Magpies, Teabags and Skipping Ropes

There’s nothing quite like that feeling of clicking send and sending your writing off to cyber-space. For me it’s a few seconds of elation and excitement, quickly followed by nausea and a panic attack. What have I done?

But of course, once clicked, it’s too late. Not like the good old days of snail mailing submissions and being able to camp out by the mailbox until the postman comes then beg him to hand back your envelope before it disappears into his sack. Yes, I have done this. Luckily I live in a small village and there were only a handful of letters for collection on that day. The poor postman shook his head pityingly as I clutched my brown envelope to my chest like a long lost friend.

‘Maybe you should get out more,’ he said.

These days, as my submissions fester on a cyber slushpile, it’s all about staring fuzzy-eyed at my inbox, holding my breath when (1) pings up then sighing miserably when it’s another offer on one of my store royalty cards.

So last week I made the momentous decision to act on Mr Postman’s gem of wisdom. I had to get out more.

Only this has become a tortuous experience. A few days ago, as I was filling the car with petrol, I said to myself, ‘Right, if I can stop the pump on £30 exactly, I’ll hear something about my submission today.’ You can only begin to imagine the devastation I felt when it stopped on £30.01.

Driving home a magpie flew past and I almost drove straight into the hedge as I frantically searched the sky for another, muttering, ‘Please don’t let there be just one.’

At home, I have taken to throwing a teabag into my mug from across the kitchen. If it lands in the mug, I’ll get news about my submission. Ok … if it lands in 3 shots … 5 … 10 … you get the picture (I will just add a warning here – this is slightly addictive). Once my mug of tea’s ready, a quick look at my inbox, saying, ‘I won’t have a biscuit if there’s good news.’ I think I need to buy a share in rich tea fingers, the way I’m wolfing them down.

Yesterday, I bought myself a skipping rope, deciding that a good dose of old-fashioned exercise will do me the world of good and stop this silly nonsense of sitting at my desk and staring wistfully at the screen.

So once I’ve dropped the boys off at school this morning I shall be bypassing the kettle and biscuit tin, picking up my skipping rope and spending ten minutes having a jolly good skip before I sit down to work on a new manuscript. Of course, one eye will be on my open laptop … you just never know what will happen if I manage to skip for 2 minutes without stopping … then 3 … then 4 …

Hwyl am y tro x

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