Anything can happen

David walked out of the door today, on his way to Pan Macmillan, carrying my heart in a hessian bag. Where on earth did September go? To me, it was a blur of rising at 4 and 5am to try to get a few hours of my copy-edit in before Daisy woke.

Finally the copyedit is finished. Check out all those post-it notes!

I loved working on the book so intensely in the last month. Clara Finlay, the editor really pulled me upside down, inside out and shook that book as hard as she could shake – but she was wonderful. I may never meet Clara Finlay, but I feel as if I know her. I felt her over my shoulder the entire time as we went line-by-line, date by date, fact-by-fact, character tone by character tone. We pondered together house-ownership problems and why I’m so obsessed with dentists that I felt the need to include so many in Poet’s Cottage. David said I should have named the book Poet’s Teeth. I do seem to have rather a thing for them, it’s true. And another mystery to me is – why I felt the need for so many people with the surname of Brown in a 100, 0000 word manuscript.

But I’m convinced I am a better writer for this edit. I have vowed never again will I write without having a very detailed plan of my house in both time periods and also meticulous time charts for every character.

I have quite a few blog posts I want to share coming up, including my annual agent’s author event. But I’ve been up since past 1am doing last-minute checks to the manuscript so David could hand deliver it to Pan Macmillan in their city office.

David Levell and Josephine Pennicott take a holiday at The Captain's Cottage

And just as the copy-edit is over, the beautiful Captain’s Cottage in Stanley where my family and I stayed several times whilst I worked on Poet’s Cottage is up for sale. It was in the Australian paper on the weekend. Here are a couple of shots of us at the cottage, relaxing and happy. I wish I had the money to buy it. I have so many happy memories of that house and our trips to Stanley.

Daisy and Josephine Pennicott outside The Captain's Cottage Stanley

Here are also a couple of random shots of my garden which is starting to come alive. These were taken right outside my garden writing shed. My David Austins are taking off as well, so thrilled with my tiny garden.

I am enormously weary but filled with great joy and relief.

Daisy getting married in the Spring garden

And one of the most magic moments in September was seeing Mary Poppins swoop slowly towards me at the historical Capitol Theatre in Sydney. This is the most beautiful theatre to see any show in. Years ago, David and I saw Blondie play the Capitol. The image below is taken from their  website.

Around me were the cheers and screams of the excited crowd as she slowly glided through the air of the darkened auditorium. Mary Poppins and I looked at each other and she was as touched and as thrilled by the magic as we were. My daughter was screaming beside me, ‘That’s real magic!’

After Miss Marple, and Jane Eyre, Mary Poppins is one of my favourite characters in fiction.

Now I have to clean my very dusty, brick house and go back to the next book. 

Thanks for visiting me. xx  

4 Responses

  1. gondalgirl October 6, 2011 / 2:04 am

    Brava Josephine – congratulations on your edit! Look forward to reading the real thing. ( also MP is one of my favs too), a woman after my own heart.
    Again, congrats, and surely I can shout you that coffee soon

  2. suzygabyandmaud October 6, 2011 / 10:54 am

    Hi Josephine

    September has been a very busy month for you but what a fruitful one it seems. I can feel the excitement about your book. It must be such a wonderful feeling knowing that you have created new characters and a world in which they live, all created by you. A labour of love. Well done!

    I am so looking forward to reading your books.

    Your garden writing shed sounds so romantic and idyllic, I am most envious! 🙂

    I am with you about Miss Marple and Jane Eyre but I never got in to Mary Poppins as a child and still now. I’m not sure why, maybe because it is a musical and I am not a big fan of musicals on the whole. I am sure that Miss P would have enjoyed the show that you saw with Daisy. It is probably more magical there than watching it on TV or at the cinema. So glad that you had some fun relaxing time.

    Take care
    Isabelle x

  3. jen storer October 7, 2011 / 1:46 am

    Wow What a time you’ve had, i feel tired just reading (but very happy for you too!) Im glad you love your editor it’s sooo important. My friend Michael Pryor once said, ‘when my editor speaks I listen very very carefully’. I have never forgotten that. Good luck with it all TP. I hope you always remain surrounded by Real Magic. jxx

  4. josephinetalepeddler October 8, 2011 / 10:16 am

    Dear Gondalgirl, thanks for that. And don’t forget you are always welcome at the bookclub! Hello Isabelle, if you saw the Walt Disney Mary Poppins, I’m not surprised you didn’t like it. The stage play is wonderful and I also love the books. Fingers crossed that Poet’s Cottage will be one day available in the UK. I will send you a copy, sweets. Jen. that is great advice about the editor. Daisy and I are loving your book sooo much. Once I recover a bit, I’m going to do a blog post on it. You are such a clever, Jen. xx

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