The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Manuscript

Monday, 7th April 2014

On my way home from submitting a manuscript, I’m sitting on the tube opposite a man who’s eating a fruit salad from a plastic container. He looks at me with a sinister hoodlum’s gaze and then, without breaking eye-contact, raises his fork to his mouth and sucks in and swallows a lubed, luminous, slug-looking, syruped peach-piece.

He alights at Brockley, leaving his container and a single seed behind him. I only hope my memory of this hypnotic brute does not germinate into a neurosis.

Thursday, 5th December 2013

In Soho to hand-deliver a manuscript. It seems like the only other people around are tourists geotagging their way up the street, metadatum-assigning themselves along. Street signs bite and kick above: ‘Yoo-hoo, Shufflefingers! So-ho, iFace! Up here! Cha-ring Cross Road, Dou-ble U Cee Two.’ But they are not known.

Friday, 22nd November 2013

I submit my manuscript to an agency using an online form (it’s come to this) and get an email saying that I will “receive a response in the next weeks.” I’d like to reply to the effect that next is a preposition denoting some sort of maximal quality such as nearest, shortest, or closest, and must therefore be followed by a singular rather than a plural noun; but the email also states (in perfect English this time), “This is an automated message. Do not reply.”

However, without clarification, experience tells me that I will not receive a response in the next week, nor in any week thereafter. Instead, the promised response will assume a tricksy, Carrollese quality, allowing it to disapparate whenever I draw temporally near. In any case, that’s my best guesses.

Friday, 8th November 2013

In town to collect a rejected manuscript I see some Henrys falling pell-mell out of a club. It occurs to me that old-school-tie networking and nepotism are perpetuated partly because no generation’s members, despite any personal convictions, want to go down as the last of the famous, international old boys, who drew up (or kicked down) the ladder behind them.

Thursday, 31st October 2013

At a urinal in Baker Street tube, clutching a rejected manuscript, I discover too late that it’s easier to get the old man out one-handed than to put him away again.

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