Thursday, April 09, 2020

A month in self isolation

You know I had a series of nights in which I was having nightmares at 3 or 3.30. a.m.? It was making me miserable, and Dave suggested I break the pattern by setting the alarm for 2.30 a.m. I was so fed up that I tried it, but then couldn't get back to sleep again afterwards. But the NEXT night I slept through. So it seems to have worked.

I think the nightmares must be showing how much sadness and anxiety there is below the surface even in a happy and safe self-isolation. This morning a friend sent me a link to a prayer on YouTube - Praise song for the Pandemic. I listened to it and it made me weep, which I think is a good thing. It released more sadness.

I am lucky. I live in a house with a garden in fabulous countryside, with someone I'm happy to be in lockdown with. I have a pension. So many people are stuck in flats trying to care for their children with scant resources, people either without work so they are worrying about money, or working from home so they are impossibly stressed. How do you care for young children when both you and your husband are working from home and there is nowhere to play outside? There are those people who live alone and are lonely. There are people who are in abusive relationships.

And then there are the people out there on the front line in this scary world of plague - the NHS workers, care workers, the supermarket workers, delivery people, transport workers, etc etc. Our key people whose work is only now being valued. Someone said to me the other day that the pandemic is a great leveller. It's not. It hits some people much harder than others, even those who don't have it and don't have a loved one who has it.

Let's think of happier things...Spring has sprung at Hepworth Towers. The blossom on our plum tree is out.

My tête-à-têtes continue to be a joy.

Though yesterday I didn't see much of either.  I spent seven hours inside, working on the paperback cover and the formatting of the book - DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE -  to meet the very specific requirements of Amazon, who are publishing it.  The good news is that an author's proof is arriving next week for me to check. The bad news is, price-wise, that the book is 500 pages long, which means that Amazon won't let me charge less than £9.54 a copy, which covers their printing costs and THEIR royalties. 

For the price of £9.54 I would get NO royalties. I am telling you this now, so you won't be shocked at the price - all those of you (and it's the majority) who are waiting for the paperback edition. I'm dithering between £10.99 (£1.25 cut for me) and £9.99 (25 pence cut for me.) Comments welcome.

You've seen the first two reviews. And I do think the book is a solace for our present predicament. Also, with so many people unable to concentrate on serious books, mine is one you can read a few pages of at a time and not lose the thread.

Onward and upward. I hope you have a good day.


Anonymous said...

So right, Sue. Your book is perfect for scattered minds in pandemic days It is nourishing, beautiful writing which can be enjoyed in small bites if you can resist the call to read just one more entry. Resistance in this case can be futile

Sue Hepworth said...

That's a lovely comment, Ana.
I've been cheeky and quoted it in a tweet to publicise the book!