Friday, September 27, 2013

A Brief Message of Great Importance

I spoke with Editor Charlie a few days ago and learned that my publisher Abrams is reprinting Mom's Cancer! I guess they finally ran out of all the copies they printed before. This is really quite nice. Keeping an old backlist book "in print" is a show of confidence that it'll continue to sell a few now and then. Charlie also asked me an interesting question: "Is there anything you want to change?"


There are some things that, were I starting Mom's Cancer from scratch today, I'd do differently. But even the book's flaws (as I perceive them) are part of the story of making the book. It's a bit ragged in parts because I was a bit ragged when I made it. It has an urgency imposed by real life. I could write or draw some parts better but I think that'd make them less authentic, too. Even the slap-dash last-page coda revealing Mom's death, which Charlie and I added literally hours after she passed and before the book was due at the printer, and which some readers overlook, says something about the experience as we lived it.

So Charlie and I agreed that Mom's Cancer is a perfect little time capsule and we wouldn't change a jot. Any attempt to improve it would only diminish it. The only revision in the reprint will be to update the list of cancer-related resources in the back, some of which have changed URLs or gone out of business. Otherwise, we're going to leave it alone--forever, as far as I'm concerned.

* * *

I was hesitant to write about my compressed nerve the other day, seeing myself as a manly stoic who shouldn't whine about a little pain (no, really!). But you guys have been great. In addition to sympathy, I'm getting a lot of good practical advice and offers of help with exercises, ergonomics, physical therapy, etc. I'm surprised how many people I know who've been through the same thing. Much appreciated!

I'm feeling better now, and not entirely due to the drugs. My misbehaving nerve seems to be gradually loosening its grip on my right arm. If trends continue, I think I'll be all right within a week or so. Meanwhile, the pain is endurable, I'm sleeping much better, and I'm getting some work done.

Thanks for the support. And if it doesn't work out, my left hand still works fine.

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