No Need to Talk

I leapt out of bed at 0600 this morning feeling happy, and ready to spring (or is that sprint) down the road to Sainsburys, when I remembered that the store does not open until 0700. The Tesco Express up the road will be but they have limited stock and definitely not the FREE FROM section that has become vital to my daily existence.

Why do I feel happy? Well, last week after 7 long years of very early mornings and very late nights, creative blocks, despair, frustration, and disappointment, I am ready to 'submit' my manuscript to literary agents. In time, one may just decide that my book is worth pitching to one of the BIG FIVE. No? Well how about the smallest ten? Every debut author believe that their book is worthy of publication and will surely be a bestseller. Although self-publishing might yet beckon when one remembers that J.K Rowling trawled Harry Potter around 400 (have I made that up?) agents before she found the one person in the kingdom who recognised that his ship had come in.

In the submission letter to agents you are invited to tell them what your book is about in not more than one, maybe two paragraphs. Have I done that adequately? The cover letter is key; some use that as an indicator to whether it is even worth reading the synopsis, never mind the one, two or three chapters they tend to ask for. Hopefully I won’t fall at the first hurdle because my most prolific error is that I use “that” and which” in the wrong place.

My friend Jazzi who is now going through the whole manuscript with her English Major's red pen scares me. Jazzi is a theatre director and has what she calls a ‘truth stick’ when rehearsing actors. Her eagle eye does not miss the subtlest or nuanced bodily twitch. She is scary. She has already told me that I overly use the word 'impact' such that it loses currency; that I need to watch my use of gerunds and infinitives – what are those again?

On the plus side, she tells me that she has been engrossed in the storyline and often forgets the red pen because she wants to know what happens next. What is this book about you ask? Is it my version of 50 Shades of Grey; I wish. But I am a good Catholic girl and it would probably be called the Life and Times of St Margaret.

The book is non-fiction and I could have called it The Personal is Planetary, but that would not have been sexy enough. Anyway it begins like this:

Quite unexpectedly, during a prolonged period of chronic illness, my attention was intriguingly drawn to how closely my symptoms, indicating the presence of one of those ‘silent killer’ diseases, seemed to be reflected by the more bizarre weather phenomena occurring around the world; and particularly in my immediate environment. The planet was mirroring what was going on in my inner terrain. Noticing the various visual metaphors that appeared in my surroundings and the ability to utilize symbolic sight was a vital aid in my healing.

I have to thank Susan Jennifer for that opening paragraph because when she read the penultimate 'final draft', well over a year ago she told me she wanted to 'hear my voice up front'. So there you have it SJA.

The book illustrates the mirror imaging going on between ecological and personal health crises, both physical and mental (and yes I do mean that the Planet itself is having a nervous breakdown) blended with the out of left field perspective of transpersonal psychology. I believe that we no longer have to talk about climate change because, to paraphrase Winston Churchill when he called the British people to action just before World War II: a time of procrastination is over; we have entered a period of consequences. 

There is no need to bang on about climate change because actually, we are living through it, but we are only at the tipping point. In climatology a tipping point indicates that the global climate is shifting from one state to another, and at a particular level of warming or cooling, the planet will go through a period of transition. It is at this point scientists warn of dire consequences for parts of the world.

Right now Mother Nature is inviting each and every one of us to feel her pain and discomfort; there is also the joy of wonderful Spring weather in February with the riotous colour of blossom providing a backdrop to the daffodils in my window box, as I look out at my still relatively barren square, and over roof tops to the London Gherkin.

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