“Fun,” the semi-retired financial adviser said about “The Schiz.”
I was impressed.
Most people who were given or bought a copy have said nothing. Many, I expect, have not read it. Many, I bet, began but were put off by the structure or content.
So I welcome what I get.
Remember the fellow in the health club locker room I recognized by his accent as being from Philadelphia?
He sent me a two-page, single-spaced e-mail that called “Cheesesteak” “terrific.”
He knew Jim’s and Larry’s, The White House. He thought my description of Pat’s “superb” and of my bar mitzvah “hysterical.” He knew a dog like Ming, had a grandmother who died young, and his wife danced on Bandstand. He sold sodas at Franklin Field, went to fights at the Blue Horizon, had Mel Brodsky as a Camp Counselor — and had friends who came to unimaginable ends.
It had all resonated.
It had lit corners of his life.
I thought of the knots that life ties and unloosens and reknits.
[Bob’s books are available from this very web site.]
Sold a “Cheesesteak” to a lawyer-pal in the locker room of the health club — and have committed to buy his forthcoming book of poems. And had my first Facebook-related sale (“Best Ride”) so that venture has more than paid for itself, not counting the time it’s devoured.
Response-wise, the wife of the couple at the café who bought “Cheesesteak” four weeks ago stopped by my table to say she and her husband “both loved it.” They wished I had written more. “Sorry,” I said, “but that’s all my first 25 years gave me.” Then another café guy, a couple years younger than me, an engineer, I think, into computer stuff, told me it had taken him a while to get into it because our lives were so different, but then he thoroughly enjoyed it. (This was unusual. People are more apt to say how much we had in common despite our different backgrounds.) He is Berkeley born-and-bred, so I’m guessing his parents were academics — and back then Berkeley was a quiet Republican-voting town.
In other news, “Schiz”‘s cover is done — a knock-out — and all but off to the printer. Now I have to decide if I want 750 or 1000 copies. On the one hand, when I had a commercial publisher, my last two books didn’t break into four digits. On the other, the cost difference isn’t much, and 1000 is a cooler number.
A couple articles should be going up on-line soon.
Finally: “Cheesesteak”: Send $20 to Spruce Hill Press, POB 9492, Berkeley 94709