It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I always schmooze around in a reflective mood on St. Patrick’s Day. I think it may have something to do with the irrepressible spirit of the Irish people. A friend of mine – someone who has sadly left us – once told me that everyone wants to be Irish. He thought it had something to do with the great music they produce.

I can’t say I agree with him over whether or not everyone wants to be Irish, but I certainly believe there’s something irrepressible about the Irish spirit, and I could use some of that right now.

I’ve been trying for several years now – two? three? four? – to find an agent. I’ve written two novels, two short stories, a work of historical non-fiction, and a piece of creative non-fiction.

HELLO OUT THERE, AGENTS. I’m ready whenever you are.

Recently I came across an agent who, unlike his zillions of counterparts, gave me some advice. “Your problem,” he explained, “isn’t your work. Your problem is that you don’t have a platform. At your age, to get an agent interested, you need to be 1) lean, hungry, young, and talented, or 2) you need to come with a platform.”

“What’s a platform,” I asked.

“Email addresses. Fans. People who are familiar with your work and are waiting eagerly for your next book.”

I realize, of course, that this wouldn’t stop the Irish. They’d find a way to develop a platform, even if they’re old. Reading back on some of the authors I’ve read, I noticed that a lot of them entered contests. A lot of them. And this happened before they ever had their first book published.

All righty, then. I can do that. The submission fees aren’t exactly daunting. I’ll get right on it.