My work on revising the manuscript for Ruin has come to an end. For almost a week now, it’s been in the hands of my agent. Having covered all the necessaries required to start approaching publishing houses, including the dreaded synopses etc., I’ve now begun the business of nail-biting and an anxious twiddling of thumbs.
It may very well take a good long while to receive a response of any kind from even the first house – weeks, certainly, and most probably several months – and in my recent research I’ve been regaled with tales of agents pitching manuscripts for quite a bit longer than that before securing a sale.
Yet a certain desperate immediacy seems to surround the very concept of my novel, something I’ve written and crafted and loved, now being taken forth into the world. I suspect it’s merely a consequence of having dreamed of such a thing for so many years; it strains credulity, despite all my efforts, to think that I’ve finally leapt the first gorge between me and my goal.
But there’s nothing like a change in circumstances to take my mind off that.
My gap yar’ is at an end. University approaches. Before I took this twelve month step-back, I was concerned that it would be too long. I needed a break, I knew that much; time to let off some steam; to complete Ruin and make headway into the literary world; and, yes, to commit a youth’s ultimate sin: to explore at least some other small corner of this world.
Now, I know I made the right choice. It’s been a long break, almost too long – in fact, six months would have been ideal – yet I’m sure it’s been beneficial. Time has given me the opportunity to set my priorities in order, and lend a healthy momentum to my affairs.
I’ve long been gathering supplies for the move away from home, but I don’t think I quite realised how many miscellaneous things a person needs to take care of themselves. The sheer magnitude of odds-and-ends, clink and clutter boggles my mind now that I try to take in the sight of such a growing mountain.
I’ve been so busy with my preparations that it’s been difficult to find a spare moment for poor ol’ Moby Dick. Yet it’s been calling me, night and day, and I’ve managed to snatch the odd page here and there. I’m a little over halfway, and I’m already convinced that its classic status is perhaps the most well-deserved of anything I’ve read thus far.
Melville’s prose is threaded with such mellifluous charm that I often find myself grinning – not at the story itself, but at the sheer grace with which he weaves his tale. I enjoy the audacity of so frequently holding up a halting hand to the story’s progress, and addressing the reader to inform them a little more deeply on the finer details of whalers, and the Cetus clan. If only to add to my sense of his mastery, I find the murky flashes conjured in my mind more vivid than any I’ve had since reading The Heart of Darkness; sombre Nantucketers and a ghostly white Leviathan plague my dreams and waking thoughts.
I’ll be re-reading this one, in all certainty.
As a side note, I’m aware that I originally stated that I planned to make fortnightly entries to this journal. Well, as it turns out, there’s currently enough going on in my life to warrant a weekly spiel. We’ll see whether that continues or not.