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A fascinating thing about writing books is that I almost never know who’s reading them. I just have to embrace the mystery.

And a fun thing about having a sister who works in schools and libraries is that she revealed part of the mystery today, after a student pulled The Drake Equation out of his backpack to read!

I know this is embarrassing for both of us, but the new, revised, updated edition of The Pocket Guide to Spy Stuff comes out on August 14. And not to brag, but you’ve never seen anything like it!

LEGAL NOTE: You may have seen something like it. However, this *updated* version is stuffed with expanded material on timely topics like misinformation, propaganda, and spy-jinks! Plus, jokes. Jokes are good.

And pre-orders are even better! 😇
 It’s at Indiebound,  Powell’s, 
Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Or, just ask your local library to order it!

But fan mail that combines a near-death experience with a whiff of blasphemy?

Wow! This was sent by Ethan and Rowan Eshbaugh-Soha, who along with their mom Michelle, have written their own book. It’s called “Food Wars: A Noodle of Hope.” The novel is a bit like a quality book version of the movie “Space Balls” — and it’s really, really funny! I gave it five stars at Amazon. Thanks, Eshbaugh-Sohas!

This photo makes me mad because I specifically said NO PAPARAZZI!

Want to hear something good? Community Partners for Affordable Housing is a nonprofit that works to get people in homes. That’s good! I appreciate their work, and I’m grateful that I was invited to their authors’ event called HomeWord Bound. This year’s roster of writers included Omar El Akkad (American War), Willie Vlautin (Lean on Pete) and Robert H. Wilson (Robocolypse). The keynote speaker was the amazing Rene Denfeld (The Enchanted). And a special highlight of the evening for me was when I got to read a long poem that ended with an obscure CPAP machine joke. Thank you for the invite, Tracy Stepp!

With Rene Denfeld.

“So this is a fork, huh? Well, I guess I’m ready to have the ‘tine of my life’! Haha, kill me now.”

 

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to speak with 425 young writers who came from all over the state for the Oregon Writing Festival at Portland State University! It was amazing — I wish I could explain how inspirational and funny and heartwarming these students are, but I ain’t got the words. (Some writer I am!)

That’s a LOT of empty chairs!

*ulp*

A student brought her copy of one of my books to get signed. (But I wonder if she’s really read it?)

(It's a Monty Python joke!)

I react in terror to a simple question about the airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow.