When my son was young, about 5 or 6, I asked him if he knew what patience meant (he was agitated about his tea taking more than a few seconds to arrive at the dinner table). He mumped out, ‘Waiting.’ Perfect one-word answer.
I entered the first chapter of my novel in a competition recently and a couple of weeks later the publisher asked for the full ms. Heck, it was only two drafts in which meant it was rough and unready. Fortunately I had told them this. No problem, they said, you have a week to polish it up. Polish it up? Polish? What a terrible week I had. When I wasn’t at work I was at the pc, trying to ‘polish’ my sandpaper effort into marble-smooth quality.
I failed. The task was too big. And so here I wait and wait, impatiently, to hear what they think of it, hoping they give me the perfect one-word answer.