IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF I was on my way to my usual Thursday private lesson. It was early, I was up way early, I was more than ready to greet this day. My first novel, after all the mentioning and public relating, was finally going to be out there, in the world. I was awake, and I was in town well ahead of bus number two.

As I bounded off the bus, it occurred to me that Eason’s, in O’Connell Street, opened up early in the morning.

Did it? I walked more briskly than is my usual wont at 7.35 am, and headed for the north side’s main drag.

The shutters were up… a little. Like, three feet. I could see bodies moving around inside. Should I hang about and go in and see if I was there?

I shifted my kit bag around on my shoulder, debating. I walked up and down the pavement in front of the shop, kind of terrified, kind of exhilarated, tormenting the Herald AM free morning paper hander-outers, who kept offering me their wares as I ignored them and tried to decide.

The clock above the shop’s main doors was no help. It didn’t jibe with the clock on my phone, nor with the one over Cleary’s. What if I missed my next bus? What was more important? The need to get to my lesson on time, or the need to see it, see Drama Queen, there, live, on a shelf in a bookshop that I go into at least twice, if not three times a week?

Well, the shop wasn’t going anywhere, and I needed to get to the yard, needed to get my lesson, needed the grounding that I seem to get so easily way up there on the back of a horse.

So I got there, tacked up Rebel, who took my giddy news in stride, did some improved jumping, sweat up to the roots of my hair, and visited four bookshops on my way home. I almost made a show of myself in Hodges & Figgis, turning the corner and seeing it, there it was, on the shelf in a shop like a proper book.

I reorganised things a wee bit, just to show its lovely cover off to its full advantage.

In Waterstones, I did the same, and went so far as to crack one open and read a few lines. That almost sent me into joyous hysterics, so after replacing it and taking a picture of it with my phone, I legged it outside just so I could my sunglasses on and have a little weep.

What a fantastic day: I walked around as if I were sitting in the saddle, looking forward, shoulders down and back, fully open to this excellent world that had a novel by me, in it.

I bought myself some flowers, and gorgeous little silver ring in the shape of a crown. I checked out a couple more shops, and grinned up at the intermittently blue sky.

Later, I checked Amazon just for the crack, and there are only four left to be purchased online.

Whaaaaaaaaat?

Now there’s only one! There’s the promise of more to come, but get them while they’re hot!

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