Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three Ladies of Publishing

Fran Vick is the retired founding director of the University of North Texas Press. Gayla Christiansen is the still-working-overtime sales manager and director of rights and permissioins at Texas A&M University Press. And I am the retired director of TCU Press. We call ourselves the Three Ladies of Publishing, and we periodically hold summit meetings, usually at my house where I am expected to provide a gourmet meal--and joyfully do so. Since today the semi-annual sales meeting for the A&M consortium was held at TCU, we were all in Fort Worth, so tonight we had a summit meeting. Part publishing discussion, a bit of gossip, a lot of catching up on families and friends, and a lot of laughter and sharing.
I think my gourmet meal satisfied. When the ladies hit the door about 4 p.m. and asked for wine, I gave them an amuse bouche of tiny rolls filled with anchovy butter. Then they gathered in the kitchen to watch me cook, and I gave them an appetizer of finger sandwiches--cocktail rye topped with cream cheese and diill, smoked trout, a dab of sour cream, and a couple of capers. Dinner was a roulade, with layers of pork, chicken, and prosciutto interspersed with a sauce of olive oil, basil, anchovies, garlic and parsley, and served with a sauce of cream and chicken broth and bacon. Plus asparagus and a salad of beets and orange slices with vinaigrette and feta. No dessert. We sat around the fire and talked far later than I'm used to, and I'm writing this late at night.
We were wondering tonight when we first started these summit meetings and decided it was quite a few years ago. For my 70th birthday, they gave me a proclamation, now framed in my office, that reads "Leader and Chef of the Front Porch Wine Drinking World Problem Solving Three Ladies in Publishing."
Reminds me of last night's post on the value of friendship, but once again it is so true. It is really a delight for me to cook for these two, and I try to outdo myself each time. I have to uphold my reputation. And it's wonderful to sit around and share publishing news and personal news with a sense that these are two women that really care about me and I care a lot about them. Another blessing in my life.

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