Snowflakes in France

Reflections of a 20-something woman in publishing

Month: January, 2011

That’s me in the corner

“Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me…”

The man sitting beside me at the Beantown Pub sings along to R.E.M. as it wafts through the tight spaces in between bar stools and coats. I was just fitted for my wedding dress — which I so long to post for you here but I can’t risk Jon stumbling upon it — and now I’m sitting on the corner stool at the bar, drinking a beer. The bar tender sweeps by me, her hands full of empty mugs, and she takes up the tune with a sweet voice,

“…That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight, I’m
Losing my religion”

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, but the place is full to the brim and I wonder where Jon and his friends will sit when they get here. I take a sip and decide that being alone at a bar isn’t quite as uncomfortable as I expected. And I suddenly wish I had a notebook.

But I don’t. The best I can do is capture this moment in my mind and recreate it later in the week on my blog.

Weekend! Wee!

Today I’m returning to Boston via my old friend Bolt Bus. It’s the first time I’ve been there since Jon moved here. And how appropriate that I’m going back for my final wedding dress fitting.

In truth, I can’t wait to visit our old haunts. The little Turkish coffee shop near Harvard where words drifted up from corner tables to the wooden beams of the ceiling — most of the time the languages evoked thoughts of spices and colors, my own mental symbols of the East. Of course there were the occasional hung-over college kids. Even Harvard students turn to alcohol during college.

I’m really hoping that we can make it to Red Bones, the best BBQ joint north of … well…Kentucky I suppose. It was right around the corner of Jon’s old apartment in Cambridge.

Paul Revere's statue in the North End

And lest I be too focused on food, I must mention the shops on Beacon Hill where one might find the perfect unique stationary set or child’s birthday gift. Most of all, I look forward to the feeling of history and liveliness that swells up from the North End amidst the cemeteries, statues, markets and pubs.

It reminds me that while Boston holds my own story, the story of how Jon and I dated and fell in love, it also holds the stories of countless others. Happy weekend readers! I’m off to The Olde Towne.

Fading Friendship

What was ice and slush yesterday is finally just wet concrete. I trudge to work in my rain boots, which are a bit overkill at this point, but they are also the most likely to keep the cold out. I notice a man wearing tennis shoes, walking so fast in his pressed slacks that I wonder if he always wears jogging shoes, or if he needed to jog today to arrive at work on time.

A man wearing inconspicuous black shoes greets another. They’re both young, look like bar tenders, and I notice the other guy is wearing a pair of Vans, the symbol peeking out from under long wide jeans. Suddenly I think of Carter, and how my sister made fun of his Vans years ago.

I think of how odd it is that people I hardly know are invited to the wedding, but Carter, one of my dearest friends from high school and college, who has seen me through several breakups (including our own brief fling in high school), one of few to win the affection of my parents, and one of the few I still try to meet for coffee when I’m in town, is not invited.

But I know why. He’s still friends with my ex. And on some level, I’m trying not to hurt that boy any more than I already have. For his best friend to have an invitation to my wedding on his fridge seems a bit cruel.

So yes, I’d like to have Carter there. He could sit at the table with my high school girls. He’d dance the night away and be the life of the party — he always is. But I took him off the guest list because it seems selfish of me to invite him. I hope he understands, but I have a sad feeling that we won’t be getting coffee the next time I visit.

An Editorial Ass

I’m looking for a book about an up-and-coming health trend. It must have a strong enough hook to be on the Today Show a few weeks in a row. The author must be famous, recognized by a swarm of health nuts in his or her diet or disease community. As I said, it must be trendy, but it must not be overdone and worn out. I need a spin on something that’s in. Oh, and it cannot have been published yet.

This is my job. Sounds exciting right? Except for that little detail of me having no clue how to find these books. Every time I find a brilliant new health idea, I can’t find an author. Or I find an awesome author with an awesome idea, and I can’t manage to get my marketers to agree that people will buy it. (Add to that my normal duties of essentially managing the daily affairs of a publisher and 5 editors — the boring stuff that they don’t have time to do — and you have a real image of my job.)

They say getting a book published is hard and that’s why people are self-publishing. Let me tell you, becoming an editor has to be harder. I remember when I started in publishing and I came across Editorial Ass, I decided that I was too good to end up like that, I was too smart, too dedicated, too likable. I would get promoted because I always have.

Two and a half years later, I’ve taken a different tone. I am still smart, dedicated and friendly. When it comes to actually editing, I know what I’m doing. I know when I find the right author, the right topic… it just happens so infrequently. And I can’t help but feel that it’s my fault. If I knew the subject area a bit better, or if I read the right magazines, went to the right nutrition health stores. In short, I’m not sure I can make it in this highly competitive, New York centric business. Despite the fact that I understand balance statements, budgeting, contracts, and (gasp) I can edit.

So you out there with the brilliant health manuscript, you the person who’s always quoted in USA Today about your subject area, tell me how I can find you. Because in the meantime, Editorial Ass has been promoted. And I’m still an editorial assistant trying to prove myself as an editor.

A wedding look

I just popped over to APW for my daily morning read, and they haven’t posted yet! So odd for them, but I took it as an opportunity to post about my own practical wedding.

Wedding planning is coming together, and more people are getting involved, so it’s actually becoming fun! I signed up for a blog give-away contest (which I never do!) over at Souris Mariage for a birdcage veil. It’s one of those things that I know I want, but I haven’t really taken the time to even look at them yet. And who knew there were so much different styles?!

Being me, I thought I wanted a French veiling. It sounds so very chic and flirty! And, well, French. But then I looked at the Etsy vendor’s selection (can I just say that a give-away where you get to choose the item is pretty amazing?) and I actually prefer an English “Merrywidow” veiling.

When I think about the fun veil, and the hot pink shoes I just bought, and the turquoise necklace that’s been sitting around in my jewelry box just waiting to be worn, I’m confident I can pull off my typically very colorful style while still wearing white.

Now if only I can decide on what to do with my hair…