I’m a bit behindhand today. Working on my taxes.
I immensely enjoyed George Singleton’s guest blog (see below), especially his observations about aspiring writers approaching you at talks and workshops and asking you to read their unpublished manuscripts. When I become a writing teacher and get paid for it, then I’ll teach you what I know about writing. As for helping you get published, well, I’m always glad to give you suggestions, but what the heck to do I know? My path to publication was weird and ass-backwards and not at all a typical experience. One fellow came up to me after a talk and asked me to call my agent and my publisher and recommend that she read his manuscript. I don’t know any agents and my publisher would just laugh at me. I don’t judge the as-yet-unpublished for not quite knowing how it works. Nobody appreciates the difficulties of anyone else’s job or profession unless he’s done it himself. I’ve heard people utter the most outrageous things about their bosses, and how nice it must be to sit with your feet on your desk up in your big office and order people around, when they don’t have the slightest idea what kind of pressure a manager is under. People don’t seem to respect the job that maids and janitors do, but I can’t think of a more important service. And don’t get me started on teachers and librarians. And writers.
But I digress.
Let’s see, what were we talking about. Oh,yes. Food. I’ve been reading Louise Penny’s latest, A Rule Against Murder. I love Louise Penny’s books, as I love any book with a strong ethnic ambiance, and an evocative description of the country and the people. Reading a book set in Quebec calls for a crusty croissant slathered with butter and sweet apricot jam, along with a creamy cafe au lait. What could add to the enjoyment of reading a good book more than treating yourself to the smells and tastes that the characters live with? A mug of strong dark chocolate laced with cinnamon for Like Water for Chocolate, or a tall glass of sweet iced tea while reading Erskine Caldwell (or me, if I may indulge in some self-promotion.) Or if you’re on your own and feel like reading a book while you eat supper, get yourself a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, fix up a nice plate of pork and greens and cornbread, pour syrup over everything on your plate, and enjoy!