Change in the Weather, Change in the Title…

New cover, What do you think?

As you can see it has been almost a year since I announced the completion of my fictional memoir ” Leaving Cleveland.” What am I up to? Well, as one literary agent expressed ” You are a good writer and this is a good story and we would be interested in representing you BUT……you are not famous, yet.” He was absolutely right. Not to be deterred, I decided to go the self-publishing route. I am have researching the best way and have learned a lot about self-publishing and publishing on demand. The more I have learned the clearer it became that for this book it is the best way. I have been in contact with BookBaby and have gotten all their info and costs. I will be also applying for a grant through the college I teach photography , Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. They award grants to help their faculty complete projects they are working on. If I do receive the grant, the wheels will be in motion and I hope to have this book out by early fall, just in time for the holiday season.

If you have been following my posts you will also notice that I have changed the title to Leaving Cleveland. When you follow the upcoming posts and read the book will make more sense. So please sign up for notices of new posts and tell your friends. If you are new to this blog , you can read some of the entries, although I will be submitting more entries in each new post as I keep you up to date with my experience of self publishing. I have also made a slight change to the cover, let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. See if you can guess what the story is about by the cover….My goal is to post once a week and as things start to getting closer to publishing date even more.

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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