Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But I think that (FINALLY) her due date might actually be getting closer, and now I’m getting quite nervous about the labour.
Which is why I’d like to tell you about a conversation I had with the old man about it the other day.
You see I’ve written the first draft, edited it a few million times and changed as much as I possibly can without transforming the plot completely and having to start all over again.
So I now have to take that brave step of showing my baby to someone – which is nerve-racking if I’m honest. It’s like the first time you show your real baby to the world and even though you know it’s probably quite ugly, because all newborns are, you still don’t want anyone to actually tell you that.
It took me four months before I told anyone that I’d been writing a blog, so you could say that self-confidence is not my strong point. You have to be brave to reveal your true persona publicly – which writing obviously does – to put yourself under the spotlight and allow people to judge you. And I admit that I’m as sensitive as a fucking cockroach to light when it comes to criticism.
I’ve ummed and ahhhed about who to hand my baby to for the first time. The obvious choice is the old man but he can be a harsh critic, and not as objective as I’d like. And the truth is that I’m more stung by his criticism than anyone else’s. But then again he knows me the best and secretly I would like his approval.
But there are two problems with him reading my draft. The first is that the subject matter of my material is not what I usually write about. Sure, I occasionally attempt ‘serious’ in my blog but the old man yawns impolitely when I do. There is some humor in the book but the plot has predominantly serious themes and undertones running through it, about death and relationships, dysfunctionality and all that serious shit.
All those things that the old man has never had the maturity to understand and spent a lifetime walking away from when confronted.
I bought of copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus recently and each time I catch him reading it furtively, I can see the signs of utter amazement on his face when he reads about Venus and women’s natural traits.
The second problem with him reading my manuscript is that he limits his choice of reading to fantasy.
So asking a philistine, who only reads fantasy books and quotes Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to our kids when trying to discipline them, might appear foolish. Not forgetting that he has never expressed a raw emotion in twenty years of marriage and I’m beginning to suspect that John Gray actually based the inhabitants of Mars on him.
Yet there is this gnawing duty within me that won’t go away. In some bizarre, marital- harmonising way I feel that I owe it to him. He has allowed me the time to grow my baby and to try and turn my dream into a reality and if he is my soul mate he should be able to put his own ideas aside and remain objective.
‘I think I’m almost ready for you to read the first part of my book,’ I mentioned casually over the weekend.
‘What’s it about again?’
‘Relationships – there’s this tragic event that rips a family apart leading to blame, depression and the crumbling of the familial infrastructure.’
‘Is it funny?’
‘Not exactly. It has its moments…’
‘Are there any dragons in it?’
‘No, no dragons.’
‘NO DRAGONS? Well, do any of the characters have superpowers?’
‘No, I can’t think of any superpowers other than love, compassion and integrity.’
‘Isn’t there anyone else you can ask to read it?’