Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yesterday, I loved


Yesterday was pretty cool. I spent the afternoon at a glass conference table across from my editor, inputting her last round edits on my manuscript. Meanwhile, she sat at her desk in the swanky midtown office of her publishing house, fielding three book auctions by phone. In between the calls, we had bursts of conversation about everything from her son's high school choice (he just decided where he wants to go and it's around the corner from where my daughter went) to a new book she recommended me for (it appears it's going to happen) to the appallingly bad idea of Uber's driverless cars (one of them struck and killed a woman). Her edits were minimal except for the last chapter, where my addition of the Parkland kids (the book is the memoir of a gun violence survivor and activist) made the wrap up a bit disjointed.

The book is now on a crash schedule, coming out earlier than originally planned because of the newly adrenalized resistance to bad gun policies, and also, my subject has recently decided to run in the 2018 midterm elections—exciting stuff. That means the manuscript needed to be in production two months ago, so my editor asked if I would bring my laptop and work across from her, and if I had any questions we could just resolve it right there, so the book could move to copyediting that evening. Coming from magazines, I enjoy working in that communal way, and I was impressed by my editor's thoughtfulness about the book. She wanted me to move the paragraphs about the courage and activism of the Parkland students higher up, which required contorted transitions that had to be made to seem effortless. We also tweaked the book's title, which meant I had to write a couple of lines in the introduction to set it up. This is the work I love.

I left her office at around 5 PM and called a Juno car (like Uber, but cheaper) to take me to my Monday night choir practice. On the way I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day so I asked the driver if he would like some soup, my treat, if he would be kind enough to stop at Hale & Hearty, my favorite soup place, which we were passing at that moment. He asked if they had vegetarian options. They did, so I went in and got myself a chicken pot pie soup and him a ten-vegetable soup. It felt like a New York moment. This is the city I love.

I took that cab selfie in the Juno car. The other photos are from the window of the room where we hold our choir rehearsals. We moved this year from the beautiful modern church where we used to practice, to an old world German Catholic bed and breakfast that used to be a convent. We rehearse in the dining room. The cloth covered dining tables are moved aside each Monday evening to make space for us. The building looks like every Catholic school you ever saw, all wood paneling and scrolly antiques and carvings of saints. The rental fee is a lot cheaper than the sleek architectural wonder of our previous rehearsal space, and even though the set-up is a bit funky, the acoustics are good. Some of the regulars in the group sat out this term, including my two best friends there, and I miss them. But change is constant. Today, I'm rolling with it like a champ because the choir, too, I love.


12 comments:

  1. I love reading about your work, your editing, your passions. Lovely idea to take the driver for some soup, and then on to choir. A beautiful full day in the city.

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  2. What a gorgeous post in all ways! Oh, isn't it just wonderful when the love of so much is tangible?
    And honey, you are the most gorgeous of all. In heart, in spirit, and yes, very much in your physical being.
    Sending more love your way. And then some more.

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  3. Thank goodness you've been trained as a journalist and can work quickly and turn on a dime! Deadlines prepare us so well for other things in life, don't they?

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  4. Sharing a meal with a stranger. This made my day.

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  5. The love is written all over your face, beautifully!

    The editing and moving paragraphs around and changing introductions that you love sounds difficult and draining to me -- good thing we are all different and there are people like you who make books a thing of beauty and a joy to read.

    How thoughtful to offer your driver a treat in addition to the fare - a bit of humanity I'd guess he sees infrequently.

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  6. What a wonderful way to work! What a gorgeous place to sing!

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  7. You look so pretty in that selfie, so nice to share your lovely day here!

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  8. Very impressive to modify text, kind of, "on the fly." You are one very talented writer! Soup, with your taxi driver, sounds delicious in every way. Way to go! Living in the moment. Susan

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  9. Wonderful to hear about these loves!

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  10. Such flow and richness here.

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  11. You look very happy in the photo. It sounds like the exact kind of day you love. Your photos are lovely. You have a good eye.

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  12. This was such a visually lovely post. The Juno driver taking the soup into his hands, your choir - always an inspiration, that fantastic photo - it is amazing. And then there is you, Lord, you are a pretty woman!

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