Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Today I was ambushed on the subway.

Worse, the attack was perpetrated by my nemesis.

She doesn't know that she's my nemesis. In all reality she most likely doesn't even remember ever having met me.

You see, when I first met this particular individual her first novel was about to be published. We were at the same vaguely uncomfortable office-type party and, as I was genuinely interested, I tried to start some kind of conversation with her about the book.

To say that she answered me with all the enthusiasm of a bowl of cottage cheese would be being kind. Three minutes into the exchange I believe I actually excused myself by saying, "I'm sorry. I think I see a bowl of cottage cheese that I went to school with. I'll be right back."

And so, sitting on the subway today, innocently listening to a podcast of one of my favorite radio shows, she was suddenly there. On the show. A special guest.

I don't know I really supposed to believe that its coincidental that she shows up on my iPod just days before my class reunion?


But here's the bigger question that's been nagging at me since the blue line audio incident.

No, I don't have a string of bestselling novels. I'm not being invited to be a guest on the shows I would love to be a guest on. I can't even manage to score a new day job.

But I know that I'm a good writer.

So how is it that one unloads a nemesis?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dog Days Continue...

Another book for the dog days of summer...

...the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, a novel by mark haddon.

The book's narrator is Christopher Boone, an autistic 15-year-old who discovers the dead body of his neighbor's poodle. The neighbor, discovering Christopher cradling the body of the dead dog, accuses the boy of the crime and has him arrested.

Here's what I love about this book.

It was a debut novel.

It had substance.

It had an unexpected narrator, was told creatively and even managed to rate a fantastic cover.

And for you, now, if you've not already read's been out long enough that this can be a library score.


No. That's it. I don't have anything funny to say.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dog Days of Summer.

When I started this blog the idea was that I would use it to think deep thoughts about literature.

Sometimes I do that.

Like now.

I've been noticing that, despite the fact that we're most of the way through July, a lot of folks are still offering lists of best beach reads. So here's one from me.

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst.

It's a kind of dog days of summer recommendation.

Because it involves talking dogs.

Well, no. Not really. But there is a talking dog element to the story.

Paul Iverson is a linguist whose wife is discovered dead in the backyard, presumably after falling from a tree. The only witness to what took place?

Their dog.

See where I'm headed with this?

It's the Final Countdown.

In one week I will be attending my high school reunion.

I know.

There are basically two responses that I get when I share this information.

The first: "That will be so much fun."

This was the reaction of the woman that cut my hair on Saturday.

The second: "Why would you do that?"

This was the my Godmother's reaction.

I'm not sure what I think at this point. The only word that I've come up with to describe my emotional state when it comes to the reunion is "intrigued."

I'm basically intrigued.

And why is that?

Because I spent a good many years in that high school, surrounded by those people, being called a fag.

And now I can walk into that Elk's Lodge, look them in the eye and say, "Well I'll be damned. You were right."