Wednesday 23 October 2013

I Pressed Send

I almost cried last night. I have a broken foot and an infected ear - of which I shall spare you the details - but it wasn't that. The washing is piling up, the bedding's unchanged and the bathrooms could do with a 'bit of attention'. But it wasn't even that.

It was because yesterday, at 8.40pm I finally pressed 'send' on Glass Houses.

Its re-write has been nine months in the making. Following one agent's disappointing rejection but generous and astute feedback on the full manuscript at the end of last year, I embarked on a re-write in January. Then came dissection during the wonderful Writers' Workshop Self-edit Course at Easter, which inevitably led to a second re-write. Incidentally, I call it a 're-write' if it loses and gains more than 10,000 words - a bit like a crash diet but infinitely more healthy. 

Some of the fab self-editing crowd (and Gayle!)
A heap of hasty amendments followed on the back of workshops and talks, not to mention the general writer-ly buzz, at the York Festival of Writing, as well as from my new term of teaching. Is there a better way to say that, we wonder, it's bordering on cliché, I suggest, and off I trot home to *practise what I preach*. A final burst of tweaks after meeting with my new reader (she's so clever) and there I was, Sunday night, just in time for tea before Homeland, and it had gone, my baby, flown the nest again.

And like every baby resistant to change, after months of cajoling, tweaking, listening - albeit distractedly - and the odd torrent of abuse and self-loathing, I have sent off a better book than the one I submitted last year.

That isn't to say I will emerge with a contract. All I can do now is hope. And wait.

Well actually, now I clean and file and hoover and 'sort out' the wardrobes. I think about Christmas and cleaning the skirting boards, sort out the leak through the downstairs window, call the electrician to fix the kitchen lights, book tickets for the local village play, rearrange the short break I booked somehow forgetting I was working, earn some money and do my physio for my foot. And I sleep. I'm going to sleep at both ends of the day and for a period of time in the middle. 

And then I shall get back to work on book two… 

So, lovely readers, how are you?