As I was packing our whole apartment to move from North Carolina back to California, I looked at my copies of The Writer’s Notebook and Theory of Prose and I thought, “I’ll need these two books if the NY Times finally decides to run that ‘Draft’ column . . . but the paper has had that that column in the queue for five months, so what are the odds . . . well, I’ll keep these with me in the car just in case.”
Naturally, the day Dave and I left Asheville, the Times said they wanted to run the column pronto, could I edit it with them over the next 72 hours? And send scans of pages from my sources? It was a wild drive from Asheville to Memphis, stopping regularly at wi-fi cafes to read proofs, but here it is.
I’ve loved the “Draft” series for so long, and it’s a thrill to be part of it. Did I mention that the series editor, Whitney Dangerfield, is a master of the trim? What a luxury to work with her.
Today: Drive from Little Rock to Oklahoma City (got the New Yorker Fiction Podcast for good entertainment). Seven days till I land back at my home base, the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.