Thursday, June 28, 2007
Finishing a manuscript is a deeply emotional moment. Printing it out and sending it off into the world even more so. It's like sending a child off to school.
You weigh it in your hands.
You look at what was until now only pixels on a screen. A damn lot of pixels but pixels nonetheless. Now it's three hundred and eight pages of hard copy.
You flick through them.
You just know the judges of the competition you're sending it off to won't love it like you do, won't understand this strange little retarded infant you spawned, but you always will. Or will they? Who knows.
Here are some photos I took before I sent my child out into the big bad world. For three years I carried it in me in various forms, and I carried in that strange incubator known as my laptop. In fact it outlived two laptops, two Toshibas, and I carried it unharmed into a third, a Dell, only a month ago.
This morning it was spat out, all three hundred and seven pages of it.
I was unsure my printer would cope with it, whether the sides would split and it would bleed black blood, but it didn't. Sure it had a minor panic halfway through the labour but a restart soon fixed that.
When it was all out I dried it in a towel, looked over it to make sure it was all there, and naturally as one does with a newborn after a long labour, photographed it with my laptop camera.
Then I casually printed out the placenta-like Synopsis.
My hands were shaking as I filled out the entry form for the ABC Fiction Award 2008 and a stray tear of black blood left my laptop I'm sure.
Then it was off to the post office.
I felt like I was putting it out for adoption, betraying it almost, but no - I was sending it out into the world, hopefully to be judged less harshly than me, who knows.
So here it is, hopefully you'll hear more of it. Either way they say it's the journey that matters anyway. Not that a journey to a book deal isn't always better than a journey to the Dole office, but...
I call it Molochio Leather.