Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Got the good e-mail today:

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your note. In fact, I'm Fed Exing out the manuscript and
editorial letter to you today; you should have it by tomorrow. I'm also
ordering the payment due on delivery of the draft.

It's a great read, and I don't think the manuscript requires too much work.
Let's talk if you have any questions.

All best,

Plus he e-mailed my agent:

Generally, I think the manuscript is a great read. The kids come alive, reveal themselves as compelling and distinct personalities, and the story is very engaging. With great agility he is able to stay close to the central narrative while explaining some thorny and complex issues about race and education. I've suggested some cuts and think he needs to be careful about how he interjects himself into the story, among other suggestions, but, really, Joe has done a great job. I hope you agree.

Comes at a good time. I was panicking all weekend. I had it all worked up in my mind that the editor's earlier nice comments were made when he was still in the earlier chapters of the book. I wrote those parts more slowly than the latter parts (some of which, truth be told, I wrote real fast, so as to hit my deadline). So I was just convinced that as he neared the end he'd start to hate it and ultimately reject it and that I would die friendless and utterly destitute.

Indeed, when I got the editor's e-mail this morning, my elation was tainted with a suspicion that he's lying, which is absolutely absurd.

BUt then, I know I'm not alone in the self-doubt department. Don't all we strange creatures do this kind of fretting from time to time.

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