Last Diary From Limousin

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Last Diary From Limousin
by: Madeleine Dickson MondayGemini May 21 – June 20 Last week’s euphoria will slowly drain away. The next few days may well prove to be a test of Gemini resistance 6 am Think will just read critique of one’s stunning novel by V. Helpful NY Novelist-Mentor. So sweet of such an eminent writer to pass eye over work of fellow literatus. May even read her books one day too, if available at local library. 8 am “…to put it bluntly….plot is really muddled….badly flawed….quite apart from that voice…too croaky…oomphless characters …so start again from scratch…cut the crap…watch your POV etc…….” Well really. Obviously didn’t read great work at all. Anyway, those Yanks can’t speak the Queen’s English. Croaky Voice? My POV? Need an interpreter. Cut the crap? Hmm. Must be some weird American ritual thingy, like baseball, cheerleaders, pumpkin pies etc. Certainly not going to start cutting up…..Ugh.Anyway, is only one person’s misguided opinion. Clearly a very jealous competitor. Send tripe straight to Trash. Visit Vile Véronique for repair work to ravaged visage, image. V.V. very bubbly, upbeat this morning. Don’t really want to hear any more re great GL Show, celebrities wetting themselves, massage-ins, dosh she banked etc, but listen, as one is polite, even though heart v. heavy after cruel rejection of magnificent manuscript. 2.30 Feel much better after feeding Inner Woman, massaging stomach with a spot of tournedos à la Madeleine, generous quantities of St.-Joseph. Accompany fellow Sisters of Mercy to hospital, laden with extra-dark chocolate (for magnesium), Armagnac (for spirits), girlie mags (for cardiac/ophthalmic therapy).Gérard glum, curiously desperate to leave newly-revitalized, dynamic region. “Limousin is bad for my health,” he says inexplicably, eyeing photo of mag chick with impressive XL udders. TuesdayGemini May 21 – June 20 Look before you leap, don’t take the first offer that comes along – it won’t necessarily be in your best interests 8 am Check kittens, emails. Two of former have eyes open already, unfocused, like inebriated Gazelle. Little heads nodding heavily, as if cerebrally super-endowed.Scan excitedly through inbox. All from agents/editors. Falling over themselves to get their eager mitts on the rights to Fatal Throttling Near Limoges I reckon. Oh. Fail to find single one falling over him/herself. Huh. What do they know, these overpaid, underbrained, failed scribblers? Still, haven’t had answers from the other 376 London agents yet. Must cultivate a little patience. 9 am High-five co-Gazelles at post-Show meeting. Sit opposite Bernard at conference table, flanked by Bernadette and Françoise. Bernard in formal gear, has discarded overalls in favour of pink shirt, yellow tie with brown cows grazing thereon, Prince of Wales check trews. Looks like refugee from our golfing-for-midgets course.  Mayor clears throat, confirms provisional Show figures.” …profit around €180k after expenses….”Spontaneous applause from Gazelles. Bernard beams, clearly doesn’t realise we’re clapping our own vision, creativity, persistence, hard work. “…holiday bookings still rolling in…127 cabin weeks so far…That alone justifies 2 full-time employees.” Wild cheering, fart of approval from Grizzelle. “…but the biggest benefit is the marketing prospects that that I see opening up…“Goodness. Whatever happened to socialism in our commune? “We had 37,691 visitors…or 42 times the population of this village.” Organized by amateurs, on a shoestring.  Refrain from reminding euphoric mayor of his initial antipathy, obstructive tactics. “…who cleared out most stalls. You see where I’m heading? T-shirts, ornaments, gardening tools, books.” Bernard looks across the table at me. “The region is giving us a special marketing grant …we could make the Great Limousin Diet our first publication – every copy was sold on Saturday.” Further cheers, attempted wolf-whistles. “I’m advised to buy the copyright if possible…avoids complicated legal arrangements for reproduction, logos etc…” Bernard waits, expectantly. Nod knowingly like judge, can see their point. Would mean messy user licences etc, a whole battery of semi-illiterate legal gobbledegook. Besides, is likely to sell a few hundred copies per year at most. “Sure, no problem Bernard.” 11.15 Have paid very first writing fee into bank. Was slightly surprised, but thrilled, when mayor wrote out check on spot for €1,000, the sum suggested by the region’s publications squad. Also v. good, I think, for my literary CV. And definitely not bad for a few hours’ work. WednesdayGemini May 21 – June 20  Don’t put off organisational matters – doing so could cost youdear Put winning numbers on Loto. Keep fingers crossed that Française des Jeux refrains from picking wrong combination again.Empty handbag rubbish onto dining room paper piles, will sort same out later. Find vaguely elegant clobber, smart leather evening bag in upstairs warehouse. Dress for dinner. 8 pm Gazelles assemble at local gourmet watering-hole for end-of-gym/end-of-Show/Denise’s hen night celebration. ThursdayGemini May 21 – June 20 Further disappointments are ahead. Time to abandon unrealistic objectives? 9am Take handful of aspirins, resolve never ever to touch alcohol again. At least not before Saturday. 11am Refuse Ayatollah’s invitation to participate in human resources translate-in. Retire to computer, open mailbox. Bin zillion refusals to take up blockbuster. Business acumen, foresight, obviously not first requirement for publishing executives. Aha. Spot message from René, charming young publisher I met at Paris party.“….contract attached….could you get it back to me ASAP? Our legal eagles are keen to clinch this deal….”Oh yes, at last. …
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