About my writing, About me

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My Writing and the people I write about

There are many reasons a person will pick up a book. They’re looking for something, it could be anything. So let me give some idea of what you’ll find when you open a book of mine. But first let me tell you what you won’t find.  None of my characters are innocent. They are not finding love for the first time. They are not stunning symbols of ideal beauty or intelligence. They may be jaded or naïve but they are not brand new. None of my characters are capable of turning into bats, wolves or anything requiring a special uniform, especially a cape. They can’t leap over tall things, least of all buildings. They don’t wear masks or have faithful Indian companions. They don’t dress like they’re in Sherwood Forest and they don’t have a shapely fairy with dragon-fly wings who can sprinkle them with pixy dust and make their dreams come true. No ruby slippers, no magic Lamps. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with characters like that or people who write about them, it just that I don’t.

What you will find are people, ordinary average people who find themselves in extra-ordinary circumstances. People who have gotten themselves into a position that’s completely new to them and they have to figure out how to get out of it. If they don’t find a way the consequences will be severe and most likely fatal.

There’s a spiritual song called The Lonesome Valley. It says, `Nobody can go there for you’. While that’s true, there are many people willing to help them find the path to it, if they’re not careful. My characters can’t buy their way out, they can’t wish their way out. They can’t hope for the best, they can’t pretend it isn’t happening. They can’t say it’s all someone else’s fault. It’s their time in life to face the facts.

E.M. Forster said the only way to end a work of fiction in a satisfying way is with death or marriage. Both satisfactorily signal the end of the adventure. My writing never ends with all the questions neatly answered. Some of the conclusion is left to the reader to ponder. Some readers think this isn’t the way books should be but some books are, mine for example.

About me

Whenever I’m faced with the prompt to say something about myself I’m stumped. Maybe it’s because when I read how other people have responded to that, with dates of birth, schools attended, jobs held, marriages tried, children raised, accomplishments they’re proud of, I’m a little to a lot bored by it. Resumes and vita sheets-I don’t know. I always thought the only difference between a  resume and a prison record was who’s doing the writing, who’s the record keeper.

I was born in New York City. From a national perspective it’s a world class place, full of everything anyone could ever want. From someone who grew up there it was the biggest small town in the world. Most New Yorkers live in enclaves of a few thousand people and spend most of their lives in a limited geographical area. My years there were spent in Washington Heights-some trips downtown, once to Jersey, to a camp, sponsored by the church for poor kids, but mostly within the confines of a square mile or two. I failed to graduate from George Washington High School because I failed to attend most of the time. By the authority vested in the City of New York I was transferred from GWHS P.S. 192 to P.S. 614. The 600 schools were special. To put it simply, you went on Monday and came home in June. I’d probably still be there but, about this time, the transit authority built the second level of the George Washington Bridge through my bedroom, forcing us to relocate, relieving the city of its responsibility toward my education.

One night, some friends and me were sitting around bored, playing cards, in a furnished room, on 48th and Palisades, over the 300 Club, in Union City New Jersey. We were mostly jobless, older teenagers. I don’t remember how the subject came up but we were talking about military service. Henry said he liked the Air Force, they had cool raincoats. I said the Army was three years and that was better than the four years the air Force demanded so it was the better deal. We cut the cards for it. I drew a queen. We enlisted the next day, on the buddy plan, Henry and me. He got pneumonia the first week of basic training and that was the last I saw of him.

Through no fault of my own I served in the peace time army. I got my GED in the service. I earned the GI bill for my time. All in all I got the better of the deal. It paid all the way through to a master’s degree in education. My undergraduate advisor told me I was the brightest undergraduate he’d ever met. My son’s mother said I was the dumbest bastard she’d ever met. A hand full of one, a handful of the other. Neither held the ring of truth or the aroma, for that matter, I wanted from either relationship. I was probably somewhere in the middle. I was a counselor/instructor at the University of Minnesota. I worked with federal grants to help underprivileged students access higher education. I did that until the university and federal government decided educating the underprivileged was no longer something worth doing.

During this same period I worked in public relations photography for the music industry, photographing their artists when they came to town for concerts. I also did studio photography as well as teach photography for Metropolitan State University. I taught training classes for state employees in utilizing media to improve agency communication. I had five one-man shows of my Photographs at the universities and private galleries.

I have since worked as a Public Guardian and a private detective. There is a block of time in this later period that I refer to as The Lost Years. You’ll have to wait to hear about that.

Some days I am happy and some days I am sad, some days I feel good and some days I don’t. I dropped out of high school because I didn’t see the connection between tin exports from Bolivia, solving for X and teachers who didn’t seem to understand the limits of their responsibilities, but, more likely it was because I didn’t understand the limitlessness of my own.

So. Now I’ve said something about myself.


15 Responses to About my writing, About me

  1. actuatotela says:

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  3. Hard Bass says:

    Thanks for some great information reagrding this

  4. Your bio reads like a novel! Love it… feel like turning the page and hearing what happens next.

  5. Kit says:

    Hi Joseph,

    I just got your email and am writing a quick response here in your comments. After all, SEO is SEO, and writing on your comment stream will give you a nice quick splash of good Google energy. 🙂

    I appreciate you reaching out. I personally know quite a few writers, and some of them are my clients. Let me pass this offer on to my PR Writer/Publicist Liz Riviere and see what she thinks.

    In the meantime, I will reach out to other writer and authors and see how it flies. Great to meet you !



  6. am.Paige says:

    Hey Joseph 🙂
    Thanks for touching base though I haven’t visited vimeo for quite a while now.
    Enjoyed the sublime humor of your mini bio; I’d like to see a short titled “Henry & Me” entered at a film fest.
    Will check out the rest of the site later and e-mail you as well.
    Let’s connect via twitter too.

  7. Now that is some great writing.

  8. Hello Joseph.

    It’s a pleasure to meet you and get to know you a bit. Your life sounds very interesting. I’m sure you put that energy into your books. I’ll have to add them to my reading list.

    Glad to have connected with you on Twitter.

  9. Henry Mazel says:

    Wanted to the thank you for the graciousness shown to my associate Shira. Hope everything worked out despite our computer hiccups.

  10. Joyce Oroz says:

    Hi, Joseph,
    I would like to be interviewed, and I would like to interview you on my blog. I have written four novels in my Josephine Stuart Mystery Series. The first novel, Secure the Ranch, is available in paperback and Kindle. The second book is, Read My Lipstick–available on Kindle. Shaking In Her Flip Flops will be available on Kindle at the end of Sept.
    Thank you for your consideration,
    Joyce Oroz

  11. Debbie Wallack Prieto says:

    Hi Joe,
    Love your bio and have purchased some of your books. I want to purchase the newest ones. I am so glad that you pursued your writing dream. Hope you are doing well.


  12. Jeff Weber

    Hi Joe,

    You had an interesting life. Mine also got started in New York City in the Bronx (where did that name come from Mr. bronx?). I strated life on Friday, the 13th, 1947 – only friday the 13th that year (each year must have at least one Friday the 13th and can three Friday the 13ths in a non-leap year).

    I have lead a strange interesting life which is why I have written a trilogy autobiography (a la 3 volumes – like Frodo in Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have suffered a lot but still can’t find a way to destroy my ring yet). My autobiographies are aptly titled: “My Only Crime Was being Born” – read and you’ll see why.

    I’ll check tonight because I’m work but if yor books are ebooks only, i can’t read because no ebook reader yet…but someday.

    Thanks again for publishing my interview – you seem like a cool dude and when I get time I’ll explore your site more.


    • valentinetti says:

      Thanks Jeff. My books are not only eBooks. Paperbacks at Amazon or directly from my site. And thanks again for your comments. Joseph

  13. Chrissy says:

    Hi Joe,
    I enjoyed reading your bio.You have lead an interesting life. I think you have accomplished so much on your own. Far from the kid I remember who didn’t want to go to school. I’m so PROUD to have known you.I’m sure your family are proud too.
    As far as having good days and not so good days, I think we all go through that, some because we are ill, or many other reasons.It’s all in how you handle it and you have done pretty good.
    So this old lady , who knew you a LONG time ago, will say again, I’m so glad to have known you.You were always special, and you have proved it. Take care Joe, Always in my heart n’ prayers

  14. Vincent says:

    It’s awesome. Interesting and thought provoking are the two positive attributes I can give your books.
    Vincent recently posted..Rental SoundMy Profile

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