Sleepless in a Starbucks

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APOL was in Seattle this week, where it witnessed for itself the strange coffee culture that dominates the U.S. Pacific northwest. Strange, that is, to APOL, which is accustomed to juke joints and speakeasies, not coffee houses. Yet the always pushy publicant quickly found a way to connect with Seattleites by presenting itself as a local. “I’m, like, totally on Amazon, you know?” it told chill hipsters at Starbucks.

Seattle is situated on Puget Sound, an inlet of the Salish Sea. The first European explorer to enter the Sound was British navigator George Vancouver, in 1792. The Vancouver expedition literally placed the northwest coast of North America on the map of the world. Many of the places Vancouver first charted—Deception Pass, Hood Canal, Bellingham, Port Townsend—still bear the names he gave them. He named Whidbey Island, the largest and longest island on the U.S. west coast, and Puget Sound itself, after officers who accompanied him on his voyage of discovery.

George Vancouver’s voyage holds a warm place in APOL’s author’s capacious heart. Thompson is said to be working currently on his long-delayed masterwork, an historical novel about Vancouver’s encounter with Spanish explorers just weeks after he departed Puget Sound.

“First,” said APOL when asked about this rumour, “he’s wasting his time. There’s no future in historical fiction. And second, why do you let him use the third person when he talks about himself? You know it’s him that writes these things, right?”

Note: “APOL” is the anthropomorphic version of my satirical novel A Person of Letters, which has gone on tour without me (with a wink and a nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page, and read about all of APOL’s (mis)adventures in sequence on this tour archive.  For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.

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