Thursday at precisely 5.30 I was happy, really happy. On Tuesday I had concluded the deal on the third book for 2011, so the programme for next year is complete. On Wednesday I had booked myself up for all the three days of the London Book Fair next week - so my little publishing house has clearly “arrived”. And on Thursday I finally caught up with the email back log from the Easter break. Life and work had fallen into order. I put on some music, Bob Dylan, to help me through the last task of the day.
It wasn’t the ash cloud that got me. It was something far less real, straight out of the virtual world.
My last deed of the day was to update the website. I went online, typed in the webmatrix address. A white page appeared “pcconnect failed. Session halted.” I typed in Peirene’s web address. Same thing. I wanted to send Tom, my webmaster, an email. It didn’t leave my outbox.
Technical problems freak me out. My heart beat accelerates, my mind displays paralytic symptoms, I desperately push the same buttons over and over again, hoping for a divine intervention. When I finally got hold of myself, I called Tom who confirmed that my hosting company had had an outage, which would take some time to restore.
I could have left it at that. The problem was identified, it would soon be mended. Instead I worried all evening. Hundreds of people were surely trying to look at the Peirene website right now, wanting to buy the three books with my fantastic exclusive deal. And they would turn away, disappointed. I even had a dream. I saw a big spider-like UFO gobbling up an earth orbiting satellite. I knew the satellite had something to do with my hosting server.
I didn’t feel proud when I woke up. I don’t like having such pathetic dreams. Thus, I went into self analysis. Only to resurface with a beautiful line in my head, Bob sang when all went wrong the previous day.
“He not busy being born, is busy dyyyyying”.
A very sensible line. It’s telling me that everything in life, indeed life itself is a process, a journey with ups and downs. Fortunes change frequently and I’d better learn to ride the waves without feeling each time it’s the end of the road.
Bob would be proud of my insight. Long may it last.