January 15, 1999

Post #796 – 19990115

Just when I had begun to despair of any new fiction that was worthwhile reading, I came upon a copy of “Fishwhistle” in my local book dealer (blest be his establishment, and may his tomes remain free of silverfish!), this was shortly followed by the acquisition of “Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights”. I just finished “The Afterlife Diet”—all enjoyable books.

I have heard the term “Wordsmith” bandied about by people who neither

read, nor would be able to define the term if asked to do so. I have seen blacksmiths capable both of crafting enduring articles, and those pretty items that are so nice to have around, just as enduring or utilitarian as a horseshoe, perhaps, but so delicate and pleasing to the eye, nonetheless. It was a pleasure to watch them at their craft. They were master craftsmen at their occupation. . .

Within this definition, I see you as a Wordsmith, of an ever diminishing guild, who crafts fine articles, such as those in “Smithsonian”, and books that are both a pleasure to read, and a joy to introduce to my friends.. You are very good at what you do.

Daniel replies:

You found FISHWHISTLE and CHICAGO DAYS, HOBOKEN NIGHTS _and_ THE AFTERLIFE DIET???? At your bookseller? Wow. Those are all out-of-print and comparatively rare books! Post here again and tell us who that bookseller is...s/he deserves a plug. I'm even jealous...THE AFTERLIFE DIET sold out it's first printing so fast (3 weeks) that I was never able to get any copies beyond the few that come free to the author. (Random House refused reprint it, as they'd made a profit and why take chances?)

I don't know...wordsmith? Seems too elevated. How do you feel about word-handyman?