"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Monday, October 23, 2017

"Gee! I Wanna Write a Book!"

Ever wonder what the last week before a book needs to be finished looks like? This is the wreck of what's left of I will laughingly refer to as our "home" after two years of this, in what has metastasized into my ever-encroaching "workspace." Both of us are now in the "type until 5AM—sleep for 5 hours—stumble out of bed to the desk—type until 5AM" mode that always kicks in the final weeks. It's been a while since I've done this, and I was feeling a bit more chipper in those days. (Although, during the Dummies phase around here, we were also running our full-time business, and I was working freelance for my old boss still shooting commercials, too. Ah, youth.)
Most authors will recognize this phase if they've ever written to a deadline before, but I thought I'd enlighten those who haven't, along with showing my friends, family, and past-due account representatives why I yell and hang up a lot during this period.

This doesn't represent nearly everything that's going into this project, but it's the last of the stuff that hasn't been shelved or taken back to the Library Museum archives yet.

Yes, I can and do work in this mess. 
And I know where every scrap of paper is, thank you very much.

Just a tiny portion of Dwight L Smith's 1968-1980 files.

When you know you're going to be stuck
on a shelf next to Daniel McDonald and Dwight,
you'd damn well better go to the source and not just read it in a book somewhere.


Some individual lodge histories.

Froot Loops, potato chips, Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, 
and a bottle of caffeine tablets. 
There's one of those in every room.

Long about now is when Alice starts screaming from the bedroom,
 "Why do you ask me to help you, and why do I say yes?"
"But I only asked on the one chapter, honey..."
Six weeks and 17 Amazon deliveries later, she only wants "One more day!"

The really GOOD news is that we still have another three days until the "I hate your guts and wish I'd never met you in my whole entire miserable life" stage of this process kicks in.

The "active" piles.

 Just one of the discard or "done with it" piles. 
Oh, there are more.

What a "completed" chapter's fact-checked shelf looks like.

Yeah, I went there. It wasn't pretty, but it happened, 
and we had heroes along with the scoundrels.

The shelf of last resort.

And for those wondering why they don't see Mackey and a copy of Coils around, there's a reason. They're in the bathroom for regular consultation.

I still need to come up with a damn title. I'm thinking. I'm thinking...


  1. The most exquisite pain is the realization after the manuscript has irrevocably gone to press that there was a wonderful matchless source that was omitted, Even worse, that there was a whole treasure trove that for unknown reasons wasn't consulted.

    1. I know. And nobody will want a sequel for another 50 years...

  2. I feel better now. I have a looming deadline and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to break this writers block. I know I am not alone.

    I feel for you but I also know 1: You are the only man in Indiana that could do this job and 2: When you are done with it I know it will be a masterpiece for generation of Masons to come.

    1. Well thanks, but no, there are others actually far more experienced who actually lived through more of this period than myself and also have a deeper memory of things I just stumble into accidentally. Unfortunately, none of them would do this.

  3. But they don't have your gift and ability to make such a dry subject readable.

    1. Heh. We'll see about that.

      Moment of unintentional hilarity: after 10 months of screaming "This damn thing is too short! It'll read like a pamphlet!" I did a formatted first stab at a page count, adding in the appendixes and requisite lists needed in these things.

      First try came to 550 pages.

      Reformatted and bumped down a font size, it got down to 430.

      Pamphlet my ass. I THOUGHT I'd been typing and reading a lot...

    2. Wow!! Have you considered "Goodly Heritage II-The coffee table book" :)

      Mine currently is too short, That's why I shelved it for now lol!

  4. "Don't touch my mess! I know EXACTLY where everything is!"


Comments will not appear immediately, so be patient. I am forced to laboriously screen every post because I am constantly bombarded with spam. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not expect to see your comment appear.