The Norwegian Samoan

A convenient thing about giving stories somewhat unique titles is that they are then, once published, fairly easy to Google; that is to say, thoughts or opinions about a uniquely titled story that have been published on the Web are relatively easy to track down. (This is a new experience for me, having a name that is common enough to be nearly completely un-Googleable.) So yes, I confess, I have been caught self-Googling; or rather, to be more specific, I searched the Internet for the phrase “The Samoan Assassin Calls It Quits” yesterday, which is how I discovered that the story had been mentioned over at Utne back in May, which is awesome, although the mention does make me wonder a few things, such as: Is it always difficult to feel certain as to whether someone writing about your writing actually enjoyed it, and why is it that this question, this squeamish uncertainty of being liked, so easily springs to mind (and is this feeling like the experience, in microcosm, of reading a review of a book you wrote)? And does all talking about writing feel kind of like a game of telephone? And why is the first rule in Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style so difficult for people to grasp? (Speaking of my name, perhaps the only reason this rule is relatively easy for me to grok is because it applies to all three of my names, as well as the name of the state I grew up in, where this story is set?)