Thailand Monk

Thailand Monk

Woke up rested and refreshed after sleeping for more than 8 hours in the Charming Backyard Cabin, sleeping on a futon underneath this painting. Oatmeal and raisins, coffee and milk in the kitchen of the main house, then I ambled down Mill Street to Village Books in Old Fairhaven Town. The person in charge of author book-signings was in a meeting.

“Just check our website,” said the woman at the counter. “There’s a procedure you have to follow, but I’ll make sure this gets to the right person.”

“Sorry I didn’t call ahead,” I said. “I don’t have a cellphone. I’m in town for two days, staying just up the road. Just tell her I’ll try again, tomorrow.”

There were customers waiting. Amazing the numbers of older people with time on their hands and money in their pockets that you see in bookstores. After 26 years of working at a library, I’m completely out of touch with what it’s like for people who have to buy their own books.

A lot of changes since I was a Freshman at Fairhaven College, 40 years ago, most specifically: the proliferation of cars and parking lots. When I asked for directions at the Information Booth, the lady said:

“What? You DON’T want a parking pass? You’re Walking?”

Stumping along the campus, there’s the dawning realization that only students walk–certainly not visiting alumni/drop-outs. Must be alarming to the students to see an old man walking, carrying a shoulder bag, assuming he must be a homeless vagrant.

Dorm 5

Dorm 5

Posted on the wall at the Fairhaven Administrative Bldg. was a notice for a class–FAIR 375P–The Future of The Book, to be taught by Prof. Stan Tag, Winter Quarter, 2015.

That’s just what I’m looking for! I’m deeply concerned about The Future of The Book–most especially my own. Writing down the info, I entered the building and found myself standing in that room again on the 3rd floor where the Office Receptionist never quite knows what to do with me.

“You want to Audit a class? WTF?”

“Well, either that, or visit the class and give a Book Talk. I’m an alumni with an award-winning novel.”

Not in so many words, of course, but eventually a faculty member came out of her office to her rescue the receptionist and suggested I e-mail the teacher. I got his address and left a note in his mail box, along with a 4-page full dummy copy of Return to Circa ’96 front & back pages, plus the Introduction and Author Info.

14003 | 375p The Future of the Book
Tag/Black (4 credits)

Perquisite: FAIR 201a or permission of instructor
Please Note: This is a student taught class taught by Cheyenne Black and supervised by Dr. Stan Tag.

This course is for writers, editors, publishers, and book lovers who want to know where we’re going before we get there. Our process will begin with understanding the state of publishing in a historical context and then we will trace its development to what it is today. We will attempt to project out into the future and explore what is possible. We will research what others believe will happen and combine that with our own ideas of what might happen. We’ll spend a lot of time in conversation with each other and also with several guests along the way. We’ll dream, project, and predict while calculating just where we can fit into it all.

Texts: A futurist’s Manifesto: A collection of Essays from the Bleeding Edge of Publishing by Hugh McGuire and Brian O’Leary The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control by Ted Striphas

Hiked across Western Wash. State U. campus to the Humanities Bldg., stopping for pictures at Red Square. Funny how huge it used to seem when I was a student, and now it seems charming, almost quaint. It’s human-scale.

Red Square

Red Square

Marched into the Humanities Bldg. and immediately discovered another class that I absolutely MUST check-out: English 456: Writing the Novel, (5 credits), taught by Sara Stamey, Senior Instructor. Apparently this is a Continuing Education class open to the public. For more info, here’s the website:

Went upstairs to the English Dept. and there was a door with a sign that said: Bellingham Review. Good old Bellingham Review: I’ve rcvd. countless rejections of my creative writing from them over the years, but I never felt bad because–hey, it’s Bellingham.

When I knocked on the door, Katy Teer, editor of The Bellingham Review, seemed actually glad to see me–a visiting alumni with an award-winning novel. She liked the premise of Return to Circa ’96, responding enthusiastically. An excerpt from my book might be possible in Bellingham Review. Either that, or submit something new. For more info:

All downhill from there, wandering down High Street to Railroad Avenue and the perfect place to rest and recuperate at The Bagelry. Bowl of turkey noodle soup: $3.15 + 1.00 pumpernickel bagel + $2.00 for a cup of cofee.

The Bagelry

The Bagelry

The Bagelry