Jessie: In NH where there is a foot of snow still on the ground.
Next month all the Wickeds, along with hundreds of mystery readers and writers will descend on Bethesda, MD for the Malice Domestic Conference. One of the highlights of the conference every year is the banquet where the Agatha Award winners are announced. This year, for the first time, one of my books has been nominated. The first thing I did when I received the call informing me that Whispers Beyond the Veil had been nominated was to jump up and down and to scream like a game show contestant. Once I had calmed down enough to remember to breathe, I realised I would need to think about what to wear.
Almost every time I attend a banquet I wear the same thing. I have a serviceable, unwrinklable black dress which I wear with a chiffon bolero jacket and whichever jewelry strikes my fancy. And red lipstick. I always wear red lipstick. But I found myself wondering if I ought to shop for something new in honor of the occasion. I decided I really should make an extra effort so I started looking around. Distressingly, nothing whatsoever has caught my fancy.
Everything is either too short, too long, too flouncy, too lacy or worst of all, sleeveless. Why are almost all cocktail dresses sleeveless? I have not noticed such an abundance of strikingly beautiful upper arms to warrant the near extinction of sleeves. Could sleeves make such a difference in profit margins? How much time and extra fabric do they really require? I can only conclude there some sort of conspiracy between dressmakers and the diet industry.
It makes me wish, just for a moment to find myself back in the Victorian era, when Whispers Beyond the Veil is set. I would likely have had a dressmaker to assist me or even have had sufficient skills of my own to make a gown myself. Then I remind myself how lucky I am to be alive in a time when I can wear something other than a floor length dress. Which makes me ask myself if I am overthinking it all. Do I really need something new? Does anyone ever remember what anyone else wears? Especially if what one keeps wearing is a simple black dress?
So, dear readers, what do you advise? Stick with what I own already? Keep looking? And if you advise continuing to shop, do you have a suggestion for a store that sells dresses with sleeves?