On Walking: 20th February 2018

We’re in the ash meadow, and I’m dawdling, because I don’t want to go home, face all those things that must be done. The pastry for the quiche, the emails, the copy, the filthy dog towels, the answerphone, the fridge drawer with the mouldering sweet potatoes. I want none of it, not yet. I want this, this delicious scrap-of-blue-sky afternoon. I want to bite it.

I can feel Spring in my feet, in my knees. It makes my thighs ache and my belly tighten, and I feel I could run up that hill, leap that stream, swing upside down in a naked ash. The dogs feel it too, Pants looping and dipping in his circles, Dora leaping tussocks of reeds and last summers’ grass.

There’s a real reason I don’t want to go home. One of my books is out on submission (to an agent, not a publisher), and I can no longer bear the itch of waiting. I pick up my phone a thousand times a day, press refresh, refresh, each time hoping, and now I’ve become so restless and distracted that I can’t stand being indoors. I can’t stand having 4G either, which is why I’m here, in the ash meadow, out of service, watching buzzards wheel in the thermals above the Scout woods.

After a while, I walk on, admiring how the catkins are changing colour, lengthening. For weeks, they’ve been stumpy, tan-boot red, crooked like fat little fingers. Now they’re turning ochre through to sulpher yellow, stretching, vertebrae-like, wriggling with delight in the breeze. The dogs are unimpressed by my slowness, and start chasing each other in circles, perilously close to my knees. I shout at them and hurl a rotten baton of oak into the field of stuff that looks like vetch but isn’t.

Having a book on submission is worse than waiting for a lover to text, and you do stupid things, like go wild at parties, miss work deadlines, or not write to a dear friend (I’m sorry, I’m sorry) because you’ve decided that to do so would be a jinx. This weekend, at a bar, someone asked me what I did for a living, and I said I was a secretary, because I couldn’t bear to say I was a writer, then I realised I have no idea what a modern secretary actually does, so I said it was all a bit secret. I actually said, ‘hush-hush’.

Now, I close my eyes, hope that when I open them again, I’ll have stopped shuddering at my own idiocy. We’ve reached the gate to Wroxton Lane, and I catch the dogs, marshal them into order. I’ve got to go home – of course I have. But I go through the kissing gate, and turn to rest my arms on the metal bars. I look back at the awakening roll of the fields, the clean blue sky with its raggedy chasing clouds.

Please write, or ring, agent-with-my-book. I feel like a kite with a fraying string.

Author: mrscarlielee

Country housewife. Mother. Writer. Wearer of frocks with wellies. Loves Dancing, Frivolity and Good Books. Blog at https://mrscarlielee.wordpress.com/ Tweet @MrsCarlieLee Website: www.thecountryhousewife.com

2 thoughts on “On Walking: 20th February 2018”

  1. Well, that made my day. Waiting for an agent is very much like waiting for someone(anyone) to purchase the first copy of a new book (I published a new one a few weeks back). So far I haven’t heard a peep out of the friends who bought a copy (Hearing from strangers who are customers is virtually unheard of). All sorts of thoughts go through your head — you were sure it was good when you finished the final edit after spending a year writing and developing it, but now there is silence and your self-belief drains away. Admittedly, the book is a bit different — not my usual stuff. I wanted to see if I could write erotic stories without them sounding terrible. Romance with all the naughty bits left in. My beta readers didn’t burst out laughing or tell me I was evil and should be damned to the fires of hell so I took that as a good sign. There is always the problem of your friends looking at you after they have read the stories and saying to themselves, “I didn’t know you knew/did/saw/imagined all that stuff. Anywayyyyyyyyy — enough about me.
    I’m very pleased to hear from you again. I was a bit concerned that you might step away from your dream/goal/ambition. The last few posts of yours (it’s been a while) seemed to convey that you were under pressure to return to working for someone else. I love how you write (and I don’t say that too often about anyone — I’m a tough audience). Now I hear that you are waiting to hear back from an agent — excellent. My reasons for wanting you to be a successful writer are purely selfish — you lift my spirits.
    Hopefully, by now you have heard back from the agent and he/she is over the moon about selling your book to a publisher.
    My dogs are sitting patiently waiting for me to finish my coffee and take them for a walk. It’s the end of summer here and mercifully it has not been a deadly one. Be well and don’t forget to be awesome. Terry

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