This Writers Life – May

May 13, 2006 at 8:56 pm 2 comments

I was a reader before I was a writer. Now I’m an editor before I’m an author. It is that progression that makes me a good editor. I know how it feels to give birth to a novel.

The instant you type “the end”, this book created through angst, sweat, and tears steps from the computer a three dimensional creature as real as any newborn child. The wait for some publisher to pick this book for their list is equivalent to taking a newborn baby straight from the delivery room to a dark and silent closet, tossing them in and locking the door. But it gets worse, once the contract is signed, the closet door is opened and your newborn is now a toddler, chained to a cutting board while editors make authors poke and cut and rearrange it’s limbs. The final indignity comes once all the editing is done, and the author must see their creation lashed to a chair and firmly gagged until the book is released.

I keep this imagery close when I work with an author, something an editor who’s never written a book can understand, and I try to make the process a little less anxious, a little less painful. I hope I can get better at it as I gain more experience.

Princess has decided not to move into her apartment at all. She cites money woes and an uncertain future at her job as the reasons. It makes no difference to me, all the kids can move back home if it suits them, I’m always glad to have them for company. Since her bedroom was recently remodeled for my friend down under and the grand girls, she’s decided to redo and move into her brother’s room. Soup has frequently advised me not to touch his room. Despite the fact that the boy left for college three years ago and hasn’t returned for more than 24 hours since, we are supposed to keep his room a shrine. I foresee WW3 when he discovers “his room” is now whichever bedroom hasn’t got someone else sleeping in it.

It’s cold for spring, even in Ohio. Rain, rain and more rain. Nothing heavy that can cause flooding, just these random, gray days filled with spurts of showers sufficient to ruin any outdoor plans. Despite the miserable weather, the grand girls and I got most of the pots planted with flowers today. The actual flower beds will have to wait for better weather, I’m not that dedicated a gardener.

May has brought other changes, Pap’s surgery, a new partnership and the loss of two pets. Ophelia, our gigantic fat cat, who was born in a shelter, moved to our house and has never been outdoors, has gone outdoors. We spent three days catching her every time she tried to slip outside, and finally she escaped us. It’s been over a week and we can’t get her to come inside. We catch glimpses of her from time to time, slipping in and out of the garage, but we can’t catch her. She’s eating something, she’s as fat as ever.

The other loss was our little Pom, Feather. Inherited from a family who was home more than we are, Feather had a distinct lack of manners and did not adjust to her alone time at all. She was sad, she needed more attention and company than we were able to give her. So when an acquaintence of Neil’s mentioned the need for a Pomeranian for a dear lady who’d lost her own to old age, we gave her Feather. They are both living happily now, each others constant companion. Our shitzu, Ruger, has never been happier. He likes alone time, great for napping, and is quite comfortable being an only dog.

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Women Who Think Wake Me When I know What I’m Writing

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. land.downunder  |  May 14, 2006 at 2:41 am

    I am so glad that Princess has decided to move into Soup’s room.
    He can fight it out with his sister.
    He is a little to big for me.

    Reply
  • 2. Kat Campbell  |  May 15, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    LOL, you can say that again!Princess is little but very mean, poor Soup is no match for her.

    Reply

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The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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