Thursday, November 8, 2007

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

A reader left the following unthinkable comment in response to a Rosemary Ahern post recently. As most of you know Rosemary Ahern is the nicest, kindest rejecter on the east coast, an editor at The Other Press (formerly at Washington Square Press). She is the winner of the GAK! award, a coveted golden apple for exemplary rejecting. And she is my future editorial companion and savior. And yet here is the comment:

Anonymous said...
"i used to work for her. she's horrid and deserves no more of your time. no more ink for her!"
November 5, 2007 2:36 PM

I am begging anyone who has information to the contrary to please write in and dispel this terrible rumor, so that I may maintain my belief in God and Publishing and Rosemary, all items on the list being equal.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess this proves that you can always find someone to trash you, no matter how hard you try just to be fair and do your work. In my experience, horrid is about the last word that should be applied to Rosemary Ahern. (Perhaps the embittered worker meant to say intelligent, thoughtful and sensitive?) I'm sorry he or she wasn't compatible with her, employment-wise, but whatever problems they had (and I bet RA wouldn't ever comment on an employee's performance, even when prodded), it doesn't alter the kindness with which she has treated so many of us writers.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Rosemary Ahern for many years, and there's simply no way an intelligent human being could call her "horrid." She's smart and generous and kind and encouraging and insightful - a true rarity in the publishing industry. I do recall a couple assistants she endured without complaint, despite their over-entitlement and under-motivation, so my guess is that moronic comment was left by one of them. Ahern deserves the GAK! and any other available award for weathering adversity with great dignity.

dawn said...

I don't know Rosemary personally but used to be work pals with someone who knew her. Reports were all favorable and tended toward the "Goes out of her way to be nice to writers and probably spends too much time doing so" variety.

Dawn

the individual voice said...

Dear Mr/Ms Writer, Rejected:
You may remember me, TIV. I disappeared at the beginning of NaNoWriMo. I have been in hiding. I know absolutely nothing about Ms./Mr. Ahern. However, I started my novel at a gallop about such people in her profession and quit instantly at 503 words due to the screen writers strike (cough, cough). I felt very smug for days. But as people are passing the 10,000 word mark in the novel marathon, I am suddenly getting FLOODED with new ideas for "The Despicable Slush Pile Outsourcing Conspiracy" novel of crap, and so, my novel is suddenly resurrected. The first 503 words are available at my site to be read, as are the subsequent smug excuses. I think I will keep my further participation lower key. All the hoopla drives me a little bit CRAZY.Gives me panic attacks and a sense of pressure in my chest and buzzing in my ears. I'll post on that too, being a compulsive poster. Thanks for hopping over and checking on me WR. And are you aware that you Favorited me on Technorati? No one has ever done that. I've never done that. Whatever it means, I am so very flattered. I'm assuming it is good. Your friend, Mr/Ms Tiv

Writer, Rejected said...

Thank you good and kind anonymice and Dawn. Thank you for clearing up this little matter. I know I will be able to sleep tonight.

Anonymous said...

Are you KIDDING ME? At the risk of redundancy, I must add my voice to the pro-Rosemary chorus. As a former colleague and longtime admirer, I can say without hesitation that Rosemary is not only an incredibly gifted (some have said inspired) and committed editor, she is one of the few people in this sorry game who genuinely reveres writers. She is a writer's reader, a reader's writer, and a fierce champion of both her authors AND her employees. I can't imagine the level of self-delusion that could lead even an overly entitled "employee" to commit such a statement to the blogosphere. But what a nice opportunity to declare that which is obvious to most of us in this business.

Anonymous said...

Massive agreement about Rosemary Ahern's integrity, professionalism and gift of inspiration! I worked for Rosemary for YEARS, and while her incredible mentoring didn't keep me in the sad industry book publishing devolved into, she did set me on my career path with a shining example to follow.

I do, however, think I see the source of the tension one former employee (comment posted Nov 5, 2007) feels in retrospect. With punctuation like that, she/he wouldn't have lasted a minute under her attentive red pen.