14 May 2008

A day in the life of an editor

Or: Why I Take 4-6 Weeks To Read Your Story.

6 am NPR starts shouting at me about various disasters around the world, the least of which is the Democratic race for President.
6:30 shower
6:45 (dripping) Wake kids up, lay out two sets of wee clothes
7 Beg husband to boil water for tea. His answer is a blank stare.
7:26 (hair drying funny) Insist kid quits playing drums and get upstairs to breakfast. I blowdry, but it's too late.
7:52 Drop kids at school
8:15 Receive email response about a story (another zine, my story). A little back and forth.
8:20 Various other emails and visit blogs. Write a quick post since it's been a week.
10 Remember I should get a chapter out to crit group. Read over chapter so I don't make a complete idiot of myself.
11 Remind myself to read stories. Take a gander at cover art instead and lose myself in artist websites.
12 Lunch. While munching a salad I write exactly two sentences on the chapter I was supposed to finish yesterday.
1 A low buzz of panic sets in. The kids come home in an hour-and-a-half. In a classic display of Avoidance Tendancy, I put another load of laundry in.
1:30 Finally bang out some pages on the WIP, completing yesterday's goal of finishing the chapter.
2:35 (late, as usual) Pick up kids from school. Snack. Homework. Whining. Drum practice. Repeat.
3:17 Finally open story box. Read stories. One lacks commas. One starts well, but doesn't complete its own arc. Microsoft word count clocks two stories at well over seven thousand words. As this is our upper limit, I'm willing to slash if the story is grand. They aren't. One story is intriguing; I save that for voting. The last uses passive voice in the first sentence.
4 (yeah, I know, I'm a fast reader) Off to kid's drum lesson
5:30 Try to make hair look like something.
6 PTA meeting.
10 Fall into bed. Read The Tempest for a class I'm taking. Note extensive use of backstory. Realize I've retained something of my year of college Shakespeare. The Bard still makes sense.
11 Fall asleep, dreaming of Ariel and commas...

3 comments:

lesleylsmith said...

So, authors take away: Betsy doesn't obey our word limit and she doesn't like passive voice. I'm afraid I do obey the word limit and I don't reject stories just for having passive voice.

lesleylsmith said...

And I notice you mention your hair, not once, but twice... :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Well, the story had other problems than passive voice, so that wasn't the reason for the rejection. And if a story goes over 7K words, then my standards for quality go up about 7000%.