Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Patience is a Virtue - Joan Lennon

To all appearances, I am a mild-mannered, reasonable person who understands that editors and publishers have many calls on their time.  So, when I send out my words to be read by them, it is of course in a gentle, fluffy-feathered fashion, like these auspicious cranes, who will perch politely on the recipient's roof, and wait their turn.

Auspicious Cranes by Huizong of Song (1082-1135)

But, if truth be known, I am neither mild-mannered nor reasonable.  I am a green-skinned harpy witch woman.  THIS is how I would like my submissions to go out into the world - like terrifying flying monkeys who grab the editor or publisher away from whatever else they might be doing and whisk them, shrieking, to the castle of Reading My Stuff NOW from which there is no escape.  (Until, you know, they've read it.  And, well, really, really liked it.  And don't suddenly become possessed by any desire to get silly with buckets.)  

Fly, my pretties, fly!*

I could be getting other things done as I (patiently) wait.  But, alas, I am Grace of the poem, that one my mother recited at me in moments of impatience/inadequate ablution:

Patience is a virtue 
Virtue is a grace 
Grace was a little girl 
Who would not wash her face

It isn't as if I weren't SURROUNDED by metaphorical face-washing needing to be done, but no, I am not making use of my waiting time in any useful fashion whatsoever.**  Just dreaming of a world of flying monkeys and instantaneous response.


* Yes, I know, the Wicked Witch never actually said this.  But it's such a great line, and she's such a great witch, that if the world were organised as it should be, she would have.

** It is always reassuring to know we are not alone.  For evidence of this, see:

Savita Khan's Angst

Jess Vallance's Things I used to think about publishing

Liz Kessler's Waiting Game

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Silver Skin website.


Penny Dolan said...

Ah, what one should do and what one can't help doing. Hope you find something taht will get your attention and absorb the angst for a while. Those flying cranes are just beautiful!

Nick Green said...

No, you're not alone. I did a similar post here:

And here:

I'm sure they won't be the last, either.

Lindsey Fraser said...

I'M ON IT!!! x

Maureen said...

The monkeys flew, and poor Lindsey got wrenched away from everything else, so wishes may not be horses but they could be monkeys!

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks Penny and Nick and Maureen - and, er, sorry, Lindsey! You'll notice there was special dog transportation laid on, though.

Sue Purkiss said...

Oh, tee hee. Love those flying cranes!

Anne Booth said...

This made me laugh. I completely understand this feeling. I am on my 2nd draft of my novel and I am hoping that THIS time, my lovely agent will be completely blown away. If it didn't quite happen when I first submitted it - maybe I can dream that after all my edits and new chapters - the vision you have will be my reality too! We will get there in the end - with or without the monkeys!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Great post that resonates with any writer who has fiddled (and fizzled) around while waiting... whether for an Agent or a publisher to respond. And I loved those cranes.

Mavis said...

Absolutely, Joan. I'm in a similar position - I was told I was close to being shortlisted which is encouraging in a way but which leaves me with an ms and indecision about a) sending it off as it is and b) re-reading and tinkering with it. I'm favouring the latter, if only to make sure there are no typos.