Hurricane Ida is on her way, curling up through the Gulf after terrorizing central American and the Yucatan peninsula. She’s breaking up now into a tropical storm, but that still means a lot of water and wind, especially along the coast. It’s gray outside, but there’s no rain yet. The Tulane flag hung over the porch railings by our peppy neighbors flaps back and forth. T. Middy has lifted all our plants off their stands, and taken his rain boots to work. As one of our friends said last night, at least when the electricity goes, it won’t be too hot.
The storm is passing to our east, so I don’t think the electricity will go this time. It’s very quiet outside: most schools are closed today, just in case. In Plaquemines Parish, it’s flooding already (storm surge), and some people are evacuating. Everyone’s selfishly hoping it’ll turn a little farther east, and hammer someone else.
I haven’t posted for a while, because I’ve been busy with the semester – including a fantastic visit last week from one of my literary heroes, Deborah Eisenberg, and a dinner with my screenwriting students and the writer/producer Eric Overmyer, veteran of The Wire, who’s creating a new HBO drama here with David Simon.
Also, I’ve been busy with lots of book promotion for Ruined – including four visits to local schools; two book groups (one at Octavia Books, and one at Barnes & Noble); a trip to the SIBA conference in Greenville, South Carolina; and book events here at Octavia and Maple Street, at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, in Mississippi at Lemuria Books in Jackson and Square Books in Oxford, and at the Neighborhood Preservation Center in New York City. I have another event coming up this Saturday at the Catholic Library Association conference. And, of course, there was the great trip to Orlando to film a marketing video for Scholastic Book Fairs. Ruined will be sold in book fairs all over the country from January.
T. Middy – for those of you pining for news – is busy as well, working on the Dean’s Colloquium, and the Ellis Marsalis performance this Thursday (Dixon Hall, November 12). We go up to St Louis for his birthday/Thanksgiving later this month, and then to New Zealand for two weeks over Christmas. My sister sent me an email, saying: “Would you two like to cook Christmas dinner? No pressure.” (Um, sure.) Only four weeks of classes left.
I’ve been scribbling notes for various posts – at the Epcot Center in Disneyworld; at the Angola Prison Rodeo; at the gravesite of Robert Johnson just outside Greenwood Mississippi. My bizarre autumn. Today, for the first time, and thanks to a tropical storm, it almost feels like fall.