Hi Toast, I hope your week was great. Mine could have been better in many respects, but I did just receive a “Cocoa Lovers’ Gift Pack” from Penzey’s and am drinking delicious hot cocoa with a cinnamon stick stirrer right now, so you know, there’s that.
This week I talked with my brilliant friend Linda, former book editor-turned-literary agent, about the Lee & Low Diversity in Publishing Baseline Survey, money, the Big 5 and small presses, and every word she said is PRETTY MUCH GOLD, so read it if you haven’t:
And if you aren’t born into this world, if your dad didn’t ride Metro North every day with an executive editor, and if you don’t make those important connections at universities—and these are all markers of class—then the opportunities to get hired in the first place become few and far between. You have to get creative about breaking those barriers, you have to be ten times as driven to make it work, and you have to want to be there enough to justify all that hard work for $13.50/hour.
It wouldn’t occur to so many people in the industry that diversity would be “nice” or necessary, in part because they have only ever known these white-only spaces. The uncomfortable tide of whiteness in publishing is in many ways old-fashioned WASP racism. And it is uncomfortable.
Katelyn Best road-tripped to her great-grandparents’ former homestead near Burns and reflected on the urban/rural divide in parts of the West, and as a former rural-ish Oregonian it really got to me.
Kate Schapira on pregnancy, climate anxiety, and burdens:
Where does this stuff come from, and where does it go? Why do I feel teeth-grinding stabs of anger and call myself names when I move the stove and see how much grime has collected back there, or when I read another article about the rising rate of extinctions? The same response, the same anger! From whom did I receive it, and where can I put it? This feeling of failing, of responsibility, of haste, is not rational, nor is it personal. It’s in the air. It’s in the water.
I want to get pregnant because I want to have a baby, and I want to have a baby because I want to have a child, to be a parent, to share the world. But given what I know about the world I have to share, this may be a bad reason. Why make another hostage to fortune? Why create another drain, another weight, on ecosystems strained by creatures like me?
Super loved all of Maddie Howard’s ideas for Kind-Hearted Reality Shows, ESPECIALLY:
Don’t miss Denece Mohammed’s gorgeous words on straddling the gap between the Trini English of her home and the “proper English” she learned at school.
“Sometimes we just need check in with ourselves and get some ‘me’ time. Even if it means abandoning my watchpost at the west wall for a few hours just to curl up with a good book and some strong tea, so be it. After all, I’m not much use keeping a lookout for Them if I’m not fully rested and recharged.”
FINALLY, I just want you all to remember that this happened on Monday night, so please get used to acting amazed and impressed anew every time I tell this story (which I may well do on a weekly basis, for as long as we all shall live):
On the 2nd or 3rd question, he lost his train of thought, said, “What was the question again?” and then pointed towards me and said, “Let’s go back to the ‘If John Cho Were Your Boyfriend‘ quotes.”
If John Cho were your boyfriend, he’d be totally cool and not visibly mortified when your friend introduced him at an event using excerpts from your goofy “If John Cho Were Your Boyfriend” piece
I may return next week, I may not; I honestly don’t know what I have left to do on this internet.
Nicole Chung is the Managing Editor of The Toast.