0745: 15 minutes to my Book and Birthday Party. It's snowing. Not forecast.
0800: Posted the first reading on the book blog. Started drinking. Here's to me.
0820: Emailed Donna de la Perriere, my latest Facebook friend, about the party. Also exchanging Fb emails with Devin Jeyathurai, about good writing creating its own audience.
0830: Many kind wishes for my birthday and book, via Fb, Gmail or blog. Thanks, everyone. Iris N. Schwartz just emailed her wishes too. Am listening to Dvorak's "New World" now, so as to stop myself from listening to myself. KC Trommer is the first to email me about the reading: "i love the virtual book party and the planes passing behind your voice."
0845: Faridah Ahmad gives the thumbs-up on Fb for the reading. Elsa Yow, a friend of many years, writes: "Thanks for the reading. Very enjoyable and meaningful way of spending birthday with you!"
0855: Harry Rutherford, an online friend of some years, is the first to comment on the book blog: "Nice to hear you read your poems--always interesting to put a voice to a person, as it were." Ah, voice on the screen, and voice in the flesh, so to speak. The difference between a man and a man, as Goneril says. Larry Weisman, who has always been so generously critical of my work, chats on Fb: "Beautiful reading." He likes the jets passing overhead too.
0910: Mark MacIntosh (Australia) emails on Fb: "Hopes for a fantastic future for you, and your poetry." Lai Meng congratulates me on the blog. Larry Weisman follows up his Fb chat with a blog comment: "Loved the biographical poems you read. Now the love poems coming up--what more can one ask? . . . I can't decide if your controlled, eclectically-accented voice makes you more real or even more mysterious and ethereal."
0920: Harry bought a book through Paypal. Thanks, Harry! vmh (aka Vicky) is here at the party, whoopee! Still chatting with Devin about Jaguars and Jeeps, and the derailment of metaphor.
0935: Emailed Graham Foust, my latest Fb friend, about the party. This is multi-tasking in action! The problem is that my guests cannot or don't talk to each other. Not a good party if you get to talk only to the birthday boy. It's still snowing, large gentle flakes.
0959: Birthday greets from: Nicholas Wijaya, Sebastien Rochier, Irene Chan, Simon Bill, Ashok Banker, Nels Highberg, Karri Sriram, Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez, Hui Ching, Michelle McGrane, William Delis, Jeffery Seow, Tamiko Beyer, Garrett Brown, Keith Higginbotham, Tammy Ho, Michael Lynch, John Fitzgerald, Slimi Karim, Nashira Priester, Isaac Xu, Andres Lopez Martinez, Sarah Sarai, Chris Mooney-Singh, Rus Bowden, Kevin Maxwell, James Norton, Lori Williams, Susan Richardson, Mike Moulders, Jesse Hudson, Lawrence Schimel, Darrick Sampson, Elle Wrathall, James Wilk, Milton Lee Norris, Yusoff Shariff, Stan Guingon, Robert McEvily, Jen Hamilton-Emery, Susan Solomon, R. Nemo Hill, Christopher Hennessy, David Lawton, Beth Johnston, Nelson Loh, Bradley Schleyer, Nabina Das.
1048: Birthday greets from: Ernie Wormwood, Marysia Wojtaszek, Jose Dimayuga, Gabriel Tan, Leanne Davis, Jenny Dirksen, Nesrin Eruysal, Colleen Ryor, Brianna Martina, Larry Jaffe. Still chatting with Devin, who is now sitting on a park bench somewhere in Singapore, reading Stephanie Dowrick's "Creative Journal Writing." I'm listening to Lang Lang play Beethoven.
1100: The SST party is definitely winding down now. From the time I posted the first reading, 41 visits were made to the book blog. 18 from USA, 8 from UK, 6 from Singapore, 3 from Canada, 1 each from Australia, Mexico, Israel and Korea, and 2 from unknown locations. Julian Mendez Perea writes: "love your blog, it's soooo long." Vicky bought a book! Yeah!
1225: More birthday greets from: Norse Lantern, Michael Geffner, Tara Safronoff, Sandie Angel, Russell Ragsdale, Alissa Heyman, Mary Deal, K. A. Shott, Elizabeth von Uhl, Morgan Harlow, Patricia Ryan-Chilton, Allison Westmont, and Christopher Heyworth. Thanks, guys!
1305: I sold a third book today! Thanks, Rui. Now listening to Anne-Sophie Mutter play Bach.
1310: And more birthday greets from: Jelica Gavrilovic, Ian Erentz, John Erianne, Reese Lakota, Brooke London, Paulette Turcotte, Kevin Maxwell.
1455: Bill Hare wrote 15 minutes ago: "I dropped by and listened to your interesting reading. It brought back memories of my trip to Singapore to hear you read about Tiger Balm Gardens. The New York City references were also interesting as I can relate to the pulse of the big city, having been there as well. You opened up vistas to some fascinating places. Thanks again."
1540: At 2.40 PM Julene Tripp Weaver wrote on my wall: "I'm listening to your words now, lovely reading, powerful words. Thank you."
1614: Posted the second reading on time, at 8.00 (GMT)! Howard and Patty just walked in. Jess Witte writes, "I love the quote about you being the sexy nerd one wants to get to know better!" Patty bought a book! Thanks, Patty!
1628: Andrew sent me a most beautiful birthday card, an early watercolor of his. It sits at the top of this post.
1636: Pamela Kallimanis writes on Fb: "Your thank you poem reminds me of a line in Heather Mchugh's work. It's the speaker saying: "I said, 'I love you. And you, you said, "thank you.""
1645: J. P. Dancing Bear writes on Fb, about Hopper's "Night Shadows": ". . . even though we like to think that a trip around the sun brings us back to the same place: the sun itself has moved: but we habitual creatures like to say things: nothing's changed: same ol' same ol': but even our skin is different: that shadow changes with the light: as you step through it again tonight."
1730: Birthday greets from: Willie James King, Chad Parmenter, David Melville, Neil Aiken, Elizabeth Dalkeith, Lucia Galloway Dick, Dan Foley, Diana Sampey, John Burroughs, J. P. Dancing Bear, Suzanne Gray, Kevin Wisher. Thanks, everybody!
1742: Andrew is the first to comment on the GMT reading: "I remember Francis Bacon writing somewhere about the pain in his painting, the scintilla of pleasure exacted from the precision of pain. Two poems, "For Lonely" and "New Year Resolution" gain from your reading voice: they have a sharp loneliness within them . . . even a sense of aloneness. Beautiful."
1750: Emilio is just coming in.
1820: From 1100h (when I last counted) to now, 91 visits were made to the book blog: 66 from USA, 8 from UK, 3 from Singapore, 2 from Canada, 1 each from Mexico, Norway, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador and Ireland, and 6 from unknown locations. That makes a total of 132 visits since I posted the first reading.
1825: Tara Benton brought me my birthday dinner, from my favorite Thai place. Darling Tara!
1954: Okay, I'm back. 6 more minutes to the EST Party!
2000: Posted the third reading. Greg Bynum has just walked in.
2020: Kate: "what a beautiful voice."
2030: Greg comments on the book blog, "It was good to hear your voice, and especially the poem about loneliness & smiling at fear--that moved me." Bela is the fifth book buyer at this party! Thanks, Bela!
2035: Time to open the champagne!
2045: Lucia bought a copy of the book! Thanks, Lucia. This champagne is good.
2100: Karen wrote on the blog, "Your voice is an important part of it, too--it carries and opens to the listening ear such a steadily inviting sense of words and their balance/ play/ sound on multiple levels, a table spread with visual, tactile, sensory, subtle-hearing experience."
2110: Greetings from: Sherry Thrasher, Steve Tills, Lee Herrick, Noel Bordador, Fabiene Fleury, Gene Auprey, Lucile Barker, Gwee Li Sui, C. Dale Young, Mark Etheredge, Sinjin Larsen, Christine Brooks, Barbara Jean, Luke Feldman. Thanks, guys!
2115: Greg bought a book! Number 7. Thanks, Greg. Emilio dropped off a money order at the post office. Number 8. Thanks, Emilio.
2140: Birthday greets from PFFA: Alexandrite, Hyrdo, Vicky, Howard, jwcarpenter, BrianIsSmilingAtYou, Mrs Harris, Emilio, Skeeter, Bela, Annie, and Barbara Jean.
2210: I'm going to call it a night. From 1820h to now, 59 visits were made to the book blog: 43 from USA, 5 from Singapore, 3 from Canada, 1 each from UK, Australia, Sweden, and Ireland, and 4 from unknown locations. So the grand total for all three readings are: 176 visits. 127 from USA, 17 from UK, 14 from Singapore, 8 from Canada, 2 each from Australia and Ireland, 1 each from Mexico, Korea, Sweden, Norway, Israel, China, Czech Republic and Ecuador, and 12 from unknown locations. Thanks, everyone, for coming to celebrate my birthday with me.
Now I'm going to party for real. Go dancing.