Am hard at work these days putting together new syllabi. Yes, am teaching a few of the same ourses, but all the textbooks are different (am trying new ones), so I am having to design four courses. And then got the disheartening news this week that the person I thought was my book agent…..isn’t. So, in addition to a pile of things I’d hoped to accomplish this month is the search for another agent. Good ones are so hard to find. This interesting 2009 discussion with BBC’s Katty Kay is on how books are now so labor-intensive and one really doesn’t pay back one’s advance much less sell lots of copies, that the way to fame these days is a blog. In my short career writing for the Post’s On Faith blog, it became quickly clear that to do the job right, you have to update it every day and work like a dog promoting it. This blog, for instance, gets updated only once a week. I have a few more books I’d like to work on but I want to be sure they’ll sell before I put in the time to do them.
It has been a quiet month for us so far. Veeka is back in school. Two weekends ago, we were so bored, we drove to Memphis for the afternoon, spending a delightful time at the Children’s Museum of Memphis, where Veeka got to ‘shop’ at a faux supermarket, perform on a stage, dress up, climb up and down crazy ladder concoctions, drive a cop car and motorcycle and do all sorts of other Big People things. Then we drove downtown to the Peabody Hotel, where there is a twice-daily march of the ducks. It was the funniest thing; during the day, several mallards splash about in the hotel lobby fountain but at 5 pm, an official duck walker gives a speech and escorts the ducks out of the room while about 100 people sat in overstuffed chairs, sipped coffee laced with all sorts of brandy-type additives and ogled the webbed-feet things. Veeka wasn’t super impressed but I had a good time. A kind woman from Nashville, who was sitting across from us, had ordered 2 hot chocolates for her sons but they were running about. She said Veeka and I could have them rather than having them grow cold, so that was a treat. Then we walked down to Beale Street, a brassy collection of night clubs where all sorts of bands were playing. Veeka could have stayed there all night but me the killjoy hauled her away.