Yesterday I picked up five copies of the manuscript which I had arranged to be printed and bound and gave four away: to three dear friends who have been waiting in the wings to read it finally, and our clever Penelope who, hopefully, won't find any holes. The final one has not left my side: the shiny cover and its thick body amaze me.
It's like looking on the face of my new born daughter and thinking, did I make this? I guess I will behave the same way all over again when the real copies arrive in August.
Anyway, I was so nervous handing them over to my dear friends who have suffered months of me talking about the characters and my highs and lows of the writing.
These ladies are very, very intelligent (and know so many big words), are inhalers of literary texts and are great wordsmiths themselves. What if they are disappointed? What if, in my telling of the story, I've made it sound much better than it is.
Still, one of them (an Oxford Grad no less) has a gifted daughter who sent me this encourging text yesterday afternoon:
'Am eating toast reading banquo's son at lounge table. is delicious. the book i mean, not the toast.' Though her past English teacher and her current creative writing tutor, I shall forgive her punctuation errors - afterall, not everyone is as anal as me when it comes to txting.