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Unexpected Timing

A few weeks ago, I did a thing. I subscribed to one of those box-subscriptions that I’ve always told myself was a waste of money and had convinced myself that I shouldn’t spend so much money on gifts for myself. No matter how cool the copywriter made the specially enclosed gifts sound, I always refused to give in. Wine boxes. Beauty boxes. Fashion boxes. The Editor’s boxes. The Writer’s box. Despite the fact that I would often click on the links and ooohh and aaahh at the potential prizes, never would I ever click on the final link that solidified a purchase. But on this day in early March I was extremely distressed. It was the first day of AWP and I was already down because few people attended the conference and most of the sessions that I had hoped to participate in were canceled. Then I received a phone call with upsetting news.

It’s not important for readers to know what the news was that distressed me so. Suffice it to say that it was upsetting enough to send me, alone, to the hotel bar where I sat drinking a specially made old-fashioned with extra cordial cherries while cruising Facebook on my phone. Scrolling through the posts I came across Scribbler’s “Writers” box. I clicked on the link, read the copy, and ooohh’d and aaahh’d at the potential treasures that could be enclosed. I ordered another old-fashioned and added the subscription box to my cart. I took another drink as I reviewed the options for one-month, three-month, six-month, or twelve-month subscriptions. Naturally, it seemed most logical to select the twelve-month pay-all-at-once option to save the most money.

I tried to talk myself out of finalizing the purchase. I really did!

Fast forward three weeks, my first box arrived. Elated at the text notification of its delivery, I dropped what I was doing to retrieve it from the front porch. After breaking the seal, I pushed the orange shredded packing paper out of the way to ooohh and aaahh as I removed each item. It had a tin-can candle labeled “drafting” that smells like “lemon, coffee, and courage.” There were also two novels – which I’m sure I’ll have time to read after graduation. Among the other smaller items was a pamphlet titled “Publishing Process Inside Look!” This item could not have come at a better time!

As an Editor of the University of Iowa’s 4th Annual Iowa Chapbook Prize, I’m currently in process of working on edits with my author. The topic of this “Publishing Process” pamphlet was developmental edits, specifically addressing how an editor deals with larger developmental edits that include possible title changes. This is exactly one of the issues I’m navigating my way through as I learn about the publishing process. Does everything happen for a reason? While I refuse to buy into that idea for everything that occurs in life, in this case I feel like it was meant to be. When I subscribed to the Writer’s box, I didn’t know exactly what it would be filled with. I also wasn’t in the editing process yet and had no idea that the treasures I would unfold could be so timely and helpful upon their arrival. After reading the pamphlet I was able to finish editing and sending an email to my author. Thank you, Scribbler!

(Special thanks to my husband who was very understanding and forgiving about my making such a purchase without first discussing it with him.)

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