Handling the Truth: my multiple hats off to Mary Beth Constant, copy editor supreme

Friday, August 31, 2012

No writer can afford to go out there undressed, uncoiffed, unedited (like, for example, me on this blog, every day).  With my books (where it really does matter, where all jokey grammar must be set to the side, where my I'll-check-it-later attitude must be checked at the door) I hold my breath each time I'm assigned a copy editor.  Will she get me?  Will she care?  Will she forgive my inevitable slips?  Will she make me better than I am?  Is she even interested in the topic?

Yesterday I received notes from Mary Beth Constant, the copy editor who was assigned to Handling the TruthHandling is filled to the margins with excerpted works, quotes, and Beth-isms.  It's me, untamed, books I've loved, arguments I've decided to make.

Not everyone would want to take on such a task, I imagine, and how many people actually could?  But Mary Beth is something else—sweeping in after me to check on each little excerpted line, offering her thoughts on British punctuation, regaling me with her own tales of favorite David Sedaris essays.  Plus, she's funny.  I want to throw my arms around this Mary Beth Constant today, but this blog is the only way that I know how.  And so, Mary Beth, wherever you are, whatever you are doing on this Labor Day weekend, thank you.  You have given me extra-extraordinary peace of mind. And I will hug you, if I find you.

(Please don't read this blog, though, on a regular basis.  Its many inconsistencies and faults will trouble you, deeply.)


Serena said...

Sounds like a great copy editor indeed!

Liviania said...

I'm glad you've been paired with a wonderful copy editor.

Currently, freelance copy editing is the only work I've found. And, well, I'm improving. I mean, I'm confident in my control of grammar and my ability to consult the style manual, but there's still a learning curve. I've discovered the world of copy editors who blog and it's enormously helpful.

Sarah Laurence said...

Congratulations on your latest! I love the title. I hear Jack Nicholson shouting it. Were you inspired by A Few Good Men?

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP