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.

An Excerpt from Chapter 17 ” from my book ©Leaving Cleveland to be published March 2023

With one week to go in my Kickstarter campaign I wanted to post a relevant excerpt from my book, just for fun…To set the scene Izzy has gotten a last minute assignment for fly down to Florida to photograph the Trump family. After just finishing a photo shoot with Billy Joel Sam is busy repacking and getting ready for the trip down south.

If you are thinking of pledging for my kickstarter campaign go to LeavingCleveland Enjoy and subscribe to get the latest updates .

As I stepped off the plane onto the Miami Airport tarmac, the humidity and the scent of gardenias transfixed me for a moment. 

“We have to be at Trump’s in a couple of hours,” Izzy barked at me.  

 “I’ll get the bags and meet you at the rental car pickup,” I replied.  

All the bags arrived, which cleared the first hurdle. I piled them on a baggage cart and met Izzy at the Hertz counter.  

“Here’s the contract. Take the shuttle bus and get the car. I will be waiting outside for you. I don’t feel like driving today,” Izzy said.  

Hurdle number two cleared. 

The ride to West Palm was pleasant. I drove on 98 East over a long narrow bridge past Bingham Island onto South Ocean Boulevard to the Mar-a-Lago Club. Izzy was resting her head on her folded arms, propped on the open window of the car door with her hair blowing in the breeze. When we arrived, we were greeted by a Hispanic woman who told us to wait in the lobby.  

“Ivana will be right out. She is running a little late today.” 

We both looked around the ornate lobby. An excess of marble, gold leaf, chandeliers, oriental rugs, and adorned with large Flemish tapestries, similar to ones I had seen at the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in New York.  

“Posh,” I said, turning to Izzy.  

“Very,” she replied. “Only it’s fake.” 

“Any idea where you’re going to shoot?”  I asked. 

 Izzy looked at me. “The lobby works for me. I just want to get this over with so we can get to the hotel.”  

“Works for me. I’ll get the lights.”  

Ivana came out to greet us with her son Donald Junior. She was dressed in a white gown and wearing diamond studs. Little Donald reminded me of the Gainsborough painting “The Blue Boy.” He was wearing blue silk nickers with knee-high white stockings and a white ruffled shirt. He was about 8 years old. 

 Ivana extended her hand to Izzy and said in her European accent, “Vell hello Izzy. It is nice to meet you. I am a big fan of your vork, and Donny and I are looking forward to have you take our portrait. Zhis is Donny Junior and ve vould also like for him to be in ze voto.” 

“Sure,” Izzy said, smiling. 

“And who is zis young man?” Ivana said, looking at me. 

“This is Sam. He is assisting me today.”  

Ivana extended her hand to me and for some insane reason I took it and ritualistically kissed it. “It is a pleasure to meet you,” I said. Everyone was startled, including myself. Izzy rolled her eyes at me, and Ivana stepped back. “Vat a sveet boy,” she said.  

I couldn’t believe I did that. I had seen it in so many films. Maybe Izzy would fire me and that will be that. I could get back to a normal life. 

To break the awkwardness, I said I would go to set up the lights.  

When I came back to the lobby Izzy was sitting on the red crushed velvet couch with Ivana. Donny Junior was off with the nanny. 

“Excuse me, Izzy. Where would you like me to set up the lights?” They both looked up at me.  

“Right here. I want to photograph the family sitting on this couch. Ivana, what time is Donald showing up?”  

“He vill be here soon. He’s out at ze club talking business or some zing. He never stops vorking, that man. So full of ideas.” 

I set up the portrait lights and some auxiliary lights to illuminate the ornate background. Just as I was about to load the film back, I heard a booming voice from behind.  

“Ivana, my love, I am so sorry I’m late. I was meeting with some new clients about a property I’m interested in. Did I miss the photo?”  

“No, not at all, Donny. This is Izzy and ve have had a lovely chat about zhis and zhat. I think ve are almost ready for the shoot, isn’t that right Izzy?” 

 Izzy looked at me and I gave her a thumbs up.  

“About ready. We just need to find your son.”  

“Donny, Donny. Come here sveetie. Ve are ready for ze voto.” 

 “I only have about five minutes, then I have to get back to this meeting, Izzy, so make it quick,” Trump said in a brusque manner. 

I could tell Izzy was not happy with his order and wondered how she would respond. She looked at me and asked if the camera was ready and I nodded my head.  

“OK, now I want Donald standing behind Ivana, and Ivana, you are sitting on the red couch and little Donny is sitting on your lap.” 

From the soon to be published book ” Leaving Cleveland” ©Steven H. Begleiter 2022

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