OK, so it’s now been a week and a half back from London, and it’s taken every bit of that time to make a dent in the combination of work I had begun before I left for two weeks, and the work I knew I was beginning when I returned. I’ve got a lot of books out on submission, and that means I’ve received a lot of passes in the last ten days (some interest as well, but lots of passes). I spend lots of time reminding my clients that “it only takes one.” But there are times I need to be reminded of that as well.
Much of my off-time has been taken up with preparations for my son Joe’s bar mitzvah, coming up in a month. My wife and I are knee-deep in fabric samples, menus, and punch-lists. One of the great revelations, though, has been using an online service—in this case Paperless Post—for our invitations. In the same way that electronic manuscript submissions have changed the way publishing works, electronic invitations are now a perfectly reasonable and accepted way to send not only birthday party invites to the six-year-old ballet party, but even—as in our case—to what will turn out to be a party for 300. And one of the great things about the electronic invite—like an emailed submission or a kindle download—is the instant gratification. No need to call Uncle Irving after a week and a half to make sure the invitation got there in the mail. The new problem is that there are some folks—mostly of a Certain Age—who don’t use email regularly. We have a printout for them. We certainly had moments of wistfulness, where we wonder whether our son will regret, in thirty years, not having a hardcopy of his invitation. This is rather like my own wonder whether I’ll regret not owning a physical copy of, say, Wolf Hall. But I suspect he’ll be OK, that this will be pretty standard very soon. The real tipping point will be when wedding invitations will be sent via email with regularity. Well, as Joe’s just told us about his first real crush, I suspect he’ll lead our family in that category as well.
In thirty years, when we begin to let him date.