“I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.”

- E.B. White

There is no question in my mind that I have one of the finest and most generous editors in the land.

I thought the proofreading was over, really I did. But following the dedication debacle, Editor John gave me two more passes at the manuscript, as well as proofreading the front and back covers. After the fifth go-round, I hit “send” and with a satisfied sigh, put my feet up and emptied my brain of A Certain Grace for a few days.

I should have known better.

The other day arrived the manuscript in its final, FINAL layout, ready to go to the printer. “One last look,” Editor John said, and I leapt at the chance. Not a moment goes by when I thank the publishing goddess for putting my manuscript – two, in fact – in this man’s hands. My work with him on both A Certain Grace and Harbour View has been a thrill, as we’ve pushed and pulled our way through rewrites and copyedits and further rewrites and copyedits. This was really, truly, my last shot at it. A gift.

I scrolled through the manuscript and finished with a careful look at the Acknowledgements page. I squinted at a particular name, which for some reason stood up on the page and whispered “You’d better check.” So I did. The name was missing an e. In 129 pages of text, all I found was a missing e, which I thought was pretty good going, so I wrote to Editor John and with bated breath I asked if he’d mind adding the e.

“That one letter cost me seventy-five bucks,” he wrote back. But he fixed it anyway.

I exhaled slowly and sent him a reply befitting the finest and most generous editor in the land.

I promised him dinner and a best-seller.

And then I promised to name my youngest child after him. Which is convenient, as my youngest child already counts John among his given names.

It’s the thought that counts.

Categories: General.