Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Life in Limbo – while my novel is being assessed

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So, the first fortnight was a novelty. I sent my manuscript off to readers. Wrote a review. Re-drafted a short story. Attended a Pitch Perfect session at Writers Victoria. Updated my novel's synopsis. Tried to come up with a stunning hook line. Failed. Multiple times. First drafted a query letter and then…sat twiddling my thumbs. Oh, I know, I'm supposed to write something else. Something new. And I will…next week. But I also need to wind down because I've been pushing myself pretty hard and, once I receive feedback, it's going to start over again. With this in mind, I have called the last two weeks down time.

Down time! So, what have I been up to?

Well, I've done a heap of errands – been to the optometrist and the audiologist, had the dog clipped, booked a dental appointment, taken my mum to buy a fridge, considered new heating options for the house, started making flash cards for next term's Welsh classes and…. What, cleaning, did I hear you say? No, that would involve a personality change. But, I have to say, if this silence goes on too long weird things may start happening.

In the meantime, I've been having fun. What kind of fun? Well, I'm a librarian so, let me tell you, it's been pretty wild. I've been:

  • Reading Kate Mosse's, Citadel
  • Catching up with some out-east friends
  • Having dinner with my lovely daughter
  • Browsing social media
  • Reading a heap of blogs
  • Creating a couple of new Pinterest boards
  • I also started planning our thirtieth wedding anniversary holiday.

Here's how the itinerary is looking so far:

Week one: South Wales with my cousin while Andrew flies around Europe doing the day job

Weekend one: meet our Australian, British migrant friends in North Wales

Week two: a week in London with Andrew working and me staying in his ritzy hotel (yes, I know. Someone has to do it). I'll visit family during this week and, of course, soak up the London atmosphere.

Week three: a holiday in the Cotswolds. We have booked a quaint cottage and made enquiries about bike hire. We intend to spend our time pedalling between pubs, ploughman's lunches and picturesque villages.

Week four: Andrew will head back to work while I attend a Saysomethinginwelsh bootcamp in Tresaith. During this time using the English language will be banned as a random group of Welsh learners seek to exist purely in Cymraeg. It could be a quiet week but I doubt it. Something tells me there will be heaps of silly mistakes, red faces and shared laughter.

Week five: join Andrew for a week in Paris.

Aside from this, my limbo weeks haven't been without feedback. My youngest son, an avid historical fiction reader and one of my assessors sent me a lovely text:

Hello Miss Doubtful. Just started reading your book. First observation. You can write.

Let me tell you all those months carrying him, all those hours in labour, all those nights without sleep, all that post-natal depression, all those winters dosing him up with ventolin we're cancelled out in that one tiny SMS moment.

Two other readers have also finished the manuscript and are staunchly claiming it wasn't boring. One of them, my dear friend Denis who writes fiction, teaches literature and is an all round confidence booster is going to walk me through his recommendations over the weekend. Then, it's simply a matter of finishing Citadel, reading my new book on the history of the Welsh language and…waiting for the other readers to get back to me. I can't beg. That would be unprofessional. But…I do hope it will be soon. Otherwise, I might be might be forced do something radical like Spring cleaning.

Nah, only joking. I have a short story to write and a couple of interviews to complete.

 

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2 Comments

  1. You brave girl, you. Writing a query letter and elevator pitch – hard stuff. Also, I agree with your son – you are an exceptionally talented writer and have no reason to doubt yourself. I’m fully enjoying your novel. So don’t worry and enjoy your ‘break weeks’.

    • ejcorbett@yahoo.com.au

      I’m surprised you have time to read anything! I’ve seen your face on that many blogs along with all sorts of insights into the supernatural and characters popping up like magic.

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