Last Thursday was the Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione and while for some that meant a visit to church, for my clan and I it meant a huge twenty-one-people lunch at Annalisa’s. Two of her brothers celebrated nearby birthdays and arrivals to the house were determined by distance from town, fog, baby’s naps and party animals oversleeping. Midway through the meal I answered my phone and checked my email quickly. There was a note from my publisher. Mmmm. That could only mean one thing. The story collection I had sent him with my heart stammering must have been swiftly rejected. How many times had I heard it: Lovely work but stories don’t sell. Bring on de novel.
I wandered out onto the terrace with the smokers pausing between courses and sat down to read it. And reread it.
..loved the stories.. would like to proceed with this project in addition to ‘Divorced’.. looking forward to working with you on this...
My heart sailed out to Mary, born without the stain of original sin (no it didn’t really, but I’ve always had a weak spot for the true Madonna) and for the past few days I have been smiling at everything – filthy floors and animals in the house, stoned sons, cranky daughter, cool friends, the electricity men, my muddy surrounds. I mean, these are the contours of absolute bliss no?
Short stories. I have always written and published stories except for the long and depressing stretches (months, years!) when I have been writing novels or back at work or reproducing or in flight from everything. My dream has always been to have a book of stories with my name on it. The thought of it! And now I have ‘The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy’, which I just had to write, coming out in April, and the stories in 2013. I am certainly going to have to crank up my other blog http://peltandotherstories.blogspot.com and – oh! the relief – I won’t have to write a query letter for a good while.
My publisher said I could shout it from the rooftops.