SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Traditions some men will never observe

First and foremost, Happy New Year to you. I've been giving my brain cells a little break to come back fresh and ready to tell you about my things and my weird life again.

So where were we... ah yes. It's already history, but I was on the verge of telling you how my Christmas lunch with Ed Davies -the supernatural Burdish editor that some consider my love affair- went.

The scene recommences at my small flat in Grytviken, the capital city of the South Sandwich Islands. I was all dolled up; had just set up a beautiful and well-arranged table. I was clenching my fingers around the green jade and gold magic fountain pen that I would be giving to Ed as a Christmas present... when the doorbell rang.

When I opened the door, Ed was there, leaning against the doorframe, killing me with that smile of his. Don't think it was kinda Cary Grant's smile at the Philadelphian ladies in the old classic movies, no. It was a hugely seductive smile, indeed; but a sort of evelish piercing smile; as wild and powerful as an uncontrolled force of nature; the kind of smile that makes a man intensely, truly, inevitably dangerous.

And every time he smiled at me, my heart skipped and I shook like a leaf. A delightful shiver ran through my body. I smiled back at him and couldn't help blushing. I even lowered my gaze.

He was holding in his hands a bouquet of roses wonderfully red as blood.

- Hi sweetheart. You look absofucking gorgeous. This is for you. -he said, giving me the roses-

Wow. Ed really knew how to treat women. Nobody but him could manage so elegantly to keep the balance between swearing and flattering. But I felt very iconoclastic that day and couldn't help to start teasing him a bit about his anti-traditionality.

- Thank you, Ed. Your roses are simply beautiful -I said, inhaling deep to feel their awesome smell-. Come in, please. I know traditions are not your thing, but don't worry: I won't start caroling or wishing you a Merry Christmas. But since it's a tradition in Burdishland to kiss under the mistletoe, I thought you'd like it and pinned some up there above the doorframe in your honour. -I said, pointing at the ceiling-
- You don't need to do that, Leni. If you want me to kiss you, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to kiss you anytime. Not only on Christmas Day.

And again, he stared at me. Jeez, he had an answer for everything. And he always came up with brilliant ideas to hit back at my jokes.

He put his arms around me and kissed me with such a feeling and overwhelming passion that my legs started shaking and my knees went weak. I had kissed a few guys before, and I had never once had one make me shake just from kissing him like he did. He left me totally breathless. I went into a hypnotic trance. My mind and consciousness became so weak that my will was completely missing.

- So what were you saying about traditions, Leni? -he whispered in my ear when the kiss ended-

Man, do you really think I was able to answer his question at that very instant?

I hadn't even noticed that during my ecstatic state I had let myself go to such a point that I opened my right hand inadvertently and the fountain pen rolled down to the parquet floor bouncing and making a loud noise. He picked it up and gave it back to me. I suddenly woke up from my reveries.

Shit. That was not exactly the way I wanted it to happen. I had carefully planned to choose the fountain pen; I almost went into trouble when I stole it at Breuninger with Hellgirl; I had bought the nicest paper and lace in South Sandwich to do the gift wrapping. I had even dreamed of that unique moment when he would be opening the present impatiently. But instead of that... I accidentally dropped it on the floor. The magic moment I had so much dreamed of, disappeared before it had even happened.

- Oh my... it was going to be your Christmas present! I'm sorry I couldn't wrap it properly. I was about to do that when you arrived... -I said almost in tears-
- Is it for me? -he asked, interrupting my heartfelt words-
- Yes, but I'm sorry I couldn't wrap it nicely as I would have wanted!
- Holy shit! A genuine Occhiobello fountain pen! What a treasure! Jeez, Leni... thank you...
-he said, looking closely at it-

That sincere exclamation of joy made me feel a lot better. And he didn't know yet what that thingamajig could do.

- You probably have a zillion fountain pens... -I sald-
- Sure I do, darling. But this one is the nicest I could ever dream of. And it's a present from you. -he said, smiling at me-
- The truth is it has a special feature, apart from the excellent writing.

He stared at me intriggued.

- Hm... tell me about it.
- You will be able to paint your dreams in the air and make them come true if the image is faithful to reality.

He couldn't wait to try it. He draw strange figures and complicated writings and the delicate coloured mist started spreading in the air. I couldn't understand any of the sentences he wrote.

- What was your dream about? -I asked when the mist started clearing away-.
- To have a life with you.

Yes, what he said destabilized me big time. He was reviving his old dream of having a third wife who would be suposedly a Virgo girl and have a brown mole on her left breast. Just like I was and had. But the best was yet to come.

After we had finished our non-Christmas lunch, I thought back to what Hellgirl suggested me to ask him: to publish my books. I would probably never be that close to an editor again in my whole life. I had never asked him for anything, so I decided it was worth trying. It was now or never and I was confident he wouldn't object, so I crossed my fingers and said:

- Ed...
- Yes, Leni?
- Do you think Kynkybooks could publish my stories? Do you think you could read them and bring out my works?
- Honey, I never do that. There are people at Kynkybooks whose work is to read and evaluate the new writers' works. It's not as simple as you think.
- Oh but I'm sure you're the one who has the final say... so please... read my books... you did it once... it means a lot to me... why can't you do that again?
-I asked, rubbing his right hand with my fingers-.
- Because Hellgirl entrusted me with the reading of your books when you made that deal with her, remember? And I had to set you free from your debt.

I nodded.

- Oh but... I have new stories that you haven't read yet and I'd like you to give me your advice and tell me in all honesty if you could publish them.
- No Leni, I cant do this. It's not a company policy to favour the writers just because they know the editor.
- Can't you just break your strict rules for once in a lifetime, Ed? You won't die for reading my books! Why do you always have to be so decent and respectable?
-I said, nervously-

And then, there was silence. It was the silence before the storm. My womanly wiles were not working at all and I started getting worked up.

- I'll get you an appointment with McGillicuddy, my Copy Chief. He's an excellent copyreader and proofreader. I'll see to it. -he said-
- But I'd like you to do that, Ed. Do it for me... please...
- I'd love to, baby, honest, but I can't do it. I've just bought new premises for Kynkybooks and I'm very short of time. I'm confident that McGillicuddy will do a fine work if you send him your book.

I was consumed with intense anger … a fire whose temperature was reaching excessive degrees.

- You can't do it? My arse! YOU CAN DO IT, BUT YOU DONT WANT TO DO IT! Your lousy excuses make you sound so pathetic! How come you can't even bother to read my books? It will take you just two hours of your precious time! I bet this is not the same you would say to your beloved Misty McGuire!
- Hey, child, don't talk to me like that!
- Stop treating me like a baby! I'm not a child! I'm a woman!

He quietly got up and said in a low voice:

- I think I better leave now, Leni. You're being very unreasonable, very selfish and throwing fits at everything, just like a baby. You can't always get what you want. Learn this lesson. The sooner, the better. The world doesn't revolve around you.

And he dashed out, slamming the door behind him.

Yes, I have a sharp tongue. But disappointment kills.

I cried tears of dark despair and sorrow, but my cry for help remained unnoticed. I would have given my life for him and yet he was unable to spare me two hours of his time to read my fifty-pages book. Was that so much to ask?

My love for him had always been unconditional, wholehearted, loyal, faithful and I expected him to love me accordingly. But to him, I had just thrown a fit. A total tantrum, like a little kid.

From that day on, I knew what my first New Year's resolution would be in 2009: to get published, whatever it took. And I didn't give a damn wether it was with or without Ed Davies' help.




"Calling all angels" (Jane Siberry & KD Lang)

23 comments:

Megan said...

Whew. Maybe I should sleep before I read your posts.

I mean that in a good way.

Be back in a few (hours)!

Leni Qinan said...

No worries Megan, they're a bit long, I know.

At least i only write once a week, LOL. And we're in different time zones (8AM for you, maybe it's a bit hard to read so early).

See you soon, sleep well and have sweet dreams!

Skeeter said...

Hi Leni!

This is a problem, I think, that all writers share. We pour our hearts and souls into the page and lay ourselves bare in that naked whiteness. Only writers view the world this way. To anyone else, its just a book, a thing. The first poem I ever memorized was Emily Dickinson's "There is no Frigate like a Book". It was in grade school. The teacher was a fragile, old woman whose hands quivered in time to a song no one else heard. She recited the poem from memory, greeting it like an old friend. I had never thought of poetry as anything but cold, dead words. I'd never thought of the words as being alive. Whole pages of them alive and strong like she said "a page of prancing poetry". The classroom was full of kids who to this very day probably still dread the fate of the open book. There are those who never got it and never will, but you know, there are plenty of us who do. Keep speaking your truth. It's all that really matters.

Best wishes,

Skeeter

moonlover said...

That was a sad lunch, when we love unconditional we get higher deceptions!

Wishing you a great 2009 with a high energy and ispiration ;^)

kissies,
moon

Nahuatl said...

Happy new year Leni! :)

I don't know what you will say but I completely agree with Ed.

Donn Coppens said...

Cool...Siberry and Lang are two real Canadian artistes!

We never forget those times, especially around the holidays, when everything is supposed to be perfect and it all turns to crap.

Allow me to paraphrase Robert Burns..ahem..
"The best laid plans of nice women often go awry"
...especially when they 're trying to get published!

rebecca said...

*sigh* getting published....be prepared to get many-a-door slammed. I had one professor who adviced me not to get discouraged because very few publishers want to be the first to take a chance or read something from a newbie. it's a hard door to get in but we cannot be discouraged leni!

Leni Qinan said...

Sorry for being a bit late guys, but after these holidays it took me a bit to recover from the post-vacational syndrome, which btw, left me in a very lazy condition. But here I am, fresh and ready to comment, so start reading below:

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Skeeter,

Thanks for your words of encouragement, I really appreciate.

You’re very right. Writing is one of the most private and intimate occupations, and yet there’s the secret wish of communicating with others this way publishing our works and sharing our stories. A white paper and a pen –or a computer- are always a challenge, and a writer always accepts it.

But those who write –and we’re a few ones here- know very well what it is like to create, to play with words and put all our heart, soul and faith in what we write.

To me, a book is not just a book, but an adventure, a good friend, the voice of a writer… and a treasure to read.

Take care. :)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Moon!

I wish you a wonderful 2009, full of happiness, success and love.

I hope this sad Christmas lunch will have a positive outcome in the long run. ;)

I think it’s not all about conditions, but about being even in love. But it’s so difficult!

Big hug and un gran beijo!

Leni Qinan said...

Hey, Happy New Year to you too Nayan!

Woooot? You completely agree with Ed??? LOL.

What will I say… that’s my next instalment, but let me tell you a secret: Things aren’t easy. Neither in love, nor in the publishing business. So you and Ed may be right. :)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Donn!

Yes, Jane Siberry is a favourite here! –don’t know KD Lang that much, but I’m youtubing her!
Some Canadian singers and bands sing in this blog too: Alanis Morisette, Tori Amos, the GREAT Leonard Cohen, Fiona Apple, Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright (and the list is endless, from Bryan Adams to Neil Young THE GREAT, and Joni Mitchell –one of my favourite singers). There’s great music in your country (now I know what you do when it’s frozen outside, lol, it’s music!

Right, holidays can be a nightmare if things go wrong. I guess it was not fair to impose conditions on Christmas day… ;)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca!

Hey, you understand me too, right?
I’m prepared to get many doors slammed, lol. Especially being a newbie. Same thing happened to the great Gabriel García Márquez with “One hundred years of loneliness” and J.K. Rowling with her first Harry Potter. Even Doris Lessing was rejected by her two editors when she published a book with a pseudonym, almost 20 years ago. She did it on purpose, of course.

The publishing business is quite discouraging, but if I don’t try… I will regret it for the rest of my life. If I succeed, I could be a famous writer and fulfil one of my dreams; If I don’t… my grandchildren will say “Wow, granny wrote some funny stories!”. I will make a hit at the family parties, LOL.

((Many besos y abrazos))

Grass said...

getting published is a great thing.. however, i think you should listen to Ed sis.. he's got a point.. remember when you and Ed kissed and you both landed on tabloids? hehehe Maybe Ed is trying to avoid that from happening again.. you, being the center of intrigues..

people will think that you slept with Ed just to get published.. you wouldn't want that kind of publicity, do you? on the other hand, publicity is still publicity, no matter how bad it is.. it might help you gain a few readers (and angry writers, LOL)..

hope things are great with you sis.. :-)


xxx

Nahuatl said...

Actually, its not about being right or wrong, as they are subjective.

What I meant was that Ed and I think almost the same. =)))

Leni Qinan said...

Hi sis!

I hope you had very nice Christmas holidays! I took 2 weeks off –I needed it- and now I’m back to normal life, quite good.

Getting published would be a dream, but to be honest… it’s just a dream. For the moment, it’s just a hobby. Anyway, who knows what may happen in the future?

Rather than getting published, what is really difficult -in my opinion- is to attract the editor’s attention to read your work. That’s what Ed is doing for me (and it’s a lot; normally they throw away the unrequested manuscripts).

The reason why he doesn’t want to publish my books so easily, is not the yellow press and bad publicity, but something a simpler –I’m sorry but can’t unveil that now, sis, you’ll find out in the next chapter-.

I hope you& Gugu are okay!
Big kiss.

Leni Qinan said...

Nayan,

I hate to say this, but I must admit that I behaved like a small kid. Throwing that huge and unjustified fit is horrible, and the same thing goes about imposing conditions on the ones you love. That’s just not fair.

So Ed’s point (and your point) is very rational and logical –and mature too-.

Oh, and in addition to what I said above: it’s not good to mix love and professional matters. :)

Krimo said...

First of many visits.

Leni Qinan said...

Welcome Krimo!

I hope so! I can say the same about your site, where everything looks, smells, tastes virtually (and for sure, really) delicious! :))

Dick said...

That didn't work out the way she wanted it to .

"You can't always get what you want", it makes me think of Mr. Jimmy, lol

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Dick!

You’re right. Things don’t work out like this. And when you’re irrational, too emotional or insensitive, most things don’t work out properly.

Hahaha, Jimmy Moon must be singing now that wonderful song of the Rolling Stones, biting his nails, thinking he should have never signed a deal with such a powerful man as Ed Davies, the biggest tycoon in the South Sandwich Islands, lol.

In the long run, rage and evil don’t work either.

Take care.

rebecca said...

Hola Leni,

I wanted to post a follow up comment to your comment but haven't had the chance till now!

Two authors come to mind for me: George Eliot who published under a male pen name because she wanted to be taken seriously and guarantee publication and there was also a slave (I have to find the name for you because I can't remember off-hand) that wrote - wrote! - beautiful stories and her owner published her works under a pen name. I took an African-american lit course more than 10 years ago and I never forgot this. Isn't that incredible?

But on a more recent note, look on my sidebar under " writers" I've put some new links on lit agents who blog. Peruse at your leisure. The publishing industry is going through some real hard times right now so not only is getting published a daunting task to begin with- now even more so because of the economy and because with the facility if the internet, the publishing industry has suffered.

So, amor, continue and do not give up- if anything, we do this simply for the love of it and that it fulfills us.

((abrazos))

Crabtree said...

Leni,
(*mon p'tit clin d'oeil*)

Je reviens :)

Je te souhaite une superbe année pleine de tendresse de joie et d'AMOUR ;)