First off, I do have to say that actually last night in London wasn't as strange and scary as I'd feared. I did still feel that I was putting on a costume that no longer suited me, but it was okay. Perhaps it's everyone else that's normal and just me who's strange? Lordy, no, don't answer me on that one. I also felt pleased as a couple of times, I did say something honest during the conversation - not in an over-the-top way, but I just said a sentence or two about (a) mutual friends I no longer see, and (b) church stuff, and then moved on. Ye gods, even I can be real during social interaction sometimes - well, it has been known ...
Anyway, to today. There is good news and some not-so-good news. I am incredibly pleased that the agent has got back to me about The Gifting and has said the magic words: It reads wonderfully well, the characterisation works and the writing and story flows. You know, that makes me feel so damn good that I'm going to type it again: It reads wonderfully well, the characterisation works and the writing and story flows. High-five, captain - it looks like I can on occasion turn dross into something a tad shinier then. Yes. As a result, he's going to send it out to five UK fantasy publishers and six US fantasy publishers on Monday. Ah, I feel good now, Carruthers, but alas soon the rejections will start to roll in, you know. Still, I'm hanging onto the moment for as long as I damn well can.
Also today, I have gone for my dreaded smear test (groan) - it's so hard to make jolly conversation with the nurse if you're in that position really, but we did our best. There's something to be said for the Empire Spirit after all. So that's one doctorly act done. The other isn't quite so straightforward, I fear. I've finally (after a chasing telephone call last week) had the results of my ultrasound scan & hormonal blood tests back. The good news is that I am happily trogging on with my oestrogen fix without any horrendous side-effects, hurrah! The less good news is that they're not that happy about the non-standard cyst on my left ovary and I have to go back in July for a chat and a recommended ovarian tumour marker test. The words "tiny" and "for reassurance only" crop up in the letter, but this naturally doesn't make that glorious swoop of terror that comes upon one when reading such things any the less. (Hell, there's a phrase I should be able to use sometime.) Naturally, because I have never been able to resist temptation, I have Googled the damn thing, which hasn't made it any better either. Damn you for an Internet-aware idiot, madam! You'll be pleased to hear however that I didn't stay on that particular site for long - even I know that sometimes less is more.
Galvanised by this into abnormality, I have at least regrouted the bathroom tiles in a cheat's way so everything looks cleaner and shinier. Goodness me, that grouting pen is a marvel! Lord H will be pleased. Mind you, he is still streets ahead of me in the Spouse Awards running at the moment - while I was in London last night, he cleaned the whole flat, hoovered, swept the floors and washed all the windows down. Oh, and he also did my ironing. Whilst saving the universe and brokering World Peace as well. Perhaps I should go out more often? I fear, alas, that now my Wife Points will never be enough!
The news about The Gifting also seems to have opened some kind of door to a decision. I've started the next in the fantasy trilogy, Hallsfoot's Battle. Good Lord! So I now have a character list, a note of themes and the grand total of 463 words scattered over the first and final chapters. Hell, it's a start. And yes, I have written the end, which might even remain the end when I arrive at it. Who knows? Only another 139,500 words to go and I'm there then. Hey ho.
And I've read Harlan Coben's The Woods. Bloody superb. Best thing he's bloody done for years. I loved it! In spite of the fact that he does use some of my basic scenarios and death scene ideas from both Maloney's Law and The Bones of Summer, dammit. Ah, great writing minds think alike, you know - I wish!! Or perhaps there are only three crime novels plots after all?... Anyway, it's a wonderful book and you should all rush out and buy it. Goddammit.
Oh, and I've got a cold. Bugger, eh.
Today's nice things:
1. The agent's response to The Gifting - hell, I'll type it again just in case you missed it: It reads wonderfully well, the characterisation works and the writing and story flows.
2. The Coben book
3. Starting the next novel.