Category Archives: On Writing (and/or Media)

The New York Times said 'fuck' … once

I’m doing research for my next book, which I’m not ready to write about yet though I have been contemplating that I might sort of ease into it at some appropriate point in time — which isn’t now, so I’m going to have to leave you guessing as to why I was searching The New York Times web site for the word “fuck.” You might surmise that I’m writing about journalism, or censorship, or sex, or somesuch, and I would give you that much.

But anyway, The New York Times, I have read in quite a number of places, does not print the word “fuck.” This would also be true of the vast majority of daily newspapers in the United States and we all know that you really can’t say it on TV or radio, either. In more than 20 years in journalism, I have only gotten the word into print once, in a minor column in the New Haven Advocate in 1995. (Thanks, Josh.)

So, forgetting for a moment as to why I wanted to know: Just what the, um, heck, is “fuck” doing in the New York Times archives?

Continue reading The New York Times said 'fuck' … once

Today is a "Bestseller" Day …

When Beauty from Afar first came out, I was afflicted with Amazon Sales Rank Syndrome, a phrase I apparently just coined because a Google search for it finds nothing, nada. ASRS sufferers have mood swings linked to the mysterious ups and downs of how their book is doing according to Amazon, as measured by Sales Rank. Hardly anyone, including people in the publishing industry, has a clue about how Amazon calculates Sales Rank.

This morning, Beauty from Afar was at about 16,000, high enough to make it the No. 1 book in the “Plastic Surgery” category at Amazon. Yippee, huh? BFA has been as high as about 900. It also, on occasion, plummets to 400,000 or so. Continue reading Today is a "Bestseller" Day …