All The Work That Goes Into It – Chapter 4




“What the fuck do you mean, you gave it to her?”

“Crow, I just got your message now, I gave her the manuscript yesterday, brother.”

“Dammit, Danny! I just got out of a meeting with another publisher, and they want to publish my manuscript and sign me to a short term retainer.”

“What? Are you shitting me, Crow? That’s unbelievable. Which manuscript did you submit there?”

“That one! The fucking one you grabbed from me yesterday and turned over to your ex. You need to get it back, now.”

“Whoa! Whoa! Simmer down there. I was only doing you a favor. Hey, wait a minute. You told me that you hadn’t sent that manuscript out.”

“Just get the goddamned manuscript back, will ya?”

“Sure, I’ll go over there as soon as I get out of work.”

“You don’t understand, Dan. They want to drawer up papers and sign a deal for the manuscript, and they were happy when I told them that no one else had it.”

“Why did you tell them that? I told you I was going to hook you up.”

“I didn’t think it was going to work out.”

“Jesus Christ, hold on, I’m getting another call. It’s a number I don’t know. I better pick up, in case it’s the folks over at Hickarado. I’ll call you back.”

“No, I’ll hold.”


Crow swiped to pick up the other call.

“Hello, Crow speaking.”

“Hello, Mr. Meanstreat?”


“Hi, it’s Charlie Tink over at Candlewick Press. I’m glad I got a hold of you. My assistant handed me your manuscript today, and I usually don’t do take-ins like that, but I liked what I’ve read so far. Can you come into discuss?”

Crow’s stomach went into knots, and his hands started to moisten. He was having trouble holding the phone.

“Hello, yes, I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting a call so soon. I mean a friend of mine gave it to your assistant, and quite frankly, I didn’t think it would ever get seen.”

“Well, typically we don’t take unsolicited materials, but my Jenny, she is very persuasive.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“Say, you can come into discuss this with me at the end of the week. Let me get through the rest of it, but what I’ve seen, I’d feel comfortable saying that we’d be interested in preliminary talks about the possibility of publishing your work.”

“I’m, I’m,..”


“Yes, shocked, and humbled, and I need to sit down.”

“I understand you’re surprised. Listen, here is the office phone, take a beat, get your head on, and when you are ready give me Jenny a call to set up something this Friday. Can you make it this Friday?”

“Yes, yeah, absolutely. Thank you! Let me take a minute. I’ll give Jenny a call back once I catch my breath.”

“Excellent, I’ll let Jenny know you will be calling.”

“Thank you!”

“No, Mr. Meanstreet, thank you!”

Crow switched back to Danny, who was still waiting.

“So, was it them?”

“Jesus-fucking-Christ! No, it wasn’t them, it was the people at Candlewick Press.”

“No way!”

“Yes, they got my manuscript. Somehow, Jenny convinced them to look at my manuscript. A guy called Charlie Tink.”

“That’s Jenny’s boss. A real stand-up guy I’ve heard.”

“Jesus Christ! Danny? What the hell am I going to do?”

“This is great, you can play one against the other for an optimal deal.”

“How the hell is that supposed to work?”

“I don’t know, just seems like they both want your work.”

“Yeah, but I already told the folks at Hickarado that I didn’t have my manuscript out there anywhere else.”

“Well, flip a coin, then. Does it matter?”

“Yeah, Hickarado is offering a short term commitment to work and prove myself a bit more.”

“Well, that makes it harder to decide.”

“You’re goddamned right it does. I can’t believe this.”

“You always complicate my life, Danny.”

“What? Wait, what? Come again?”

“Every time I let you help me, I end up in a spot.”

“Hey, man, what the fuck? I’m only trying to help.”

“I mean I send in a manuscript to Hickarado without your edits and they want it. Then you take a manuscript with your edits to Candlewick, and they want it.”

“What do you mean, you submitted a work without my edits?”

“The manuscript I sent over to Hickarado was just a draft I did without any edits.”

“But, I thought I was helping you out.”

“Every single one of the twenty-seven manuscripts that I’ve changed with your edits have all come back to me, rejected. Not a one accepted.”

“That’s until now, Crow. You just got a call back on the manuscript I gave to Jenny, and that one had my edits.”

“You see what I mean? You fucking complicate things.”

“Jesus, with friends like me…”

“This is not about you, Danny. This is about my writing career.”

“Well, what the hell are you going to do?”


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