It seems I joined the so-called slow-blogging movement without intending to. Sorry about that. Time to get back to slapdash, off-the-cuff posting.
So what *have* I been doing lately? I’ve been out to Montgomery College to talk to a continuing-ed group about the short story I wrote for D.C. Noir. The takeaway: It’s fun to talk about fiction, and I miss writing it. Must do something about that.
The larger theme was Washington as more than metaphor. I made the point, not for the first time, that for some of us, “inside the Beltway” describes where we live. I talked about Louis J. Halle, a State Department employee in the 1940s who used to get up before dawn and bike all over town to look at birds. His 1947 book Spring in Washington describes how he “undertook to be monitor of the Washington seasons, when the government was not looking.” It’s a neat little piece of work, part philosophy and part natural history, and an example of some of the literary possibilities this town offers if you look past the political metaphors.
I also asked the continuing-ed group how they felt about the devolution of Book World, which as many of you know is going away as a stand-alone print section. These readers are very ticked off about it. They don’t want to read BW online, and they don’t want to have to browse Outlook, Style, and Sunday Arts in search of reviews.
We didn’t have time to get into some of the deeper questions about why, or whether, book coverage deserves its own section. That would be an interesting conversation.
To be continued.