Box Fright


Tomorrow I will receive a big parcel – the advance copies of Peirene Title No 1, the rest will go straight to the warehouse. I should be excited, shouldn’t I? And infact I shouldn’t write this week’s blog today but tomorrow, to tell you all about the first ever proper Peirene book. But I don’t want to. I am eaten up by anxiety, that I will open the box and find – a disaster, an ugly monster. The cover awful, the text full of mistakes, the whole book unsalable, unreadable, an embarrassment. I really don’t want to look at the finished product.

I am good at jumping into deep cold water head first. I love it. Adrenalin rushes through my veins, I kick hard, I come up, I snort with laughter. Wonderful! Why isn’t everybody, the whole world doing it, I wonder. Same feeling when I started with Peirene – wow I am setting up a publishing house – name found, company registered, first two titles acquired – easy peasy – strange that not more people set up their own little business, their own little one-woman-show. It took me a while to see clearly – deep waters are murky after all – to understand why this isn’t everybody’s idea of fun, why other humans endowed with a better instinct to safeguard their comfort zones don’t have the faintest desire to do what I am doing. It’s the fear of having the sole and ultimate responsibility that scares the sensible creature away. Hey but not me. Oh no I jump right in, head first. And here I am now and my main occupation seems to be to nurse my own little pathetic angst, holding it, stroking it, calming it down. Tomorrow, when I will see that big box in my hallway, angst will be even bigger – and I just want to give myself the option of not opening it; of just letting it sit there, under the staircase. Perhaps until Monday.

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