Friday, May 05, 2006

Coming soon: The Dogs Who Found Me on audio

Well, its not coming til next spring, but an audio version of the book is under contract now. I have no idea who will be reading it (which, in this case, means they will essentially be playing me.) Last night, as I listened to Pickle the Dog perform accompanied by harmonica, I found myself wondering if there should be dog sound effects added to the recording. Which celebrity dogs might best portray the dogs of the book? Who will play Brando?

When I was in Iowa a few weeks ago, my reading at Prairie Lights was broadcast on WSUI radio, and should soon be available online. Since it was supposed to be my last reading for a while, I decided to read something I hadn't read before: the sections about evactuating New Orleans. It was difficult to read--and yet the idea of a stranger's voice interpreting these personal things is...a bit hard to imagine.

I'll post a link to my own reading as soon as it goes online.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nagin's latest gaffe: Rottweilers will ride under the bus

In announcing Hurricane evacuation procedures the other day, Mayor Nagin detailed plans for the evacuation of pets. Small animals could ride on buses with their owners he said, but larger animals, like rottweilers, would be put underneath the bus with the luggage. This sounded a little...suspicious to me. Would there be crates? Or were they just tossing large dogs loose into the luggage area? And isn't that a little close to the fumes from the exhaust?

No need to worry, it turns out Nagin was making it up as he went along. From the director of the Lousiana SPCA:

I have received several emails and calls about Mayor Nagin’s comments regarding pet evacuation as part of the hurricane plan. Despite the Mayor’s comments, animals will not ride in the luggage section of the bus. He was speaking off-the-cuff.

There is no plan for pet evacuation although we have been talking to Homeland Security for a few months on the details of how pet evacuation would work. As you probably realize, there are considerable details to manage in moving thousands of pets. I’m meeting with Homeland Security today. We hope to have a plan in place in the next few weeks.

Our website has lots of details on hurricane preparedness. We will soon have a downloadable brochure that people can print and distribute as they please.

Thanks and hope is well with everyone.

Laura Maloney

Executive Director

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Reading Thursday in New Orleans, with a singing dog

7pm: Music by Pickle the Dog with Tom Marron
(The dog sings; his owner accompanies him with various instruments)

8pm: Reading by the Bywater's own Ken Foster (The Dogs Who Found Me)

Sound Cafe/Beth's Books
2700 Chartres Street NOLA 70117 504.947.4477

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My new job...

Today I accepted a position at Tulane: Visting Assistant Professor for 2006-2007. I'll be teaching creative writing, including creative non-fiction. And I'm really really psyched!

Of course, I have several hurricane filled months to get through before this starts up...and so technically I'm still unemployed.

from A to Z(ephyr): Amazon publishes a concordance for The Dogs Who Found Me

My book now has the notorious Amazon "search inside" feature, which means they've also listed the following list of the 100 words that appear most frequently in the text:

again along always animals another anything asked away brando bull called came car care come day dog door down even everything few find first found friends front get getting go going gone good got help home house ing katrina keep kept knew know later left let little long looked looking might morning need new next night now once outside own owner pam people pit play puppies ran really right rocco room run sat see seemed shelter side someone something still street sula sure take things think thought time told took two vet walked want wanted week went without yard zephyr

Can you guess which two words are far ahead of the rest? (The answer is under the comment section.)

They also have interesting text stats analyzing the complexity of my work. If I am reading them correctly, you need to be in seventh grade to be able to read the work correctly, and tenth grade to be able to understand what you've read.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Feds lift the ban on magazine delivery in New Orleans!

This is big news. Beginning Monday, if you are among the lucky people receiving mail delivery, it will now include magazines. That is, if after nine months you still have a subscription.

The USPS has been sending magazines back, or putting them in some limbo room somewhere, in an effort to cut corners after the storm took away a distribution center and most of their employees. They are still trying to find a way to avoid rehiring new employees (by doing away with home delivery altogether), but apparently they've decided to let the magazines through. Which means I need to call my old magazines and ask that they credit my accounts. Technically, they were supposed to have suspended the subscriptions, but every few months one has shown up at the door, so I'm assuming the suspensions were never actually done.