Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Above the Fold

This morning when my son dropped the newspaper onto the breakfast table he said, with a laugh and a wink, "Must have been a slow news day."  Because there was my photograph, above the fold.

It's an odd photograph.  I suspect I really do look like that, waving my hands around as I speak.  I'm not particularly dressed up in it, because, well, I was fighting off six kinds of cold viruses last week, and wondering when I was going to find time to take down our Christmas decorations, and while I was happy to sit for the interview I didn't want to get too carried away.

That, and I rarely dress up for anything.  If I'm wearing makeup in my casket no one will recognize me.

Overall the article--one in a series on local women for the Bristol Herald-Courier--is pretty good.  It doesn't make me sound racist, which I always feel is a bonus, and it doesn't quote me saying anything I never would have said.  In a little box to one side, it says, "Maxim: 'Ninety percent of writing is the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair,'--Mark Twain."  I don't remember quoting that during the interview but I've certainly quoted it 10,000 times in my life before.

I'd like to correct two inaccuracies.  First, it says that my daughter and I compete our horses in "dressage and eventing" competitions.  The idea of me competing in true dressage competitions will make stuff come out my friends' noses while they laugh themselves into a coma.  I suffer dressage for the same reason most eventers suffer dressage: because they won't let us jump until we do.  And that goes double for my daughter, and triple for my mare.

Second, it says that my daughter and I went to "all the equestrian events" at the London Olympics.  Ah, no.  That would have made us luckier in the ticket lottery than Princess Kate, who, we noted, seemed to have gotten very lucky indeed, front row seats at all the big venues.  No, my daughter and I went to "all the eventing," which is to say, four days for the full competition, which still made us very very lucky for non-royals in the lottery.  (Before round 3 of the lottery, in which I scored the coveted Cross Country Day tickets, I'd tried appealing to the President of the United States Equestrian Federation, and also to Great Britain's famed equestrian Mary King.  It didn't work.  Mary King thought I'd gotten jolly lucky to get any event tickets at all.  David just cocked his eyebrow and shook his head.)  After the eventing my daughter and I saw a smidgen each of archery, fencing, diving, and badminton, and it was lovely, every moment of that trip was lovely, and I'll write about it soon.

Karen O'Connor for Team USA rides Mr. Medicott over the final cross country fence.  Clear!

Also--back to the newspaper article--in terms of my meticulous research (believe me, 'meticulous' is wholly true) the article suggests that when I went to Kent, for my new novel, Kent looked just like Bristol.  No, Kent looked like Kent. 

This is Kent.  An old tower in Rye, as seen from the church tower.
Does that look like Bristol to you?

Still, in all fairness, it was a decent article for a slow news day.  I've heard that all publicity is good publicity, but I've never been convinced it was true.Above the Fold