We went sightseeing at the Baltimore Harbor last weekend. It was a warm Sunday afternoon, and lots of people were out, meandering around the shops and stalls on the plaza. An old woman in a straw hat sat under an umbrella between the fire juggler and the arborist. Beside her a large poster board read, “Psychic readings $5 and up.”
“Let’s do that,” my sister said. I was surprised that she would suggest something so woo-woo, but I was game. We had some time to kill.
Leslie The Psychic told me I was creative.
“Good start,” I thought.
Then, she asked me what I did. “I’m a writer,” I said. “I’m writing a book.”
“What’s it about?” Leslie asked. If she’s a psychic, isn’t she supposed to know that?
“About me and my daughter.”
“Your daughter doesn’t like this book,” Leslie said.
I nodded. How did she know?
“Where’s your daughter now?” Leslie asked.
Leslie was quickly losing credibility with me.
“She died,” I said. Leslie should have known that.
“Have you thought about the cover?”
“Well, my daughter was an artist. I was thinking about one of her paintings.”
“No.” Leslie shook her head. “Put that on the back. You need to put something on the cover that will make me want to grab that book off the shelf in Barnes and Nobles.”
So, now Leslie’s a psychic and a marketing expert.
“She doesn’t like everything you’re writing. You need to put something on the cover that she will like.”
“Fair enough,” I said.
“Your cover should have clouds, because she’s in heaven. And you should be walking along a beach.” Leslie drew a cartoon of a cloud and a stick figure on the back of her business card and handed it to me.
Not exactly what I had in mind. Leslie couldn’t draw very well, either.
“Your book will be a best seller,” Leslie said.
Well, that’s reassuring.
“Call me,” she said. “And God bless.”