Sunday, 9 December 2007

Time. And Time Again.

Two conversations with The Girl this week reminded me of how Time is a concept with completely different meanings for writers, on the one hand, and agents/editors on the other.

1. Time According to Agents and Editors

The Girl: Mum, when can I have my ears pierced?
Me: When you're 14.
The Girl: But Mia has her ears pierced and she's only four and I'm three and three-quarters.
Me: That's up to Mia's mummy. But you can have them done at 14.
The Girl: But I want to have earrings when I'm still at school.
Me: You'll still be at school when you're 14.
The Girl: (wide-eyed) Really??
Me: Of course.
The Girl: Hooray! OK, Mum, I'll wait till I'm 14! (Skips off happily as if she thinks a decade will pass in the blink of her big blue eyes...)

2. Time According to Writers

The Girl: Can you read me this book, Mum?
Me: Sure, just as soon as I've finished this sentence.
The Girl: How long?
Me: Five minutes.
The Girl: Is it five minutes yet?
Me: No, that was about five seconds. Go and play for five minutes, I'll call you when I'm ready.
The Girl: I'll wait here. (Leans on my arm as I type; puts face very close to mine and stares intently.) Is it five minutes yet?
Me: No, it's not even one minute. Go in the wendy house until I call you.
The Girl: No.
Me: Well wait then. You've got four more minutes.
The Girl: Is it four minutes yet?
Me: NO! Oh please just let me finish. I will read you that book and any other books you like if you just give me a few minutes peace.
The Girl: What's a few?
Me: Four.
The Girl: But it's already been four.
Me: AAARGGGHHHH. OK, give me the book.
The Girl: Thanks, Mum!

This post is dedicated to any writers out there who are waiting, and respectfully to any agents or editors who are currently in the process of putting us (and hundreds like us) out of our misery.

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Anne Brooke said...

So true!! Love it!




Mum'sTheWord said...

Thanks, Anne! There's really nothing worse than the waiting, is there?