I cracked up when I saw the name of the show. I wonder who thought it up. Makes me happy there are Millennials into Marvin Gaye. I thought back to taping “Sexual Healing” off FM radio, not knowing what it was about, but getting a clue when I heard it was my classmate’s mom’s favorite song.
Textual Healing is a podcast for writers talk to about books and music. I listened to a few episodes, then wrote to the host. All the guests were young and their music tastes didn’t necessarily jibe with mine, but I felt some kinship with their overall attitude. They had few illusions about lit world success. Most paid their rent some way other than selling books. I could relate.
To my surprise, Mallory wrote back within a day, saying she’d love to have me on sometime. A couple weeks later, she came by to pick up some books. The walls were covered in the collages I’d been making and she and her boyfriend, Bulent, seemed to be into them, even asked about buying one. They were nice people. They made me glad I’d reached out.
Mallory sounded shocked at my age. Said I was more like what she thought thirty is supposed to be like. She’s thirty, but said she feels a lot younger. Does anyone ever truly feel their age? I’ve felt like a fortysomething my whole life.
Mallory runs an online magazine and indie publishing concern called Maudlin House. By reading a few things there and following a few author and social media links, I got to know a whole community of young writers and artists. They do it all themselves, kind of like I do.
We recorded our talk in January. The conversation was easy, digressive in the way friends’ talk often is. That was a surprise, since we barely know each other. I asked about the name of her show. She said a friend came up with it and that I was the first to ask about it. I wondered how many guests or listeners knew what it was a pun on.
Absent a return to social media or hiring a publicist, podcasts and lit mags are my best chance to get word out about my books and art. Maudlin House ran a chapter from the new book this week.
Maybe the kids are alright after all. They’ve been really nice to me in any case.
p.s. There’s a recording of a very early version of what would become Old Style. It was recorded in 2013 at the Butcher Shop by John Forbes, with Bill MacKay on guitar, Charles Rumback on drums, and Daniel Thatcher on bass. I still have a couple CDs of the full recording, with unique drawn or painted covers, should you be interested.
p.p.s. I made another collage book.