A very brief summary of what I’ve been up to in three parts
Bridge Across the Ocean has gained its sea legs. If it were a paper boat – which you kinda could say it is – I, the author, have set it upon the waters and given it that little push to get it underway on its journey. I’m warmed by the response from readers, and from MassBike where it is alive for New England cyclists. Please visit these two sites to catch up on All The News. I was delighted to receive this review:
“Just finished Jack’s book. I didn’t know what to expect but found it almost addictive!! A lot to keep track of for this old lady but he kept things moving along and always moving forward. [Thanks to him and congratulatations] for a book well conceived and written.”
Mark Twain is mentioned in the MassBike blog. If you’re interested in reading his piece, it’s here. You might also notice the woodcut there; our graphic designer Melanie gave it her magic touch to re-render young Sam Clemons riding the penny-farthing bike whilst reading a book. (Could it be one of his own?)
NaNoWriMo 2021. I’m disappointed to announce I was unable to participate in NaNoWriMo this November. For me it was WriMo?NoWayMo, as a developmental editing job landed unexpectedly on my desk. I couldn’t have been more primed to begin work on my new novel, which has the working title Amber and Nick Save the World. I’ve been working on it for four or five months in the spare corners, edges and moments of my thoughts, tracking them in the Notes app on my iPhone. A few matters needed to coalesce, and that was why I was here at my writing bungalow in Florida when this high-priority editing job shoved my story its of the way. It’s the end of the month and I’m stll at it; this has been a real heavy-lifting edit, replete with intra-chapter reorgs, rewriting, writing new material – the works. Ahh, the filthy lucre. But this is what I do, what I’ve done again and again, all my career: making a manuscript into a better book. Meanwhile, my novel percolates . . .
Philip Wylie. I often wish there was an IMDB for books. Fortunately for present purposes, Philip Wylie the novelist and screenwriter is a presence on IMDB (and also Goodreads and Wikipedia, which are useful – don’t get me wrong).
Wylie was born in Beverly, Massachusetts (about a dozen miles from my home) in 1902 (a long time before I was born) and was quite prolific across several genres of both fiction and nonfiction (from here I will demur in drawing similarities). As I studied the related sites and their content, I was struck by just how many things Wylie was interested in, and hence wrote about. He also crafted comic books and produced radio dramas and movies, such an hour-long radio drama, “Tomorrow,” for Orson Welles, predicated on the USSR attacking the US, and co-wrote the script for great sci-fi flick, When Worlds Collide, which happens to reside in my personal DVD collection, although I had not known it came from Wylie’s pen.
But no, it was not Wylie’s fiction which first interested me. It was his 1942 work of nonfiction, a tirade against humanity in general and Americans in specific enitled Generation of Vipers. It took me a while to get around to reading it, for reasons unclear except to say perhaps I wasn’t ready for it until now. I have one more chapter to read, and then this book, which has had a surprisingly profound impact on me, will become the subject of next week’s Saturday Book Review.