The Proposal

My marriage proposal 15 ½ years ago was romantic. Could a major business proposal even compare?  

#memoirs #susanstrasser #amwriting #susanstrasserblog

After returning my manuscript to me, my editor offered to use my remaining balance to pay for a new, four-month stint of her being my book coach and editor! How amazing is that?

Is she the perfect editor? No.

Me? I’m an amateur memoirist.

Let’s see what happens!

Last Monday morning, I stood in my kitchen at 5:35 a.m., seeing that she deposited my manuscript in my Dropbox at 11pm the night before, and…shit. Nothing positive with which to start my pre-dawn hour from that document.

Still, I was impressed with her professionalism and presentation. There were three documents within the Dropbox she had prepared for me:

  1. Developmental Editing Summary
  2. My entire manuscript, with comments in the margins… THIS was cool, even if I didn’t see anything positive immediately. Another human being read my book! A stranger, an objective person, no less! They politely panned it, but hey, I read about that experience even happening to famous creatives so it was okay. A professional editor still had read my book, the entire thing. WOW.
  3. A Style Sheet or 15 pages of proper nouns and detail notes. This was REALLY neat to see. We never even talked about it. But my working title is Growing Up in the 80s, which is definitely working because she makes a good point that it could be Growing Up Catholic.

But OMG, the notes. I spent hours upon hours researching items such as old Looney Tunes cartoons or recipes similar to my Mom’s… it was SO gratifying to see my editor’s compilation of them, from A to Z! even if she says I have to get rid of a lot of them or most of them because of copyright. I really don’t care right now. Another human being recognized and compiled the list of my research and saw what I had done.

… and I am seriously considering accepting. I am offering two modifications to her proposal: (doesn’t every relationship have its contingency clauses?)

1. The 5-to-1 rule: 1 positive comment for every 5 negatives (I had never heard of this. Thanks, National Association of Memoir Writers or NAMW Facebook group) I didn’t know that there is more to “5-to-1” than the intense, morbid rock anthem “Five-to-One” by the Doors:

“Five to one, baby!

One in five,

No one here gets out alive”

Huh. Maybe I will!

2. That we expand her timeline from approximately four months to six.

Wish me luck. If all goes well, I may have one of the most exciting professional relationships I’ve had in years…and the best manuscript of my career yet! You know that I will keep you posted!!! Until next time…


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