Revise, Seth Adam Smith

WHY Do I Miss San Francisco?!

My wife and I officially moved from San Francisco at the end of June 2013.

…and I miss it.

But why? WHY do I miss San Francisco?! By all accounts I shouldn’t. I didn’t really want to move there in the first place! But my wife wanted to—and she’s super attractive and all sorts of wonderful—so I (somewhat begrudgingly) agreed.

An evening in San Francisco (source, Wikipedia)
An evening in San Francisco (source: Wikipedia)

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against San Francisco. I’m not a fan of big cities in general. I’m an equal opportunity city despiser.

And for the life of me, I still can’t understand why people even like big cities. They’re crowded, dirty, expensive, loud, polluted, and smell like urine. On the other hand, small, country towns are calm, clean, inexpensive, and only occasionally smell like horse manure (but that’s good compost)!

Small country towns produce an abundance of tranquility, happiness and family time.

The only things that big cities seem to produce are high taxes, pollution and a sense of caffeinated urgency.

Be that as it may, I’m now living in Florida—in a quiet suburban area—and for some reason I miss San Francisco! Why is this?!?!

After days and weeks of furious reflection, I think I know who’s to blame…

Jeevan, as if saying: "You blame me? You're out of your mind."
Jeevan, as if saying: “You blame me? You’re out of your mind.”

Officially, I blame Jeevan Sivasubramaniam (yes, that’s a name) and I blame every. single. one. of his cohorts in the editorial department at Berrett-Koehler Publishers, a book publishing company in the very heart of San Francisco. Those editors at BK are so wonderful and so good that it makes me sick just thinking about it!

It’s their fault for twisting my time-honored hatred of cities. It’s their fault for making me miss San Francisco!

They were so clever about it. So very, very clever.

It all started innocently enough. “Review a couple of our manuscripts,” they suggested, baiting me with monetary offerings to do something I loved.

“Come to the author day lunch,” they invited, ensuring my demise with delicious deli delectables.

It was only a matter of time before they sealed my fate with an internship in the editorial department…

I became an intern at BK a year ago this month. Laying aside my sarcasm (just for a few paragraphs, don’t worry), I want to be sincere about my gratitude for the Editorial Team at Berrett-Koehler.

From the time I was a kid, I’ve had a fascination with words, books, and writing, but I never felt like I could share or truly accomplish anything with my writing. My first day as an intern, Jeevan, the Managing Director of Editorial and my boss, turned the tables on that thinking with his line “Books don’t start movements, movements start books.” If I were to eventually publish a book (or anything else, really) I had better get moving. Conversations with him encouraged me to start, share the story of my attempted suicide, and write two novels. This “movement” has prompted several other things in my life—things that I never would have supposed or dreamed possible.

Jeevan openly weeping at the publication of "The Seven Paths." WEEPING!
Jeevan openly weeping at the publication of “The Seven Paths.” WEEPING!

Conversations with Neal Maillet, the Editorial Director and a native of New England, produced numerous writing and publishing ideas (yes, for that YA novel I’ve been working on). His cheerful confidence and encouragement has allowed me to be more confident in my own writing. In addition, I am very proud of his accomplishments at the University of Slovenia (and for his buccaneering skills on the high seas to deliver manuscripts to Van Diemen’s Land).

And I am profoundly grateful to Charlotte Ashlock and David Marshall for the confidence that they’ve had in my work on the digitally enhanced version of “The Seven Paths.” Physically contributing to a publication is a thrilling experience, and I’m thankful for your faith in me. (Oh, and I’m constantly amazed at Charlotte’s feedback on any and all manuscripts she reads. That girl’s insights are amazing!)

But like I said, I officially blame Jeevan Sivasubramaniam as the reason I miss San Francisco. I’m not going to wax sentimental (Jeevan doesn’t tolerate such things). But I will say that I consider him a great man and an even better friend.

And a great friend can make you miss a city—even San Francisco.

Here’s to you, Jeevan:



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