Monday, June 26, 2006


We're going away for a few days for sun, sand. No, not Hawaii. We'll be roasting in the California desert. Our annual after-school-is-out-get-out-of-town trip. It's become a tradition, one my son won't let us forget.

Actually, I'm glad he won't let us forget. I love that about him. I grew up with few traditions so now I welcome them.

After getting my computer back from Apple, it seems like it's been nothing but catch up on projects that should have been done weeks ago. And I'm still catching up. One big OY VEY on this end. So it'll be good to get away. Get some writing done, too.

Thanks so much to those of you who are promoting my book in airports and to friends everywhere. Every little bit helps, as you know. Harcourt seems happy with me and says the book continues to sell, with very few returns. My editor told me there's something like 40% returns!

If you want, I'm happy to send you a few postcards of the cover of the book for you to give out. Harcourt had a ton made and gave me a bunch. Email me (penonfire at with your address and I'll send them to you, with a lil surprise of thanks.

1 comment:

pishydish said...

I just happened to be cruising on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico and i needed to fill up my tank with $3.75 per gallon gas. Outside the gas station stood a Native American in some Navajo threads--could be Hopi for all i know--i just know it wasn't in the Nike line of clothing. In my back pocket was a folded and twisted and heavily worn copy of Pen On Fire--i like to read it, even though I'm not a busy woman--but i am trying to find my sensitive side--and i like to read it while driving 85 on the highway (it's better than talking on the cell phone and eating ding dongs isn't it?)--and the Indian dude saw it--and said "How" -- I said "What?" and he said "Who?" and pointed to the bulge in my back pocket.

"Oh," I said. "That is BDB--her book Pen on Fire."

"Pen On Fire--Hmmm," he said. "Sounds like Indian name--like Dances with Wolves."

I saw a chance for some good PR here and kept it going.

"It's for the busy Pocohantas on the reservation--when she is done with taking care of the little chiefs and grinding out the blue corn."

"Me thinks you crazy," he said. And i nodded my head in full agreement and headed towards the door to pay for the gas. THen he stopped me.

"Wait." He pulled out a hand-carved wooden pipe from his pocket. It had been smoked many times and the detail on the bowl was quite remarkable. He handed me the pipe and wanted to trade.

I was shocked, but i don't smoke. But i knew that to refuse him would be an insult and the last thing i needed was the spirits to give me a flat tire before i got to Phoenix.

I gladly handed him the book and showed him the autograph inside the cover.

"You Peter?" he asked looking at me.

"That's me."

"It means Rock," he said and took the book and shoved it in his pocket and continued to stare out into nothing.

I took the pipe, paid for gas and was on my way. I made it home in record time with no flat tires.

So if an author in the Navajo nation wins the Pulitzer Prize for a story about a woman whose husband was killed in a canoe on the RIo Grande outside their adobe in Taos and was left to fend for herself and three kids as they trekked across the Sonoran desert to Albuquerque where she opened up a roasted pepperia, i will feel i had some part in it.

PS--i owe you a pipe for the royalties BDB--since you didnt get any resale commission--

have fun--and if you see the Indian in the desert, try to get your book back for me and i will trade you the pipe.