Not having yet sent my children off into the big wide world I cannot put my hand on my heart and say it is the same thing but I imagine there are similarities. I have sent Timesmudger to two agents and I feel a little bereft.
Of course, TS will no doubt be back soon waving a rejection letter as she approaches, but for the moment, she has gone.
I have sent her off before but she was very ill-prepared, this time she has had a rigorous training, has shed some unnecessary flab and added some decent muscle structure where she needed it most. This time I am older and wiser, and this time I am more nervous. This time I know what to expect.
However, the biggest difference is that this time I am struggling to get on with training up her younger sister. The first time I sent TS off to some agents, I hit send on the laptop, made a cup of tea, and opened up TS2 (makes her sound a bit like an ill prepared transport project).
This time I hit send on the laptop and opened up the file of displacement activity. I began by creating a new journal. The logic behind this was that the little Filofax I had been using was too small. This rather lovely (thank you EBay) A5 Finsbury has a journaling section, and sections for TS2 plot notes, Agent research, timetable of submissions and replies, plot notes for The Dorothy Summer, and a couple of other sections as yet unallocated. I don’t do pretty, pretty, but I did spend some time hacking notepads and journals to get the right quality paper (I always write in fountain pen), covering the dividers and inserting some postcards throughout to pep me up. This took precisely one afternoon.
(Isn’t it beautiful?)
Then, in no particular order I
Did the filing
Cleaned the Oven
Picked up the dog poo from the garden
Tidied the laundry room
Caught up with a shedload of paperwork
Wrote this blog post
I did not start writing. I can’t, it feels wrong to be taking my characters off in new directions when I don’t know where they are at the moment or how they are being treated.
I am hoping this is a passing phase. Like sending children off into the world and wandering into their bedrooms and noticing how unnaturally tidy they are and longing for the mess to come back. Then, finally enjoying the full fridge and the tidy kitchen.
So each morning I turn up and wait for my characters to come out of hiding. I turn up every day, for I don’t want them to come out, find me absent and disappear for good.