Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bill Safire, R.I.P.

The New York Times Magazine is the last section of the Sunday paper I read, and then weeks pass before I get to this mostly innocuous magazine. But when I open the pages, the first piece I stop at is Bill Safire’s “On Language” column. I’m a word nerd, keep a list of new words to learn, read Quinion's World Wide Words RSS feed, and so on.

When I heard of Safire’s death, Sept. 28 of pancreatic cancer I felt the loss of a kinsman.

The Times obit mentions Safire’s “rules for writers,” which I love. “Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid clich├ęs like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!” I even forgive him, when he was Nixon’s speechwriter, for coining Agnew’s phrase about “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

He was the kind of guy I’d want to have a beer with. He reportedly needed a shoeshine, hair could’ve used a trim, clothes were rumpled. “He was tall but bent—a man walking into the wind. He slouched and banged a keyboard, talked as fast any newyawka and looked a bit gloomy, like a man with a toothache.”

Yep, I know that kind of guy, and I recall banging out copy on a Remington when I was a cub reporter in the Chicago ‘burbs.

I’ll keep his last column when I find it in the pile on the coffee table. Now, the editors report he will be “on hiatus for a while.”

No comments: