There’s always something to howl about

Geno Shrugged

I recently bought the book, How To Write A Sentence (and how to read one) by Stanley Fish, but it still didn’t give me what I wanted.  What I wanted was assurance that all those tricky uses of semi-colons and parentheticals, gerunds and so on, that I mastered during my state college educational stay, were still in literary vogue. You know, in case I ever publish something besides here.

I’ve been receiving The New Yorker in the mail every week or so for the past twenty years so,  in theory, I could probably learn as much in those volumes (and saved paying $19.99 USA for the Fish book) if I ever did more than simply browse the cartoons, movie reviews, and fluff essay pieces–Sedaris, Larry David, etc– and then immediately stack the latest issue neatly on top of the previous issue with tiny alleys separating each pile, on the floor, next to my bookshelf. My wife keeps threatening to scoop up the whole multi-tiered lot and haul them to the curb, all 1,000 or so cleverly covered magazines,  but I beg her otherwise. To reconsider. A modification, perhaps

“Since I failed as a real estate developer,” I tell her, “At least allow me to construct a pulp fiction/non-fiction skyline on my own office floor.  As of this morning the stacks most closely resemble Omaha, Nebraska, from a bird’s eye view. I suppose that’s a city.

And to be truthful, I really didn’t ‘fail’ as a developer because I never actually jumped in with both feet (I know, two ‘ly’ adverbs and a cliche in a single sentence but in case you missed it the first time: state college. Hel-lloo!) and I never lost any other people’s money. I guess I could have been a bit more ruthless and turned a buck or two but we’re talking about residential real estate and in the end, somebody has to eventually live there. At least, that is, until the banks stop merely threatening and actually figure out a way to first scoop it all up…and then haul it all to the curb.


9 Comments so far

  1. Marilyn July 14th, 2011 12:23 pm

    Geno, though I am not that gifted I love the way you write. I think you should write a book or something, you missed your calling…
    Continue what your doing until you become famous!

  2. robert worthington July 14th, 2011 2:57 pm

    Geno, I randomly, throw a comma, or two, in whenever I feel like it, and hope, it still, makes sense.

  3. Hoops July 15th, 2011 9:24 am

    You’ve long proven yourself a writer; you just need a paying audience instead of us schlubs who want to read you for free. Throw your very best kick-ass ideas together and see what you come up with. Most times, it’s the problem that holds the answer.

  4. robert worthington July 15th, 2011 11:38 am

    Geno has even proven himself to be a great photographer. I love him Facebook photos he uploads especially the doggie.

  5. Tom Bryant July 18th, 2011 5:21 pm

    So great to see you post again. Always enjoy your writing. I’m visiting your fair city in about 10 days with my wife and son. One of my favorite places.

  6. Don Reedy July 18th, 2011 8:45 pm

    Let’s see…state college in PA….or Mount Union College in Alliance, OH (the rubber band capital of the world).

    Look my friend, I can’t pay you. Hell, I can’t even buy you a drink any more. But I can tell you to write something (or rather reprise something you’ve already written), and publish the damn thing!

    You may not think of yourself as Thomas Wolfe…ish, but all of us who bathe ourselves in your splendid musings smell the sweet, sweet scent of one awesome story teller.

    There’s a room in an imaginary home I own. Near the fireplace, safe from the flames, next to my assemblage of scotch and good whiskey, lie dogeared manuscripts penned by one G. Petro. A good, well punctuated, slightly irrational story or character dot most of the pages of these magazines, novels or scratchings. You, my friend. You dot these pages.

    Good writing is always in vogue. Great thoughts are always in demand. Great writers are often difficult to understand, overbearing on themselves, hoarders of ideas and dreams.

    So I call you “writer.” And I ask you to:

    Write more. Write for us.

    Damn it….write for me!

  7. Teri Lussier July 19th, 2011 4:07 am

    Actually, what Don said. Really.

  8. Eric Blackwell July 19th, 2011 1:59 pm

    I learned Robert’s Rules of Order from the same-ish state college system you did. I third what Don said. 😉

  9. Geno Petro July 21st, 2011 6:07 am

    Thank you Mr Reedy, Marilyn, Hoops, et al:

    To be honest, I have a tough time finishing what I begin–been so ever since I got my first crayon set. I come up with quick little clips here and there but when I try to write at length or piece it all together something doesnt ring true, or seems forced, or just spills out in all directions. It’s a little like the martial arts–I know just enough to get myself killed trying to use it.

    Anyway, I’m working on a few different things but mostly, trying to discover (uncover) that one great, worthy idea, like Kathryn Stockett embraced in ‘The Help’—a book that took her 5 years to write and received 40+ rejections from agents before being picked up by a first time imprint publisher.

    Until then, it’s thumbing little ahas & french scenes on the iPhone at stoplights while driving around clients, fighting to keep listings, negotiating short sales, and swinging at low balls. After all (like Mr Blackwell once commented) isn’t this what a real estate novelist really does anyway?

    Thanks again,