Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Wrote Another Book!

I am overjoyed to inform you that I've completed writing my 3rd book. What is it about, you may ask? Well, I'll excerpt the two sections from my book introduction that explain that:

"How this book came to be

I cannot remember how NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) entered my consciousness. I suppose the concept was always buzzing around in my brain until it took hold when I became aware of its existence in reality. What is NaNoWriMo? I shall quote directly from the website: “National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.”
For months I walked around daydreaming about what I might possibly write about over this 30-day span. My first two books were non-fiction. I’ve written short stories before, but I’m poor with dense plotting. Anything I’ve ever written in that arena consists of few characters and perhaps a single twist, but no more. I did realize, however, that in my mind I was constantly creating dialogues amongst my many methods of daydreaming. I daydream a lot, as you might imagine.
Dialogue would be the novel, but what kind of dialogue? Who is talking with whom about what? Where are they? In what time? Why would anyone read this?
I recalled a book I head read in my youth called Vox, by Nicholson Baker (looking back, I realize I was a bit young for that book). It is a conversation between a man and a woman over a party line. The dialogue was free-flowing. I could recreate something like that, but what would my characters talk about? What would bring my characters together? Could I create believable dialogue for a woman?
I then recalled a film where two Jewish fellows rehash a decades-old grievance and converse for two hours on a park bench. I could not remember the name. I e-mailed my father, who had it in a nano-second: The Quarrel. He offered that he had actually written papers for college in the style of the conversation. Interesting!
I then ruminated on my enjoyment of business fable books, specifically the One Minute books by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson and the books by Patrick Lencioni. The style resonated with me and informed me very well. The dialogues were an excellent way to relay the gobs of information both explicit and implied.
I then realized the answer was staring at me right in the face. Nearly every Shabbos morning, I pick up a friend on the way to synagogue, and invariably heavily discuss matters concerning God, religion, evolution, science, knowledge, ignorance, truth and faith. The regrettable problem is that these conversations are always interrupted and never allowed to complete or come full-circle, just as many public debates regarding similar themes are hampered by various constraints, most notably time itself.
My book would be our full imagined dialogue, unencumbered by physical limitation. I would give our opinions full voice and allow them to pour forth like a mighty stream. This would also allow me to more fully explore the concepts and educate myself further.
The pieces were now aligned on the chessboard. I now needed only to wait until midnight of the first of November to hit the clock.

And so, it began

At the stroke of midnight on November 1, 2011, I began to write. At the midnight toll of November 30, 2011 I did not make deadline, having fallen 7,850 words short. On December 14, 2011, I hit the 50,000 word mark. On December 17 – my grandfather’s 93rd birthday, may he continue to be well – the book was complete. Following rewrites and edits over a several-month period, this is what I wrote:"

There is much yet to be done. I need to do an initial rewrite, then a rewrite based on all the feedback I've gotten from friends, then a rewrite with proper footnotes, then I have to run it through some volunteer editors, then I have to go through the painstaking rejection process, then if that doesn't work, self-publish again. I do have a feeling that I might have something here that publishers might want. We shall see.

While I'm going through that process, I'm actively writing Bush II, Book II and Bad Behavior II: More Scalawags, Dirtbags, Bullyrags and Lollygags. Oh, and a few children's books and a book on running and my grandfather's memoirs and many other ideas while I try to crank out another issue of TheKnish.com and another iteration of my surname column.

As you can see, I hope to do this for a living one day. Because for now, if I may quote the words of the recently late Christopher Hitchens: "Being a writer's what I am rather than what I do."

While I'm sweating away at all this, please consider purchasing one or more of my first two books (50% off!): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom
Kindle versions are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Bodek/e/B004GAVBZ8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1324405444&sr=8-1

If you'd be so kind, I'll be sure to say I knew you when. :-)

Thank you, as ever, for your support, encouragement and business.

-Martin (Mordechi) Bodek

My blog: http://www.martinbodek.com
My site: http://www.theknish.com/
My column: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1110/bodek2.php3
My finest: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/06/mean-regs-and-scam/
My books: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Results of the 2nd Annual JRunners Health Awareness 5k+ Run

Results of the 2nd Annual JRunners Health Awareness 5k+ Run


Martin Bodek

JRunners continues to blaze a path for itself via various races and events. The club has received much attention for its preaching of fitness in the Jewish community and strong ties to important organizations within. They have raised awareness for ALS and benefited the Ohr Meir organization via their annual Brooklyn-to-Catskills relay races. They have rescued Our Place from folding via a fundraising race held earlier this year in Prospect Park. On December 4, 2011 no cause was invoked other than the importance of one’s, and of others’, physical wellbeing

On a seasonably ridiculous, comfortable and sunny spring morning in the middle of winter, 126 men and 128 women toed the line for the second edition of the Health Awareness Run.

Before the start, the runner’s village was abuzz with reminiscing friends who hadn’t seen each other in hours and runners who hailed from locales as far away as Brooklyn, NY.

This reporter jests, of course. In truth, large family contingents turned out to run with one another and support each other. There were parents and children (Balassiano, Silk, Bryski, Tepler, Wicentowsky), husbands and wives (Mittel, Zidile, Pupko), siblings (Ovits, Kaminetsky, Bressler, Bodek) galore.Four states and two countries were represented.

At the start the runners sized each other up, trying to determine their ultimate placement. As runners compared their recent mileage and times, it was learned that Yaakov Bressler had recently been injured, but he cloned himself, called his doppelganger “Moshe,” wound him up and set him loose for an experiment in the field. While the runners pondered this and socially fumbled by being unclear when to shake hands and bump fists, the elites snuck in from the sidelines and took position in the front, leaving runners possessed of serious hopes and dreams with shattered illusions instead. However, our man on the inside, Mark Izhak, serving as emcee of the event, cleverly invited the 200k participants to stand forward of the starting line, so everything was evened out at the start, at least for five seconds.

For the men’s race, the start was fast, very fast. Fast runners were behind in the pack and slow runners were in the front. It took about a mile and a half for the natural sorting to occur. Following that process, The Hill performed further sorting.

Once the sorting was done, the top 3 males completed the Prospect Park loop, without being clobbered by whizzing bikes, in the following order:

1 Chris Decamps, 29, 18:21, 5:29/M

2 Steven Rosenbaum, 33, 19:24, 5:47/M

3 Hector Sevilla, 44, 19:58, 5:58/M

Age group victors were:

1-3: Mordechai Dov Silk

4-12: Yoel Tepler

13-19: Moshe Bressler

20-29: Moshie Gamss

30-39: Yitzchok Mittel

40-49: Sender Krutov

50-59: Tom Tobin

60-69: Sholom Bryski

70-79: Michael Schenkman

Barefoot: Bill Ades

For the women’s race, the top 3 ladies completed their loop as follows:

1 Stephanie Pere, 22, 22:15, 6:39/M

2 Rachel Mitel, 28, 25:10, 7:31/M

3 Sally Shatzlles, 30, 25:29, 7:36/M

Age group champions were:

4-12: Tova Blau

13-19: Millie Marcus

20-29: Perrie Briskin

30-39: Judith Sambol

40-49: Baila Miller

50-59: Karen Stevenson

60-69: Elaine Agassi

Barefoot: that’ll be the day.

Once the handsome trophies and well-earned medals were handed out to the deserving recipients, the following were handed out in an alternative universe that may one day successfully fuse with ours:

The Cotton Eyed Joe Where Did You Come From? Award: Chris Decamps – Chris was one of the obvious-on-sight elites who lined up at the start and looked he meant business. He absolutely laid down the law and smoked his competition by a minute and three seconds. He had to come from somewhere, so we looked him up on athlinks.com. He owns a 4:36 mile and a 1:22:00 half marathon. Whoa.

The Oscar the Grouch Talking Trash Award: Yitzy Mittel – Yitzy is a humble fellow, righteous in his generation. His fellow JRunners? Not so much. Recently some of the Brooklynites have taken up verbal arms against their fellow Passaicites. Some argue it was the argue way around. While they quibble, Yitzy collects victories. He was first of all JRunners, beating the next Brooklynite by 28 seconds.

The Secretariat 31 Lengths Award: Stephanie Pere - Stephanie destroyed her competition in the women’s race and strode across the finish line in 22:15, fully two minutes and fifty-five seconds over second place. Wow.

The Lindsay Lohan Freaky Friday Award: Yaakov & Moshe Bressler – As mentioned above, Yaakov cloned himself following an injury and called his monster “Moshe.” Then “Moshe” won his age group! Yaakov claimed his creation is designed to be a biker. To this we say: Moshe, drop the bike. It’s only good for slamming into pedestrians. Moshe & Yaakov, you can destroy the racecourses. We have foreseen this. It is your destiny! Join up, and together, you can rule the road as brother and brother! Come with us. It is the only way.

The Phelps over Cavic Hairsbreadth Award: Moishie Gamss – Moishie has made a habit of coming from behind in the late stages of races to overtake his competition. He did it in the relay race, he did it at the S.I. Half, and he did it at this run, beating the man he had targeted by one tenth of a second. You cannot do anything in one tenth of a second. The only other thing possible is for Trent Tucker to bury a three.

The Brangelina Power Couples Award: Yitzy & Rachel Mittel/Steven Rosenbaum & Judith Sambol – Yachel? Ritzy? Whatever you want to call them, Rachel’s second place finish among the girls and Yitzy’s fourth place finish among the boys established the Mittels as a force to be reckoned with. They have children, if they care to run, watch out! As for Sudith/Jeven, their positions were interposed with Steven placing second and Judith fourth. An exact draw with the Mittels! How cool is that!

The Methusela Award: Michael Schenkman and Elaine Agassi – Michael and Elaine were our most senior finishers, and how old they are is none of your business, thank you very much.

The Borat Sagdiyev Great Success! Award: Michael Diamanantstein – Shia Itzowitz, sporting a “Bodie for President” t-shirt (I guess Herman Cain left the slot open), convinced Michael to join the race. He signed up with ten minutes to go before showtime and completed the race at a 9:22 clip. He did not even think he would finish. Hey Michael, y’all come back now, y’hear?

The Zeh Hakooten Goodel Yeeyeh Award: Mordechai Dov Silk – MDS has been on earth for all of two years, but proudly strode to the finish line, beaming all the way with his oversized t-shirt, with his four year old brother, Tuli. Papa Mitch couldn’t be prouder as he scooped them. We expect big things from the little Silk-worms.

The Mary Tyler Moore Light Up the World with Her (Uh, His) Smile Award: David Balassiano – There were several parents running with their children in this race, but absolutely none was prouder, smiled wider, or was more effusive in his praise than David was for his son Joseph, saying, “I cannot describe how proud I was of my son for running this with me. SO proud of him. Times are different. My mom used to push me to eat a second plate. Now I push my children to be active and healthy and I am glad I can do these kinds of things with them.”

JRunners mission accomplished.


Martin Bodek writes books for a non-living: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom. Please buy them, as JRunners Beat Reporter is even a worse non-living.