I have a renewed appreciation for the life of a writer/editor. Of recent, it’s been life editing someone else’s stuff. My own writing has been put on the back burner for a brief season while I get this Book of the voices of Williamson County shaped into form: an anthology of the Council for the Written Word.
I was up this morning at 4:30 and buried my nose in the computer and didn’t look away until almost noon. I drank the obligatory pot of coffee like all writers and editors are supposed to do, and I even ate an unhealthy Apple Danish bakery roll…okay, fine, I ate two. I’m wearing the Franklin Jazz Festival T-shirt I slept in under a green Delta State sweatshirt, and I have white socks on that have brown bottoms because my floors are dirty. I have mascara flakes from the night pasted to my cheeks, and my hair is turning out on the ends and sticking up on top.
My furniture is dusty, the dog has tracked leaves in from the backyard, and the breakfast table is covered with yellow file folders: To Edit, Rejections, Problem Stories, Final Revisions. There is a publishing contract, an author’s contract, a Chicago Manual of Style, a calculator (not sure why), 20 colored pencils, Susie Sims Irvin’s book of poetry, cookie crumbs on the placemats, Robert Hicks’ story about a booksigning, and my mother’s discharge papers from the Army (not sure why).
All my energy and efforts have been pushed toward editing 45 stories of 33 writers, including our Williamson County Hall of Famers: Madison Smartt Bell, Robert Hicks, Paula Wall, Rick Warwick, Madison Jones, Susie Sims Irvin, Bill Peach, James Crutchfield, and Tom T. Hall.
I have worked cheek to cheek with my friend Currie Alexander Powers for the past two months, as the two of us have poured all our days into pulling all the details and straggling ends together in the creation of a BOOK. Now she has gone on a Blues Cruise and left it all with me.
Do I sound like I am complaining?
I am in my element. I am having a ball. I’m hungry, I need a shower, I need to brush and bathe the dog, I need to wash clothes and vacuum, but there’s nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing than what I’m doing. Making a book.