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Friday Open Thread (with AgentTalk and Picnics)


Today I had the pleasure of joining my fabulous agent DongWon Song on his weekly stream, Agent Talk, while Seth Fishman’s away (briefly transformed into Seth Lakeman, a joke I wish I’d had the wherewithal to make during our chat, except that no one would have gotten it. L’esprit de l’escalier, where l’escalier is a winding hidden corkscrew of secret staircase you go up with a candle in one hand and damp castle wall beneath the other.)

(We did not coordinate wearing zipper-fronted clothes in our signature colours, I’m having a laugh about it.)

Anyway, this is not the first time I’ve had this kind of chat with DongWon in public, in which we talk about how we came to work with each other, what our working relationship is like, etc, and it’s always a pleasure. I usually rib him a lot more than I did today — instead there was a lot of just being a bit earnestly overcome by how much I love working with him, how good he is not only for the placement of my work but also the generation of it. I wish every writer a relationship with their agent as enriching and energizing as I find mine.

To the open thread part of this though — It’s a beautiful hot day outside and Stu and I are soon to go have a picnic. So tell me of picnics! If we were to have a big beautiful socially distanced picnic potluck situation, what would you bring? Do you have a signature dish you make for carrying to friends out of doors? Does a particular picnic stand out in your memory as good and lovely? What is your ideal picnic setting — a garden? A park? A beach?

I would bring hummus, naturally, and an array of veg, and possibly some homemade bread; the dearest picnics in my memory have involved brie and bread and figs and a sense of adventure, food brought along as provision in service of telling stories and being at ease.