#ILoveMyJob

What does a book #published in 1668 have in common with how #SeaverCreative (that’s me) approaches every #bookcommission? If you can decipher the olde English of the preface, i.e., the Praemonition, by “physic” (a.k.a. doctor), astronomer, and author Wm Ramesey writing about “Wormes” (they’re eating us from the inside out, doncha know) some 20 years before the apple fell on Newton’s head, you’ll make out his strong disclaimer against #plagiarism.

YES, he acknowledges, “wormes” are serpents of the Devil, but tries to understand them biologically. This is as ambitious as it is dangerous; biology doesn’t exist as a science yet. In fact, science is struggling to be recognized and those trying to get a foothold find themselves swinging from a rope on the gallows.

In this climate, Ramesey dares to mingle the “Sacra Profanis” but his thoughts are his own, bigod (who is watching–tensely)!! #sacriligious #CartesianDualism

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Is this the last surviving copy of Ramesey’s book published in 1668?

Here’s the thing: This is just one of so many rare books just sitting on a random shelf at The Cedars, the most amazing place where my fascinating new book client lives. When I retire to my rooms after a day’s work, I can’t even sleep for the wonder of what’s crammed into the shelves within an arm’s reach of my pillow.

To wit: Here’s a pic from the last chapter (“Our hands are full”) in Abbott’s two-volume history of the Civil War published in1866.

It’s written in the present tense. 

Repeat: It’s written in the present tense!!!

I don’t know how these rare books and many more have made it to this place unscathed–and neither does my client. But here’s what I do know: It is a rare privilege to get to curate, write, edit, form, and shape books for a living. Some days I can hardly believe I get to do this. #ILoveMyJob

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Out of hundreds of Iraqi girls in her Baghdad high school, she is the only one whose name means beautiful. This is how I learned one of only two words I’ve mastered in Arabic so far. The other is the word for avocado . . . which is avocado. Factoid: She loves guacamole. As host-mom for a month, you’d think I’d have picked up on a few other words, but mostly she wanted to know how I say things. So I said things. And I took her picture often–with her permission.

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We covered figurative language as I unabashedly exposed my rabid disapproval of the Cheeto-Dusted Bloviator . . . Agent Orange . . . yes, him, the Assaulter-in-Chief in our White House. She was never entirely sure I should be talking like that about the president of this county. I think she would have changed the subject if she knew how . . . she was worried for my safety . . . she’s read terrible things about what happens to some Americans in this country.

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Well, someone else can (and does) stick to the company line. I’m keeping it real on my watch, although we did cover a lot of other territory.

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We fished for bluegill, savored ice cream, teeter-tottered, reburied some poorly-laid turtle eggs, nearly flew out of the speedboat jumping waves on Lake Michigan, and mutually crushed on Mena Massoud.

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She showed me how to make dolmeh and gave me too many presents. I met her parents thanks to WhatsApp, and Yes, of course, I’m coming to see them all very soon after the Screaming Carrot Demon is voted out of office.

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Soon enough, she’ll be back home. She has big plans that she’ll deliver on even when her parents choose her husband. She assures me she can say no. Well, don’t agree to anything until you kiss him . . . you won’t know everything you need to know without that, I tell her. She shakes her head vehemently . . . no no that cannot happen until after they’re married, and if she’s caught breaking that rule, her head can be cut off . . . or she could be shot in the head . . . headshot.

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. . . this head

. . . this beautiful head and fine mind

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Is she any safer here than she is there? Am I?

Every night I put my hand on this country,
It slips away from my fingers,
Like a soldier running from the front.

(from The Last Iraq by Fadhil al-Azzawi)

© by Leeanne Seaver, July 23, 2019

the Infrasound then the Silence

One of my favorite reactions to the publication of Proud But Never Satisfied* was from his brilliance Arthur Daemmrich who acknowledged the strangeness of how quiet the world becomes after one’s book is released: “You put a ton of work into a book and then the first response is silence. It takes months for reviews and for feedback and for people to notice it is out there!

Actually, we’ve been blessed by good reviews so far, thanks to gracious pre-readers; but, in many ways, Daemmrich was spot-on. The distance between writing and publishing is vast. In spite of knowing where you were headed the whole time, reaching the destination is strangely unexpected. It’s like getting out of a car you’ve been driving hard for (in my case) three straight years–long enough to no longer notice the sonorous hum of the highway–then there’s just a deafening silence.

All of the sudden, you’re even not in the vehicle… and that’s when you hear how loud it all was… by not hearing it at all anymore.

Indeed, it feels like I’ve moved to a vacuous planet uninhabited by the infrasound of writing a book… the constant conversation, the noisy notepad near my pillow, and the back&forthing with my sources, my clients, the editors, designers, publishers, and my own inner-circle of trusted advisers whose job is just to get the pour right on a G&T at the end of deadline-driven week.

Nature and my CPA abhor a vacuum, so I’m happy to be back at work on another book commission. Still, I wish I had the courage to hang-out in that silence until I could hear the sound of my voice.

*https://www.amazon.com/Proud-But-Never-Satisfied-Transformative/dp/1622181115/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3VPF558HA53PO&dchild=1&keywords=proud+but+never+satisfied+book&qid=1615822279&s=books&sprefix=Proud+But+Never%2Caps%2C182&sr=1-1