Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Latin Super Bowl

It happens every year: I end up working during the Super Bowl.  This year, however, was rather surreal. While my wife and daughter joined me in front of the tube to watch the game, all three of us were writing on laptops. We worked the entire game this way, making comments in between plays and through the interstices of commercial break.  My son had long before retreated from our little company to watch the Super Bowl at a friend's house (the only intelligent one of the group).

Me?  I was having an editorial interchange with an editor in New York--which was rather interesting, given the fact that the Giants were in town.  I was all the more impressed by the fact that this editor was also working on game day (and Sunday!) and was quite eager to publish one of my humor pieces.

I had written the piece last Friday . . . a rather bizarre escapade, a sudden urge if you will, to do something with Latin abbreviations and the various Latin cognates that form much of our common speech in English.  It doesn't sound funny, I know, but I felt while I was composing it that it was one of the smartest, most innovative and absolutely weirdest pieces I had written in the past month.  I whipped it out in an hour, sent it to the above-mentioned editor later Friday night (yes, I have no life on Friday nights either!), and received word from him during the game that he loved the piece, found it absolutely mesmerizing and pants-kicking hilarious, and he would publish it if I was willing to do a few re-writes and make a few cuts.

I gladly consented and sent my response back just as the Giants scored the winning TD.  (Yes, I remember these things, too . . . but again, I am a writer and I have no life.)

All in all it was a memorable Super Bowl.  In addition to writing a piece that was, perhaps, my fastest turnaround yet for publication . . . (what, less than 48 hours from concept to writing to acceptance?) . . . I also completed or revised several poems, sent off a new foray of emails to other unsuspecting editors, and fell into bed exhausted around 11:00 p.m. having written during the entirety of the game while also consuming an entire loaf of United Methodist Women pumpkin bread and a half gallon of skim milk.

Naturally, before I kissed my wife goodnight, she wife wanted to know what I had been working on so ferociously all evening.  "Mainly corresponding with an editor in New York," I said.  

"What about?"

"Latin verbs," I told her.  "Really funny stuff."

She didn't believe me.  Never does.  "I can't believe there are people who read your insanity and are willing to pay you for it," she added.

"Pax," I said, kissing my pillow.  

Yes.  Pax Romana.  Peace of Rome.  And goodnight New York.

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