Friday, 9 November 2007

Rejections and elderly shopping

Yesterday I got another rejection for the last novel. It floored me. One a week I can cope with, but three is too much, given that my hopes were raised by a very good critique which indicated that she thought this book should be published. Sometimes you can’t win. I was drained and felt I didn’t have the energy to keep doing this. To have my spirits raised and then dashed – there’s only so much you can take, on bad days.

To cheer myself up, I had a look at the Novel Racers blog and read that someone has just had 5 positive responses from agents. Within 48 hours. While I'm delighted for her - no, I am, really. I've just read her blog and she sounds great. I mean that. And she's worked very very hard on her book for over 2 years. But a little devil inside me is shouting, 'yah hah! Hopeless aren't you? Failure!' You can guess how that makes me feel.

Himself was wonderful, gave me a big hug and said, ‘I wish there was something I could DO.’ He does of course – he provides much needed moral support, and I told him so.

But I decided I needed a few hours off. As it happened, James rang asking if we could take him shopping as he wanted to get a watch. When we arrived he said, ‘I have a very small favour to ask. Could my friend come too?’

His friend is in his late 80s and blind, but we said of course. Wondering why someone who can’t see would want to go shopping. As it happened, he declined as he was having a doze, but the two men arranged to go for a walk round the garden when James got back.

So we took him to Asda, where he said to me, ‘You didn’t bring my shopping list.’

‘No,’ I replied. ‘Because neither of us could read it.’

We both giggled at that and headed off towards the watches where I found one for £8 with a nice clear face. He was delighted.

‘And now I need to go to the chemist,’ he said.

‘What for?’

‘I can’t remember,’ he replied. So we headed towards the pharmacy department so that he might remember what he wanted if he saw it. After much discussion and a lot of guesswork he bought some glue for his dentures, some toothpaste and some mouthwash. (Has someone been saying something I wonder? Is there romance in the offing? It’d be nice to think so.)

Then we went to the next aisle and he stood before it, stroking his beard and looking puzzled.

‘Do you need anything to help you sleep?’ asked Himself.

‘No,’ replied James. ‘I need – you know – it’s to do with animals.’

I carefully avoided looking at Himself and asked, ‘what kind of animals?’

‘Oh,’ James giggled. (He has a wonderful giggle.) ‘I don’t know.’

And he lumbered off to buy himself three large bars of chocolate instead.

We had a cup of coffee on the way back and got him there in time for his walk with his blind friend, who expressed great interest in coming with us next time.

I can see at this rate word will get round and we’re going to be needing a minibus.

Perhaps we could enter the Guinness Book of Records for How Many Octogenarians can you fit into a Ford Fiesta?


Rebecca Taunton said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your novel being rejected FP. How many places did you send it to? There might still be a chance!
At least you had Mr FP to cheer you up, and a bit of shopping to take your mind off of it.


Flowerpot said...

There are 3 more in the pipeline, RT and I intend to keep sending it out. If one person thinks it's publishable, there must be more that do. I have to say I needed Asda like a hole in the head after that!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Sending you big {{{hugs}}}.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks AOJ. I'm in need of those but feel better already.

laurie said...

don't give up, my dear. three rejections is nothing. i mean, it's something in that it HURTS. but it's really nothing, in the scheme of things. keep going. don't let the b**tards get you down.

and i love your shopping expedition. that's a short story, in and of itself. write it.

Flowerpot said...

Laurie, I know 3 are nothing, but sometimes - you know - they're HUGE. By Monday I'm sure they'll be reduced to their appropriate size! That's a good idea about the short story - I might well do it. Or an article. got me thinking now.... cheers!

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

It's easy to say, but try not to get too down about the rejections - the next letter might be inviting you to a meeting with a publisher. Fingers crossed for you!

Flowerpot said...

Graham - thanks so much. Wouldn't that be LOVELY - you can guess my daydream for the weekend... Daniel Craig - pah! Give me a publisher any day.

Akelamalu said...

Oh honey I'm sorry at your disappointing news. Here have a huge ((HUG)).

I would love to meet James he sounds adorable, and he obviously cares a lot about you and himself if he's wanting to being all his friends shopping! :)

Lane said...

sorry to hear about the rejections flowerpot but three more out there is great. Keep on pushing:-)
(and lovely James tale too)

Flowerpot said...

Ak - thanks for the hug - mch appreciated! And yes, you'd love James - you can't not!

lane - thanks for the encouragement!

elizabethm said...

So sorry to hear about the rejections but you have at least written the novel and I am deeply admiring of that! All my thoughts stay in my head, don't seem to have the time or the discipline or confidence to get them down on paper so give yourself a round of applause.

Anonymous said...

Pick yourself up and keep going. That's what a tutor once told me some time ago. I know you already know that but I thought I'd just say it anyway. Take care.

Crystal xx