Maybe I should have told Beth that, historically, April was not a very good month for me to start anything…end yes…but begin? Wasn’t it the month that both of my long-term relationships ended? (Yeah, I know they were of the painful, lousy, bad-choice variety but still.) And didn’t I always sink into a depression as other people sang of green and spring and new possibilities? I knew what T.S. Eliot was talking about.
Should I tell her to postpone this until May?
But here I was now inside the windowless office of the Editing Company. It was easy to forget that it was April. The ambiance was very nice, indeed. We were having tea. Talking about how fabulous the letter project was. I agreed enthusiastically that it would be a great book. For Sure.
I am easily flattered.
And Beth sat across from me with a neat blue portfolio with a bright orange interior opened in front of her (she always has a sense of presentation that I envy). Then reality sunk into my tea sodden head. She pulled out The Contract! Now it was all real…and it was still April. All I had to do was to sign on the dotted line (Why do they call it a dotted line? It isn’t dotted?) From my days working with lawyers, I knew to delay the signing to read every word carefully. What was I getting myself into?
“I will participate…
I am making this commitment…
I agree to deliver my final manuscript in eighteen months…(!).”
Beth was waiting. (I should have brought the cats for moral support.) There was no turning back now. I picked up the pen and scrawled my illegible signature at the bottom. She witnessed it. It was official.
Then she gave me my first deadline…