C., at the first American Gathering of the Jewish Holocaust Survivors, he discovers the truth and the humanity of his father’s past and begins to understand his place and purpose. His relationship with his father leads him to resolve a lifelong inner conflict and to make a choice he thought he would never have to make.

I hope this helps if you know of any literary agents send them my way

The White Rastafarian

Book Cover? What do you think?

Now that my novel is complete and I am just waiting for the final editing, I thought I would create a cover. It actually came by accident, or was it ? I have been archiving my photography and came across some 35 mm black and white negatives that I had taken in the 1980s in. NYC. I had never printed them and only had a contact sheet.

This was the image I found taken sometime in the 1980s.

I was blown away when I saw this image. It is a street in SoHo in Manhattan called Cleveland Place. Although my novel is call Cleveland, most of the story takes place in Manhattan in the 1980’s. It is stuff like this that makes me think sometimes the script is already written. Any way, it was the perfect image and tells the story of when and where my novel takes place. The One Way sign; the telephone booth and the lamp post symbols depicting Sam’s life in. the. Big Apple.

But, what do you think? I mean I am too close to the story to be totally objective and I suppose you think, you should read the book first…Ok, Ok I will give you. that but just on a visceral level, knowing what you know : What Do You Think? Let me know…

Thanks for subscribing and share it with the world….Here is the cover I came up with :

Let me know what you think of this cover…