“What comes in threes?” I asked my family at the dinner table last night.
“Triplets,” said one daughter.
“Granola biscuits,” said the other.
“Petits cochons,” said my husband. “Et les Trois Mousquetaires.” (He’s French)
This was much more fun than arguing about who left the tap running or why we’ve banned mobile phones from our bedrooms.
“Buy 2, get one free. Star Wars trilogies. 3 Cheers. Triathalons. Christopher Columbus’s 3 ships, Triple Leffe beer,” my family continued (I’ll leave you to guess who said what).
“The 3 parts of the ear. Darts. The boyband Two be Three – or was it Free? Three times a lady. World War 3.”
Actually, there’s a lot you can learn about people from their brainstorming ideas. I must remember to try this during aperitifs with friends.
Triple jump. Three-leafed clover. A trouple (what’s that? I asked. A couple, but with three people in it, my 13-year old replied. They learn a lot at school in France).
The thing is, I was looking for a title for this post. I wanted to use ‘Good News Comes in Threes’, but the grammar devil sitting on my shoulder (drinking a cocktail) swiped me around the ear and growled that news was an uncountable noun and so I couldn’t have three of them.
I considered ignoring him. It’s fun to ignore your grammar devil from time to time, as long as you’re good at dodging his swipes. Then I thought of all the grammar devils sitting on your shoulders – you who are reading this – and I got a bit scared.
Good News sounded too biblical. And ‘Three Pieces of Good News’ was too long and finicky. (As you can see, I have an issue with titles). So I thought about Curtis Bausse’s agent friend, Sydney Lushpile from the Books Ahoy Literary Agency, and cut it to one word.
Firstly, one of my short stories is going to be published in the October issue of The French Literary Review. This journal is edited by poet Barbara Dordi, and invites submissions with a French connection. Contributors include Ann Drysdale, David Pollard and Katherine Gallagher.
By the way, you can meet Katherine Gallagher at the excellent St.Clementin Literary festival in the Deux-Sèvres on 24, 25 & 26 June. This festival promises inspiration, with special guests including Patricia Duncker and Lemn Sissay. I’ll be there, playing the groupie and learning from the greats.
Secondly, my short story ‘Three Goddesses’ – you’d think I had a bit of a fetish for threes at the moment – is going to be published in a competition anthology. It’s being edited by Curtis Bausse (yes, him again. You should check out his blog if you like a good laugh) and is full of cool stories about cats.
And thirdly… well, I’ll come back to you later about this even more exciting one. (Take that, Grammar Devil).