Email withdrawal

The first thing I usually do when I wake up each morning (after a pitstop in the bathroom) is sneak onto the computer for a peek at any emails that came through overnight. The time difference with the Eastern States of Australia works well too – my 7am is their 10am – more than enough time to whip off a morning email to someone in Perth.

We have iinet broadband. A really fast (not so reliable, but fast) 24/7 connection that never sleeps. Pulling in emails is a quick and painless experience in this new, modemless society.

So you can imagine my disappointment that for the third day in a row, I have received only one or two novelty-type emails. None of the good stuff, like publishers or magazines affirming my belief that I write good stories. No, just a joke or two from friends.

I have twenty-odd stories submitted, some in advanced order in the slushpile (i.e passed the reading stage and waiting to be picked). I have an agent or two still considering the sample chapters of Harbinger. But no, I download a sparse course of jokes from my inbox.

This morning, Ange and I completed our third and final session of the STAT preparation test. This time, the lecturer (mind you, not a ‘lecturerer’, like our first one) was a career counsellor. He seemed a bit old school for my taste as he conspicuously omitted important Uni handbooks and entry options on the Internet, but generally appeared to know his stuff. Oddly, he dealt with English comprehension/essays for the latter half of the morning, which I thought were beyond his qualifications, but he did a better job than the first lecturerer (and while not tested on it, I suspect he’d spell the title correctly).

After the course, I took Ange to redeem a bundle of old medical invoices at Medicare and the private mob we’re with (a win!), followed by returning old shoes (a double win there!), getting our plane tickets and a spot of shopping. In between, we had a profound ‘discussion’ on my degenerating communication habits.

We returned home around mid-afternoon, and you know what? NO DAMN EMAILS! Not a magazine editor, publisher, agent or joke in sight! No writers centre updates. No mailing list updates. Nothing! I’m growing paranoid about it. Normally I pull down at least 2 or 3 useful emails a day. I think there must be some post-April Fool’s Day conspiracy happening. A plot to bleed my inbox dry; to force me to get my fix by re-reading old emails. Well you know what? That’s what I’ve started to do! Damnation!

In some ways, this has to be a good thing, right? I mean, with so many stories out there (some for quite a while), the editors must be seriously considering my stuff. I’ve received a number of rejection over the last few months in quick time. When they don’t want your stuff outright, they’re pretty quick to say so. I can only hope my stuff is in the ‘good, we’ll use it’ pile, or the ‘good, but other concerns prevent us from using it at this time’ pile. Either way, they think my stories are good, right? Right?

I think this email withdrawal is hurting my brain and making me needy. Any emails will do, automated responses, newletters I never read, even bad ones! I’m actually starting to pray for rejections! I know the Peter Cowan Writers Centre decided their April Fools comp last night. There were 4 entries. On Dark Clouds Borne was one of them. Surely it won, right? Surely? But wouldn’t they have told me beforehand, so I could come in and read it? 4 ENTRIES FOR GOODNESS SAKE! They should at least have the courtesy to email me with the results. Yes, that’s it. I’ll bide my time. They have to email me soon. Soon…

Ange and I also had a long talk to Hayley about the upcoming moving-back-in of Jacqui (Eve) and her girlfriend Jacquie (Lee). Jacqui (also a singular use – as the individual Jacquis have merged into a single, clothes-swapping unit) is making the BIG MOVE this weekend. Like all change, I’m sure this will be painful and fraught with other, even more dire emotions. On the up side, it’ll be good to have the whole family back together, at least for a brief while before Jacqui (the merged unit) moves out again. The talk was long and productive, and ended with us having dinner at Sizzler, as you do.

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