Some wise old sage -- I forget which one -- said that there are only two real prayers: please and thank you.
But in my experience, there's a third, a hybrid of please and thank you, and it pretty much defines the editing relationship. Or at least, it defines it when the relationship is going well.
When we ask each other for things in the reasonable expectation that those things will actually get done, it's not just a please. It's a please-thank-you.
Can you get these proofs back to me in a week, please-thank-you?
I ask my writers for everything from new scenes to tech advice to cookie recipes. They never let me down. I've become so used to being able to ask the "Brain Trust" (as I've come to think of our email loop) for darn near anything, that the gratitude is built into these requests in advance. I know they'll come through for me. Because they're so consistently wonderful, my requests have evolved into please-thank-yous.
In fact, they frequently blow me away with their responses. If I ask for two peas and half a carrot, I'll get an entire salad bar. Yum!
Dinner is at my house today, but we're only having 11, a small group by my family's standards. The desserts are already made. The side dishes are assembled and awaiting oven time. Most of the prep work is done, and the rest must wait until later. So what do I do on a national holiday while in a lull? I go to my office and check my email, see what's up with the authors and editors and my boss. Not because I have to, not today. But because I want to. Because I know our team is topnotch, because I genuinely like these people, and because they never fail to deliver. And because they make it fun, every step of the way.
I'm a very lucky woman, and believe me, I know it.
So today, my Thanksgiving wish is, "Let's keep on doing what we're doing, please-thank-you."
And I'm grateful in the knowledge that my team will deliver.