This is how I imagine it going: I’m at the San Francisco Writers Conference next week to find an agent for my book, one (or more) of them really like my pitch and have requested my manuscript, and I have enough time before the conference ends to relay a little story.
When my husband and I went to a weekend retreat of sorts to the adoption agency we eventually used to find our daughter, one of the speakers told the room, filled with couples who’d gone through all sorts of medical procedures and losses over the years, that from now on, it would be a matter of when – not if – we had a baby. She said a former client, a man in his sixties who’d sat where we were sitting now, once wondered whether anyone would want him to be the father of her baby because of his age. Turns out the birthmother who chose him did so because in one of his pictures, he was wearing argyle socks. Her grandfather used to wear argyle socks. She felt her baby would be safe.
There’s so much about relationships we can’t plan. Sometimes a little faith and serendipity (there’s my favorite word!) play their part. I want the literary agent I eventually work with to give me that same sense of security those socks gave that pregnant woman.
Yes, I want the agent to specialize in narrative nonfiction and have an impressive track record and feel as passionate about my book as I do. But I also want to look at him or her and just know.