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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turned Down (But Graciously)

Casemate Publishers was a dream shot--I would have loved to have had the TMTF book issued by them, but they sent me a rejection email today.  It was very pleasantly worded, though, and even complimentary (they noted that though it was not in their subject area, by which I think they meant strictly military history, they "were immensely impressed with the writing"), and left me feeling that the whole interaction had been thoroughly satisfactory, despite its negative outcome, publication-wise.  For one thing, as I think I mentioned in a previous post, they immediately acknowledged the receipt of the submission, and their turn-around time for deciding yea or nay was remarkably quick.  Would that the many places I've applied to for employment had such a record!

I am sick again--the belly pain has returned, and kept me from sleeping much at all last night, and from attending the second practice session of the new Gospel choir at church.  The director is the pastor of a small African-American congregation in a neighboring town, and is one of those frightening people who plays more than a dozen instruments well and sings beautifully.  Thinking he was a new member of the choir and not the director (I thought another fellow was in charge), I basically put my foot in it up to the kneecap last week when I introduced myself.  I hope he doesn't think I'm playing hooky because I'm still embarrassed.  I am still a bit humiliated, but I am also not up to singing lustily from the gut when my gut is in such a state of disrepair. I had hoped to finish my TESOL course yesterday, but a bellyache doesn't encourage concentration on the subject of creative lesson planning.  Of course, my mother concerned: "What if this happens while you are overseas teaching?"  I'm going to make an appointment with an internist tomorrow, and see if she won't give me a referral to a gastric specialist.  It would be wonderful if there were a comprehensive fix--being exhausted and shaky is wretched.  It doesn't do much to bolster my already middling morale, either.

There was a good event this morning that helped offset the discomfort of the afternoon!  I was in a doctor's office this morning (he's almost 90, and our annual interactions fundamentally consist of his being encouraging and my shouting about the last year's significant events while he congenially cups his ear and asks me to repeat myself), sitting on the swaybacked couch in the drab waiting area that hasn't been updated since the 1970s (except for the addition of new magazines--there are teetering piles of them on every flat surface), and I happened to look up at the framed picture on the wall across from me.  "Wait a second..." My art-radar started sounding, and I got up for a closer inspection.  It wasn't a reprint, but an original 1834 Audubon print by Havell, hand-colored, in its original dimensions.  Sellers on Ebay want more than $2500 for individual pictures in this series.  I told the good doctor (he bought it decades ago, because there is a scene of downtown Charleston in the background) about its value, and that if he should ever give it away, it ought to be to someone he really likes!

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