July 15, 2008
The Logistics of Love
I'm not at ICRS this week because I just got back from our oldest son's wedding in Colorado. At 9,200 feet, it was definitely a high point for our family this year. Stephen is the last of our four children to get married. He and Kristen are a great couple and very much in love. But after having been father of the groom three times and father of the bride once, I have come to the conclusion that weddings are not about romance. They are about logistics.
Transportation to meals, events, housing and the airport for dozens of family and friends. Schedules to make sure the right people are in the right locations at the right times for rehearsals, pictures, fittings, hair appointments and, oh yes, the wedding. Arranging for invitations, music, flowers, tuxes, returning tuxes, programs, locations for rehearsal suppers, receptions and, oh yes, the wedding.
Robert Fulghum once wrote, "Weddings are high state occasions run by amateurs under pressure." He got that right.
There's a lot of romance about publishing--dreams of literary fame and bestseller status, elegant meals full of sophisticated conversation and interviews on PBS. Even without these dreams being fulfilled, there is an aura that surrounds publishing that is found in few other endeavors. But bad logistics can crush the romance right out of any publishing venture.
If you can't be on time with the right copyediting, with the right publicity for the right people, with the right ads, with printing and shipping the book to the right places in the right quantities, then the luster of publishing can shine as brightly as a black hole.
By all means, celebrate the love. But every so often, celebrate the logistics too.