Monday, January 9, 2017

Some editorializing

You can hear it in the silence Back when I had a professional job, I was an editor. Not the cool kind who coaxes a story out of a writer, pulling it together from a sloppy mess of paragraphs, nor was I the clever kind who can recite passages from CMOS (I went back and italicized CMOS in case that kind of editor is reading this (hi mom)). No, I was the anxious kind. The kind of editor who wants to keep editing and never publish. Publishing was the worst. Publishing meant printing your mistakes. You can’t fix it once it is in print.

That’s what I find hard about my new job being a professional mother. There are no take-backs. Once something happens, it is done, over, published in Georgia’s memory and mine as A Thing That Happened To Us. Once I yell “I’m never taking you anywhere ever again!”at the end of a very cold, very loud tantrum it’s printed, inked in my mind next to every fall I wish I could have prevented if I had just sat her in a different spot/caught her/seen it coming/known better. Which is where we find the silver lining. Once I know better, I can do better. Because even though this is a live show, I get another chance in the next moment; there are endless next times.

I can’t fix the specifics that have come and gone, but I can influence the gallery of work, nudge it toward a theme of my choosing, fill it little by little with instances where I get it right. I can improve it, which, more than getting it right, is the point of editing in the first place.

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