Blown away

Hello again. These are exciting times, folks – exciting times. Last week, I heard back from Anne Reilly, the senior nonfiction editor at HarperCollins who has been guiding me through the re-drafting process over the past two years. Anne was full of praise for my revised memoir and said she was ‘blown away’ by how sensitively and thoughtfully I had managed the re-write. Hooray! Anne has prepared a recommendation report for Catherine Milne, the non-fiction publisher at HarperCollins, and my fate now lies in her hands. Once Catherine reads it, and if she agrees with Anne’s recommendations, she will take the manuscript to the Acquisitions meeting – the big decider – where a pitch is made to senior Marketing and Sales personnel and senior management. Phew… I’ve made it through to the semi-finals on this path to publication, and I’m one step closer to reaching my goal.

All this excitement has left me strangely becalmed – stuck between the memoir and my next writing project – and I’ve taken leave from the PhD (yes, I still need to finish the exegesis) for a few months while I catch my breath. I’m feeling a mixture of relief, exhaustion, and also alarm at how much my garden has grown while I wasn’t looking — the lantana has gone wild, the crepe myrtles in the front yard are twenty-feet high, and a rampant species of ivy is threatening to pull down my carport. I’ve spent the last few days pruning, and am now ready to load up a 4-cubic metre skip which arrives tomorrow.

Gardening is hard and treacherous work, though, and I’m well and truly over it. Yesterday, while cutting back a feijoa bush out near the front of my house, I disturbed a wasps’ nest – they attacked the whole left side of my body and I ran off screaming, ripping off my clothes on the way to the wading pool in the backyard, where I madly threw buckets of water over myself to ease the pain. I don’t know what the neighbours thought, but those bites really stung! Time to head back into safer waters, methinks, and once I load up the skip, I’ll be ready to begin work on my next project and let the winds send me off on another writing adventure. Until next time …


Leave a Reply