Thursday, April 9, 2015

First blood

Terry Jarrard-Dimond -Art and Meaning

I feel as though I am waiting for my life to begin. It's been seven, going on eight days since I was promised a contract to publish my first book, with a 'first option' for my second book written in.

It was an evening of much celebration when I received this last-minute promise by email, just before Good Friday and the Easter break, having waited since the Monday, when I was told by the publishing manager that they were 'pretty confident' they would be offering me a contract. That was a four day wait.

Before that there was a much longer wait between emails, about three months in total. All were positive messages, but some were edged with warnings that the market for memoirs by unknown authors was in a bad way and the book publishing industry in general was in an even worse state than that.

Am I being played and primed to sign any contract that comes along no matter the terms? The resurrection only took three days, after all.

We celebrated with First Blood the night I was promised a publishing deal. Why First Blood? Because Rambo IV or some such sadness was being previewed on TV when the good news came in and Stallone was looking so old, clenching a tired muscle in his forearm as he steered a limp ship while trying to impress a not young, but still-too-young-for-him 'girl', that I couldn't bear it, and even in my elation, not really watching, while pacing the room, sipping (slurping) from my topped-up wine glass, I recalled with fondness Stallone in Rocky, the film I had seen with friends at the movies for my twelfth birthday and mentioned briefly in my memoir. So I decided that on this night it wouldn't do to be shown how the mighty fall and time fucks us all while celebrating the promise of a contract for my first book, only ten months shy of my fiftieth birthday. We switched the TV off and got a DVD. We didn't have Rocky; we had First Blood. 

Speaking of blood, I am also waiting on my monthly, with tension building like the mother of all pimples ready to pop. And while I wait on that and the contract, I have picked a harmless lump on my forehead into a raging wound, just to draw blood somewhere. If the period and contract don't come soon, I'm not going to have a face left to present to the public when I'm interviewed on TV about the runaway success of my book. Then all you'll be left with is Stallone in his seventies, because that's what it's coming to.

Newsflash: Blood and contract arrived in one, and on the very day I wrote this! (on another file). What are the odds? Of course the contract's not flash; they want me to trim 12,000 words from the manuscript and won't pay me more than 10% for the e-book copies, the same as the paperbacks, but hey! I'm unpublished. I've got no leverage -- for now. This is only the first blood. Wait till I really get flowing.  

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