Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Case of the Missing Manuscript
I'm on pins and needles. Well, maybe barbed wire. The manuscript for Torch Song, McLaren's third novel, seems to be lost. David mailed it two and a half weeks ago after completing his corrections. The ms has yet to arrive. This is not good, as it usually takes five to seven days for packages to zip from England to me. Granted, the US east coast has been hit with snow for a while, but that was a while ago. They should be shoveled out by now and mail should be flowing freely westward. When I could stumble over my ice-encrusted driveway and tiptoe onto the street, I asked my letter carrier last Friday if I should be concerned about the lateness of the package. He said they'd just got word that a gob (well, 'gob' wasn't his word but I forget now what he used) of mail would be delivered in a few days -- mail that had been held up due to the east coast storm. He said to give it a few days to appear. Well, the few days have come and gone and still no manuscript in my hot grubby hand or my mailbox. I am quite nervous about where the ms could be. Last time a ms went missing David told me several months later that the postal clerk had been convicted for theft and thrown into prison -- she'd been taking money for postal transactions and then pitching the packages and letters that were supposed to be in the mail! She ended up with the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if I remember correctly. I doubt if this has happened again with the current ms, as lightning wouldn't strike twice in the same place...especially at different post office branches. But it is odd and it is nerve wracking for me. I hope people don't steal manuscripts if one's delivered by mistake to their mail box.... If you read a book about a musician being murdered right after appearing at a Renaissance fair at a castle, would you let me know?