Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Manuscript Back for Final Visit
Tonight my copy editor Heidi Bell returned my manuscript to me for final perusal. In anticipation of the arrival of my darling manuscript, I cleaned my office, even got down on my hands and knees and sucked up the spiders under my table. I have to say I’ve had some worrisome nights while Heidi had my manuscript. I even dreamed about the wood floor in my dojo.
More than a year ago, I organized the building of a wood floor for my dojo. With help from dojo friends, I ordered the wood and other materials, then supervised the construction of the floor, which went beautifully, and then I screwed up the finishing of the floor so it’s gouged and unattractive. It’s fine and perfectly functional for a dojo floor, but it’s not a perfect floor. I’ve felt bad about that floor, and so I’ve been scared about the final editing of my book, thinking I could screw it up the way I did the floor. After all, I don’t want a functional book--I want a beautiful book, a flawless book.
So it meant a lot to me that Heidi wrote, “Don't be scared, Bon. It's in really, really good shape.” I had made the most changes to the newest story, so I was glad to read Heidi's note that said, “I especially love what you did with ‘King Cole's American Salvage.’ It is beautifully streamlined and yet nothing is missing.” Heidi’s had a rough week while working on my manuscript; she spent three days at the Mayo Clinic where her husband had surgery on his throat, and then she got home to find her hours were cut at her job. As soon as my darling Christopher gets home I will open a bottle of wine and we will drink to Heidi. Tomorrow I will wake up early and open the manuscript file.
The photograph above is a tiny copy of one that the folks at Wayne State U. Press are giving the designers to consider, along with Mary Whalen’s photo of the guy and gal and car, and the photo one called Burl’s Beans. Erin Dorbin took this photo in the laundromat in Galesburg, Michigan.