There’s little that’s more entertaining than talking to David Volk, unless it’s reading something he’s written. Now David brings his brand of humor to his new book, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Seattle, part of a travel series from Globe Pequot Press.
David hopes readers won’t take offense.
“It can be a good thing to be a cheap bastard,” he says, especially in this economy.
After getting the assignment for the book about a year ago, David hammered out 60,000 words between January and March, balancing writing with his other job as professional dad to two preschool-age kids. This required a lot of getting up at 4 a.m., writing during nap time and again in evenings, when Mom took over, until midnight or one o’clock.
Designed for visitors and residents alike, the book features “a lot of stuff out-of-towners can’t do,” he says.
Volunteer ushering, for example, which may allow you to see plays or SIFF films for little or nothing. “There’s no adventure” in buying tickets at the box office.
But meeting a celebrity while ushering at the Paramount?
“You can dine out on that for days,” he quips.
David continues freelancing “as fatherhood allows,” and hopes to publish a humor collection tentatively titled, “As I Die Laughing… about funerals, death rites and rituals gone horribly wrong.”
Cheap Bastard will be released Dec. 7, but locally it’s already available at Island Books on Mercer Island. David will read at Seattle’s University Bookstore on Dec. 6.
Become a fan of the cheap bastard on Facebook and get more cheap ideas, and read more of David at www.davidvolk.com.
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A ’70s-era Michael Druxman with Fish, otherwise known as actor Abe Vigoda. Photo courtesy Michael Druxman.
The prolific Michael Druxman, who was raised in Seattle and studied drama at the University of Washington, but fled for Hollywood at the tender age of 20, is also fun to talk to.
The veteran publicist, screenwriter, playwright, director and author has now turned his pen to memoir in My Forty-Five Years in Hollywood…and How I Escaped Alive from Bear Manor Media.
Enthusiasts of local history will enjoy Michael’s stories of growing up in Seattle, including stories of his father and uncle’s (Harry and Nate Druxman) work as boxing organizers and fight-fixers. For others there are lots of stories of hobnobbing with and working for Hollywood’s elite, illustrating how a “kid from Seattle” can make it with no contacts.
He reminisced fondly about shopping for Sunday brunch with his dad at the Jewish delis on Cherry Street.
“Some of them were in garages!” Michael recalls. “We’d get kippered salmon and chopped liver…great memories of that.”
I learned from Michael about our state’s “Palm Springs” at Soap Lake in Eastern Washington, where his family, and many other Jewish families, had summer homes.
Michael and his wife escaped Hollywood for Austin a few years ago, where Michael continues to write, to consult on film scripts and mentor young writers. (His advice: “Don’t write for nothing.”)
His new book of short stories, Dracula Meets Jack the Ripper and Other Revisionist History, is currently seeking a publisher.
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Carole Glickfeld is enjoying the re-release of her 1989 collection of connected short stories, Useful Gifts, from the University of Georgia Press.
Carole, who is a CODA (child of deaf adults), hopes the book will interest a new generation of the deaf and CODA community with its stories of Ruthie, a hearing child growing up with deaf-mute parents in upper Manhattan in the 1940s.
The book’s re-release evolved over a couple of years, says Carole. The University of Georgia first approached her about making the book a print-on-demand item, but Carole rejected the idea. Reconsidering later, she contacted the publisher to find that they had changed their mind and were reissuing the book.
Only out for about a month, Carole has already seen renewed attention.
“When the book [first] came out, the deaf community wasn’t as organized,” she says.
Now there are many online groups, and groups of CODAs, too, who will be interested in these stories, which are “not autobiographical, but the neighborhood is true and my parents were deaf.”
Carole continues to write and to teach privately in Seattle. She has a short story coming out in the journal Common Knowledge next spring, designed to complement essays on finance by Margaret Atwood in the same issue. When she’s not writing, Carole enjoys ballet classes and travel.
“I love travel,” she says. “Every time I get some money together, I travel.”
In the spring she’ll accompany some deaf friends on a cruise from Shanghai to Beijing.
You can find Carole at a book party at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Arundel Books, First and Madison in downtown Seattle.