Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Up and Down

I've been up and down in the last couple of days. In the wee hours of Monday morning, a nasty stomach virus attacked me. I thought it was something I'd eaten, though I couldn't think what, and once I got it out of my system I'd be fine. So I charged off to work at 9:30--slept a bit late since I'd missed a lot of sleep. And I slunk home about 11:30, realizing from the way I felt it was a virus, not food poisoning. Spent the rest of the day going back to bed and wondering what in the world my stomach could keep down (oatmeal was the answer). Today I'm a much improved person, feeling almost like myself. Went to sleep at 9 last night, and it was so wonderful I may do it again tonight!
But today I was a bit up. I faced a difficult meeting with a dissatisfied author. Long story short, he's someone I've worked with before and always found difficult, and when I rejected his latest manuscript, he attributed it to an old grudge on my part and wanted to know the "process." I realized that if I didn't take charge of the meeting from the get-go, I'd lost. So I did just that. And he sat silently and listened until I was through. I do confess that when he began re-raising the same arguments, I kept interrupting--I have an irritating habit of thinking what I have to say is so important that I have to jump in. "Let me finish," he'd plead, and I'd sit back impatiently. I did make a huge concession--I'll send it out to a reader--and when he kept pushing about why didn't I send it to two readers initially, I finally asked, "Are you a historian? A good one?" His eyes went all around the room, finally landed on me, and he said, "Yeah, I guess." "Good," I said, "let me be the publisher." After a minute he looked a me and said, "Touche!" Susan, who was in the meeting, complimented me about the whole thing later. We'll see . It may not work out as I think but I'm willing to go with what happens. Does give one a boost. Makes up for the fact that I missed a 3:30 meeting because I was mixed up about where it was; lost my i.d. card and by chance found it in a book I'd just returned to the library; checked out a mystery from the current reading section, got it home, and realized I'd already read it. Glad I had one success today in the face of those minor irritations!

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