Work, maladies, and other excuses for punting to you

You guys know this isn’t my job, right? I feel awkward saying it again, but some people still don’t seem to realize: the site is a hobby.

Of course I’m always glad to hear from readers, but I don’t wait in suspended animation for email and books to arrive.

My actual job is incredibly glamorous. I sit within the luxurious, cloth-clad confines of my cubicle, and read, write, and edit materials about — fanfare, please — tax law. Typically I heat up an Amy’s burrito for lunch, which I eat at the office –because why venture outdoors when I have carpet reminiscent of ’70s airline decor to gaze upon?

Right now I’ve also got a ton of freelance deadlines looming. Over the weekend I need to finish an essay about a doomed college relationship. (This ex-boyfriend enjoyed playing the Florida version of Russian roulette: turning off the lights on his truck, and weaving between the right and wrong sides of medians. His mother used to go down on her boss for $50 when she was strapped for cash and give us the — sorry — blow-by-blow details later. I think maybe that affected the boy in some way. But I digress.)

Mostly, though, I’m distracted from blogging because there’s trouble with my eyes. The bulging disease keeps them dry and red and tired, and nowadays I feel like I’m constantly blinking back a million tiny grains of sand. Reading, especially on the computer, makes it worse.

Several doctors have recommended orbital decompression surgery over the years. I’ve said no, because for some reason I haven’t been enthusiastic about having larger holes created in my skull just so my eyes might look the way they did when I was seventeen.

Recently, though, I scraped my eyeball on a pillow while I was sleeping. Admittedly the experience was not as horrific as the time twelve years ago when I woke up and rubbed my eye and it started to slide out of its socket, but still: if it could never fucking happen ever again, that would be just great. So the surgery may hurt like hell, and there’s a significant risk of double vision, but I’m considering it.

While I get some work done and consult with doctors, I won’t have much time to maintain the site in the month of August. And that’s where you come in. I hope.

I’d like to post a series on independent bookstores that sell literary fiction. If you run, work at, or are in love with a bookstore, send a photo and a few sentences or paragraphs or pages telling me about it. (Email to bookstores [at] maudnewton [dot] com.)

I’ll put my favorites up throughout next month.


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