Welcome to this week's special, special, extra creamy, dark-chocolate-infused, ribbon-wrapped, 11-carat Valentine's Day update of Saturday the book.
I feel I should begin this week as every good relationship talk should begin: With an apology. They say love means never having to say you're sorry, but unless schmaltzy 70s movie dialogue has always provided you with flawless life coaching, I wouldn't recommend following that kind of advice. The last update struck a bit of a somber note. I wrote it when I was feeling particularly frustrated with the publishing process. While it's true that the process does sometimes feel a bit like pulling teeth through my nose with a lobster fork, that's no excuse for me airing my grievances with you. I'm sorry.
From now on, whenever I come home to you from a long, frustrating day of sending out unanswered query letters to agents and publishers, I'll bear the burden with good old American quiet desperation. I'll come in the door, loosen my tie, take a hard slug of strawberry schnapps, and kiss you on the forehead.
"What's wrong?" You'll ask, concern filling your eyes.
And I'll say through clenched teeth, "Nothing, dear. Nothing whatever."
And what's more romantic than that on Valentine's Day? Nothin', says I.
You know, I've always wondered what Valentine's Day was actually about. Like many holidays, celebrations and ritual sacrificing ceremonies, I had a vague understanding of its origins and import and celebrated as custom required: With cards, booze, and regret. But I decided it was high time I knew the truth about this most doe-eyed of annual events, so I did what you should always do with useless questions, ex-partners, and mysterious medical ailments: I looked it up on the intertubes. This is from Wikipedia:
"St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies."
If that don't pluck the ol' heart strings, ain't nothin' gonna.
Ok, ok, maybe that's where V-day started, but what's it really ABOUT? I say it's about gestures. Like making breakfast:
At any rate, here's hoping you're spending this Valentine's Day however the %$#@ you want, whether it's with someone, eating breakfast meats, or writing flowery prose to agents and publishers. I'll leave you with what is perhaps the most romantic song of all time, which I dedicate to Chronicle Books: