Tuesday, 17 December 2013


Book sent off to agent.


We are still in early doors and there is a long, long way to go. But at last it may be seen.

If she hates it, I shall write another one. I am a Briton, after all. I have Blitz spirit encoded in my DNA.

I suddenly realise this may sound a little strange to non-writers. Surely I must have some idea of whether the thing is any good or not?

A most peculiar thing happens when you have lived with a book for many, many months. You go snow blind. My critical faculties flicker in and out, like faulty radar. I can tell that this this sentence works, or that idiom is fine, or this paragraph rattles along with some skipping syncopation. But I have no way of judging the whole. It is my damn story. I love it and I fear it may not be good enough and I cannot have any objectivity.

What I can see is that it is very, very eccentric. It is idiosyncratic and fits into no nice category. There’s nothing I can do about that, either. I kept trying to make it more respectable and able to go out in public, but it kept putting on strange hats and wearing white shoes after Labour Day. It is even more cussed than I am.

Despite my very British Britishness, the book is not British at all. It wears its heart on its sleeve and has no stiff upper lip. It eschews the prosaic and the stoic. People may easily laugh and point. I would not blame them.

Still, the thousands and thousands of words exist now, in the world. I can take a deep breath and let my shoulders down and have some days off. I may think about Christmas, which has not crossed my mind. The house remains resolutely undecorated and there is no whiff of festive spirit. I’m going to watch the racing and get in some eucalyptus and cook proper food and ride my horse and throw sticks for the dog.

I can’t do this, because everyone would fall on the floor laughing and my credibility would be finally shot for ever, but if the thing ever is published, I should dedicate it to the red mare. It is she who has held together my tottering reason, with her dear, steady hooves, all this time. It is her beauty, her kindness, her generous heart and her comedy skills which have acted as an anchor, to stop me floating away across an uncharted sea.

17 Dec 117 Dec 2


  1. Do dedicate it to Red - she deserves it! I dedicated a self-published book to my cat because he was on my lap throughout the writing of it...

  2. Must be a bit like sitting the last paper of Finals - AGAIN! If Red was the Gonk on your desk, then all power to her and you

  3. Good luck with the book. And do dedicate it to the Red Duchess ;-)

  4. I normally (ok, DAILY!!) just read but today I had to say -- HUZZAH, HUZZAH, HUZZAH! As a writer myself (of scientific articles), I so appreciate what you do and what you tell us. I love reading your daily 'x words of book'! I hope you won't take it amiss if I say that (to this American), that one phrase reminds me joyfully of Bridget Jones. The British talent for pluck, honesty and then 'bugger all, off to the races!' - all in beautiful English.


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