Sitting across from us on the journey was a little boy with his grandmother listening intently as she read a book out loud to him. He, like me, was lost in his own world while she talked in hushed tones about magic and witches.
It made me smile.
An author will have sat on their own, probably in silence, writing that book completely unaware it would be enjoyed in such a manner further down the line.
It also made me think about my own childhood and often having my nose buried in a book or listening with almost obsessive intent to my mum or my school teacher reading a book out loud. When your imagination is as overactive as mine, a book is perfect. I loved painting my own picture rather than being shown every last scrap of detail like in films.
The last few weeks have made me think about being a kid a lot. I think its all of the melancholy moments of living alone and having the time to take stock and really think about things.
Continuing with the theme of childhood, Uno and I packed our little selves off to Blackpool today - the place I spent many a joyful day out. The place that holds such a special place in my heart that I dedicated an entire chapter of Driving Exile to it. It's like a living, breathing comedy sketch for all of the right and wrong reasons.
Whenever I'd return from Blackpool as a child, I'd write. I always wanted to write a story about a fair or about being an entertainer. For a while I thought I might actually run away to Blackpool to 'make my fortune' which now makes me smile when I actually see the lack of opportunity there.
To say I've 'regressed' is spot on. I'm somewhere between melancholy and determination to succeed. Getting that burning fire in my belly to achieve my dream, yet at the same time, crippled by confusion and fear of the unknown.
I've got a pack to send to one very lucky agent this week and I'm struggling to choose who to send it to next. It feels like I'm playing Roulette sometimes. I suppose the publishing game is a bit of a gamble - right place at the right time and all that. Some of the lovely people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter/Facebook have asked whether I'd ever consider self-publishing. I have.
But I'm not ready to give up on this approach yet.
What would the seven year old Emma say?
The eleven year old Emma?
Well, the fourteen year old Emma would probably tell me to fuck off and then carry on watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer without another word, but you get the picture.
I'd hate the face the childhood version of myself and kneel in front of her, take her by the shoulders and say, "Emma, when you grow up, you'll write a book and you'll love it but after a few rejections, you give up and carry on working a nine to five for the rest of your life."
She'd cry and probably hit me for being such an idiot. Then ask me what would have happened if the Spice Girls just 'gave up'. I'd have to shrug and bite my lip to refrain from telling her that she actually goes off the Spice Girls and gets into classic rock.
One thing at a time, eh?
And that's what I think I need and probably all of us to some extent. We need to remember who we were as children and imagine meeting ourselves now and explaining why we're doing what we're doing. And, more importantly, where we're planning on going.
When I'm feeling like I can't be arsed writing, or putting together another agent pack, I'm going picture myself, pad and pencil in hand, as a little kid, jotting my stories, poems and song lyrics and dreaming of getting older so I could make it all a reality.
I already feel like I've got a lot of making up to do to her.
However, if she can forgive Geri Halliwell for leaving the Spice Girls then I have every faith she can forgive me for stalling on my dreams.
|Em, I forgive you for being crap, and hope one day you'll |
forgive me for this ill-judged Kays catalogue pose.
Lot of love, 11 Year Old Em x