Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Big exhale

My editor at the publishing house said I did "a terrific job" on the book collaboration I just finished. Her edits are very light, she said, the manuscript "very clean." Her main issue is the title, which will need to change, but I already knew that. I had turned in the manuscript with the title my subject wanted—Unapologetic. It's her story after all, even though I suspected it would not be the final choice, because there's another book in the activism arena with the same title. I did like the title—Love Is Not Done—initially coined way back in May when I turned in the first chapter and chapter summaries, but my subject wondered if it might be a little "soft" for her public messaging.

This woman gets so much hate in the mainstream press and on social media, though she gets fierce love, too. She fights for all of us, she doesn't back down. She is indeed tough-minded and unapologetic, but when you get to know her more, you discover that while she is a loud voice and raised fist at the center of the resistance, away from the glare she is a pure loving heart. It's her cross to bear: She feels injustices against others so keenly. She is righteous and activated. It's why she fights. It's why despite the right wing smear campaigns and lies told about her, she doesn't quit. No matter what you might read about her online, we are better for her commitment.

I won't say her name here, of course. Not yet. But it looks as if we'll have a book! Can I tell you how hard this was to write? At the end of it, I wondered why I would ever choose to do this again, and maybe I just needed to go get a job in what I imagine is the serene atmosphere of a flower shop. In truth, this manuscript felt like the hardest one yet, for any multitude of reasons, including the fact that the story felt so critically important to me, and it was continuing to unfold in real time. But now it has been delivered and accepted, and my relief feels like a wave of something I can only understand as exhilaration. This feeling, right now, is why I do this work.




14 comments:

  1. I've certainly felt a boost after turning in a lengthy newspaper project -- that immense relief! I can't even imagine how immense it must be after a BOOK! Congratulations! :)

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  2. This is pure excitement. Congratulations I am thrilled for you both.
    Love

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  3. Reading several of your book collaborations has had a significant place in my life. I'm looking forward to the day when you can let us know the title of this one. Your hard work makes a difference in the world.

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  4. Hugs and much love to you. I hope your subject realizes how lucky she was in working with you.

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  5. Congratulations! Can’t wait to learn more.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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  6. And we are better for YOUR commitment. You help give voice to the stories of such inspiring people in the way that only you can. And I am in awe of that.
    And hey! I feel exhilarated after I mop the kitchen so I can't even imagine...

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  7. Congratulations. i hope you take time to enjoy, savor, exhilarate in the completion of the task.

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  8. Congratulations! This is exciting news. I hope you wade around in the pleasure of your achievement for a bit before revving back up again.

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  9. The world needs people like you, people who tell our stories. You have a wonderful gift. Congratulations!

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  10. what a relief and a pleasure to finish a project that turned out well! I'm certainly intrigued to find out who this mystery woman is.

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  11. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Yes, big exhale.

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  12. Oh well done, marvellous news!!!

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  13. A "very clean" manuscript sounds like something to gladden the hearts of both writer and editor! Congratulations, and I hope the title falls into place easily. Enjoy the wonderful feelings -- such an accomplishment deserves savouring.

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  14. Congratulations and you rock! Owning flower shops is in my family (in New York, actually!), and it is hard, hard and often stressful work. Just ask my cousins --

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