My calendar shows a mere 31 events left! And, really, it all tapers off after the end of April
It’s Sunday morning and I’ve attacked the usual sections of the Times, in the usual order — Book Review, the magazine (great Joe Hill profile by Baltimore Noir contributor Ben Neihart), Styles, Week in Review, etc. The Book Review is an odd document for me. I really find it hard to read negative reviews of almost anyone’s work, with the exception of known jerks.
Speaking of reviews . . . the SO found one of mine last night, by Oline Cogdill. I skimmed through it, but I’ll go back and read it again, so I can e-mail Oline about it. While I try to avoid reading my reviews closely and I don’t go looking for them, there are critics who deserve to be read with the same care and thoughtfulness that I want critics to bring to my work. I don’t ever respond to the specifics, pro or con — that would be pretty cheeky. But Oline has been reviewing my work going all the way back to Butchers Hill. I consider her a friend, but her ability to walk the line is nothing short of amazing. Hey Poynter, if you’re looking for someone to teach a class on ethics, Oline Cogdill is your woman.
By the way, I broke my self-imposed ban on checking Amazon and BN.com this week. First of all, I was told that I should watch my BN number, because it would jump after the Tuesday e-mail went out. Jump it did, going as high as #5 and remaining in the top 15 every day. I also checked Amazon, curious about how high I would bounce from CBS — and, conversely, how quickly I would fall. I know these numbers are not measures of sales, but indicators of velocity. The fact is, WTDK has gotten as high as 92 on the Amazon list, even higher than it was in the first 24 hours after the CBS interview, and I’m now curious to see if Weekend Edition Sunday has an effect on it. (With Liane Hansen’s dulcet tones, how could it not? Doesn’t Liane Hansen make everything and everyone sound smarter? Seriously, speaking to Liane reminded me of an interview I did years ago with W.S. Merwin, in which I found that I was absolutely brilliant on the subject of poetry for the course of an hour or so, remembering long-forgotten lines and writers, tossing off poetical allusions as if they were lyrics from Ethel Merman musicals. Then he left for the airport and I was stupid again.)
I looked at the top of this entry again, the countdown. The fact is, a friend is checking off a much more important countdown — the number of radiation treatments she has left. Diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this winter, she was fortunate enough to need only radiation, no chemo, but that’s still pretty enervating. She has kept her friends up-to-date with funny, cheery e-mails about the experience. She will finish her treatments this week, having maintained an amazing attitude throughout.