My wordpress dashboard has a place where you can save up your draft posts for a rainy day like today — and I just noticed that I have sixty four such drafts, which I find astonishing, because I can’t remember writing any of them. On closer examination I realize that the reason I can’t remember writing them is because, well, I didn’t. I just made up names for posts and then went away.
I see that recently, I was going to give you something called “All Good Things Come in Threes” (what good things might those be? I’m guessing food) and something else called “Hot Kitchen Tips!” (wash berries by tipping them into a bowl of water and then swishing them around?) and another called “Marie Antoinette goes to Versailles.”
That one I remember in some detail: I believe it was going to be a travel recommendation to those who go to Versailles. My suggestion, as I recall, is that you skip the interior of the place, particularly if you are there with children, because the lavish interiors of all such places all look precisely the same: lavish. And that can bring on the kind of boredom that makes children want to break through the velvet ropes and push the spindly little chairs over. Instead, and particularly if you are there in the summer, you should head straight out to the nice cafe by the lake, the one that I think is probably named after Marie Antoinette. There, you should eat ice cream and admire the chateau from the appropriate distance, as I am sure Marie Antoinette probably did in her time. And then you should stop at the gift shop, buy a nice ruler with a picture of the chateau on it, or a pencil with the same, and go back to Paris, without a moment’s guilt about skipping the whole interior.
It is, alas, not summer here in Berkeley. It is cold, and it has been raining for what feels like my entire life. It isn’t the same as London cold and rain, because things are blooming here, spring being programmed to begin on February 1st in Northern California no matter what. The magnolia tree in our front yard is sporting fat, wet blossoms, but no greenery, and the princess plant resists any suggestion that spring might not actually be here, even though it too is wet and windblown. Still, good for them for insisting that what they expect should happen, will in fact occur.
Me, I’m inside, doing a task that I’m finding surprisingly fun, although I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea to expect anything to come of it. I might have mentioned that I sent off two of my stories to a lot of journals, and am bracing myself for the inevitable flood of rejections. That not being enough, however, I’m also putting together a package to send to agents, including an agent the nice people at that prize contest I entered suggested I speak to. I figure if I’m going to contact one person with a query letter I’ve sweated blood to create, I might as well contact another dozen or so with the same letter.
Looking for an agent is a little like internet shopping at an upscale website when you’re totally broke. You want everything, and you know that isn’t likely to happen. Still, a rainy day like today needs a little of that kind of fantasy. And if you, like me, happen to be looking for an agent for your fabulous book, this website has a really, really good list of them. Just don’t query anyone I like with your cold war mystery, the one that’s set in Bavaria in 1969, okay? Those agents are mine!