Monday, October 8, 2012

An absence of dragons

Blissful, that’s what it is.

After six months of rain, cloud, wind and mud that even an Englishwoman couldn’t call Summer, we have our third day in a row of sparkling October sun. I’ve opened the windows and changed the bed, and the sheets are actually washed and out on the line and not drooping round the house.

I like working from home. There are drawbacks of course. One of them is a tendency to eat breakfast at the computer while I catch up on Facebook, or check that the writing forum hasn’t gone berserk. I do this mainly to postpone reading the e-mails that have come in overnight.

The wet, miserable summer has meant I’ve done far more writing than normal. I’ve polished three books this year – copy edited, proofed, typeset, be-Kindled, covers designed and uploaded to print on demand, and ten of each delivered last week as potential giveaways and samples. I’ve built myself another web site and got my tax return in early. I’ve registered for an American Employee Identification Number and filled in forms to stop Uncle Sam withholding 30% from my earnings over there.

On Friday I enveloped my sales brochures, trade terms and promotional blurbs for bookshops and broadcasters. On Saturday I posted them.

Now I feel like a mother whose children have been miraculously swept away to their grandparents. It’s a curious sensation, to have nothing driving me. The crystalline beauty of crocuses and colchicums isn’t urging me to poetry. My ambitious young coachman isn’t fighting off women, my grumpy old bat isn’t cuffing her grandson for misbehaving, my princess isn’t flying a mission across country on a dragon. I’ve stopped to brush up the crumbs of cereal from under the desk. The house in my head is empty.

I suppose this is what’s called peace.

I know it won’t last. The advertising will kick in and people will start asking for interviews and talks and books (with any luck) will start selling. I want to do NANOWRIMO, and I’ve only got three weeks to get a plot sorted out, but whether I do or not, I will certainly gather up some rejected story and start re-building it.

Only not today. Today I’m going to submit to peace. I’m learning a Welsh tune for the harp, and my head needs to hold nothing more. A lost battle, remembered by a lament a thousand years old.


John Potter said...

Hello Sue

Firstly a lovely post and window to the mind of the modern indie publisher.

You posted a comment to my Creative Crow blog the other day and I spent the rest of the day unable to shake off the thought I knew your name from somewhere. And then it hit me - Great Writing. How cool. Is the writing forum you mention here Great Writing? I owe so much to the years I spent there and mostly to the great feedback from reviewers. Am looking forward to catching up on your blog and great to see Witzl's blog linked too.

Sue Millard said...

Well, Hi back, John - yes, I remember your writing from GW and I wondered if that was where I'd encountered you before :) Witzl's on FB too.