Six months till publication – July

So first, a reality check. I am writing this in the café of a huge skating/climbing wall/caving/high ropes complex on an out-of-town industrial estate. Thirty four overexcited Cub Scouts are running around – one of them is mine, overtired at the end of term, running on fumes. The music is loud and piped; in a former life, it was by Oasis, before Oasis met Tony Blair. How things change.
But this is the time I have. It’s the only time I have. The evening I’d dedicated to writing this post was swallowed in preparations for a first ballet exam (not my own), a bumper spelling test (not my own), and two unsettled bedtimes (again, and sadly, not my own). James is already on our family holiday with his parents and our two youngest; the rest of us will join in as soon as the older two break up, which seemed like a good idea at the time. But we’re all missing each other. Plans have changed and shifted as plans involving children do, so the writing time, which was to be my compensation for the separation, has evaporated, leaving no trace.
This was my life before I got the book deal. It’s how The Ship was written in the first place. And as I snatched a few minutes here, a few minutes there, chipping away at the marble cliff of my idea, I consoled myself with visions of what my writing life would look like if I ever succeeded in getting published. Mummy’s writing would stop being code for Mummy’s doing her own thing and there would be no guilt surrounding writing time, because a deal would make my writing, my work.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the rest of the world to change its behaviour accordingly. I was writing isn’t accepted by a ballet examiner as a reason for presenting a candidate in leather ballet shoes instead of satin ones. A Cub Scout without a signed permission form isn’t allowed to go on the High Ropes, no matter how essential his mother’s storytelling might be to the smooth running of the universe. And a bumper spelling test is a bumper spelling test, and although I don’t give a stuff whether a seven year old can spell every word that’s been on the list this term, the seven year old does.
Meanwhile, my copy edits have landed, and my holiday task will be unravelling the residual snarls in the text. It turns out that my life before the deal was the blueprint for my life after the deal.
Except for one thing. I went to Orion’s offices yesterday to drop something off, and I had to take my eldest with me. He’s nine. We got to the lovely shiny offices, and went in the lovely shiny lift, and opposite the lovely shiny reception desk was a display of books. One of them was a Deadly 60 title. Eldest picked it up. ‘Are you being published by the same people as Steve Backshall?’ he said. And when I nodded, the most important part of my universe shifted its opinion just a little. Mummy’s pursuing her dreams has never meant much. But Mummy’s hanging out with Steve Backshall – now that’s cool.

3 thoughts on “Six months till publication – July

  1. This is has made me sad {{{hugs}}}. Perhaps publication, when that book with your name on it is in book shops and available to buy on the internet, will be when the shift takes place. But at least you’ve got cool points to carry you a little further. Hope the editing goes well and you have some sort of holiday xxx

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