I’m very excited about traveling up to the Writers Institute in Saratoga Springs this evening.  It’s another hot day here in Albany, and so I can’t wait to feel the cold as it confronts me while walking directly into one of the College’s many auditoriums that have air conditioning.  In my humble abode here in the city of Albany, I only have the use of a couple of fans, which usually takes care of the heat problem, but just barely enough.  Getting out on the open road awaits me tonight, and I’ll be traveling tonight with my good friend and playwright Joe Krausman who has been on the Albany literary scene for quite some time now.  It should be a good time.

In other news to report, I met a young woman named Lisa up here in Albany, and even though we’ve gone out several times already, she still insists that she only wants to be my friend, and she keeps reminding me of this through her telephone calls and emails.  Can men really be friends with a woman to whom a man has a strong attraction?  A part of me says ‘no’ because women usually separate their own version of friendship with the higher elements of romantic love, and so now that we have become friends, it turns out that I need much more than that from her.  Without having her as a girlfriend, it  makes me want to search elsewhere, even though I really thought that this was the one.  I can only say, oh, well.  I can only stay up all night contemplating what the woman meant by saying that she just wants to be friends – or do I want to take it further despite her will to remain friends?  I’m not really sure what to do, but one thing’s for sure – that I need more than a friend, and maybe I had the wrong idea of accepting the terms of her friendship, simply because I wanted it to evolve higher than that.  I guess I was wrong, and from now on I will telephone her less and less, as that’s how my friends and I usually handle our friendships.  We don’t call each other all the time, but keep in touch through email and Facebook and all of the other social sites.

Other than this, I am happy to report that my manuscript of a book that I wrote a while ago, called Two Tickets to Memphis, is almost ready to go to the publishing house.  As I may or may not have mentioned recently, my publishers have been “Publish America” for a while now.  I know that there is a stigma attached for using these publishers, as they accept anyone who wants to publish with them, but I can also say that I used to try so hard for manuscripts to be accepted by traditonal publishers, but I just never had the luck or the connections to get a novel published through a more traditional house.  I used to waste so much money in time, effort, and money sending out my manuscripts, but to no avail.  So I don’t mind the stigma attached to these publishers anymore.  From what I can tell, what they offer is a fair deal, and they are totally free – unless, of course, you want to buy extra copies of your book to sell, and that’s where they really make their money.  But I don’t worry about it anymore about getting a book out.  Publish America works for me, even though it is somehow looked down upon by other snobs of the literary world.

Harvey Havel is the author of five novels. This past spring, Stories from the Fall of the Empire, his sixth book and his first collection of short stories, was recently released by Publish America. Later this summer, Two Tickets to Memphis, his sixth novel, is forthcoming from Publish America as well. Havel has previously taught Writing at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and also at SUNY Albany and the College of St. Rose, both in Albany, New York. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971, Havel now resides full time in Albany, New York.

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