Publication News

Memoir Now Available on Kindle

June 17, 2017

Hello all. I’m happy to announce that my memoir, You Never Know Who’s Crazy, is now available on Amazon, for Kindle, for the price of $4.99. Here is the link to it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072KWRM3D/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1497739117&sr=8-4&keywords=steven+finkelstein

This is a nonfiction account of parts of 2009 and 2010. It was written several years ago, but it’s newly revised, and is now for sale for the first time anywhere. It covers stories from both my personal and professional life, detailing the move from Myrtle Beach to Brooklyn, the death of my step-grandfather, David Gresky, my marriage to my wife, Megan, and many more incidents and anecdotes. Although I believe fiction to be more my forte than nonfiction, I’m thrilled for this manuscript to have finally joined my other novels and collections on Kindle. If reading on phone, tablet, desktop, etc., isn’t your flavor, never fear…a print-on-demand version should also be available soon. I’ll post news on the site when that happens. Check out the memoir, and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. More soon…

Musings

Rough Draft of New Novel Finished

May 9, 2017

It has been some time since I resolved to stop posting as regularly here on the blog, as I have been busy with a plethora of endeavors. However, I wanted to take a moment to update my readers as to when new material from me can be expected. I just finished the rough draft of the novel Diminishing Returns, which is the sequel to Transitional Period, the first novel I ever wrote. It again features the protagonist Anthony Rizzo, who, when we last saw him, in the years 2000-2001, was trying to graduate from college, and was grappling with an overly-stimulated id, and a group of nihilistic friends. I envisioned Transitional Period as somewhat of a cautionary tale, and the sequel follows in that same vein. It is set in the years 2016-2017, deals with some of the issues of the day, and is again written in first person-present tense. In this novel, Anthony is approaching middle age, living on the streets of New York, and has spent time in prison for a crime committed toward the end of the first novel. Like the last one, this novel is not for the faint of heart. It has yet to be determined by what method this latest opus will be published. Self-publishing on Amazon again seems the most likely. Frankly, this novel is of such repellent content that I don’t even know how I would pitch it to any literary agents.

It has been difficult for me to get back into the mindset of this protagonist. He is a thoroughly contemptible person, and I felt that his life and situation, taken up again fifteen years following the conclusion of the first story, should reflect that. Ultimately, the reason I felt compelled to go back to this character is because I felt that he had another story in him. I feel quite strongly now this may turn out to be the middle chapter of a trilogy. Whether that proves to be the case or not, only time will tell.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers who have discovered my work via print-on-demand from Amazon, and also through Kindle and other platforms. I was reluctant earlier in my career to self-publish, but I’ve been very pleased with the outcome after having overcome that particular phobia. To my fellow authors, I advise you, if you haven’t been having the success for which you are looking through “traditional” avenues, think about self-publishing with Create Space. Gone are the days when you have to go begging to literary agents and publishing companies. You can do it yourself now; if you strongly enough about your work, let the world see it. The gatekeepers don’t get to tell you “no” anymore. I will be back shortly with more information on the new novel, and when and where it will be available. Till next time, happy reading, my Fellowship of the Page!

Publication News

New Novel Now Available For Kindle

January 16, 2017

I’m pleased to announce that my new fantasy novel, Rogue: Time Out of Mind, the first of the Rogue series, is now available for Kindle on Amazon. It sells for $4.99. You can find it at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY8PXG8

I’m also in the process of formatting the novel for print publication, and it should be available in paperback form in the next few weeks. I’m very excited to be getting this project out there to you, the readers. Please tell your friends, and check out my latest effort on Kindle now!

Musings

Best Of The New York Pics Part 5

January 11, 2017

Here’s the last round of my favorite New York photos.

In 2009, not long after arriving in New York, I spotted this display in the window of a comic book store off of Union Square. Both the young woman and the zombie feeding on her were real live models. The zombie would stop snacking periodically to snarl at the crowd.

 

 

 

 

Spring of 2013 saw the global phenomenon of Wrestlemania come to New York, or technically New Jersey, since Metlife Stadium is in the Meadowlands, about a twenty minute bus ride from the city. Since I’m a big wrestling fan, it was a no-brainer I’d be in attendance. Wrestlemania is the biggest wrestling show of the year, bar none, and there was a huge, incredibly elaborate set over and around the ring.

 

 

This subway ad depicts a woman being upset with her small breast size in the first picture, and happy in the second picture when she gets an enlargement. Someone took exception to the message, and added a sticker emphasizing their views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my all-time favorite pics, and the very definition of the word “irony.” This was an intensely gross-looking guy sitting passed out on a park bench in Madison Square Park, in the Flatiron District. If you can’t read it, his shirt says “Pussy Lover.”

 

 

 

That’s it, everybody. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. More soon.

Musings

Best Of The New York Pics Part 4

January 4, 2017

Here’s another installment of my favorite New York City pics.

2014 was the last year for number 2, Derek Jeter. I made sure to get to a game that season to see one of my all-time favorites in the flesh before he hung up the cleats. For a guy who was so committed to excellence, it’s just a shame that the Yanks weren’t too good that year. Though they finished with a winning record, they didn’t make the playoffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe this picture is from 2011. Lady Gaga was just in the process of becoming an enormous mega-star, and the Monster’s Ball Tour was coming to New York. Apparently, someone who’d spotted this poster, in the area of Times Square, wasn’t a fan.

 

 

 

Although it can’t be said that Megan and myself took advantage of all the cultural opportunities New York had to offer every day of the week, we did occasionally make it to a show. We saw Phantom of the Opera, Book of Mormon, and The Lion King, among others. This was an enormous Lion King mask hung on the wall in the theater lobby, winter of 2012.

 

 

 

If people thought the candidates in the 2012 election were bad, they had no idea what they’d be in for in 2016! New York is a highly political city, and I enjoyed some of the commentary you’d see represented by posters, subway ads, and things of that nature.

 

 

 

I’ll be back with the final installment of my favorite New York pics next week.

Musings

Best Of The New York Pics Part 3

December 29, 2016

Here’s another installment of my favorite pics from my time in New York.

Halloween of 2012 saw me with long hair, and walking the streets as Zombie Steve. I got my traditional shaved head again not long after this. It’s much lower maintenance.

 

 

 

Dragon Gate Wrestling’s “Freedom Fight” event in 2011 saw me up on stage in the first row at B.B. King’s, in Times Square. The guy in green is ECW legend Sabu, a man who has punished his body for the pseudo-sport of professional wrestling over the years more than just about any other, and he’s got the scars to prove it, believe me. He was involved in a six-man tag, which ended with the canvas covering the ring spattered with blood.

 

In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy flattened New York. Bay Ridge, my neighborhood, wasn’t as badly hit as some others, but it didn’t escape unscathed. Hundreds of millions of dollars were needed to repair damage to homes, businesses, and particularly the subway. The severity of this storm really made it necessary for governmental officials to rethink how they were going to deal with climate change going forward. The consensus seems to be that this sort of thing will no longer be a “once in a lifetime” event.

 

I went to many Yankee games during my time in New York, like this one in 2014. More times than not, this guy would be standing out in front of the gates, haranguing the crowd. Exactly what Jesus or repentance or religion has to do with baseball I couldn’t tell you, but I’m sure this man would be happy to let you know all about it.

Musings

Best Of The New York Pics Part 2

December 21, 2016

Here’s some more of my favorite pics from my time living in New York City.

This is the parade for the Yankees in The Canyon of Heroes after they won the World Series in 2009. C.C. Sabathia was on this float; he had several key pitching performances in the postseason that were key in the Yanks capturing their 27th World Championship.

 

 

 

 

Comic Con at the Javitt’s Center was always a good place to get interesting pictures. This is from 2012. It’s Frodo and Gandolf from the Lord of the Rings, made entirely out of Legos.

 

 

 

I never knew quite what I was going to get when I stepped on a New York City train car. This was from Halloween night, 2009. I’d just gotten off of work, and I was headed home. These were two guys in drag, dressed as nurses. They were both belligerently drunk.

 

 

 

 

This is an exploded dye pack and some money, lying on the sidewalk, from when a Popular Bank was robbed. The building in which I worked shared space with this bank branch, and they were robbed three times while I was working there. There was also a Bank of America in the same building, and it was robbed once too. The guy who did this (in broad daylight, I might add) initially got away, but I heard he was caught within a few hours.

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t at all uncommon for there to be fires in the part of town where I worked. This was a building just down the street from mine, which blazed up pretty well  one afternoon before the fire department came. As I was a Fire Safety Director in my building at this point, it would have been a real headache if I’d have had to deal with it. As it was half a block away, it wasn’t my responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoped you liked these. I’ll be back with more soon.

Musings

Best Of The New York Pics

December 14, 2016

This week, I thought I would showcase some of the best pictures I took while living for the past seven-and-a-half years in New York City.

It’s not at all uncommon to see homeless people practically living in train cars in New York, especially during the winter. This picture was taken in 2009, shortly after I’d arrived in the city. The man to whom this cart belonged probably had everything he owned piled into it. He was also probably schizophrenic, from the way he was acting. Note that “Judgment Day” is misspelled.

 

 

I saw this on the way to work one day in 2013. Somebody obviously took some time on this one, as it’s of very fine quality. The lettering and the color scheme are identical to actual signs used by the MTA.

 

 

 

I got part of this tooth knocked out at the first ever New Japan Pro Wrestling show to take place in the United States, May of 2011. It was in a filthy warehouse in Chinatown. I got hit with a knee in the face during a scrum, when I was trying to catch a DVD thrown into the crowd. I got the DVD, but it probably wasn’t worth it…the tooth cost $800 to fix.

 

 

The squirrels in Madison Square Park, by the Flatiron Building near where I worked, were completely tame. This one had no problem at all approaching to within a foot of where I was sitting on a bench. I gave a piece of the fruit-and-nut bar I was eating to him.

 

 

 

This woman was completely dead to the world on the N train, as I was riding home from work. It’s generally not a good idea to fall asleep like that on the trains, though I would see people doing it all the time. It’s a great way to get yourself robbed, or worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you all enjoyed these. I’ll post more soon.

Musings

Recovering

December 7, 2016

It’s been a little more than a month since I moved out of New York City and headed north, to the other side of the state, to Rochester. Do you not have much knowledge about Rochester, NY? Good. That’s just the way I like it. Rochester, for those not in the know, has a population of about 210,000 people, and it’s the third largest city in the state, behind Buffalo, and New York City itself. NYC, where I lived for the past seven-and-a-half years, has a population of over eight million, so obviously, it’s way, way different to live in a place like Rochester. There are some people who would be bothered by the change, but I’m not one of them. I had the feeling I was going to be very happy living here, after my long stretch in New York, and so far, nothing I’ve done, seen, or experienced, has changed my mind on that score.

Like I wrote about in my previous post a few weeks ago, New York takes its toll on you. If you’re not independently wealthy, the grind, having to work long hours, the commute, and dealing with the craziness that seems inherent to the New York lifestyle, wears you down. It has to, no matter how dedicated you are to making it work. You need to have a tough-as-nails attitude to make your way in New York; you need to be ready to fight, you need to be quick to shove somebody out of the way, literally or figuratively, when you leave the house in the morning. I don’t know, maybe if you’re a person of leisure, and you’re living in a penthouse on Park Avenue, and you’re being driven around in a limousine everywhere, then it’s different. But I don’t know anybody like that, so anyone I would talk to felt the same pressures, the same stresses, that I did.

That’s why, when it became possible to buy a house more than five hours away, I jumped at the opportunity. I know that few people know anything at all about Rochester, and that’s what really made it perfect. When people know about a place, they move there in droves, and that’s just not happening here. The population has remained remarkably steady, over the past decade. That’s not to say that I’m living in farm country, or something; this is still a city, if a significantly smaller one than New York, or Los Angeles, or Pittsburgh, or Cincinnati, all of which I’ve spent time in over the years. Yeah, this is a city, alright, a smaller one, an economically depressed one, with a number of dicey neighborhoods. But we didn’t move to one of those. Ours is comfortably middle class, or maybe lower-middle class, but we feel safe here, and we’re liking it, the more we see of it. This is a place where the neighbors know each other, and say hi. It isn’t like New York. The pressure, the intensity, isn’t here. And I’m loving it. It feels fantastic.

It seems to me, now, like I’m recovering from a years-long illness. The weight of so much was on my shoulders in New York. I worked fifty hours a week for more than four years, and took spare quiet moments to work on my writing. While I still don’t know exactly what my work situation will be here, I know that it’s not going to be so intense. Who needs that sort of stress? I’m well into my thirties now, I have asthma, a heart condition, and high blood pressure, a triple threat of health problems. To scrape and struggle, just so I can proudly say to people “I live in New York! Brooklyn, no less! I made it here, just like the song says!” Yeah, I made it there. I did it for several years. Till I got tired of it…and at this point in my life, I don’t think I have anything left to prove.

These last few weeks, I’ve stood on my back deck, as winter has come on, and I’ve watched and felt the wind moving the branches on the ancient tree that overshadows my property. I’ve stood in the kitchen and observed silently as a young falcon landed on that same deck, and preened, and scared the squirrels. I’ve talked with the neighbor behind me about football, and the weather. I’ve said hello to people I’ve passed, walking around the neighborhood. And I’ve thought to myself, this is what it’s all about. This is what I wanted and needed in my life, I think. This feels comfortable. This feels normal. This feels like something that I could get used to, for a long, long time. I don’t need the clubs, I don’t need the culture, the museums, the art galleries, the latest restaurants, the Michelin stars. I don’t need to stockpile anecdotes about running into actors and singers on the streets; I don’t need to worry about being a terrorist target. I highly doubt anyone is bombing Rochester. No, I think I’m done with the New York time of my life. I’m ready for a little peace, and quiet, and contentment. If anyone wants to come and see me, they’re welcome to. Just don’t move here. The last thing I want to do is start a trend.