Words and wisdom (maybe just words).

Diary of a Booker Winner (in waiting) – 2

January 31st

Expressions of gluttony: 4

Reckless reaches for the bottle: 6

Hours of anger: Numerous

Moments of self-doubt: None! Never! Some…

Maybe I’d been too hasty. Reckless even. The 9 bags of Salt n Vinegar probably weren’t needed. Not after the 2 bags of Haribo, the three KitKats and the whole tin of Freddo Faces. The single malt scotch whisky had been much easier to justify – it was more or less Burns Night. I even managed to mutter an address to a Haggis – ‘Great chieftain of the puddin race…’ Then, as I raised my Waterford crystal, (surely all Booker Winners had a special drink-for-inspiration glass), I remembered that Rabbie also wrote a lesser-known poem called Cock Up Your Beaver. I believe I toasted the great bard at this point.


But I digress. Or rather I did digress. I digressed again, And that’s another pertinent issue, another negative, another stick to flagellate my fragile artistic soul with – how many Booker Winners went about winning the Booker whilst maintaining the attention span of a sunburned baboon? How many Booker Winners found their focus followed the trajectory of a three-legged fear fevered ferret pursued by a feral fox across a freshly furrowed farmer’s field, instead of diligently concentrating on plot, story structure and the all-important arc?


Anyway, as mentioned before the detour, I was thinking maybe I had been too hasty. And I meant with my melancholy as much as my masochistic munching. Maybe the feedback I’d received hadn’t simply been the bog-standard thanks but no thanks and don’t dare darken our decorous Dickensian doorway again.


And even if it had been maybe I still had to brace and enter the breach once more? And maybe I could? Maybe I might be able to bring myself to poke a toe the way of another gatekeeper? Indeed, maybe not doing so would simply be a ridiculous nose off to spite face scenario? So maybe I could? Maybe I could accept the game for the game it was and not hate every aspect of the game? Maybe I could calmly play along? Maybe I could bite the bullet and sheath the sword? Maybe I could write another cover letter, assemble a new synopsis, further hone the first few chapters? Then press send without emitting a snort or offering a V-sign to my laptop. Maybe I could overcome all my untoward assumptions about the procure a publisher process? Maybe I could overcome my deep distaste of having to write what felt like the equivalent of desperate begging letters?


That was a lot of maybes but maybe I would. Maybe I would do all of that before reaching once more for the special drink-for-consolation crystal. And maybe when I did, I’d offer again a nod to Mr Burns. The “Beaver” Rabbie refers to is of course a fur hat fashionable at the time.  ‘Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!’ I interpret it as a stand tall and up and at ‘em kind of message.  Maybe there were worse mantras to follow.

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