April 9th, 2008

Getting on NPR is 15 times harder than getting into Harvard

Publishers Lunch reports, “Viking/Penguin Assistant Director of Publicity Yen Cheong has started a weekly tally of author appearances on national NPR shows as part of a contest for book publicists to keep track of how many books are actually covered. It grew out of a realization, Cheong explains on her Book Publicity Blog, that of "100,000+ authors published each year, the national NPRs interview about 600 of them (I'm estimating a dozen interviews per week) -- which is a whopping 0.06 percent. In other words, getting on a national NPR show is 15 times harder than getting into Harvard." Weekly contest winners will receive the NPR Books Grid, an Excel spreadsheet listing the titles, authors, subjects, shows, interviewers and post-interview Amazon rankings of all the book stories for that week.”

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For poetry month: A poem my mother wrote

My mom would say she wasn't the word person, that my dad was the word person. She is an artist in every sense of the word, from the paintings on her walls, to the arrangements of odd objects on the shelves, to the beautiful clothes she finds at Good Will (when all I ever see is dreck).

But it's my mom who has kept a journal and who has written so many poems. She gave me a notebook of them and I'm slowly putting them into Word, 2-3 at a time, so we can all share them when she's gone.

My father died from Alzheimers - she wrote this when he was just beginning to slip. He was 12 years older than her. He lived another eight years, but by the end he did not recognize his children. I'm not sure he knew my mom was his wife. We were always careful never to press him on that.

Midnight April 2/3 1995
I’m losing you
The nuances of our life are gone.
You are here in words
but the words have lost their shadings.
Oh, my darling
I must grow up.
You are leaving me.

You are such a sweet man
but I know I have become
a mystery to you.
Leave you alone to
rest in your world.
It is a fine place
& I know I am the
star of it.

But the light there is dimmer –
It is truly the beginning
of midnight
& I grieve for us.

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