On Thursday Mrs. T and I returned home from a month-long stretch on the road. Most of it was pretty wonderful, especially our two-day visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Seth Peterson Cottage, at which I snapped this candid photo of Mrs. T sleeping on the couch. Not so the travel, which was grueling from start to finish, in part because there was so damned much of it, including two unplanned trips to Smalltown, U.S.A., to see my ailing mother (who is much improved, thank you).
In addition to the Peterson Cottage, the shows we saw, and the (frequently) fabulous meals we ate along the way, we stumbled across a brand-new independent bookstore-café that’s equally deserving of high praise. Arcadia Books is located in Spring Green, the small Wisconsin town that is home to American Players Theatre and Taliesin. It’s owned by James Bohnen, a stage director whose work I admire, and it’s the kind of shop of which serious readers dream. The space is handsome and the choice of books imaginative (I bought a copy of the New York Review Books edition of Murray Kempton’s Part of Our Time there). The food is good, too!
I’m tickled to report, by the way, that my own Pops was on display next to Rosanne Cash’s Composed, a book of which I think highly. It was nice to be in such good company.
When you’re gone for a month, you’ve got a month’s worth of snail mail to open, and that’s what I spent Thursday night and Friday morning doing. Most of it was publicity-type stuff, most of which was a notch up from junk. I did, however, receive a package from the University of Chicago Press that delighted me, containing as it did my copies of Richard Stark’s Flashfire and Firebreak, to which I contributed an introduction of which I’m exceedingly proud.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the Stark/Parker bandwagon, I have good news, which is that the University of Chicago Press is giving away free copies of the e-book version of The Score, the fifth novel in the Parker series, throughout the month of September. You can download your copy by going to the U of C Parker page, and you can also order it directly from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (If the $0 price hasn’t shown up yet on these sites, come back later today or tomorrow.)
Incidentally, Flashfire is about to be turned into a movie called Parker that will star Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, and Nick Nolte. Some of the Parker movies have been much better than others, so I’m hoping that this one, which will be directed by Taylor Hackford, is an improvement on its most recent predecessor.
In addition to Flashfire and Firebreak, I also received an envelope from my theatrical agent that contained a check—the first money I’ve ever earned as a playwright. It was the advance payment for the premiere production of Satchmo at the Waldorf, my first play, which opens next Thursday in Orlando, Florida. It isn’t a big check, but it still means a lot to me. Not only is it a symbol of an achievement that I never envisioned, but I’m allowing myself to think of it as—maybe, just maybe—a down payment on the future. Here’s hoping, anyway….