Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Conf 96: Too busy to write

No. of words: same
No. of new books out: 1
No. of work commissions: 1
No. of naff job interviews: 1
No. of nights at the opera: 1

Too much happening to get down to much work this week. Am in simultaneous job/home hunt so mustn't beat self up about it, but still worryingly unsatisfying when a day goes by without any progress at all.

Have come to arrangement with film guy that I will work for him on an ad hoc basis when he needs me. This suits him, and me, actually, as realise a full time work commitment is out of the question for me at the moment. So, I have my first half-day next Monday, shortening and presenting film pitches on paper for a funding initiative. Today I slotted in a bit of how to pitch a movie revision - amongst other things (going for idiotic job interview on other side of town, mostly).

My six author copies of new non-fiction arrived yesterday. Was furious that they had forgotten to include my friend J's acknowledgement. J actually wrote two whole chapters for me as I was up against such a nasty deadline, & I double checked that they'd credit her. And then it arrives and they haven't. So started the day with stroppy e-mail:

Hello, Bella,

I received my author copies today, thanks very much. It looks great. I was very sorry, however, to see that the promised acknowledgement to JE isn't there. As you may remember, she came to our rescue and worked flat out for no fee whatsoever. I realise it's too late now, but I really think some kind of apology to her is in order. An offer of a fee at this stage is, I know, probably right out of the question, but maybe, in addition to the promised 1 book I hope has already been dispatched to her, you could offer her a few more or a small selection from your catalogue or something?

I'm also still waiting for more offers of work. If you remember, when the true extent of the workload became clear and you were unable to offer me any proper remuneration for the hours I put in, putting tremendous strain on me and my family over the Christmas period, you asked that if I would please work for you again you'd make sure my next fee took into account all the goodwill I gave to this project.

All best wishes,


Her reply:

Hi Amanda,

I’m so sorry about J's name being missed from the acknowledgements. We will correct this at reprint, and I would like to apologise to her personally – please could let me have her phone number? I only have an address.With regard to more work, I’ve had nothing to offer you since – but as soon as something appropriate comes up, I’ll be in touch. Best wishes,Bella

I won't be holding my breath.

To top this busy week, partner and I had a rare night out together at the opera, freebie front stalls seats courtesy of our timpani-playing friend. It was the final dress rehearsal for Puccini's"> La fanciulla del West , the first Western ever - fantastic. Amazing sets and lots of lovely long intervals. No, really, the music was good too, it's just that I've heard opera before, whereas I've never seen the Wild West in full colour staged right in front of my nose before. And the intervals weren't normal either - at each break, R, our friend, leapt out of the orchestra pit and took us down the road for a swift pint. I was beside myself with anxiety, worried he'd miss the next half, but, of course, the pub was full of other players & they've got this nipping out down to a fine art. He told us about one timpani player who used to nip out in the middle of performances, knowing he had 20 minutes until his next drum-beat or triangle tinkle or whatever, he'd set his stopwatch and sneak off for a quickie. If you're ever in the Coach & Horses in Covent Garden and see a group of blokes suddenly arriving and then suddenly leaving and then suddenly arriving again, you'll know who they are.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

1 comment:

genevieve said...

I believe brass players count farts in the pit.