Diary Entry – January 2014
Hope you enjoyed Christmas and have recovered from any inadvertent excesses. If we rewind a year, you’ll remember I’d just sent off three sample chapters of my novel, after coercion from youngest child. Subsequently anxious that I’d sent the wrong three because: other chapters might be much more interesting; slightly more interesting; interesting is a subjective concept anyway.
The post arrives one frosty January morning – can’t remember if it was frosty but I’m painting the picture for dramatic effect, stay with me.
Usual stuff: coupons from supermarket (keep); conservatory installations (throw); hotel special offer from the Lakes (nice); audiology assessment offer (I’m not hearing-impaired, just don’t always engage) and THE LETTER.
Realise it’s from the publisher because it has a logo stamp; great, so now even the postman knows. Bound to be “no thank you” or worse; “are you serious?” Procrastinate before deciding to instigate “carefully researched action plan” deployable in any difficult circumstance – namely, dissociation. Apply coping mechanism immediately and shove missive in study.
CB later goes to study to do “church stuff” which I think may be “very important”. With the eyes of a hawk (through specs) he hones in on THE LETTER and enquires why eccentric spouse hasn’t hitherto mentioned it.
‘Rejection,’ I whisper pathetically, realising I’ve been rumbled.
‘How’d you know, you haven’t opened it,’ counters the voice of reason.
Surfeit of handwringing, hair tugging and jumper twisting, along with emission of incoherent squeaking sounds while I continue to indulge in action plan. CB looks “disappointed”. Suitably embarrassed, I try to rip envelope open dramatically and end up with lots of little pieces but after minor tantrum, finally manage to extract THE LETTER through very narrow slit (resulting in crumpling).
‘Rather a lot of ink just to say no,’ says the grown up.
With shaking hands, I smooth out A4 sheet and realise publisher has asked for other chapters – all of them!! Schedule enclosed for evaluation with senior editor and genre-appropriate board members. Crikey. Hastily check addressee name and book title for inadvertent error.
Long Shadows – Julie Haiselden (yes it is me!).
First hurdle cleared. I attempt a look of nonchalance – hard when one has rushed to the bedroom and is performing tuck jumps on the bed.
Note to self – buy new mattress and see chiropractor.
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