Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Letter from home

I've been both busy and beleaguered which is why I haven't blogged. 
(Oooh - the alliteration!) 

That was what I wrote on Monday and then got no further, because the busy-ness took over again. My sax has been neglected too, so I'm making zero progress with a bitch of a piece called 'Another Night in the Naked City.' It's actually a fantastic piece but there are a lot of accidentals, and worse, the timing keeps changing from triplets to what I call - much to my teacher Mel's amusement - "two stripe notes" (semi-quavers) then to "three stripe notes" (semi-demi quavers) and then back to crotchets. And when there do happen to be simple straightforward quavers, they're swing. I'm struggling.

So what have I been busy with? One thing was preparations for another refugee hospitality day put on by Bakewell churches. That took a lot of work and was both wonderful and exhausting. It was last Saturday and it took me Sunday to recover. I've written about these days on the blog before, e.g. here and here.

I seem to have spent a lot of time watering the garden, and this year my sweet peas are doing well, so sowing them myself is obviously the way to go. So far here we don't have a hose pipe ban, thank goodness.

I've been doing stuff I can't write about on here because other people are involved, and I've also been fielding rejections from literary agents for my latest novel. That takes up a lot of emotional energy, even though when I sent off the emails I'd persuaded myself that it wouldn't. There are still some I haven't heard back from, so watch this space. 

Sometimes when people find out I'm a writer they say things like "Ooh, my friend has written a book. Can you tell me how she gets it published? Can you tell me who your publisher is?" as if all her friend has to do is ring up a publisher and in a couple of months the book will be on the tables in Waterstones. 

At such moments I sigh inwardly. Firstly there are very few publishers who will look at a book if it hasn't come via a literary agent, and secondly, the decision as to whether a literary agent will take you onto their books is about more than the quality of your writing. Does the book have mass market appeal? Are you yourself marketable in terms of publicity articles in the press? Do you have a long career ahead of you so the agent will have a steady future income assured?

If you want to get a good picture of what it's like to be an aging, struggling writer, listen to the sitcom Ed Reardon's Week on BBC Radio 4, currently available on BBC iPlayer. It's my favourite radio comedy. It's hilarious and has so much in it that I recognise. But at least Ed has an agent. I do not. I'm not giving up:  I believe in my book and I'll get it out there one way or another.

Oh - almost forgot - Dave is still enjoying his new wheelbarrow.


Anonymous said...

Sue, I wish it was easier to get published but you’ve hit the nail exactly on the head. If your book is exactly like a million others they might consider you. It is so short sighted! I haven’t found anything worth reading for weeks. I discard most I start when I have that ‘oh here we go again’ moment. We need some brave publishers to take a chance on originality. Good luck and don’t give up!

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you.
I really appreciate your encouragement.

Unknown said...

That music looks excruciatingly difficult.
I quite fancy Dave's wheelbarrow myself - looks the business!
Returned from two weeks away to an almost dead garden and a text from South Staffs water (which is mystifying as we're with seven Trent) with a request (not yet a ban) so I'm trying creative ways to keep everything going - I hope it doesn't come to having to abandon your cherished sweet peas after so much effort.
I hope you find an agent soon. Jenetta

Sue Hepworth said...

It’s nice to hear from you, Jenetta.
I’ve given up on the piece. Even though I like listening to it, it’s not fun to practice. And my sax is for fun.
Re the garden - a friend reminded me of how in 1976 we used to siphon off the used bath water to water the garden, so I am trying to remember to use waste household water when I can.