Peirene! She is sitting at her desk, bent over the huge pile of paper.
I sigh. ‘Have you been working non-stop?’ She nods without lifting her head. ‘You have to sleep,’ I continue. ‘It’s not good to-‘
The Nymph looks up with tired, blood shot eyes and cuts me short. ‘Nearly done. The manuscript has to go to the typesetter tomorrow. Alex is doing me a favour squeezing me in. And I really want the book out for the Christmas sales. This could be our last chance.’
All of this is news to me. I sit down in the armchair. Peirene and I clearly have to talk.
‘I don’t like the idea to push out a book at such short notice without proper lead in time for marketing and publicity,’ I begin.
Peirene rolls her eyes. ‘This is special, you’ll see.’
‘Then please tell me about it. Maybe I change my mind.’
‘Ok, if I have to. It was meant to be a surprise.’ For a split second her face clouds over. ‘I have decided to publish your blog. The time is right. You have stopped writing it and if I don’t publish now everyone will forget about us. It’s going to be an epic. 600 pages. You’ve written more than 130,000 words on your blog over the last 9 years.’
I stare at the Nymph in bewilderment. ‘Stop writing my blog? No. I’m still writing it.’
‘But… but you’ve completed just two entries in the last couple of months,’ Peirene points out correctly.
‘I’ve decided to write less frequently, that’s true,’ I explain. ‘Because with the Peirene Now! project I’m far busier than before. Still, I won’t stop. I’m so proud of you and love telling everyone about our challenges and successes.’
I get up, take the pen out of her hand and push her gently out of the office. ‘Peirene, go to bed and sleep as long as you can. I give you today off.’
We are half way down the stairs, when Peirene suddenly grabs my arm.
‘I’m so happy you are continuing. There are thousands of people who want to read about me. And now they still can.’ She blows me a good night kiss and has already disappeared down the stairs.
By Meike Ziervogel
(Image by Alan Levine, creative commons)
This blog was originally published on 11 September 2017 as part of Peirene Press‘s series Things Syntactical. The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher.