Friday, September 6, 2013

EditorialLee Speaking

September, you hit me when I wasn't lookin' here are some assorted thoughts assembled for a short-notice after-deadline column (hopefully I'll see October coming and have something a little more organized next month):

Coming soon to my house: a shredding party! I've held on to documents that belonged to my parents, but with taxes now filed, much of the paper that has choked my office since my mother passed away last year is about to meet its match and become confetti.

Go Braves! How can a team possibly be hit with all the injuries the Braves have sustained and still have the best record in baseball (as of today, anyway)? Easier to name the players who have not been on the disabled list this year than the ones who have, and some of them have missed far more than the 15-day DL minimum. Yes, every team has injuries, but not every team glides through them the way my hometown boys have done it this year.

Bob Mayer confirmed today he's on board to teach at the 2014 SWA Workshop next June. Bob's novel credentials are impressive. We also have some other real headliners joining us next summer, including Writers Digest's Chuck Sambuchino, Georgia Author of the Year Award winner Peggy Mercer, non-fiction publisher Dahlynn McKowen and short-fiction writer C.D. Mitchell. Our own Debra Brown will present a comprehensive class on social media, the hottest topic on the planet in almost every circle these days. And agent Carlie Webber will not only be fielding pitches, she'll be teaching classes on writing queries and synopses -- and who better to teach these things than the agent who reads them? Still more to come, so be sure to reserve your spot when registration opens, likely in January.

My knee keeps improving, although I was told by the surgeon not to try to run (or even break out in a jog) before at least January. Stairs still present minor challenges, and steep downhill descents require a lot of concentration, but otherwise I'm doing very well. Now if I could just shed some of the pounds all the inactivity loaded upon me. I walked the stretch where the street attacked me and shattered the kneecap back in January, but, incredibly nice guy that I am, I chose not to take a jack hammer with me and try to get even.

I was saddened at the news that long-time personal friend and SWA fixture Harry Rubin had died. We will dedicate the 2014 SWA Workshop to his memory. I mean no disrespect when I suggest we all dress as curmudgeons for the awards ceremony; Harry would have found that amusing.

Want to be a member of the SWA Board of Directors? If so, let us know. Cappy Hall Rearick has left the board, and if possible I hope to retire next summer. Cappy leaves a big gap for us to fill, but we're fortunate that Tim Hudson is returning on an interim basis to help us out, at least for the 2014 workshop.

Memo to self: only thirty days has September (the poem is confirmed by a glance at the calendar), so start thinking of October column material now!

~~ Lee Clevenger

Lee is the current President of SWA, an author and co-founder of ThomasMax Publishing in Atlanta, GA.

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