Thursday, 21 August 2008

Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

Now that the taste of Moet and spicy crisps has gone from my mouth, and the novelty of sidling up to The Australian and declaring: "I'm a real and proper author, y'know . . . do you really think I should be mopping my own floors and changing shitty nappies?" has worn off (almost) I find myself wondering if it was all just a figment of my imagination because since the flurry of excited emails from my agent, and a request for some biographical information from the publisher: nada.

I know this is completely normal, I know it, I do, in that tiny part of me that still has the occasional rational thought, but it's a bit like being asked on a date by a boy you've been mad about for years and then told: "But not till 2010, ok? Because I've got a whole heap of other dates to go on before I get round to you, hot stuff." You'd start to question it, wouldn't you? You'd play the conversation over in your mind. By the hundredth replay you'd start to hear different words. He didn't ask you on a date, you moron! He asked you what time it was, while looking distractedly over your head at another, prettier girl.

I've been Googling: "Did I really get a book deal?" to no avail. Maybe I don't even have an agent. I might not have written a book at all. Or emigrated. Did I imagine the children, too? Perhaps I am actually a traffic warden who, trapped in her miserable job and growing ever more lonely in her grubby bedsit, has conjured up an elaborate alter-ego to while away the hours.

This is one of the more likely scenarios I have dreamt up in the last fortnight.

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Trilby said...

No, Emily - it's for real!

I do know exactly what that quiet period feels like, and it can be pretty unsettling. Just wait until the first part of your advance comes through, though - that should allay any pesky doubts :)

Lucy Diamond said...

The silence is a bit of a killer, isn't it? I get paranoid thoughts too, but I reckon that is all part of Being A Real Author unfortunately. (I am sure you're not really a traffic warden in a bedsit...)

Hope the contract follows soon anyway - always an excuse for more champagne and posh crisps if you ask me. xxx

Mum'sTheWord said...

I might even splash out on a tub of houmous as well if the advance ever comes through :)

lorrie porter said...

Mmm, houmous and celery sticks, my favorite. Just don't get muddle up and try signing the contract with mushy chickpea-based dip.

Big congratulations by the way.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so normal. It's real, it really is. The long silences are absolute killers, though. Non-writing friends and loved ones can't understand how we get ourselves so worked up on so little material. The trouble is, it's our chief professional skill, to be able to work up a whole scenario (disastrous or triumphant, according to taste and time of the month) from about two-and-a-half words in an email.

(I'm not sure it ever completely goes away. I still pinch myself every now and again. If you don't need that bunch of parking tickets, I could do with some extras.)

Editorial Anonymous said...

So normal.
But the scenario you should be imagining is the editor thinking longingly of the shiny new manuscript she's just signed up and simply doesn't have any excuse to start working on until she finishes shepherding her more fully-grown and ready-to-fly manuscripts --and until she finishes an absolute crapload of paperwork.
Sigh! For the beautiful manuscripts of 2010. So full of promise and possibility...

Mum'sTheWord said...

Thank you very much, Lorrie - yes I'll be wearing sterile gloves to sign the contract and yelling at the children to STAND BACK lest they should get their peanut buttery fingers on it!

Emma, oh yes, imagination is a terrible thing at this time - where oh where is the OFF switch?

Editorial Anonymous - wow, I can't believe you came to my little blog! Thanks :) And I love that different's wild.