Lost Galleys, Lost Galleys, Lost Galleys

Times.jpg I sent my agent four finished chapters, so I’ve been taking a couple of days off. I read a fun book called The Book of the Dead, took care of errands I’ve been putting off, and today I think I’ll go to a pillow fight in Union Square. Not to participate, I think, but to watch. (I don’t have a pillow to sacrifice, plus, the idea of doing it makes me feel kinda shy.)

Also planned, a visit to the Folk Art Museum, lots of TV watching, more book reading.

The main thing on my to-do list: DO NOT think about whether or not my agent is going to hate what I sent her. Personally, I love it. I don’t always love what I do, but I feel like I’m on a roll with this book. My editor wanted more ghost-y fun stuff, so I wove in stories about the child that the movie The Exorcist was based on, EVP, a great poltergeist story I found on LI, and other things. But in-between telling what I believe are incredible stories, I wove in the scientific point-of-view of the Lab. I think I successfully managed it so that the reader gets to have their cake and eat it too. A great story, but the truth of what really might have been happening is equally fascinating.

But, maybe my agent won’t agree. DO NOT THINK ABOUT THAT NOW.

Did I ever tell my lost galleys story? I brought the galleys of my book about the cops to the movies to show a friend before the movie started. (Galleys are when they put your book in an inexpensive bound form to show reviewers and others before the book comes out. It looks like a cheap paperback.) When I got home I realized I didn’t have the galleys with me.

I spent the day frantically looking for it, imagining all the worst case scenarios, like the one cop I was criticial of was at the movies and found it, and a lot worse (I have a good imagination). I was truly in a terrible state, I practically needed to be sedated. Months later I found the galleys in the closet in a bag along with catfood I bought that day.

I thought about how truly awful that day was when I worried, and it was all for nothing. I had completely ruined my day with worrying and it was for nothing. NOTHING. So now, whenever I worry about something that may or may not come true I say, “lost galleys, lost galleys, lost galleys.” Why lose a day for perhaps nothing? There will be plenty of time left to worry if the thing does, in fact, come true. (Which it probably will, because life is like that, but still!)

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

5 thoughts on “Lost Galleys, Lost Galleys, Lost Galleys

  1. When your book gets published, you should get booked on “Coast to Coast”. It’s just the stuff they love to talk about AND you’d get incredible exposure.
    I can’t wait to read it too!

    BTW, we made our move. I’m in a hotel in Saratoga Springs waiting for the movers to bring our here.
    Man, it’s cold!!

  2. Hi, Stacy. I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your work. I loved WFMCTD! And your blog is a treat. I use it as my “escape” at work. I promise myself I’ll get “x” done and then I’ll see what Stacy is doing. It’s always interesting – books, art, the preciousness of everyday living.

    As regards your anxiety, I once read an anecdote about a pastor visiting an elderly parishoner in a nursing home. The elderly woman confessed that she had wasted much of her life in worry “over things that never happened”. I do the same darn thing. It’s a like a perverse lucky charm. “If I worry about something, maybe it will turn out ok.” I am trying really hard to stop that.

    I wish you many blessings with your new book and your work in general!

  3. Ellen, wait, weren’t we talking about Coast to Coast just before? (I’m losing it, but I know someone just told me about that, and I book marked it and everything). Congratulations on the move!

    Carol, thank you so much. Everyone is making my good mood so much better (I’m on a good mood today). But I swear, doing this blog is one of the joys of my life. It helps me get a handle on it. It’s hard to explain, but I think my life would go by a lot more invisibly without it, even though I am the one living it. I see it better and feel it more through the process of this blog.

  4. My mother recently handed down to me a bookmark that has a quote from Mark Twain on it. It says
    “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” So true!

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