Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letting others do the work

It has been a challenge to let some things pass into the control of others while I spend my time being controlled by Oona.

One important project I had to release my vise-grip on was another UpStart Press publishing project, the ongoing student-driven If I Knew Then...St Lawrence College Students Interview Business Professionals. What started out as a way for me to prove to my students how important and valuable their work was has turned into a college-funded, annually published textbook, required reading for first-year business students. I have always had a student volunteer to act as project manager to help make it happen, but this year, I applied for and received funding to hire a project manager to not only organize submissions, the editorial board, book launch, and so on, but to act as editor. I handed everything over to her. And walked away.

Last night, I left Oona with friends for the evening for the first time so Darryl and I could go out "on a date," and leaving the book with a new editor/project manager sort of felt the same.

This week, the files for the book cover and layout landed in my mailbox. About six weeks ahead of schedule. Which is also about four months earlier than I ever managed to get everything ready.

It looks awesome.

The interior is even better.

Not only has Ashley managed to get everything done on time (actually early) and with almost no information or guidance from me, she has done it without breaking a sweat and has also created a manual for future editors and project managers.

She graduates this spring and, through the grapevine, I have heard that she already has multiple job offers. Whoever gets her is very, very lucky.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just a bunch of kooky kids

An interpretation, by current writing group member Leah Murray, of the writing group and its members. (Click to enlarge.)

It's pretty accurate, except that I suggested Leah glue macaroni AND glitter to her work. I was thinking of a multi-media experience.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What if you throw a party and no one shows up?

Or how about if you send out a call for submissions and no one answers?

Work for the anthology has been on the back burner lately, while I struggle valiantly with my Master's thesis and my now five-month-old daughter, Oona. One of these two things is delightful; the other is a great big drag that I wish was over.

For those of you who eat this stuff up, here's a taste of the little delight in my life:

And for those of you who either know what it feels like to write a thesis or for those of you who are thinking about starting one, here's a little something my husband (the other half of UpStart Press) whipped up one day to cheer me:

At least it gave my thesis advisor a chuckle.

With a mid-April deadline for submissions, there hasn't been much for me to do but wait. So I have been waiting, pushing down my "no one will come to my party" fears as much as possible. Imagine my delight when the submissions started trickling in last week. As did the casual inquiries ("When was that deadline again?") and earnest promises to "get something in soon."

I bumped into Elizabeth Greene downtown today. She was toting home an enormous and heavy-looking bag full of books, contest entries, and she had an afternoon of reading and sore arms ahead of her. She promised to get something in to me "soon" and asked how things were going. I told her my only lament so far was that I wasn't able to find Judith Pond. Google, Facebook and all email inquiries had led nowhere. "Leave it with me," said Elizabeth. Two hours later I was reading a very enthusiastic email from Judith herself. Elizabeth Greene is the bomb.

The deadline for submissions is April 15, and my fears are fading away. It's going to be a great party!