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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 18, 2013

A Writer’s Dilemma

The difficulty in which many writers find themselves is, should they pass up a good, solid interesting story or should they “rat out” some friend or acquaintance?

Joan Didion says, “A great memoirist, even one moved primarily by love and devotion, must possess a certain amount of ruthlessness.” The question to the author is, “Should I put down the truth about the person in my story or should I sugar-coat perhaps the lying and devious aspects with falsehoods and fiction?” That is the moral question!

Phillip Roth, the prolific and great American author, once made this observation about writing: “If a writer is sitting at your dinner table, be wary of anything you say or disclose about anyone or anything. Everything is grist for the writer’s mill.” All is fair in love, war and interesting disclosures.

 A writer spends much time staring at the blank, white page in front of him/her seeking out an essential truth to type for a article or story. Should he/she submerge that juicy tidbit and keep searching for a new subject? Probably not.

Be careful and never reveal more than you intended to, if Cindy Adams, Joan Rivers or Leo Tolstoy is sitting at your dinner table. A good story is hard to find.

I have been in writers’ group classes where the author has demanded that everyone pass the written story back to the author for concern or fear that a bold secret should get out. Even changing names and slightly changing situations does not baffle the people who know the basics of the story.

It is the author’s duty to get the story out and the informant’s duty to contain the tale. It is a situation that will have many of us on the horns of the proverbial dilemma.

News

One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.

Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.

Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.

“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”


Calendar

Sonny And Perley

Saturday, July 26

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com