The process of moving from manuscript to hand-held memoir is emerging as a series of little decisions. In the case of The Tree You Come Home To, the trickiest editorial decision has to do with how to mark the many instances where other people are quoted. Because so much of Casey’s story was lost to memory, I had to piece it together with a range of documents:
–Casey’s journal and other writing
–case notes from social workers and psychiatrists
–letters and emails Ken and I wrote to each other or to him or to Adrian (our middle son)
–interviews with friends and family, especially those closest to him
My smart publisher, Jodie Toohey, finally decided to differentiate between other people’s words and mine through indentations (rather than, for instance a font change). But sometimes the text moves in and out of quoting and reflecting several times on a page, so it’s easy to miss transitions. I like the way it looks now.
Another, rather amusing mistake we had to correct was when the ellipses (apparently I’m quite fond of them) started reproducing themselves. Here’s an example:
I had combed through the original manuscript so many times that most of the typos and unnecessary passages were cleaned up, but Jodie Toohey, who runs Legacy Book Press, found a lot more–inconsistent use of numbers and commas, for instance, rather humbling for an English professor.
Another decision—much more visible than these wayward ellipses—has been the cover. My son Galen designed it, but the placement of title, name, summary, and comments took several iterations. Fortunately, the cover designer Kaitlea Toohey, was willing to play with color and font and we came up with a really nice cover. First, a font we didn’t use, with the title up in the branches and my name down in the , then one we did:
I like the font and the cream color works well with the sunset yellow of the image. More on the cover another time.