Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Manuscript

It arrived! Over the ocean and through the woods in a UPS truck it came! A rectangular, battered, brown envelope waited on the porch when I returned from an emergency trip to town. I had dropped my phone into the pool and then had to fish it out with my feet like some sort of primate as the pool had just been chlorinated and I did not want my recently bleached hair to turn green. Michelle and Peanut were highly amused watching this display of dexterity. The valiant little phone--not her first swim in the pool--gasped her last breath and blew bubbles over the screen. I am making friends with my new phone and feeling quite disloyal.

But when one stops watching the kettle... the UPS truck arrives! We sat, the brown envelope and I, over a dinner of cantaloupe and saimin and discussed the possibilities: A) We open it alone and panic alone. B) We call in reinforcements to open it with us but then most likely wish whoever it was would go away so we could be left in peace to panic. We went with B, the brown envelope and I. B plus talking to my mother on the phone for support.

And it was marvelous! (Funny 'marvelous' is spelled with one 'l' here and two 'l's' in the UK. I occasionally get out of step with words and nothing looks right--'organis/ze' and 'fork' are terribly tricky.)

The editorial letter was effusive, warm and generous. So happy! My lovely editor's comments were constructive and very, very kind. And I agree with them! Throughout there have been a few patches that felt, not bad but like they could not quite carry their own weight and needed to be tent-poled by stand out lines. Now they are going to get renovated! There is a high drama section where the life of the character plays second fiddle to the extraordinary history of the time (plague and fire of 1665-1666). Not ok! I have to weave her life through the history rather than the reverse. Regardless of the enormity of public events personal lives remain at the forefront for they provide the lens.

Excited to work!

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