Month: June 2015

In which I am off sick.

OK, I give up now. I admit defeat. There will be a couple of days off, starting immediately.

I have a sinus / sore throat / sore chest combo going on and I feel like shit. A business associate with whom I had a meeting planned today, which I’ve just cancelled, says I’m not the only one and a bunch of people in his office had it.

I have shaken a lot of people’s hands over the last week or so, I suppose I was bound to catch something.

Normal service will be resumed when I am less sweaty and miserable.

In which I continue to do a load of work for no money.

I am very busy for someone who isn’t getting paid.

Book.

One of the agents responded extremely quickly and sent my proposal to a professional reader so that they could compile a report. The report came back within a few hours. The reviewer liked the concept but was less keen on the execution. The agent wants me to rework the proposal. Most of the reader’s criticisms were things that I can recognise as valid and the remaining one just boiled down to their not being in possession of some facts that the proposal could have made more of. So there you go. I understand that being asked to rework and rework manuscripts and proposals is a good thing if you are a hopeful author as it means people are paying attention, they could have just said no. So I’ll just get on with that now, shall I.

Business.

I was in meetings for 3.5 hours today with the Company That Thinks I Am Wonderful, henceforth known as That Company. I was with a very senior dude and we talked for a long time about business models and finance. He said: (a) they do not have the mechanisms in place for the sort of business model that I would think is ideal, however (b) the person at That Company who wants me in their department is, I quote, “desperate” to get me to sign a contract and get me on board and therefore (c) I should feel okay about pressing that person to pay me as much as possible, as it is coming out of their budget. I was grateful for that. I don’t think that what I am asking for is excessive, measured against my value to the business. The senior dude also said some things like ‘don’t let this be a dealbreaker’ and ‘think ahead about the next 3-5 years, not just today’ but I have been to enough job interviews to recognise that as the sort of thing you say to someone when you want them to take their eyes off the money, but the money is important to me. I’m not 25 any more. So now I have to have another long meeting with the first person.

Other Business.

Because That Company is not the only company in the world and there are other companies that I actually own, I now have to spend this evening doing work for the latter, in the hope of raising some of that private sector funding that I can magnetically attract when I’m in the right mood and the wind is blowing in the right direction.

FFS.

One of these things needs to result in cash in my bank account as soon as possible. Being unpaid while on holiday in Spain was one thing, but being unpaid in London while continuing to work day and night is another matter.

Literary Agents

Things I have accomplished this week.

  • Seriously risked a perfectly good job offer by playing hardball over the salary. Further meetings are happening this week. They want me, I want them, but they need to make a significantly better offer, I’m not signing my career away just so that I can struggle to pay the mortgage.
  • Turned away a rich candidate for the Marriage project because I couldn’t handle his emotional needs. He was a nice man but I am not doing emotional nursing. Enough already. At 61 you should have found out how to take care of your own emotional needs, which doesn’t include clutching my hand and promising eternal fidelity, as though I should care.
  • Contacted five UK-based literary agents about my book proposal. I need to make a note for my own benefit:
    • Andrew Lownie of Andrew Lownie – I left him a voicemail today, 23 June, and need to follow up if he doesn’t call back.
    • Jane Judd of Jane Judd – as above.
    • Jane of Graham Maw Christie – we spoke on the phone, then I emailed her the proposal.
    • Michael Alcock of Johnson & Alcock – I emailed him the proposal.
    • Millie, the assistant of Caradoc King at United Agents – I emailed her the proposal.

I’ve also sent a cleaned-up version of the proposal to my friend in the US and she is going to show it to her contact at the US publishing company, apparently he is excited about it.

Wish me luck. See how bold I am becoming. I could have accepted a job that doesn’t pay enough and got into a relationship with a man who wants to hold hands and bare souls, but I rejected them both. Even though I am absolutely skint. Because the wrong offer is the wrong offer and I am prepared to struggle for a bit longer and hold out for the right offer, one that’s not going to ruin my life.

TLYW.

Everybody else has a Pinterest wedding folder.

I should be cleaning my house and finishing the book proposal. I just want a day off.

So, news.

– Work. There is some on the table. Now we are at the stage of negotiating about money. It is not fun, but it is very important. I’m not signing anything without discussing it.

– Date. It was okay. He’s a nice man. I don’t know. We’ll give it a second date and see what happens. He’s pretty funny and he’s financially secure. I don’t know. They all have big emotional needs. I need a Honcho-esque ice block so I can relax. I don’t know why I find that the most relaxing option, but there you have it.

I have been thinking about The 19th-Century Marriage Plot search for a rich husband that I’ve been semi-seriously pursuing. I was considering whether to make it a TLYW themed season. Is getting married and being a professional wife an authentic expression of TLYW?

– It would allow me to write, pursue social projects to end homelessness and even collect art, possibly.

– It would need to be someone who has a lot of qualities that I aspire to. The Honcho has fulfilled quite an important role in that regard. It needs to be someone clever and forthright who has really got their shit together.

As I thought about this stuff, I could not identify how much I actually wanted to do it. So then it occurred to me to make like everybody else in the Western world and start a wedding folder on Pinterest. My reasoning was that if I really wanted to alter my life by getting married, I should be capable of getting excited about a wedding.

You can view the Pinterest folder here. As you can see, it is empty. Hmm. Pinterest is awash with wedding photos and they are all revoltingly soppy. If I manage to find anything to pin on my wedding board that doesn’t make me feel sick, I will let you know.

wedding

A very nice blog post is here, concerning business-like marriage traditions in France in the late 19th century Well worth a look.

https://victorianparis.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/the-marriage-market-2/

Date.

That was a hell of a busy week, I am in the thick of business-related admin, because absolutely everything generates more admin, and I am pretty exhausted. I would welcome a quiet night of video gaming.

Unfortunately for me, the 19th Century Marriage Plot themed season – hey, we finally have a new TLYW themed season – has yielded a date for tonight, in fact in a few minutes. I have to go out and meet some business hotshot who is a mature 61 years old and have dinner with him. He sounded like fun when I spoke to him on the phone and he is local so I still have a good chance of getting an early night.

In which London welcomes me back into its embrace.

Three really amazing things happened today and I think it means I am not going to be poor any longer. Successful organisations think I am wonderful and want me more than they want anyone else, which is more than we can say for the Honcho.

It is very late here and I am hot, tired and have had two glasses of wine so I cannot give you more details now, but details will be forthcoming.

I am ecstatic. That is not too strong a word.