Sunday, August 28

[It's four in the morning, grandma, you win]

It's four in the morning and I can't stop watching BookTV. First it was the panel with an editor, an agent, and a publicist imparting book publishing secrets, then it was James Howard Kunstler talking about the imminent death of the middle class and suburban culture in The Long Emergency, and now it's Scott Huler talking about his book, Defining the Wind, which is about the Beaufort Wind Scale and how it's poetry and science commissure, but also a plea for people to pay attention to things around them.

So I thought I'd look it up. And here it is. And it is quite disarmingly lovely. At least the land part is; not so much the sea part. But it's amazing that this writer got a whole book out of the scale and its history.

But in all these panels and interviews — and everything else I've ever seen on BookTV — the authors talk on and on at a loping pace and you can tell that writers and editors especially love words and chew on them a little before they speak them. (But it's so nice to hear fully formed thoughts every now and then. It seems like all I ever hear, in my ears and in my head, are fragments and incomplete notions.) The agent on the panel, however, was as articulate as the authors and editors, but a bit more snarky and cosmopolitan, sprinkling smarmy punchlines throughout his responses. The publicist's rapid-fire speech and constant "Ummm"-ing between clauses belied her nervousness and almost canine need to get things right and please people.



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