by Alicia Lynch
I turn the key in the hole and twist the knob, opening the door to my small two bedroom apartment. I set down my keys on the table and drop my coat and bags on the floor with a huff. I was so productive today, but now I am paying the price. I am exhausted. After going to meetings, reading countless emails, and sitting for hours rereading and editing manuscripts, I come home looking and feeling like a replica of my mother. I sit down on my big fluffy couch and pull out the manuscript I’ve been working on lately. The author wants to call it Cosmic Paradise.
I look out my living room window at the city lights and I remember when i used to go to my mom’s work when I had a doctor’s appointment. My mom would still try to get in a few hours of work instead of taking the whole day off. She was so dedicated to her work. I remember thinking to myself that I would never get an office job like she had, it seemed so boring! Now that I have one, I have come to realize that the boring meetings and emails and office work is worth it because I am doing something that I actually enjoy. I enjoy being a book editor. Yes, the workload is sometimes heavy and stressful, but when a book is finished, the cover designed, the words grammatically correct, and the final manuscript is printed, bound, and mailed to my office, I remember why I chose this job. I get to be a part of creating novels like the ones I used to read, and hopefully they make as much of a difference in someone’s life as the ones I used to read did.
I pull a pack of gummy bears out of my coat pocket and make a cup of chamomile tea. As I eat only the red, green, and white gummy bears, I realize I haven’t changed much since those times when I read His Dark Materials, The Hunger Games, and Game Of Thrones. I have learned a lot about the world, about myself, and about life, growing as a person with each new lesson; but after all this time, I still sit down with my gummy bears and tea to read a book about some far off land.
I can’t believe I get to do this for a job. I used to get so worried about what I was going to do for a career after school. For awhile I thought I would be a graphic designer, but after years in high school and college studying it I realized it wasn’t for me. I thought about being an art teacher, librarian, even a wedding planner. When I thought of a book editor I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. I had always loved reading, and my spelling and grammar was so good that my friends, sisters, and even my parents were always asking me how to spell words. It was such a relief to finally figure it out after years of being unsure. I am now doing what I’ve always loved to do; read. I am out on my own, self- sufficient in my little apartment and happier than I’ve ever been.
After I finish editing the last page of the manuscript, I gather all the pages together, stand them up on the table and tap them so they shuffle into place. Then I clutch them to my chest and hug them tightly, like I always do after I finish a book. This is a weird habit I started after reading Evermeet, Island of Elves in high school. I loved it so much that I wanted to give it a hug, so I did. As I hug the manuscript of Cosmic Paradise I think about about how good it was, and how without books like this I wouldn’t be in my little city apartment, drinking tea and eating my red, green, and white gummy bears.
by Alicia Lynch