Friday, August 5, 2011

Letting your child go

Soul's Road: A Fiction Collection has sailed. Watching it progress on Amazon is both terrifying and magnificent. As the editor I spent hours pouring over every page, every sentence, every indentation and period. I was warned by older editors, those wizened creatures with hard eyes and gray streaks. They told me that there will always be flaws. Always be misspellings you didn't catch, missing bits of punctuation or ghosts of former revisions clinging to the end of a word or sentence. I disagreed, politely at first, staunchly later on. I would be different, I would release something that shone, where no word was left unpolished. The old timers elbowed each other and said, "Izzat sooo?"

It wasn't so. When Soul's Road was ready to submit to Amazon, I hovered over that final button, sweat slicking my forehead, and I waited. Perhaps I was waiting for something divine, a light shining or a beautiful chorus or perhaps it was just fear that kept my finger from hitting that last key. My wife sat beside me and after a moment she turned, studying her husband. We waited.

When I finally hit the button, I remember feeling ill. What if I just let this magnificent collection of stories go out into the wild, disheveled, unprepared, punctuation wild with disregard? I immediately imagined myself pushing an orphan into the mouth of an alleyway, watching it stumble, fall.

The truth is a bit different. The old timers were right. There are flaws, always will be. I have already given myself a headache cataloging all the little things I wish I could change. But there is something more. Something I think the old timers saved out, wanted to let me find for myself. Sure there are things I would change but looking at Soul's Road in its final state, I see something other than the dirty orphan I imagined. I see a beautiful collection of stories that have taken me down one hell of a road. I am more than proud to be the editor for Soul's Road, more than proud to have watched this book grow from an idea into a brilliant demonstration of these writers' talents.

So I will hold my breath every time I see a foible but I know more now. I may not be an old timer, may not have edited enough to know better, but I do know that this collection of stories is something special, something profound. I am glad to have been a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. Love this peek behind the curtain! Thank you, Cody!