I was at the grocery the other day, and as I got out of the van, I saw a woman who seemed to recognize me. I wish I could tell you who she was, but in a small town like Mondoville, there are always people you know you’ve met, but can’t quite place. Meanwhile, at 6’4″, I’m pretty easy to spot, so lots of folks have me at a disadvantage. I did the friendly smile-and-wave bit one does around here — even at 4-way stops, much less in the Food Lion parking lot — and she said, “I think about your stories a lot.”
OK — I’m used to people asking me about the college, or how many students we’re going to have, or how I think our sports teams will do, but I wasn’t expecting that one. I thanked her (although she didn’t say why or how she thought of them — maybe I cure her insomnia), and mentioned that I have another one coming out later this year. She went to her car, and I bought my groceries, and that was that.
Then yesterday, I was doing a little reading when my e-mail chirped and I saw that Lawrence Block had sent an e-galley of the very book I had mentioned in the above paragraph. I’ve gone over my story a couple of times since yesterday, and spent some of last night after band practice reading some of the other stories. There’s some really good stuff in there, and again, I’m honored to be in there with folks like David Morrell, Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Lansdale, and Jeffrey Deaver, along with rising stars like Jill Block and Thomas Pluck. But I no longer feel quite so odd seeing my work with theirs.
While I was looking at that, my phone sounded the slurred two-note sax phrase that lets me know something is happening on Twitter. I checked the screen and saw that my friend and colleague David Rachels had posted this:
A quick check revealed that Down & Out Books has announced the upcoming re-release of Broken Glass Waltzes, complete with links to some information about Your Genial Host. This shouldn’t have surprised me — publishers want to sell their books, after all — but I hadn’t known precisely when this was going to happen, and on the heels of the other stuff this week, it just surprised me a bit.
Because I’m the kind of person I am, I’m inclined to see sequences of events like this as occasions for Einstein’s purported quote that coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. And as it happens, I have another story in process for an anthology I’ll talk about later. Maybe I should get to work, huh?