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Neal Pollack: Looks at Checking Account Balance

by Melody Joy Kramer
Nov 27, 2006

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Neal Pollack's newest book, Alternadad, is a memoir about raising his son. But he is no stranger to fiction. To wit: Never Mind the Pollacks: A Rock and Roll Novel. Pollack lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their four-year-old son.

How He Writes: "I don't have any particular time of day that I write, and I also don't have any particular routine that I follow. Usually, I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the day, and try to see that through: Five pages, 1,000 words, three paragraphs — whatever my work requires. If it takes me until midnight, then so be it. If I'm done by noon, then it's off to the beach. Actually, it's off to pick my son up at preschool, but I go to the beach in my mind."

Writer's Block Remedy: "I look at my checking account balance."

A Favorite Sentence: "Mostly, these days, I write about my son. Here's a paragraph that I think works pretty well:

'I don't exactly remember what Candy Land looked like when I was a kid, but these days, the board is kind of creepy, bearing the likenesses of D-list cereal-box-style cartoon personae like Lord Licorice and Grandma Nutt. The world of childhood branding is full of these kinds of characters, ones that never quite caught on; they exist in a permanent purgatory, not totally discarded but not noticed, either. In that way, Candy Land is a perfect metaphor for L.A. Or for my own life. Or both.'"

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