A year before his death, Hunter S. Thompson requested my phone number.
It was 11 p.m. on a Monday when I received the message from documentary filmmaker Wayne Ewing. A part-time resident of Woody Creek, Colorado where he lived in very close proximity to Thompson's famed "heavily fortified" compound, Ewing also spent a portion of the year living four blocks from me in Southern California.
I had written an article about his documentary Breakfast with Hunter, and Thompson, my greatest literary influence, wanted to discuss it.
My initial reaction was "crap!" immediately followed by "shit!" Did he like it? Did he hate it? I gave my number to Ewing and paced and perspired until the wee hours awaiting his call like a love-struck schoolgirl.
The call never came. Later, devastated by news of Thompson's suicide, I sent a note of sympathy to Ewing. His response, dated Feb. 24, 2005, 7:17 a.m. was as follows:
“The reason Hunter wanted your phone number last year was to thank you for the excellent job you did reviewing Breakfast with Hunter and to compliment the quality of your writing. I am sorry that the two of you never actually connected on the phone, but Hunter truly appreciated your work.”
An editor once called me an edgy chick; I found her characterization favorable. Having high standards, for myself and my clients, can be a double-edged sword as it sometimes requires a take-no-prisoners posture. The result is always worth the pain, though. (Snip.)
I christened myself the Serial Comma Killer in the early aughts when I was excused from a proofreading job because I used the AP style guide rather than the APA. Needless to say, all those naughty serial commas met their due, and so did I.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN