After the initial hit of ‘Ugh’ upon opening the email, once my heart had calmed down, it feels like an achievement. Like it’s real now. Up to this point, I feel like I’ve been throwing paper planes into the sky or bottles into the sea. Now they’re coming back to me. A definitive answer is 100% more bearable than radio silence, that’s for sure! I can draw a line under this moment and press onwards, rather than waiting endlessly for nothing. It’s still sucky — I’m not going to pretend it isn’t — and whilst my head remains pragmatic, my throat still feels a bit tight, but it’s part of the game, and it’s a game I’ve dedicated myself to play out. Just got to stay purposeful and not lose faith in my story or my letter. That’s the hardest part, I think. Once I’d digested it, all I could see in my mind was the novel in a dusty drawer, never to see the light of day. And maybe that’ll be the case, but that outcome is a helluva long way in the future if so. It’s all a game of snakes and ladders, and I’ve just hit a mini-snake.

In better news, a couple people sent me feedback on MP yesterday. I’ve sent the doc to a few friends who’re purely interested as readers and are just reading it as a book without any sort of obligation, so it’s a new kind of feedback that’s really worth a lot to me. My grandmother also finished reading the first draft of Book4 (she’s my alpha reader — she’s the only person who gets my first drafts) and she had a lot of interesting things to say about pacing, amongst other things. Definitely helpful feedback to get on the eve of starting Book2! God, I can’t wait to get down to writing again. Definitely need the distraction! Endlessly impressed with all the writers who’ve run the course without going (too) crazy.

Looks like I can’t add vids to my posts (wtf wordpress??) but this is what I’m listening to on loop right now — Arietty’s Song — On a bit of a Ghibli kick at the moment, and this song is just wonderful.

Okay, seven queries out in the world. Let’s get some more out there!

Edit: Ten queries out in the world! Back on the horse!