Thursday, October 25, 2007


Okay, don't be scared now, but I work as a ghost writer. Kindly, lots of my clients end up wanting to give me some kind of credit. So, occasionally I magically transform from a word-making ghostly vapor back into a flesh and blood woman with a name. POOF! I materialize on the title page. Or, they thank me as a developmental editor or some such. However, when I swoop in (I actually do swoop--I have a black velvet cape and mask and everything) and rescue a document with which many people have already stuggled, it gets more complicated.

Yesterday, I received a copy of a book that I helped rescue. I wasn't expecting to be thanked; it was a "swoop job," I got paid, and they thanked me in person. All is cool. Yet, as I was skimming the Acknowledgments page, I found that they HAD thanked me. To do so, they needed to give me a brand new title: "Production Assistant."* This is not a good description of what I do because I have very limited knowledge of the production process, typesetting, printing, and binding. In fact, calling me a "Production Assistant" is a pretty big insult to actual "Production Assistants." But, soft. Hang on a second. By calling me a "Production Assistant," have they paved my way to an exciting new career in television and movies? Uh, no. I didn't think so, either.

Anyhoo, I've decided to help my clients by giving them a list of alternate titles/ways they might want to thank me--should they be in the mood to do so:

1) Send me cookies. I like peanut butter cookies with little criss-crosses on top.
1A) I would like to express my appreciation for the creative contribution of Cake: "Go To Gal."
2) "We thank Sparkle Plenty for the tea and sympathy."
3) If you have to call me something movie-related, call me a "key grip"--if you do that maybe I'll qualify to join the Teamsters and I can lean up against stuff with my arms folded and look bitchin' cool!
4) "For the loan of her rhinestones and so much more, we thank Sparkle Plenty."
5) "Sparkle: She did Plenty!"
6) "Sparkle might or might not have done some stuff. If she did, we thank her."
7) "Sparkle Plenty is an Exotic Woman of Mystery. We do not know what she does, but we thank her for whatever it might be."
8) See #1 again and really, really, please do it.
9) I could use some new sneakers.
10) Just say, "...and with support and input from Allen Smithee, Alan Smithee, Alan Smythee, Adam Smithee, and Bobo the Chimp!"

*To sum up: Any thanks is good thanks; this was just weird.