Naked With My Editor

I’m not well-behaved or well-dressed enough for most careers. That may be what led me to cobble together enough freelance gigs to call myself a writer. It doesn’t pay quickly or pay well. In fact, I earn less than in my former occupation, social work, and that’s saying something.  But freelancing suits me.

Well, except for that episode of nudity with my editor.

Perhaps I should explain.

Years ago I secured a job writing a column for a newspaper. I worked after the kids were in bed and I e-mailed the first piece just before the midnight deadline.

The next morning was typical. I unloaded the dishwasher, explained long division, defended my right to listen to a CD of Tibetan throat singing, feigned patience while listening to a child’s original knock knock jokes, discussed the ethics of phone screening with my eight-year-old (who considered it a politeness violation to let it ring) and took photographs of my daughter dissecting a sheep eyeball for a biology project.

It was mid-morning before I had time to shower.  Because I’m efficient (lazy) I wear whatever comes out of the dryer.  It spares me the effort of putting away my own laundry.  I don’t mind monotonous outfits in the service of convenience.

When I got out of the shower I grabbed a towel for my usual mad dash to the dryer and on the way was handed the phone by the eight-year-old.  It was the newspaper editor. He wanted me to add a few sentences to my column.  He expected me to do this off the top of my head, over the phone, immediately.

While he was telling me this I realized my 11-year-old son had opened the front door, inviting in his pubescent pals.  They were chatting eagerly as they headed toward me on their way to the kitchen.  There was no way I could get to our dryer, handily located on the first floor, unless I ran directly into these youths and knocked them over like baggy-pants’d bowling pins.  I didn’t want to expose these poor youngsters to my not-supermodel flesh at their impressionable ages so I took the kindest course of action possible.  I retreated down the basement steps, towel clutched in one hand and phone in the other.

Although I had no chance of sounding professional on the phone, I went on talking to my editor, giving him the lines he needed. He asked if he could edit them to fit.  “Sure,” I told him. He’s a writer too, I thought, it’ll be fine. He chatted away as if we were old friends—-he surely sitting in a comfortable chair at his desk, me a semi-naked freelancer huddled in the basement.

I stayed trapped in that basement long enough to meditate on the beauty of cobwebs and the interconnection of all life.  Long enough to get really cold in my small wet towel.

When my column was published, I saw that my editor had rearranged my few sentences into a nonsensical word soup.  It took a lot of self control to keep myself from going into a  sheep eyeball tossing snit. But just then my check arrived in the mail. It was larger than I’d expected. I felt like dancing right out the door to celebrate, but I couldn’t. That’s because I’m a freelance writer and of course, I wasn’t dressed yet.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
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4 Responses to Naked With My Editor

  1. Robin says:

    That is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. I am also a homeschooling mom and writer, and also earn less than I did in my former career as a social worker… Look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Dodgeblogium » CoTVing into the 112th Congress

  3. Pingback: Rats, Naked, and a Fast Car | J. Timothy King's Blog

  4. Probably the greatest read online.

    Like

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