Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Black and white

I printed out my novel today.  In preparation (and anticipating my husband's half-hearted grumblings over wasting ink and paper) I'd bought a couple of packs of paper, and a black ink cartridge. 

Fortunately, he was still sleeping off a night shift when I discovered I'd bought the wrong ink cartridge...and thrown away the receipt.  I did sneak down to our local Sainsburys and flaunted my bump as an excuse for my stupidity, in the hope they'd exchange the cartridge, but it didn't work.  As a last ditch attempt, I'm writing to customer services to ask for proof of purchase through my Nectar card, but I'm not holding my breath.

Following the advice of various writing books and magazines, I changed the font before I printed, and to save paper, I closed up spacings, reducing my massive MS to a mere 251 pages. Half way through, the black ink ran out, and my husband (awake now, and surprisingly understanding about my idiocy) went and bought another cartridge from a small independent shop in town.  Just another 30 -50 pages later, it too ran out.  At first, I blamed the printer, and made all kinds of defamatory utterances towards it.  When I finally stomped into the kitchen and grumbled about how the printer was lying to the Mac about running out of black when I'd just changed the cartridge, Ste came to see for himself, and on shaking the cartridge announced that he thought the printer was telling the truth, actually. He went straight back to the shop and made a fuss (thank goodness for someone in the family who is good at complaining) and we will have a free replacement tomorrow. Meanwhile, my novel is only three-quarters printed, but there is such glow every time I catch sight of that square-edged pile of papers.

I'm resolutely refusing to acknowledge that as I stacked the papers, I caught sight of cringe-worthy phrases, and clumsy ideas (whoever told me I had anything worthwhile to say? Wherever did I get the idea I could write? At all?). Instead I'm adding it to my reading pile for the hospital, and hope I'll be able to improve it and not decide to file it in a drawer somewhere.

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