'Twas the night before Christmas Eve all through the house. All the creatures were stirring; yes, even the mouse.
It is, of course, the 25th anniversary -- we're talkin' a quarter freaking century, people, not yesterday (see The Bitter Quill, this issue) -- of the death of Beatle John. Seems strange it came and went so stealthily. I, in unconscious denial maybe, kept saying to people, "Next year's the big one." Well it ain't, I realized, like, four days ago. It's this'n'. Fookin’ ‘ell.
Generally the head pounds, the heart aches, the guts churn and the mind floats far away -- outside the Dakota building in Manhattan, or an evening grad school class in Iowa City -- to a long time ago. But professional writers are, in a sense, show people. They must be "troopers." The show must go on.
So any attempt at an editor's eloquence, on any level, I'm forsaking at this time. It is (coincidentally?) the last edition of IN, Volume I, obviously, and that makes an even dozen. One plus two equals three (3), the magical root, the deity of digits, and as if to prove it some pinnacles of the penultimate were attained in this, the last joint of IN’s first year -- and the 25th since the blue was sucked up into a crack in the sky.
Where to begin? The fab and famous Fran Capo, the world's fastest-talking woman, media manipulator and last month's IN cover girl, joyfully provides pointers for writers (from an excellent one) on getting a gimmick and taking it on TV. It’s not as far-fetched as one might presume, the tube being the Cadillac of promotion vehicles. Ms. Capo, in turn, drives like a maniac.
IN screenplay mainstay Ken Robinson fills some pretty small shoes (hey, kids’ shoes – relax!) by taking the reins of the Write On! column during kids’ lit whiz T.E. Watson’s personal leave of absence. We wish T.E. and his family all the very best and look forward to his return. In the meantime, K-Robb writes on. His fondness for horses is equaled only by his predilection for dragons, and he’s never afraid to go deep to get what he needs. Or long.
American chick lit shaker Anne R. Allen’s incredible Amazon story, in her monthly IN Her Own Write column, is as patently, even hilariously, absurd as it is sadly real. That something so stupid could make or break you, though, is no joke.
On an uber-practical plane, follow Peggy Bechko's holiday advice in Pen In Hand and do the refrigerator thing. You’ll spare yourself the inevitable effort of forging phony, false-grateful faces (grimaces) for all the Old Spice you pick up over Christmas.
Poet, children's author, and nationally syndicated feature writer (formerly of Writers Digest) Charles Ghigna (aka Father Goose) helps promote love of children's literature by speaking at schools, colleges, conferences, and libraries -- and now in IN’s Writers Life (never mind Bald Ego on our Contents page). Goose is the author of more than 30 books of poetry for both kids and adults, and we’re glad to have him joining his gaggle in Canada.
Former practicing lawyer and star IN columnist Jennifer Edelson, like an elite NBA team on a double-figure win-streak, puts her signature spin on the year in review with words and wisdom well beyond her years. There is much to be learned from her courage, as well as her chops.
And last, and probably foremost, the Freelance Writing Organization - International has been rebuilt, renovated, redesigned, re-jigged, rejuvenated and re-launched to serve even better the expanding worldwide writing community. A staunch Star Trek-hater, it does, gotta admit, remind me of the Enterprise in the higher-budget movies. Very, very sophisticated and, dare I say it, slick.
Rowdy Rhodes is the brains of this outfit. I'm just the talent.
So Merry Christmas, for goodness sake -- and every other holiday, everywhere, that people celebrate around now.
We got peace if we want it.