Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

Happy Birthday to me!

I’m not usually one to go out and wait in line for a new product. The same product that came out yesterday is the same one I’ll get today or the next day. I usually don’t even buy books. That’s a terrible thing to say as an author, but our house is already suffering from an overpopulation of books. Also, the Whatcom County Library System is outstanding, so I can get everything I need at the local library, and I was able to do an enormous amount of research for my recently published book by picking up materials just a few blocks down from my house. But every once in a while I make an exception to these rules. I had to pick up Haruki Murakami’s newly released 1Q84. I didn’t attend a midnight release party. I’m not much one for parties, and well, like I said, I don’t do new releases either. But I had to get Murakami’s new novel, savor it from the beginning, without too much of the critics’ buzz tainting my opinion of the writing.

Not only did I buy a book, I picked it up when it was first released. Totally out of character for me. During the same week, I did the same thing for Tom Waits’ new album, which was released on my birthday. Happy birthday to me. I couldn’t ignore the coincidence that the album was released on my birthday. So, these are my birthday gifts to myself, and they are also part of musings on my newly released book.

Murakami frequently uses cats in his novels, as beings that exist on the interstices of reality and a parallel universe. One day, I’d like to write a novel like one of Murakami’s, but have a dog as a guide between the two parallel existences.

Listening to Tom Waits is like taking a trip down a history of American music. I’ll never be able to sing like Tom Waits, but I can appreciate the stories he tells in his songs. Maybe, I can aspire to having Tom Waits make a song based on one of my musings on dogs.

Happy birthday to me. And thank you to Tom Waits and Haruki Murakami for thinking of me on my birthday.

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