I was writing a book at the time (I have been writing a book since the fifth grade), so I asked when it would be finished.
Imagine my surprise at finding there was no novel in my cards. There were, however, lots of little things. She asked if I published pamphlets or small inspirational stories. I had no idea what she was talking about.
It has recently occurred to me that the pamphlets she saw may have been blog posts and articles. These wouldn't happen for at least 10 years, so she must have had excellent distance vision.
While I still hope to get a book finished, I've started to wonder if books are going the way of albums. Yes, people sit down and read a book from beginning to end, but more and more, they are carrying around snippets. They have songs in their iPods and blogposts in their readers.
I imagine literary mix tapes aren't far behind. Perhaps they're already happening and I, having not smashed anyone's heart to smithereens lately, have not been given one.
By the time I get my novel out there, it will be like "hey! my album just came out on 8-track!" Which is not to say it won't be awesome.
On New Year's Eve I met two long-time Trout readers. One had told me she might be there, but the other popped up quite unexpectedly. It's impossible to accurately describe how surreal that is. The idea of people reading what I post is an amorphous swirl of "well isn't that nice" that doesn't quite seem real. It's like after years of reconciling Santa as a metaphysical concept, he shows up and introduces himself.
Knowing that real people who I can see (and other people can see, too) are reading what I write gave these words a tangible place to land. They are no longer floating out in the ether. They've been caught and held onto long enough for someone to be curious about where they came from.
Which made me wonder if I may eventually wind up on a literary mix tape.
I can think of no greater honor.