Leaven Blog

Embracing my inner Jason

by Anita McSorley

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of working with artistes, you might have a hard time interpreting the sketch of me that accompanies this post.

But I didn’t when it appeared on my desk one day at The Leaven.

You see, I am the person whose responsibility it is to edit Joe Bollig’s copy.

And he doesn’t like it.


Now you’d think after 25 years of working together, and me explaining to him ad infinitum that editing is what I get paid to do, we would have reached some measure of détente.

But not so much.

Not even the zillion awards he’s won compared to my measly — and lonely — third place win in the “best headline” category (yes, that’s what editors get to do for fun — write headlines) have brought peace to the office.

Because apparently cutting Joe’s copy is akin to . . . well, you get the picture.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, I don’t really look like that. (My hair’s not that curly.)

And I do a lot more than edit the copy of my band of divas, perhaps the most important of which is to develop and assign the stories they will whine about me editing.

But here’s the problem. They will ask me for a word count on every assignment they receive. But then everyone but poor Moira, who is too new to know that no one pays attention to me, will then write stories literally hundreds of words longer.

For example, if I tell Joe I need 600-700 words, he will routinely hand me an 1100-word story. He will then be offended when I cut it.

I wish I could say I’m more popular with the rest of the staff. But think of me as sort of like a Typhoid Anita. If a weekend assignment is coming your way, I’m the delivery system. If we have to tear up an already completed front page because the archbishop needs to make an announcement, I will bear the glad tidings.

And you know that day off that everybody else in the chancery is getting? Well, about that . . .

But I’ve long since learned to embrace my inner Jason. Not everybody can be award-winning. Or popular. Or appreciated. So I just try to make sure everything is properly punctuated.

It could be worse.

Joe just left a cartoon on my desk.

He left Moira his tooth — the victim of a popcorn accident, apparently.

But that’s a story for another day.

Let’s hope Moira sticks around long enough to tell it.

About the author

Anita McSorley

Anita, managing editor of The Leaven, has over 30 years’ experience in book, magazine and newspaper editing, including stints as the assistant editor of the “Diplomatic Papers of Daniel Webster” at Dartmouth College and then in the public relations departments of Texaco, Inc., and the Rockefeller Group in New York. Anita made the move to newspaper editing when she came to The Leaven in 1988, where she has been ever since. Anita is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kan., and in her spare time, she enjoys giving her long-suffering husband, her children and her staff good advice that they never take.

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