I have been immersed in copyediting, reading the ms for The Sweet Spot forwards, backwards and forwards. Now I raise my head above this task and thank a whole bunch of people.
Andrew Heinrich is the first I will mention. A bassoonist, Andrew expanded his serious repertoire of classical music to grant my request that he play The Beatles at my Sept. 17 reading of Peace, Love, and You Know What at Brodsky Bookshop in Taos. He played more songs than I expected, including one of my favorites, In My Life, from the album Rubber Soul.
Andrew studied the instrument at the Cleveland Institute of Music and New England Conservatory. He hasn’t played in public for a while, so I am very grateful. The audience was delighted. I was, too.
He will have a return engagement when he plays at my next reading, unscheduled as of yet but likely later this fall. That would be for The Sweet Spot, and the natural accompaniment would be Country and Western — pre-eight track. I am talking about the likes of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Stay tuned.
Secondly, thanks to Rick Smith at Brodsky for hosting the reading and the attentive audience who came. They laughed at the funny parts. What can I say?
Next, I thank those who have bought my books — in stores and online.
I am further grateful to those who have taken the time to write a review on Amazon. The latest was my friend, Cindy Brown, author of the Taos Hiking Guide. (If you hike in the Taos area, you need to buy her book.)
Cindy wrote in part, “The characters feel real and we get to see into what they are thinking and feeling; really understanding their motivations and doubts. The book follows them through the end of college and their launch into real life — complete with surprises and mystery that makes for a compelling read.”
She messaged me when she filed the review. Then I found a surprise: reviews from people I didn’t know.
Eli Dunn titled his review: Don’t miss this gem! “Funny, funky, and fresh this fictional account of hipsters on campus during the sixties will draw you into their world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. With a ready-made soundtrack, this novel is sure to be a cult movie favorite someday soon.” (I like that idea.)
Joana wrote: “Well, that was fun. This novel rang true to college hippie life at the cusp of the 70s. I felt like I knew the characters to the point of faces popping into my head, because I met some of their doppelgangers back in those days. Sexy, druggy, yet still a hopeful story of young uncertain people finding their way through their ‘coming of age’ towards love and adulthood. The story is timeless in that sense. Hope we hear more from Ms. Livingston!”
An anonymous reviewer gave it five stars and the comment, “Great book.”
Here’s the link, if you want your shot: Peace, Love, and You Know What on Amazon
So it’s back to work. Later this week, Michelle, who designs my books, will give me a timeframe. Meanwhile I keep hunting for misplaced commas, typos and repetitive words — now in 50-page increments, my latest device. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read The Sweet Spot, but I still love it. I hope you all will, too.
ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: Andrew Heinrich plays the bassoon. Photos by Cody Hooks.