Head Stuff

Whaddya do with all that publication stuff? The drafts, the sticky notes, the email messages, the notebooks, the research material, the moldy coffee cups.

MIKE JUNG’s answer: Keep it! And, for good reason: The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which owns art by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, photographs of Helen Hayes, and valentines drawn by e. e. cummings, is going to buy MIKE’s memorabilia! Future students of the arcana of MIKE JUNG will be so grateful for every one of Arthur Levine’s editorial comments, MIKE’s eraser shavings, and his coffee-stained manuscripts. Someone might even lift MIKE’s DNA from one of those cups and clone his first-born into MIKE JUNG II!

Me, on the other hand, I took the advice of other EMLA gangos, like Liz Garton Scanlon, and trashed (no, excuse me, re-cycled) my deathly prose. My editor and I communicate via sticky note, too–electronic stickies. We do all of our editing electronically. So, instead of overflowing book shelves, I’ve got a stuffed computer.

And, a stuffed head. Sticky notes are coming out of my ears. Like, “Did you really mean to say the civil rights movement happened in 1863, not 1963?”

But, it’s not just stickies. All the kinds of things that MIKE has sliding off his desk and down his stairs is sliding around my brain. Someplace in there is the answer to where Samuel Clemens kept his inkstand; and where Jabiru is. But, I think MIKE’s right: better on the floor, even the Ransom Center’s, than in the noggin, especially mine.



Filed under Colleagues, Editing and Revising, Editor, Research, Writing and Life

5 responses to “Head Stuff

  1. Mike Jung

    Look at Cynthia going all Mike Jung on a post. IT’S AWESOME!


  2. It’s probably just a symptom of all that crowding in her head. Poor Cynthia, you are convincing me never to write a nonfiction children’s book. My respect for your talents grows hourly!

    For years I have looked around my house at all the printed matter cluttering every surface and thought to myself, “literacy is a curse.” But I’ve come to embrace it as a vice I can live with. Clutter, yes, but at least it’s friendly clutter!


  3. I think it’s hilarious how you took on Mike’s voice here, Cynthia–not an easy thing to do, YO! 😉

    As for myself, I would love to be a minimalist when it comes to collecting…but no so much. I, too, have files of old mss versions, but it will be good for school visits down the road. Proof that a writer can imporve over time, that’s for sure!

    Thanks for another wonderful post, Cynthia!


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