Monday, 22 July 2013

Once again...again and again....



When my husband proof read Ghost Towns, he cried and laughed in all the right places, telling me it was a rollercoaster of emotions. But was he biased? Did he want to keep up my fading spirits? After all, we were due to go on holiday and it would be unbearable sharing a hotel room with a grumpy unpublished author. That’s when I decided to have another glance before sending it off to my agent and, obviously, I couldn’t help but make further improvements.


I emailed it onto my agent a week later, leaving only a few hours to pack the suitcases. Our plane was almost ready to take-off and I couldn’t find the energy or motivation to move a muscle. I found myself consumed by an overwhelming sense of relief that I’d sent off the first draft, which made me sink into a lethargic stupor. It was as if I’d been transported into a yoga class, absorbed by the sound of mating whales, allowing every inch of my body to go numb. My brain was shutting down, switching off. I could have easily closed my eyes and keeled over.


After six months of hard slog, the time had come to leave the parallel universe of Ghost Towns, escape from this other life and concentrate on the real world. We were going to seek out a sunnier climate. Viva Espania....well Mallorca actually. Soon, there’ll be plenty of time to relax, but not until we’re on the plane.


I hollered out instructions to the family, delegated tasks and surprisingly they all got on without complaint.  This obedience allowed me the time to consider having another look at the sent mail box. It was tempting to peek at the manuscript, which was on the agent’s desk, just a little peep, only the first few paragraphs. Then, I’d be able to go away in the knowledge that my agent was going to be so impressed. I’d be drinking pina coladas by the pool, confident that she’s in London securing a deal with a hefty advance. 


Then I remembered the many changes I’d made after my husband had proof read: little additions that were now in the hands of David Higham. The urge to check them took precedence over packing. I soon found the first stupid mistake. In page one of the prologue, I’d written once again...again....and again.


At the airport, I recalled those words once again, then again on the plane and once again after checking into the hotel. The all-inclusive beer helped take my mind off the mistake for a few hours until I woke up in a hot sweat, repeating those words, once again, all over again. I became preoccupied by this error throughout the holiday, believing that in all probability there must be more!


I’m home now, concerned that those once agains have spoiled the agent’s read and that my chances of getting published might be diminished, once again......


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