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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Who is the Patron Saint of Independent Publishers?

There is probably no day of the year that more non-religious people and certainly non-Catholics think about saints than March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. The patron saint of Ireland, Engineers, and Snakes is celebrated with parades, races, church services, pubs, and corned beef. I’ll personally be putting the corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes on for dinner tonight, just before going to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) monthly meeting. It is a meal that I look forward to so much that I’m likely to cook it four or five times a year. As my daughter says, “For something that sounds so terrible, it sure is good!”

But while I’m thinking of good St. Paddy, I’m also thinking that I could use a Patron Saint of Independent Publishing. Those of us who are brash enough to pilot our own books through the publishing channels, market them, and sell them from the trunks of our cars, should have a saint that we can call on for help. (Preferably one that is not already overworked as there is going to be a lot of calling.)

Traditionally, (according to http://www.catholicpatronsaint.com) the patron saint of publishers and reporters is St. Paul the Apostle. On the other hand, the patron saint of Authors, Teachers, and Deafness is St. Francis de Sales. I’m thinking the independent publisher who is also an author deserves a saint somewhere between these two extremes. Of course, the patron saint of engravers and printers (and of the Wayzgoose, BTW) is St. John the Apostle. If we did the combination, we would have to wait until May 1 for the beatification of Pope John Paul to become a saint.

But those are traditional, and if independent publishers are anything, it is not traditional. I’m thinking of adopting St. Jude Thadeus, for example, the patron saint of desperate situations. That seems apt. Of course, perhaps none of us would have become independent publishers if it weren’t for the intercession of St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of computers and the Internet. Of course there is the St. Lucia of Syracuse, the patron saint of writers and eye diseases, but I don’t think she goes quite far enough. Is there a saint for carpal tunnel syndrome? How about for stress-induced alcoholism? Is there a St. Agony of the Keyboard?

Well, perhaps we will have to wait for a ruling from Rome on this one. But until then,

Blessed St. ___________ have mercy on us. We have ______ (a garage full of books, a crashed computer, a 1,000 page manuscript, a negative bank balance) and spouses tapping their feet. Send us ________ (sales, a designer, an editor, a real publisher, someone who knows what they are doing) to make us a best seller and fulfill all our fantasies. A movie contract would be a nice bonus. Amen.