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 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.