At nearly four in the afternoon here, the shadows are lengthening. Following an early morning "jack frost", as the locals say, the air is soft. Our windows and doors are open to it. A light breeze stirs from the south, accompanied by a feeling of expectancy that's broken only by the rhythmic trill of a cricket. No birds, no machines.
Husband is immobilized at the computer downstairs, working on his Sunday column. I have walked the dog for a dunk in the pitifully shallow tank (Texan for pond) followed by an intense session of retrieving tennis balls.
Unaware of all this bucolic serenity, an editor somewhere in the northeast is reading my novel manuscript. He began yesterday and found the first page riveting. Fantastic. Only 352 to go…I expect…nothing much, really. I do not expect lightning to strike with a contract. I do not expect publication at all, in fact.
The news from the world of publishing is bleak. Last week I heard that venerable Harcourt (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) has announced it’s no longer acquiring adult trade fiction manuscripts. The editor of that division promptly quit. Editor Jonathan Galassi, winner of the Maxwell Perkins award for excellence in publishing, said recently that no one in the business really has any idea of where it’s heading. They don’t know how many people are still reading.