Stay with me here. Raffi is releasing a new album, which I found out about via this slightly odd Vulture article that fixated on whether he’s slept with any adult fans. (come on, it’s RAFFI. RAFFI WOULD NEVER.) I read this over Christmas and was plunged into a sea of feelings and memories about the song Baby Beluga, his big song. I remember being very young and really feeling what was going on with that whale – and especially seriously communing with the line ‘you’re just a little white whale on the go’. I WAS that whale and I WAS on the go! Specifically I remember waving my bottom around in what I felt was a whale-like way, so happy that a song had managed to capture my ME-ness so perfectly.
When I looked up the lyrics to sing the song to Ewan, I found these lines, which I had forgotten:
Baby beluga, oh baby beluga, sing your little song,
Sing for all your friends, we like to hear you
Whooooaa!! What an absolutely wonderful thing to sing to a toddler! Hey, everyone, share your voice with us! Even if it’s little! Sometimes in bookstores I angst about not having anything new to say, but I love this picture of how everyone has a song and they’re surrounded by friends and supportive listeners excitedly going, “We like to hear you!” And not like ‘oh no we’ve heard this one already’ or ‘no you’re not doing it right’, just total affirmative yes, sing your little whale heart out!
This is a slightly oblique way into saying that I’ve signed a contract with an agent, Lydia Moed at the Rights Factory, who is now going to try to sell a book I’m going to try to write(!). This is a bit scary and a bit great. Lydia was a very good friend of mine in London before inexplicably moving to Canada (where she is still a very good friend – nepotism, it works!), so I’m really pleased to have the excuse to work with her. The book is going to be about the sort of thing in this post: Shakespeare, travel and tourism, the way places have changed as a response to Shakespeare, or might illuminate things going on in the plays. There are more than enough books about Shakespeare’s England already so I’m looking at Shakespeare and Europe – Verona, Padua, Elsinore, Agincourt, and a few others.
It’s very very early days, it might not sell or I might fail at writing it, but I’m really looking forward to giving it a go. You can sign up to hear what’s going on with it here, though it will be a while! In the mean time, this is me: