Ain’t it peculiar. I was putzing around in the garden today when I heard a car drive up, and who should emerge but my friendly ex, Liz Hand, mom of Callie and Tristan, along with her hapless passenger and house guest John Crowley.

Crowley is an old literary hero of mine, author of (among other titles) “Little, Big,” my favorite fantasy novel. Once upon a time we had an editor in common, Lou Aronica, first at Bantam Books and later at Avon/Morrow. But I’d never met Crowley before.

I gave him a quick garden tour. Then we sat down for tea and ended up talking about Lou — who all but vanished from the New York publishing scene several years ago, though by happenstance Crowley crossed paths with him in Connecticut just last month.

I want to say parenthetically that I’m pecking out this post on an iPod touch, via the nifty little WordPress app. It’s slightly awkward but also fun, and the “spell-guessing” feature of the iPhone/touch is truly remarkable.

So anyway Crowley had seen Lou who evidently has a new wife and new publishing schemes in his head, which kind of sounds like the old Lou, which is kind of reassuring. I feel bad about falling out of touch with him. He’s a genuinely good guy and we only parted ways (after doing six novels together) when I resolved to write my “German” novel — a complete midlife career makeover that must have left Lou shaking his head in bemusement.

Not so many years ago this kind of encounter would have seemed quite remarkable to me and would have required a certain amount of processing. Today I guess I just sort of expect to cross paths with certain people at certain tImes. Maybe Lou himself will be next, sunning himself on Lincolnville Beach, waiting for the ferry over to Islesboro to pitch some crazed publishing venture to one of the high rollers who summer there. If it happens, it will be cool.

Advertisements