Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Old Shoes

A few days ago, while perusing my home library, I came across a book proposal stuffed inside a thick anthology.  I have a faint recollection (or do I?) of inserting the proposal inside the front cover many years back.  But the interesting thing here is that this old proposal was now a book. 

Finding a manuscript is like discovering an old shoe.  I know that I must have worn it at one time.  It served a purpose.  Others had even seen me in it.  But I've since purchased a new pair, and now the prototype is relegated to the back of the closet.

It is always a fascinating venture to see how a proposal turns into a book--particularly noting the many changes that the publisher and writer undertake from inception to completion.  Sometimes the style changes.  The tone.  Or chapter headings and titles that the author had created are transformed by marketing departments or illustrators.

The old proposal was little more than a sketch compared to the final product. 

Some day I know I will discover other artifacts stuffed inside books.  It is inevitable.  I forget where I put things . . . sometimes, even, while I am using them. 

I've written my best essay, my best poem, my best book already.  I just have to find out where I left them.

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