Unexpected Houseguests; or, Tablet, River Styx, P&W, Fence, Cincy, WBSSSC; or, a Good News Omnibus

Goodness, I feel like I have houseguests whom I maybe should have expected were going to come over, but for whatever reason did not.

What I mean is: this Web site, my personal site, usually gets about one or two visitors a day, according to Google Analytics. This is somewhat by design: as you can see if you know how to read the source code of a Web page, I’ve got my Robots meta tag set up according to the Robots exclusion standard.

<code><meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex,nofollow’ /></code>

So it’s surprising and wonderful that 52 unique visitors stopped by last Tuesday—all but one linking from my bio at the bottom of “Memorial Day,” the essay I wrote for the wonderful Tablet magazine.

Even the two days after that were record-breaking for tomhop.com, at least in recent memory—17 visitors on Wednesday, 7 on Thursday.

I’m delighted by the response to the essay. I’ve gotten so many kind and thoughtful notes from friends and family who’ve read it. There may be thoughtful responses elsewhere, but given how personal the piece is, and given the sort of trolls that like to lurk around tabletmag.com, I’m determined not to read any of the 18 comments that have been posted to the piece since it was published.

Also interesting, and perhaps unsurprising, is the fact that suddenly my “Judaica” category of posts got very popular last week.

So here’s one big way in which I’m unprepared for unexpected houseguests: I’ve been neglecting to post all kinds of good news about recent publications, not just about Tablet:

—My story “When the Immigrant Is Hot,” which was a finalist for the Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest, is in issue #85 of River Styx, which came out this past spring;

—I wrote an article called “Network: How to Use LinkedIn to Connect With Your Community,” which is in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers—the full article is readable online;

—My story “What I Remember of My Love Affair with the Bird” is in the current issue of Fence—you can read it either in the print version (v. 14, #1-2) or online, on Fence’s excellent new Web site;

—My stories “Our Libretto Conundrum,” “The Songs Our Local Birds Always Sing,” and “Catching the Rollers” will be in the next issue of The Cincinnati Review (I’m just reading the galleys now);

—My story “The Coat My Mother Gave Me,” which was a finalist for the World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest, will be in Southeast Review v. 30, #1, which I think will come out next spring (I just signed off on galleys earlier today).


And if you’ve never been to my site before, and you came here for the first time because you read my essay in Tablet, or any of the above articles, welcome, and thanks for visiting! The digs are modest, but I’m awfully glad you stopped by.