11 November 2008


This morning I heard that my book on Byron has been accepted by the press I sent it to!  This is very good news:  it means, in essence, that I'll be keeping the job I have, or that, if I want another job, I have a pretty good chance of getting one.  So it's an enormous relief. And I'm very pleased. 

Here is a giant picture of Lord Byron to mark the event.  My friend J. loves this picture.

I promised to have a finished version to them by next May - which is, incidentally, one and a half years before they demand it - and that means that it'll be out by early 2010.  Now, I know this seems like forever, but I remember when I had an article accepted in 2005 for publication in 2007; that seemed like forever to wait, but then I forgot about it, and all of a sudden it was 2007. So the time lag doesn't bother me.

It was nice, and fun, to e-mail everyone in the States to tell them the news, and it was nice to tell people here, too.  And I don't want to complain (which means I'm about to).  But of course I couldn't help feeling, as I felt when I got the fellowship to come here, and when I had my birthday, that it would be so much better if I'd had a boyfriend/partner to share it with.  People are pleased, and my parents and closest friends are proud, but no one was going to give me a proper kiss, or take me out for a proper dinner, or have commemorative sex with me -- or even really understand how important this is, and love me and celebrate accordingly.  And I know it's silly, because of course lots of people were lovely (and S. said, "You'll see:  now on your way to the gym you'll run into David Tennant, and it will be a perfect day," and my friend T. said,  "I'm so proud of you -- we'll have to have champagne when I see you!"), but you only get one first book, and I would have liked to have that be a milestone that became part of a relationship's shared memory ("Remember when you heard about the book, and we went to Brown's for a bellini that weekend?"  "Remember how pleased you were when you got the first book accepted?").  And now I'll only be someone who has a first book - that milestone will become part of my story, and it will make me impressive to some, but it will never be a thing shared.  What I'd like most of all, of course, is to e-mail the person I was involved with but am no more and tell him - share it with him and know that he was sharing it - but I would also have to tell him not to e-mail me back, because I don't want him in my life if he's not my person (what Tom Stoppard enchantingly calls, "my chap"), and then it would just look, and perhaps be, pathetic. But then I suppose this whole paragraph, this determination to be sad when something wonderful has just happened to me, is pathetic.

Anyway, who can say?  Maybe I'll have someone by the time it comes out.  Which, to be fair, is the milestone that will really matter to me.

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