"All Write All Write All Write!"

(Hint: Say it like you’re Matthew McConaughey.)

Another cool thing that happened recently: I got to do a reading at Webster Groves High School as part of their inaugural All Write Festival, a week of programming where they invited writers of all stripes to give readings and discussions and hold Q&As with the students. I shared the stage with Nicole Evelina, writer of historical fiction and romantic comedy (because “never limit yourself to one genre if you don’t want to” are words I live by), and we had a great time sharing excerpts from our work, talking about process and craft, and the importance of research.


I hope they do it again next year. Thanks, Webster!

Who let that dog out?

You probably can't tell, but I'm flexing my right calf to make them look more balanced. It's totally not working, is it?

You probably can’t tell, but I’m flexing my right calf to make them look more balanced. It’s totally not working, is it?

Getting attacked by a dog was not how I expected my weekend to start. Of course, does anyone ever expect their weekend to start that way? Probably not. But, that’s what happened, as I was biking through the intersection of Shaw and Tower Grove and the pit bull/shepherd mix, a stray from a rescue group, leapt out the back window of a car and chased me down.

I have never been quite so terrified. I’ve also never bled quite so much. It’s not quite twenty-four hours later now, and following seven hours in the emergency room and somewhere between one and two dozen stitches in my left calf, I’m at home waiting for the time to pass so I can take my next dose of Vicodin. Funny how it’s supposed to last for six hours and yet it seems to wear off faster than that. The dog also got two fingers on my left hand where I was trying to pry his jaw off my leg. He didn’t get them badly, but they’re sore enough that signing books on Wednesday at Left Bank Books might be a little extra fun! Apologies in advance if my penmanship is somewhat lacking at that time. At least I’ll have an interesting story to lead with now… I mean, besides The Unwanted, which I’ll be reading from and which is totally interesting and which you should read. Or better yet, come to the store and buy a copy. And watch the somewhat hobbled lefty sign it.

(A small aside: when they asked me what I did for a living in the ER and I told them writer, I did tell them about the novel and the event coming up. Even when bleeding profusely, never pass up a marketing opportunity.)

It’s best to keep a sense of humor about these things when you can, right? The ER nurse who was doing triage asked me, “Did you know this dog?”

“We didn’t really have time to get acquainted, although we did bond for a little while.”

“Yeah,” she replied, “for a while you two were tight.”

Laughter is the best medicine, I’ve heard. I think that’s not entirely true. The best medicine is Vicodin. Almost time for my next dose. My mom said this meant I couldn’t have a glass of wine, and I mentioned that at one point in the past I might have washed down a painkiller with a glass of chardonnay. Nonetheless, it’s too early in the day for that.

This is just the sort of thing you want to happen when you’re “funemployed!®” but let’s be real, there’s never a good time to be mauled by a dog. The funny thing is (well, not “ha-ha” funny), one of the texts I sent to Mike after it happened was “I know this sounds weird, but lucky it was me and not someone younger or older.” The rescue group is covering my bills for the hospital and so on, which I didn’t even have to ask them to do. They’re a good organization, one that we’ve donated to in the past and participated in trivia nights to raise money for.

When my friend Ruth heard about what happened, she said, “All dogs should be nice to you because you’re so good to dogs. Flawless logic.” I like her logic, and only wish that were the case. That said, I still love dogs. I’m just glad our dog is 10 pounds and loves me, and is not extremely reactive to bicycles.

I’m not going to stop biking either. Well, I mean, obviously I’m not going to be biking in the immediate future, because ow. But biking is one of the main ways I keep both my carbon footprint and my waistline in check, and let’s face it, this was a fluke.

So, how’s your weekend going?