Friday, November 22, 2013

Bye, Liz. Thanks for All the Fish.

Bonus points if you get the title reference.

My lovely editor Liz is leaving me.  I'm devastated very happy for her.  She's leaving for the best of all possible reasons, to be at home with the baby she's about to have.  I worked as a research chemist before my children were born, and I know I never would have been able to hand them over to a caretaker for 10 hours a day, so my heart is completely on Liz's side here.  Except, of course, for the part that isn't.

She's so good, and so clear-eyed, and she makes me work much harder than I want to.  She sent Jefferson's Sons back for revision 5 times.  The fifth time I wasn't sure whether to throw myself off a high cliff somewhere, or go back to bed for a year, but in the end I trusted Liz's judgement, and she was right: I could still make the manuscript better.  I can not tell you how much I hated that appreciated it.

I would like Liz to clone herself, please, so that one Liz can lavish love on her firstborn child, and the other can hold my hand while I embark on yet another perilous journey into my imagination.  Baring that, I would prefer to be her Most Special Writer, the one she can't possibly do without, so that she'll break her own rules just a little and edit only my work.  She should be able to do it while the baby's napping.  Really.  I'm not unreasonable.

Most of all I wish her joy on her own journey into motherhood.  When she broke the news to me on the phone the other day, I told her about my son in college.  I told her that, in the next few years, there would be individual days and nights that seemed to last several years, but that, in the end, the time would speed by faster than she or I or anyone else could believe.  I told her that she could always return to being an editor, but that she'd never be able to turn back the clock once her babies were grown.

Then I felt mawkishly sentimental, and went off to force my daughter to watch another episode of Downton Abbey with me.  It seemed like the only thing to do.

P.S.  When I first started watching Downton Abbey, Liz told me that she'd been swimming at a pool in NYC and got slammed into by Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley, and that she told him off for it.  Once I'd watched the first few episodes, and began to fully appreciate Dan Stevens, I offered to come swim in her place.  Sheesh.  That sort of thing doesn't happen in Bristol.