It's rude and inexcusable and I absolutely hate it when someone does it to me, but I can't help it. I sometimes find my mind drifting off during conversation; I should be listening to a story about a friend's hilarious canoe trip to Montreal with her dad (not a real story) but instead I am thinking about how the girl ordering a coffee looks like she has been crying and the way she is worrying her scarf with her left hand makes me think that she has just called off an engagement - maybe because she found out some secret about her beloved (something magnificently horrible!) - and is throwing furtive glances over her shoulder like she is on the run from someone. My brain goes into character mode and in seconds that girl has a backstory. Luckily my memory seems to be able to function without my active participation and even though I am tuned out, I still catch enough of the story to not endanger my friendship.
In other news, I have sent out my first query for An Unexpected Kingdom! I created a handy Excel spreadsheet that I have dubbed my Query Tracker in case this process gets unwieldy. The agent I emailed tonight (let's call him Agent 1) is with an agency that I have followed for a while and he just moved there last year after a dozen years as an editor. I also submitted my short short, Last Ride, to a contest at American Short Fiction magazine. Fingers and toes crossed.