Caz and I have found a flat in Northam, near Bideford. It's modernised but the building is old, with thick walls and a well, of all things, in the garden. Covered, of course, with decking on top too. And a built-in barbecue unit in the garden wall. I'm really hoping for a good summer, spent eating charred chicken and sausages.
The beach at Westward Ho! is about a mile away. So is the beach at Northam Burrows, and Appledore harbour is close as well. Sometime this summer we'll be sitting in the little waves with Izzy, helping her stand as the water laps round her feet. Isn't that sweet?
Both Caz and I have what we might charitably call fractured families. The situations are similar but different, and hopelessly complicated besides. They've led us to the same point, a determination that whatever else may happen, our daughter will always know she was loved and that we will fight for her. We'll make mistakes - what parent doesn't? But they will not be the same mistakes that we suffered, which in honesty were whoppers. If our relationship goes wrong we'll work at it, and we'll make sure Izzy is protected from any hurt. That was vital to us in any relationship, even before we met. For Caz and I, getting married was only partly an act of love, it was also an act of trust.
Heh, I'm a new father, and suddenly I run at the mouth about emotional things. Funny that.
Perhaps this new emotional openness is why I'm getting jumpy about Angry Robot. The open submission period ended two months ago, and AR has been contacting contributors with rejections ever since. But they haven't contacted me. I submitted three pieces, one of them within days of the window opening, so it should have been reviewed early, in theory. And there's been no word. No rejection email.
I can't help feeling a teeny twinge of hope about that. I know the lack of contact proves nothing, it gives no guarantees. But still... a teeny twinge. I have been so lucky these past two years that mere high odds seem a piffling thing. Perhaps the run of good fortune will extend to one more lucky break.