WHAT AM I WRITING NOW?
I have been working on my memoir since Martha Stewart was in prison. It was written in a rather unusual way. To overcome procrastination and finally get it done, I vowed to post a different piece every weekday by noon on Facebook which I did for six weeks.
It is almost finished.
The title of this memoir? “Makeup Tips from Auschwitz. How Vanity Saved my Mother’s Life.”
While Mordecai Richler and Philip Roth detailed how the melting pot Americanized immigrants, this is the story of a Hungarian refugee family whose chutzpah and moxie allowed them to survive and thrive in a strange new environment.
It is also the story of the rich threads and struggles that bind a unique mother’s and son’s relationship as she develops dementia.
The memoir with its caramel-salt humor sadness has been described as poignant, addictive and unpredictable.
“Make-Up Tips from Auschwitz. How Vanity Saved My Mothers Life” will be available in hardcover, soft cover, Kindle and audiobook.
You are cordially invited to read some of the sample chapters. I hope you like them…
WHAT DID I WRITE BEFORE?
Back in 1985, I wrote a humor book, the Golddiggers Guide: How to Marry Rich. Then in 1996, one year after the referendum, I penned a political polemic entitled Canada is not a Real Country which can still be found at many a library near you. My last book was Are We on Yet: How to be Interviewed and other essential media skills.
These were just the complete books. I also wrote chapters for books like The Anglo Guide to Survival in Quebec, Volume 2, Great Canadian Characters, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Plus I penned a little quelque chose for a brand new book of inside stories on Canadian journalism. Entitled Fish Wrap, it will be published by Guernica in 2020.
WHAT ELSE HAVE I DONE?
Plenty. When I started at the Montreal Gazette I wrote a showbiz gossip column. I covered the Academy Awards 13 years in a row and figured that was enough. Then I became the society editor and ate way too much. Finally I wrote a weekly political column back in the day people actually thought that Quebec might separate from Canada and become an independent country.
My co-host on my first day at CJAD Radio was former Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell. Oh yes, I then went on to have my own highly-rated radio talk show for more than 20 years.
On my last day at CJAD on Dec. 13 2017, the station threw me a spectacular goodbye bash fuelled with martinis and delightful messages from everyone from Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard to comedian Gilbert Gottfried.
DID I WIN ANY PRIZES?
Yes I once won a door prize at a Chabad synagogue raffle. I also won a Talk Radio award from Alliance Quebec and the Golden Ribbon Award presented by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
Years ago I was an extra in the film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. I am the one who dropped the tray. I played Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine in 2001 A Space Travesty. I danced in a Swan Lake spoof before Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I have also been on stage with Twyla Tharp at Place des Arts and Megan Mulally at the Just for Laughs comedy festival.
More recently I was one of the storytellers at the Woodstock Book Fest. I was one of the wiser judges at the the Miami Film Festival as well as one of the slower ones in an Israeli filmfest in Montreal. My goodness I have even done a book review for the Jewish Book Council in NYC.
Gazette city columnist Mike Boone once said I was a natural and immediate smash as a talkshow host while renowned human rights activist Irwin Cotler described me as “an exemplar of political humour.”
I graduated from McGill University in Montreal and Carleton University in Ottawa and steadfastly maintain that I was not harmed by either experience.
Quebec Writers’ Federation
The Writers’ Union of Canada
Canadian Authors Association
DO I HAVE A PODCAST?
Yes. One is called Spirits and Spirituality which I co-host with dapper Rabbi Avi Finegold. You can listen to it right here.
In the planning stages is a political podcast which will feature some very well known names. Will it be possible for you to suggest topics and even guests for these podcasts? Of course you can. Just contact me here.
MONTREAL POETRY BROTHEL
What the hell is this? Oh just simply the most exciting event this city has ever seen. Where? The auditions will take place in the Plateau. The gala opening night will be held in a posh venue in the heart of the Golden Mile in downtown Montreal. When? Auditions will be held in November. The gala opening night in December 2018 and/or January 2019.
If you are a poet or performer or acrobat or burlesque star, make sure you contact me for a chance to be part of the big launch. If you are not a poet, but want to be involved one way or another, dash off an email. If you are chosen to be part of the show you will receive an email with all the pertinent details from the Doge of the Montreal Poetry Brothel. Yes, we have a Doge. It can also be revealed that we have coaxed Cha Cha Rodriguez who made many appearance in my Gazette column of the last century out of retirement. She has graciously agreed to a triumphant return as the Madame of the Montreal Poetry Brothel. I have agreed to serve as your humble emcee. More details as they become available.
CAN YOU HIRE TOMMY SCHNURMACHER?
Sure you can. Do you want me to do do readings from my memoir in progress? Do you want me as an emcee at your next event? Does your organization want me to give a thoroughly entertaining speech? Do you want me to write and deliver a customized roast for you or a loved one? Maybe you want me to officiate at your wedding or merely to use my dulcet tones to record a custom phone message or ringback for your smartphone. Sounds good to me. Just contact me with your proposition.
Is there anything for sale on this website? Am I selling any souvenirs? Nope. Not yet. But hey, you never know.