For an author with submissions outstanding, there is nothing quite like getting the morning post. What will be there? Any plain white envelope is examined for the franking -- could it be? Any envelope with my own handwriting is greeted with sinking heart. The clench of the stomach, the tremble of the hand, post never felt as good.
This morning after taking the Lab to the vet for a booster as well as so she could examine his infected ear, I pulled open my mail box. My mail box is black plastic purchased at a hardware store in Washington DC. It sits proudly just inside the gate. The arrangement suits the postman who fears the dogs, and the dogs who fear the postman.
Sitting proudly on top was a typed white envelope -- no return address but with a Mount Pleasant postmark. Okay -- so not from Mills and Boon or Har/Sil, I thought. It was too early for the agents I queried. London Book Fair and all that. Two weeks at least, I figured before I heard anything from them. Besides, it was not in my handwriting. But the postmark bugged me.
I walked inside, greeted the Border Collie and put my keys down. At last I could stand it no longer. I tore the envelope open. My hands started trembling. An agent, one who I queried because another agent suggested her to me had written back requesting the full manuscript.
I now have to polish and polish again. I do think it is just about ready, but it has to be up to that next level.