At work a colleague approached me in a manner normally reserved for bad news to ask in hushed tones about the book. She hoped I didn't mind her asking because she knows it must be annoying and put pressure on me, but she was just...well - wondering how it was all...you know - going?
Blimey, I thought, watching her wring her hands and wince apologetically, she's had to pluck up courage to ask me. My writing has become a topic Best Avoided. It took me back a few years to Mum telling people not to mention Wayne while rolling her eyes at me quivering brokenheartedly on the sofa.
Okay, so I was a tad overenthusiastic back in the day, when I told anyone who'd listen I'd written a novel and was waiting to hear back from a couple of agents. We were all overexcited and naturally everyone kept asking about it. That's when I was in Blabbergob mode.
When rejections and reality flooded in I soon became Evasive. I stopped mentioning the book, and mumbled things in a tiny voice if it couldn't be avoided until one member of staff actually shouted, "I bet she's got a publishing deal and isn't allowed to say anything!!" Oh dear God. I put her right on that score and things became Awkward.
There followed a reverential Silence on the subject.
Luckily since then, I've Wised Up. After realising, in a nutshell, it's going to be a whole lot harder to get published than I first thought, I was able to say to my colleague, "oh I'm still writing, still enjoying it although whether I'll ever be published's a different matter, but no there'll be no giving up, ha ha ha!" without sounding either demented or defensive. (amazingly.) Cue relief all round. "That's the main thing," she said gaily, shoulders dropping. "Don't all writers say they'd still do it anyway?" she added giddily. "I read an interview about it." I get the feeling she may even ask again one day.
And I probably won't mind.
Elsewhere, I'm embarrassed to say that lovely Lily Sheehan and fab menopausaloldbag (mob) have both given me awards recently for Excellentosity (it IS a word - in my head) while Milla at the marvellous Country Lite has tagged me as one of her favourite reads...too, too kind - I'm not worthy etc - well, only a bit. You should check out their blogs if you haven't already - they're much better than mine. I think I'm meant to tag my favourite reads, but instead I'll direct you to my Blogroll - honestly they're all great - with a special mention to spiralskies who has just been told off by non other than cuddly Keith Chegwin himself. How many of you can say that? Hilarious.