pressing the button
The send button on a computer should be red, although if it was, I wonder if I would ever send anything at all? It feels red today, though, because I've just sent off the first draft of Paradise Red, the last of the Perfect Fire Trilogy. It should be thrilling, shouldn't it, finishing another trilogy, and it is in its way. But the thrill is a slowburn thing, not like the instant thrill of an Olympic medal, because hot on the tail of the thrill begins the anxiety. I've only got to look at the send button to want to change something.
These alterations, mostly tiny, although I have deleted 7,000 words since last Thursday - yes, that's 7,000 in a quick series of roller-coaster moments - zoom out of a clear blue sky. I think my mind is miles from the book, then suddenly I get a dagger-prick, right in the gut, and have to rush back to page 112 to change one word. Or I'm in Tesco's, and am stopped, stricken in my tracks. 'Where's Unbent when Raimon's stranded in the room-within-a-room?' The checkout girl looks nervous. Unbent is Raimon's sword. You can't buy a sword in Tesco. I might as well give up on the shopping then.
Anyhow - off it has gone and, for the moment, my Perfect Fire notebook, once so pristine and tidy but now scuffed, chaotic and bedecked with bits of grass for some reason, is shut. I await the verdict of my editor much as I waited for the results of my university finals - with a stiff drink to hand.
For those who have so kindly enquired: no, we're still not all repaired from our flood. Oh, it was cruel how close we came last week! The carpet fitters arrived - and left. Apparently our floors need attention. I draw a veil ...
Oh, and something else. For all those being very careful when they meet me, all is well! A Chinese whisper has grown round my family's decanting from our house when the BBC made their film Fiona's Story (to be shown on BBC1 next Sunday, August 31st, at 9 p.m.) From our decanted flat I rang a friend and left a message to the effect that I was not living at home at present, so could she return the call on another number. Can't think how I phrased it, but it was soon common knowledge that I'd been kicked out by my husband (he seemed such a nice man, too) and had joined the ranks of wives abandoned. All very Cranford, and, as in Cranford, all a concatenation of misunderstandings. We're together! We're happy! We're going on holiday next week, deus volente, which, of course, he may not.