Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Will the Real Patricia Anne please stand up?"

A friend and client thought I should introduce you to the real Patricia Anne Elford, the one who this week discovered she hadn’t cashed a for-editing cheque after it had been sitting, sealed, unnoticed, under a bathroom countertop container for six months.

 When I go to the bank, rarely, I usually go towards the end of the day, often at the end of the week, after having, among other tasks, slaved over a hot computer, so that I'm in somewhat of a daze and a fluster, hair sticking out, black under my eyes and mumbling that my accounts end with such and such numbers and I think I have my client card with me.

The clerks make the mistake of asking me how I am and I tell them how I am, and why. I stop mid-sentence, grasping for words of polite conversation. Most of them know I'm a writer and, I think, consider me to be eccentric. They are kind souls who treat me with as much courtesy as if I had large amounts of money in their branch and they manage not to giggle or roll their eyes before I exit.

Quite often, this is also the state I am in when I go to the pharmacy or take Lickorish, our 18-year-old cat in for his biweekly respiratory-improvement needle. Why? Because I always try to work at my writing and editing when I am as fresh as possible. When I take husband/chauffeur/Robert’s oxygen tank to the car for me to complete our “outside world” tasks, I’m actually exhausted, having worked from early morning (sometimes, during part of the night, when the quiet soothes and my mind is free), and I am ready for a drop-dead-into-bed nap, not interaction with other human beings. Thus I scatter the breadcrumbs of my idiosyncratic reputation all over the community.

But, now YOU will know some of the ways I’ve been spending my time:

- I’ve been editing for several clients, work I thoroughly enjoy when they’re eager to do their best and are willing to take advice. I’m thrilled when they have been shortlisted or won awards for their books or single pieces. I’m equally as happy when they have produced a work that is well done and well-accepted by family and friends.

- I’ve been doing some periodic creative work for the Petawawa Grannies, that being my part while others are doing theirs.  

-  I’ve been writing and submitting, gaining a first for my already-published non-fiction piece with insights into The Lord’s Prayer, in the last InScribe Winter Contest and (interest was expressed re. possible future use of a poem written about my husband’s being on oxygen 24/7) and a third for a wedding message (which I misnamed a devotion and possibly created incorrect expectations) in the unpublished non-fiction area of their Fall contest.

One of my poems, “Christmas Memories, Past and Future”, was accepted for Christmas with Hot Apple Cider, a brand new anthology in the Hot Apple Cider Series, a great book I’m more than happy to promote.

- During my absence, I’ve written a couple of book reviews for books in which I wasn’t involved as an editor, though I don’t make as much time as I might to do more of that. I’m a fast reader but I take that responsibility seriously and can’t rush it.

 Also submitted a few pieces that were not published but publishers made encouraging noises. (After this length of time at writing and the compiling and editing of the Grandmothers’ Necklace anthology, I know the difference and am not nearly as put off by a lack of acceptance. Sometimes pieces can be good but just don’t fit.)

 I’ve happily kept my column commitments for the Pembroke Daily Observer and have had fun creating the accompanying unconventional artwork. Several commented on the last art piece. Links follow this post for you to take a look at the columns. I hope you will! You’ll also find other reasons for my absence from this blog if you read, or have read, the S.O.S one.

This is a lengthy post but it has been most of a year that I’ve been in absentia!   

Thank you very much for checking in. I truly appreciate it.

 What now? After a week of pretending to put the house and yard into a somewhat acceptable state of order and some medical appointments, I hope to do the following:

- Sell some of the woodworking machinery my husband is no longer strong enough to use. (He chose which ones. That was HARD.)

- Accept and complete another editing contract. I’m available! Have references; will edit.

- Get serious about getting my own book manuscript, The Cuddle of Cats—Talk to Me; I’ll Listen. Listen to Me; I’ll Talk, polished up for publishing. Among others, our veterinarian, who holds an important position in the CVMA, has read it and is happy to write an endorsement! I expect to donate a percentage of the book’s earnings to the local SPCA. Excerpts read in public reading events were well-received, so, there’s hope.

The Column Links:

May God bless you for persevering to the end of this post! Thank you.