“I’m in the midst of writing my BOOK PROPOSAL (for publisher). Severe LABOR PAINS (sorry—contractions; no pain to speak of accdg to midwives though I rather doubt that), now coming about once every five minutes. Am trying to induce labor with massive input of telephone calls & letters to Loved Ones (like you). It may have to be a C-section birth, editors with their bloodied knives (red pencils, in the context) or at the very least, a painful forceps delivery in which the wretched book is dragged from the screaming author with huge hooks.”
Jessica Mitford, letter to Constancia Romilly, March 21, 1989 (Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford, ed. Peter Y. Sussman, New York: Knopf, 2006; 633).