Things My Editor Says…

She’s not exactly my Zen master, my guru, or my teacher. To be honest, she’s more of a pain in the neck. One perfectly orchestrated look from her can return my delicately written prose into a blank page.

We have a love-hate relationship. She’s my toughest critic. She’s my editor. She’s my freaking cat!

Languidly she jumps onto the desk. She peers at the computer screen and then turns to me.

“Say it once,” she says.

Say it once!
Say it once!

I roll my eyes, highlight, and delete.

She turns and does her pompous strut across the desk toward her basket.

Four hours later she awakens.

She stretches slowly and I notice her overabundant waistline nudge the edge of the basket as she jumps onto the desk. I can feel her assessing me. She rubs her head against the corner of my laptop and takes a quick peek at my latest paragraph. An eternity drifts by. I shift in my chair. She inhales and exhales slowly and then walks by and glares at me.

“Oh dear,” she says. “Comma-splice. Again.”

I re-read, highlight, and delete.


Into the kitchen I go to drown my frustrations in a latte. The aroma of the espresso pot bubbling on the stovetop brings with it a sense of renewed hope. I pour the ambrosia over warm milk and head back to my laptop with an invigorated sense of self worth.

Damn cat!

I place my latte a safe distance from my laptop and then remember that I left my cell phone on the kitchen bench. Wonderful—another excuse to postpone the rewrite.


Off I go to the kitchen to retrieve my cell. On the way back I casually amuse myself with assorted scenarios alongside my characters.

My cat is back on my desk. She looks up and her face is covered in milk froth. Without missing a beat she brings her paw to her mouth and looks over toward the screen.

“Word choice,” she says. “But the latte is purrfect.”

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About Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Mandy Jackson-Beverly studied flute in Sydney, worked couture fashion in London, and has been a successful costume designer in LA, working with artists such as Madonna and David Bowie. She’s danced the tango with Robert Duvall, sewn buttons on coats with John Galliano, and discussed the art of sobriety with Alice Cooper and Russell Brand.

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