I know I’m writing rather infrequently here. One reason is that I am writing very frequently elsewhere, I wake up with the novel in my head and just have to get it on paper.
I wrote a novel long ago as my millennium project. It got rejected in lots of places; I finally filed the file of rejections up in the loft last week, I hope the floorboards can take the weight. The last thing that happened with the novel was that I got a literary agent. After about six months the agent asked me for some money but I wrote back that I didn’t have any, mostly because I didn’t. He kept sending letters saying how many publishers he’d submitted the novel to and I kept not giving him money and then the police rolled up on his doorstep and arrested him because he was a fake literary agent and some of the authors he had asked for money gave it to him. Amazingly poverty was my protection.
By the time I found out that my literary agent was a crook I was deep into the sequel. I tried to go on with it but the enthusiasm had seeped out as the constabulary weighed in.
Some years down the line, re-reading my own work I could see where the faults were. I have taken that knowledge and used it in this novel. The one similarity between that novel, the one I’m writing and the sequel I didn’t finish is that they all sound like me, if they ever get published and you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll like them because it’s all just me. The column I used to write in Dolls House World was called Just Jane and it absolutely was. I am either stunningly consistent or a one-trick pony.
The other reason I haven’t posted much is that I keep having bad days of paralysing worry. I have spoken to the cancer nurse who said it is common for people to imagine the cancer is back again whether they have earache, headache or a blister. Knowing that does not stop me having bad days. I’ve had bruises that I instantly thought were leukaemia, tiny specks of blood that I thought were my insides going rotten and dropping out and broken fingernails that were sure indicators of oh dear here we go again. I do think I’ve had a bad experience; not everyone vomits blood post operatively, in fact I think it’s unusual. Most people are out of hospital in three days and do not keep going in and out for a fortnight. Most people do not have four holes and a long incision in them. Many people do not have cancer and a broken arm with a lot of metal in it. Most people haven’t had all of that after seven years of dreadful stress. It is 16 weeks since the operation and I’ve only just this week had the letter from the awful oncologist confirming my decision not to have the radiation, which letter of course brought back all the anguish and alarm. And as I broke my arm in early July it’s been ten months of in and out of hospital.
I do think I’m on the mend. as long as I don’t try to do too much, the problem is I can’t remember what it felt like to feel well and unworried. There were so many awful happenings in caring for my mother, such as working right through the first broken arm. Mostly I just kept going, through all the awful and all the legal stuff, which has only just finished. I think I am drained, I think I look older.
But I am still here and writing.