I Get Paid to Do This?!

As I've shared in previous posts, much of my first month at Strang was spent working a big health book coming out in January. We've been working feverishly on the main book, the workbook, the leader's guide, and the DVD series in order to get them to the printer and then stocked in our warehouse soon. That has been a great experience -- though a baptism by fire, for sure, because it's such a huge project that has so many working parts, all of which affect every other working part.

The past few days, however, have seen their fair share of the other two imprints I came here to edit: Realms, which is our fiction line, and FrontLine, which is our social and political line.

First, fiction. Debbie asked me to review a manuscript submission to determine if it's worth pursuing for a proposal. That meant delving in our previously published Realms books to discern if this recent submission fits what we're already about. Fun, fun, fun, because I got to spend an afternoon researching and reading fiction -- two things I love very much -- plus developing more of my "fiction editor" wings, which has been a long-time professional goal of mine.

Then she asked me to review a book by an author who's already been offered a contract because the author wants to have a creative meeting next week. So, I spent four hours yesterday afternoon reading the synopses and the first few sample chapters the author sent us (about 80 pages in all), making notes and asking questions as I went along. I loved it. I went home feeling so entirely energized. It's probably the best work I've done and have enjoyed the most since I've been here. That's saying a lot, since I already enjoy everything else I do.

This morning I wrote up a formal letter for Debbie and the administrative team about the ways I've worked with fiction -- either writing or critiquing -- in the past so that they have a better grasp of the extent of my skill and potential for working with Realms. I want to help Realms grow, and I'd love any leadership responsibility they want to assign me in this area.

And then there's FrontLine. We're bringing out a revised and updated version of one of our best-selling FrontLine books in January. Today, the editor on the project (my boss, who is above Debbie) sent me the edited version of the revised material. I'm working as the copyeditor on this project.

It was sobering material, indeed. Just fact-checking some of the material taught me more about Islam, Iran, Lebanon, the greater Middle East, and all the political parties and leaders involved in the past 50 years than I ever knew before. Part of me is glad to finally be on the path toward becoming a more informed citizen and believer. The other part of me wishes I never read the testimonials included in the book, nor all the encyclopedic information I gathered on the Internet today.

Needless to say, I feel my territory broadening here at Strang, and it feels incredibly good. I love what I'm learning, I love what I'm doing, and I love the feeling of participation and expertise that I have when working with my team on these projects.

Now it's time to go home and enjoy the weekend. I've been having so much fun on these projects this week, though, part of me wishes I could just keep working through the weekend. Weird, huh?