Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Talking Taboo: Official Release!
Books take a long time, y’all, even (especially?) books with multiple authors. This morning I thought back to the beginnings of my own essay for this volume, “Swing and the Single Girl,” and it felt like ages ago. I had a draft written when I headed to my parents' house in Michigan for my older sister’s wedding in June 2012. The morning of the rehearsal I woke up at 6:00am, snuck downstairs to make a pot of coffee, and got comfortable at the kitchen table fine tuning the piece I had been working on, a draft of which was due that day.
What can I say -- I am a writer who likes to meet deadlines.
By 8:00am the house was waking up, and my mom came into the kitchen to make a second pot of coffee, decaf, for herself. She sat down and started talking to me -- a completely understandable impulse, but one I was not ready for yet on that day. As calmly as possible, hoping not to hurt feelings on what was bound to be a stressful if also joyful day, I stood up and informed her that my coffee and I would be on the back porch until I hit “send” on this draft. I relished the opportunity to say, “I need to get this to my editor today.”
Outside, I sat on a white plastic chair, set my coffee cup on the cement stoop whose chipped green paint showed through to greys and blues from previous summers, and I focused. By the time the rest of my family trickled into the kitchen for breakfast I had sent the email and accompanying attachment to Erin Lane, and transitioned to wedding mode. (Step one: write a toast. Step two: practice reading it without crying. Step three: fail at step two.)
That was sixteen months ago. Sixteen. I mostly point this out because, in a world where a lot of publishing happens online, quite quickly, it is a gift to share a book that took time -- editing, revising, and proofreading, not to mention all the details of printing and publicity and finally getting the book on shelves in bookstores and your homes.
My own book-length manuscript is a work in progress, so this opportunity to pause and celebrate my contribution to a real, live print publication is even sweeter for its promise of things to come. Though I write a lot online, most of my creative work still comes about with a book-like timeline -- it can take weeks, months, years for a piece to really be finished. But eventually it is ready, and then I get to share it with the world.