“Editor” Isn’t Always A Dirty Word

I’ve worked with a boatload of editors over the last 20+ years. Some were easy, some were wonderful, some were persnickety, and one was Satan in human form. A good editor is priceless — and by good, I don’t mean easy. I’ve had some tough editors who taught me so much, who made me work harder and really stretch to give the best I had in me.

Now I have a new editor. His name is Cam, and he’s 3 years old and already thinks he knows how to tell my stories better than me. He’s as impatient as the Satan editor, and as ruthless, too, but I love him to death so it’s okay.

At least once each week, Bob and I pick up Cam when his dad goes to work and take him to Merritt’s Bakery, where he eats chocolate-glazed long johns with chocolate milk and repeatedly commands, “Tell me a story, Grandma.” Of course, I do,until his mom comes to get him.

Each story starts with “Once upon a time,” and each one stars Cam. Sometimes he’s a superhero; sometimes he’s a police officer. Lately, the child editor has insisted the protagonist must be Cowboy Police Chief Cameron. He must have a pistol, a gun belt, handcuffs; a horse, a cowboy hat, a big cowboy belt buckle, and his guinea pigs, Winnie and Megan, are optional, depending on his mood.

Last Friday’s story:

Me: Once upon a time, there was a farmer named Farmer Brown–

Him: No, no, once upon a time, there was a Cowboy Police Chief Cameron.

Me: I’m getting to that. And Farmer Brown lived on a farm, where he had horses and cows and pigs and chickens–

Him: And a Cowboy Police Chief Cameron!

Me: Who’s telling this story? You or me?

Him: You. But you’re not getting it right.

Sigh . . . everyone’s an editor.


11 thoughts on ““Editor” Isn’t Always A Dirty Word

    • I am very lucky.

      You know, he eats pretty healthy at home and with his mom, and I AM giving him back to her after he ingests an entire chocolate-glazed long john and chocolate milk, so . . . (I also give him back to her after he has a Rooster Booster energy drink or Mountain Dew, usually running in circles!)

  1. LOL That’s some grandkiddo you have there, Marilyn! Thanks for letting us know that you’re never too old – or young – to learn new things or take direction.

    • The learning isn’t tough. Taking direction from a three-year-old . . . I keep thinking, “I’ve been writing 8 times longer than you’ve been ALIVE!”

      But my goal is keeping him happy, so if I have to accept revisions from him, I’ll do it. 😉

    • LOL, Meg. After he sucked down half the Rooster Booster, I belatedly asked, “Does your mom let you drink Rooster Booster?”

      He gazed off into the distance, scratched the side of his nose for a while, then finally said, “I’ve had it before.”

      Avoiding answers at three. He’s going to be a politician.

  2. That would be great! Especially if he’s successful enough at either cowboying, police chiefing or writing to take care of his favorite grandma. 🙂

    He’s a hoot. Though I do feel for the teachers when he eventually starts school!

  3. Marilyn,

    You are so lucky to have this time with Cam every week. Enjoy. Eventually, he’ll let you tell the stories YOUR way. spw

    • Do you promise, Sandee??? At least sooner or later, he’ll have to want to be something besides Cowboy Police Chief — I hope!

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