Kings Park

My friend Kevin sent me this picture from our visit to an abandoned mental hospital in Kings Park, LI.

I like his composition.


Disturbing a Cat (Not Done)

A book review had this line, it was a loving tribute to her cat, it went something like, “to (cat’s name), who sat on my work for 18 years.”

When I was organizing my Duke papers, I’d start with a decade, and make one pile for each year. The cats would come and pick a pile and sit on it. I’d have to make alternate piles. So 1952 became 1952 and 1952B, and so on. And I have two cats.

Except – I’M DONE. So there! Take that cats! Go find a magazine or book I want to read and sit on that! That’s right. No more piles of papers. I’ve foiled you this time, cats.

Here is Finney in a relatively benign spot. On top of a box on top of the armoire. He loves that box.


Fun Parts About Writing Books

1. New covers. Here’s the cover for the British paperback edition.


2. Working at home.
3. Getting to see stuff. (Like going to the Property Clerk Warehouse when I was writing the cold case book, or going into the attic of the Rhine Research Center to see the scientist’s old equipment for Parapsychology Lab book.)
4. Interviewing. That can go either way, obviously.
5. Seeing your book in bookstores.
6. Email from people who read your book and have interesting thoughts or suggestions. Or, just say something nice.
7. Meeting with your agent and/or editor and getting to go on and on about all the cool stuff you’re finding out.
8. Amazon and Barnes & Noble stats! Alright, let’s just say from now on it goes without saying that any one of these can go horribly horribly wrong.
9. When someone says something nice about your book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
10. Research. Those months I spent at Duke were heaven, even though I was staying in a dreary motel. There is just nothing like being immersed in a story that has grabbed you. It’s one of those, “I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this,” things.
11. Reviews.
12. People quoting you. OH!! There’s a show that I love love love called Bones. They basically quoted me. They used something I had written about a cadaver dog. It had to have come from me — they pretty much used my exact wording, and I had been telling that story all over the place while I was promoting my book. That show keeps getting better and better. (And I’m not just saying that because they kinda quoted me. Ask anyone. I’ve been telling my friends to watch this show.)
13. People saying nice things about your book on their blogs.
14. Getting invited to fun things. I’m hoping I get invited to a seance or haunted house or something for this book. Although that was not what the Duke guys were into. Still. I mean, come on. Haunted houses??

I pretty much think I have one of the best jobs in the world. Although there are other things I’d like to do if I was smarter or more talented:

Work in the ME’s office.
Be a singer.
Some political office. I never used to care about politics, but we are now on such a downward spiral, I wish I could do something about it.

My Weekend


– Went to choir practice.
– Then Union Square. Stopped to listen to music. There was a cute banjo player. When they took a break I went up to him and asked him about banjos. Very unlike me to just prance up to strangers without any real reason except they’re cute and play an instrument I like and want to learn.
– Lunch at City Bakery.
– Emmet Gowin show at Pace McGill.
– Research at the Museum of TV and Radio.
– Walked home without my headphones. (About 50 blocks.)
– Continued organizing the papers I brought back from Duke. The movie Signs was on in the background. I watch that movie every freaking time it’s on. I can’t resist. The basic message — horrible things might have a good end result — is just too comforting. I must watch.

Sunday (today)

– Brunch out somewhere.
– Browse a book store.
– Museum of TV & Radio again.
– Met. Although maybe not. There’s nothing I’m dying to see there right now, I don’t think. Except I feel like looking at art, so what the hell. They got some there.
– Organize more papers. I’m up to 1955.

Hell. I see it’s supposed to rain. It’s getting darker as I type. I may not be able to have such a wandering, walk around day.

Choir Rehearsal Tonight!

I’ve missed rehearsing so much. The whole thing of singing in a choir is singing with other people. But so far I’ve been working on Mendelssohn’s Elijah ALONE. Tonight I sing with people! Ohmygod. Mendelssohn’s Elijah is … PEOPLE. (Soylent Green humor.)

Among the various pieces we’re rehearsing tonight is #35. For some reason, this is one my favorites. I say “for some reason” because the choir’s part is very simple. No show-offy parts anywhere. What’s the appeal?? But for whatever reason, this one is so satisfying to sing. I love it. Also, for some perverse reason, I find measure 34 difficult to get right. There’s no good explanation anywhere on earth for this, it’s as simple as it gets. Seriously. It’s Three-Blind-Mice-level easy. But I tend to mess it up. Wish me luck.