The contract has been sent by the publisher and I have only to sign it. She and I talked on zoom for over an hour, getting on very well. P was by my side and the children were in the room too, listening.
The questions only arose later. I want to tweak it a little, nothing significant. I have not done a thing. I am paralysed. She has been in touch and I told her I needed more time. I could not tell her how completely floored I am by this success. At least it looks like it might be the beginning of success. I have another month before the contract lapses. I may need it.
I am so anxious. I have become sick, nauseous, the kind of feeling you get from eating food which is too rich, something to do with the bile. I cannot eat much, and then only stuff without nutritional value. Tinned tomato soup. Crackers with fake butter. Only peppermint tea because I don't like ordinary tea without milk and I cannot tolerate milk right now. Coffee is out of the question. My lovely doctor said it might be a stone, a gallstone. Apparently I have the classic symptoms.
The blood tests have all come back saying I am A OK. The ultrasound is in a week's time and will probably also say that I am fine. I feel like a fraud. Am I a fraud?
This acceptance of my work has come as a rude shock. My mind is not used to it. I go through ugly spaces. Paranoia, nothing will come of it, the publisher will not perform, the cover will be ugly, or worse, boring, no one will buy it. Or megalomania, the world will beat a path to my door, Peter Jackson will want to make the movie. I spent two days in bed sleeping or reading about the 1918 flu epidemic. It's a good book, informative, but not cheerful. It is now 4 o'clock in the morning and I am writing because I cannot sleep any more and at this ungodly hour I can't ring anyone.
I would like to call my sister in Israel but it is Shabbat and she won't pick up the phone on Shabbat. Or rather she will pick up the phone because this being NZ, we are ahead of Israel and it is not yet Shabbat there and when she hears it is me, she will say: "Isn't it Shabbat with you now?" and when I say it is, she'll slam the phone down, fast. I have another sister in Holland who is an angel, always kind and helpful, but last time we spoke I said things in the wrong way and now I have to wait for her to forgive me. I have to give her time.
I don't know how to get through this. My friend L who knows about this situation from the inside said I could ring her, but I'll have to wait for daylight before I can do that.
Some friends wanted to celebrate, meet for lunch, but I could not do it. I am in shock. I need time to get over this. Or maybe just get used to it and get to work, because I have a lot to do before that book is fully fledged and ready to fly.