In my eyes, April is always a hybrid and certainly more so this year as it lacked Easter. What does April have going for itself if not Easter? No day within it marks the astronomical beginning of spring; there are no bank holidays; it is bang in the middle of the non-sale season, three months after the winter sale and three months ahead of the summer sale; daffs have whithered into papery yellowness; the trees are undecided and the weather is neither good nor bad. Perhaps this last point is what has most characterised this April for me; it was foul most of the time, with only a few sparks of light and tentative springy-ness around about now. So very different from April last year, when I had started dabbing in sunny fields and I couldn't yet tack up a horse.
On the plus side, I strung in a lot of riding, despite the lashings and lashings of rain, and I started blitzing agents for my upcoming book. Well, actually, I blitzed one agent only, but I had a constructive exchange with her which has strenghtened my proposal as well as my resolve. Now I just need to find an agent that will, not only really like my topic, but also be prepared to fight for it. I cannot say to be thrilled that she decided not to be this agent, for I deeply wanted her to be The One, but I am afraid that in publishing, and in life in general, wanting in isolation isn't good enough. I cannot say that returning to my proposal is easy after this rejection, but I realise that this is the time when I must stay focused, for obstacles are those things we see when we take our eyes off our target. It would be even too easy to re-open my neat .pdf, dissect it until it is torn into shredded words and put it back together in a completely different fashion. I am all for helping oneself, you see, but I do think that cosmetic overhauls do not benefit those who do not need them. I could inject further novelty value into the proposal, I could facelift it to high Heaven until I do not recognise it any longer, yet I do not want a stilted plastic doll in place of writing that smiles, frowns, laughs and sighs at every sentence. Tonight I will return to my list, assess the non-fiction agents that already caught my eye and see who to tackle next with the proposal as-is.
Still, progress has been made on multiple levels in April, whether I like April or not. I am ready to go on my riding course next week, I have attended my first knitting workshop, which was helpful and great fun from start to finish and I have a really good proposal to send to more agents starting now. Oh and I also have a lovely hank of pure silk yarn to start a waterfall scarf with. Who says that you cannot do something of value in lousy April? I am hopeful, albeit through the sting of rejection, and ever so positive. Let's see what May brings.