Publishers Have Dads, and Sometimes Those Dads Die

I started Notes in the Margins: A Publishing Blog, over at Brown Paper Press last spring, only to put it largely on hold when my dad got sick and then, eventually, died. He was a figure who held tremendous importance in my life, both personally and professionally. So I wrote a thing. Check it out if you like.

When I started this blog last March, my intention was to write regularly about what it’s like to be a small book publisher, to pull back the curtain and expose how things really work around here. But within weeks of starting the blog, my dad was given a terminal diagnosis. The cancers — yes, plural — that he’d been staving off for years had finally made their move, and this wonderful human began his long goodbye.

So for much of the year, I was facing a book deadline for ParentShift in addition to the all-too-literal deadline for my dad. Meanwhile, the blog got shoved to, well, the margins of my life. The whole notion of writing what was “real” behind the scenes at BPP felt paralyzing. After all, what was real — what was dominating most of my thoughts — was that publishers have dads, too, and that sometimes those dads die. Yes, I could force myself to write about things going on around “the plant” (a vast overstatement, which is what makes it funny), but I’d be yada-yada’ing over the single most important thing.  (Read more…)