It’s spring here in the Antipodes. The trees are straining to pop out little buds of promise. The blow flies have emerged from their winter hibernation and are now hanging around, rather noisily, near my desk. (I don’t know why they think they’ll find food here. Really, I don’t.) And the other day, on the way to the doc, I saw Mr and Mrs Drake herding their little flock of ducklings along the side of the road. At first it was an “aww” moment, and then an angst-filled hour or so as I worried that the little family would all be skittled as they tried to cross over the busy road. I’m happy to report that on the way home I saw them all safe on the other side, eating the newly-sprouted grass.

So, when spring is sprung what does a young (ish) woman’s fancy turn to? Well, for me it’s a renewed enthusiasm for getting my latest book in print. (Yeah, I know…that shows I’m either too old to think of the things you were thinking of – shame on you – or I’m too obsessed…or both.) During the dark winter months I was happy to slave away editing other people’s manuscripts. After all, the money is always handy. But now there’s a buzz in the air; new life is bursting out all over; the sun is warmer and the sky is bluer. Once more optimism is stirring in my blood. Hope is rising in me like the sap in the fruit trees. (Oh cruel Nature, to tease me so!)

My dilemma: my manuscript has been sitting with a publisher all winter. Do I ask them what’s happening and run the risk of annoying them and thereby losing what teeny-tiny edge I have? Do I submit to others, with the risk that the original mob will then want to take it up and I upset everyone? I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions seasoned authors? I have plenty of experience with magazines and journals, but the book world is still a bit of a mystery to me. The trouble is, the longer it all takes, the more my confidence dwindles. I begin questioning my ability, the standard of my work, the quality of my story-telling…

Arrrggghhhhh! Here we go again!