We Interrupt This Program...

Things were going so well.

Buoyed by the most important pair of eyes and my own growing confidence that this book is going to be finished on time and be wonderful (please), I got the wind knocked out of my sails on Wednesday.

My editor, the one with those most-important eyes, the one I wrote about here (and elsewhere), has been laid off.

I am trying not to take this personally. There were cuts across the board, and in this crazy economy no one seems immune to budget cuts and someone's (seemingly arbitrary) bottom-line accounting and scrutiny.

But - HEY! This is MY EDITOR you're fooling with! This is MY NOVEL! This is MY DEADLINE! This is -- who can I shout at? (I've done it.) Who can I turn to? (I've done it.) What can be done? (It's being done.)


Notice, my first reaction is that this is all about memememeee. And of course it isn't. Still... I have now lost three editors in less than two years at two different publishing houses. Who can write a novel?

I can.

And I will.

I will finish this book -- remember, I can almost touch that ending. I will finish. It will take me a bit longer than my planned Saturday (today) deadline. The conversation my editor and I were supposed to have Wednesday wasn't about the novel at all, of course. Then there were forty-eleven other conversations and some decisions to make.

And I thought the election was a distraction.

My plan had been to take all the story-talk from Wednesday's conversation, incorporate it into my draft, and race for the finish on Saturday. Now my pace is understandably altered, as I was temporarily rudderless, without that editorial wind to puff my sails.

I gave myself one day for primal screaming and neurotic meanderings, and one day to wrap it all up, and we've adjusted, my agent (the most important business decision I ever made), my publisher, my new editor (who is really a current editor, but more on that later), and I. We've tacked right, left, and are moving forward again. All will be well. All is falling into place. The good folks at Scholastic have been reeling as well. And my newly-beloved editor will land on her feet, there is no doubt. And she will still be beloved. But... what a blow to us all. This economy! It is eating our lunch.

But I won't think about that today. Today, in just a few hours, I fly to Boston where I meet up with daughter Hannah and become one of the revelers at my friend Nancy Werlin's wedding. Mazel tov, Nancy and Jim. We can't wait to be with you.

Monday I fly to Seattle for some days in schools there, so I'm back out on the road, with the novel in tow. Not how I had hoped it would work out, but you never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Best to try and catch it and toss it back.


  1. Omigosh, I didn't think that was a doable - up and losing an editor. Dreadful but you seem to be hanging in and actually fired forward. Good luck with novel wrap up.

  2. Thanks, Susan. I *am* hanging in there, and am thinking about all those are are losing their jobs in this publishing season. I still have my job; it's just reconfigured. Lots of shuffling these days, but it will settle again.


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