Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From the Luft

When I was 19 years old, I believe Eisenhower was the President and had just given a keynote speech about the importance of separating church and state, I had to make a most difficult telephone call to my father.

I told him I was switching college majors, and subsequent careers, from the stable and lucrative world of chartered accountancy to the not-so-stable and often impoverished world of creative writing.

"WTF!!!!!" he screamed into the phone.
(He didn't use the acronym.)

It was not pleasant.

That discord tainted our relationship for the next 5-10 years. But eventually he came to grips with my new vocational direction. Finally understanding that I, like most people who write, had no choice in the matter.

When he saw that I could actually bring home a paycheck, just for putting one word after another, he began to appreciate it. He even started bragging about it.

"From the luft," he would say citing the Yiddish phrase,"my son makes a living from the luft."

The literal translation means from the air, as in the famed German Air Force, the Luftwaffen.

Sadly, he passed away before my questionable abilities made their way to film or a manuscript or even a TV commercial. And long before Round Seventeen.

This little anecdote serves as personal reminder of my responsibility, and in fact our responsibility, to nourish new writers. I can't think of a better way to do that than to support my friend and accomplished author Toby Barlow and his worthy cause.

The premise is pretty simple.

Writers get houses.
Houses get renovated.
Detroit gets better.

And if this little call for donation from my 13 regular readers produces enough revenue, Toby might even throw me another freelance gig.

It's a win-win-win-win situation if ever there was one.

The Write A House folks are tantalizingly close to the goals they've set. And this is the last week of fundraising. So give and give generously.

I sprung for the $60 donation so I could receive the Write A House T-shirt. Unfortunately it's a poly/cotton blend which makes my hirsute Bulgarian body perspire profusely.

This is not to be taken as a threat but if you don't break out the checkbooks, I'll do a pictorial post about my sweaty swarthiness.

And I don't think any of us want to see that.

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