This morning Alfie had a visit from Nellie, a Tibetan Terrier from Beacon Hill. They are the same age, though Nellie, being female, is comsiderably smaller. I had wondered if a dog recognizes his own breed. Alfie's play companions are generally "other." He played with happily with Nellie, and allowed her to share his uneaten breakfast very companionably, and of course there is no way to ask him...but to be honest, I think he viewed Nellie as simply "dog," and not "Tibetan Terrier."
I was in Tampa overnight Friday night in order to speak to the Tampa Writers' Project there at their conference on Saturady...several hundred teachers who teach writing and study it seriously. A good group. It is always pleasant to be with like-minded folk. I was to speak for an hour and then sign books (for maybe half an hour, they said)...but the book-signing went on and on and it was three hours later that I was finally able to rise from that chair and rest my hand. Not that I am complaining! It's wonderful to have such an enthusiastic throng.
And yesterday a photographer came to the house, sent by Houghton Mifflin to do new photos for publicity, book jackets, whatever. Turned out he had two subjects instead of one for most photos, because publicity-hog Alfie kept leaping into my lap and posing. Attached, a throwaway Polaroid that the photographer, Neil Giordano, let me keep.