The big brown cardboard envelope came yesterday. The one I've been waiting for in earnest for the last eight years. It contains my manuscript, a list of revisions, a request that I read it again in full as 'after this date I won't be able to make any more changes' ...and...a contract.
The kids were watching television. The dog was sleeping. The hubby had come back early from London to watch my youngest daughter in a play. There was a brief cry of 'well done' and then all eyes, included the dog strayed back to the TV.
Okay - it's not my kids book. And the only people who will buy it are teachers. But this is it. The moment I have fantasised about for years. How many hours I have sat with a coffee in a Waterstones cafe thinking about this moment? My day dreams have been so colourful and vivid, I was certain that I would be waving my bra over my head.
In fact I am numb. I have no idea how to process it. I won't say it is an anti climax, more like the feeling you get when someone approaches you with a joke can of nuts containing a paper snake. You know what it is and you are wary and determined not to jump right out of your skin - but you do anyway. I have had five serious nibbles from publishers asking to see the rest of my work - even asking me to do rewrites and then - nothing. This is a contract. They have advertised my work on their website. Surely it can't be the fear that they will pull the plug now? Besides I don't fear rejection - I can cope with the negatives.
Maybe it is another example of how I have a delayed reaction to events in my life. I think it is, that one of my goals in life has been achieved and, I don't feel any different. I need to mark the occasion somehow and I'm acutely aware that at the moment I don't have anyone to celebrate it with.
So despite having a hundred things to do. I have decided to take this day. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but it's going to be something nice.