“Writers should be read but neither seen nor heard.”
- Daphne Du Maurier
Well, I did it. I was going crosseyed from editing my short stories, and the submission deadline on a manuscript competition loomed, so I printed all twelve stories (after checking five times that the page numbers lined up properly, having recently sent a four-chapter children’s submission whose pages were off by oneafter Chapter Two – ARGH!!). Found one of those lethal-looking clippie things in a size XXL, and eased it in place. Wrapped a flimsy rubber band around the manuscript’s middle, in case of some postal disaster involving hundred-kilometer winds, and stuffed it into an envelope, padded. Just in case.
Seeing the title page with my name on it, and a hundred and forty pages stacked beneath – the culmination (for now) of four years’ work – gave me pause. It was a Big Quiet Moment.
In my other life as an orchestral musician, the big moments are noisy and thrilling, with cymbals crashing and trumpets trumpeting, string players sawing like mad to be heard over the din. I’ve spent much of my career managing a system of earplugs to help me cope with and enjoy playing through the Big Noisy Moments. So it seemed appropriate that, during the official beginning of my writing sabbatical, while my Symphony colleagues were busy managing earplugs during their first rehearsal back following the summer hiatus (Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony, which is pretty much a continuous Big Noisy Moment) I was celebrating a quiet one. I poured my guts into an envelope and licked a stamp.
And then I got back to work writing