Irene Fleming writes the Emily Daggett Weiss series for Minotaur. The first one, THE EDGE OF RUIN, came out in April of this year. The second, THE BRINK OF FAME, will be published in August of 2011.
My Desk and Its Surroundings
by Kate Gallison/Irene Fleming
Here's a picture of my desk, as promised. I confess to having straightened it up a bit for the picture, bleaching the coffee-rings, sweeping up the mouse dung.
Sitting on the desk is the next piece of work I have to do. It seems mountainous. It's the manuscript of The Brink of Fame, copy-edited by the same literate, elegant, sensitive soul who copy-edited The Edge of Ruin. Thank you, Sabrina. A good copy editor is above rubies. I guess I have to say, more valuable than rubies, for no one reads the King James Bible anymore. I see by her cover letter that this excellent woman has discovered that Billie Burke and Florenz Ziegfeld were not yet married in March of 1913, a fact which had escaped my attention. I now have two options: change Billie to Ziegfeld's intended, rather than his wife, or move the action to 1914. In the first case I would have to have them sleeping together without being married. Unthinkable. What would her mother have said? In the second, I have to take into account the outbreak of WWI in Europe. And a bunch of other stuff. But I think that's what I'll do, in the interest of saving Billie Burke's reputation.
You may have noticed that the computer is running, even though the task at hand is to examine and hand-correct the proofs. That's so I can listen to grand opera while I work. It soothes my nerves to hear people effortlessly (as it seems) hitting high notes. Go figure. What you see on the computer screen is not, alas, a reflection of the rest of my office. Instead of that it's a picture of Ernest Hemingway's writing studio in his place in Key West. I use it for wallpaper on the computer screen in hopes that it will inspire me, if only to keep my office in better trim. That's Harold in the red shirt peeping out from behind the screen. His sister Lanelle took that picture. She is a better photographer than I am.
The handsome young boy in the frame is our son John. That picture was taken maybe twenty years ago in grade school. He's still a good-looking fellow.
As you see, my writing space is surrounded by pictures of people I love, which keeps the positive energy going. Speaking of handsome children, here's a picture of my little sister Liz and me taken in a photographer's studio in Saint Stephen, New Brunswick, in the year (mumble). She is a gifted fine artist. See some of her work on her website-- http://www.lizdonovan.com/. The picture over it was taken a couple of Christmases ago, when we were trying on funny hats. And that's about it. If I go on, I'll have to tell you how sick my sister is, and how it breaks my heart, and there goes all the positive energy. Instead I'll talk about how I'm having my son Charles and his family over for Thanksgiving. The grocery store is giving me a free turkey. That's pretty positive. I'll end on that note. Happy holidays, Irene Fleming/Kate Gallison