I’m a non-Googler and, except for the last 24 hours, a person who doesn’t check Amazon or BN.com. I wasn’t always a non-Googler and it’s not for everybody. But it works for me, in part because of my theory “Good news will out.” As will bad news and, as I wrote on my website a year ago (http://www.lauralippman.com/april06.html) it’s always instructive to find out who wants to be the first to tell you something unkind or unflattering.
I’ve known since last week that the Washington Post would review my book. (The Post publishes a little list of its forthcoming reviews.) I honestly didn’t know what to expect. So this morning I went to work, writing 1,300 words while sitting about ten feet from a newsstand filled with Washington Posts and then, with just 20 minutes until I had to be at the gym, checking e-mail. There, amid the spam, three subject headers and addresses jumped out at me — one from a former co-worker, one from a novelist friend and one from a relative. The subject lines made clear that the news was cheery, which was nice. But what was nicer still was knowing that three people, with busy hectic lives, took time this morning to tell me that I had gotten a nice review. Later, another nice e-mail arrived, one from someone who knew for a fact that I was dreading the review, for I had written her Friday night, as sleet pounded on Baltimore, that I was “worried. Deeply worried. Broodingly worried.”
Part of that is a coping mechanism. I have to prepare for the worst so it won’t bother me. And, really, when one is talking about book reviews, how bad can it be? Oh, I know from first-hand experience that reviews can be crushing, but I mean in the larger scheme of things — say, going into the fifth year in the war in Iraq — it’s not a big deal.
What matters today is that some of my friends reminded me that I’m very lucky to have them.