I’m Running, Eating, Thinking, and I’m in a Book: Lantern Books Published Me (Happy!)
My workload has been a little tough this week, but I’ve been powering through. I was in between documents a few days ago, taking a brain break and watching that video with lots of dogs and one cat. Seeing all those happy animals perked me right up. Then I got some great news from Lantern Books in my inbox. Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology will be released this month. I’m in this book! Contributor copies are on the way, and now I get to tell everyone I know about my chapter and bask in a few more minutes of fame. I’ve been hinting at the book, but now it’s official. Happy, indeed!
See, I told you all that I do more than talk about writing. I can actually write, especially when someone else asks me to. (Structure. What I crave is structure.)
Lantern Books approached me after finding me on Twitter and asked whether I’d be interested in writing a chapter for an upcoming anthology of vegan runners. First of all, have I not hammered home enough the point that social media works?
The project’s best outcome wasn’t the thrill of being discovered or getting published (both great, though). The shining moment for me was when I walked away with a lesson from the book’s original editor (she left the project before it was finished), who helped me be a better writer and editor.
When the editor returned my draft with her revisions, I did feel a momentary punch to the gut. She cut an entire section. What? I love to ruminate on the editor’s relationship with the writer, and here I had firsthand experience with what writers might struggle with when I, perhaps, skewer their drafts with edits.
I said to myself, “I will not take it personally. I will not take it personally.” I inhaled deeply and then proceeded to have an incredibly valuable conversation with the editor about why she cut what she did. I had included a lot of text to connect the general idea of being vegan with how it related to running in terms of animal activism—which is what I originally imagined had to be the point of my piece—but she felt that my story was more personal. She told me that I didn’t need to rehash what’s been said by a lot of people already.
A great editor is priceless. (Yes, I’m biased, but I still get to say that.) I thanked her and said that I hoped I helped the writers I work with as much as she helped me.
The whole process has been pretty intense. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure that happy quite describes how I’m feeling right now. I’m honored to be included in a collection of essays with some important names in the vegan community (Gene Baur, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and Matt Frazier, to name a few).
And I’m downright excited. Truthfully, I’m also a little nervous. “I Run with Every Day in Me” is most certainly a personal essay, one in which I explore body image and my connections to food and family.
It’s my little story about running, eating, and thinking. And it’s about to be out there in the world, for everyone to see.
Note: Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology will be available for purchase on May 27. Of course you could order it now from Amazon, but, if you’re like me, you probably wouldn’t pass up an excuse for a leisurely browse through your favorite independent bookstore (shout-out to Unabridged Books and Women & Children First in Chicago). Drop me a line if you’re having trouble getting your hands on a copy. I can help you out!