Jay Cantrell: Blog

Back to Jay Cantrell's Blog

A few things

March 15, 2014
Posted at 2:30 pm

I have a few confessions to make. No, they don't deal with my previous blog post about the confusion between my pen name and the real name of an accused child molester. I am still not he.

These are about my stories on SOL.

I admit that I very rarely revisit the chapters once they go up on the site. I don't check to see that things came out the way I intended; I don't go back and fix the errors that readers kindly point out; I don't re-read the stories in order to stroke my massive … ego (Mind above the beltline, Sunshine).

They are out of sight, out of mind.

Until the past few weeks, that is. I recently pulled up some of my older works on the site (mostly to see the evolution of my writing and to see how some coding I'd tried came out).

It was somewhat startling. For instance, I found the first two chapters of "Always on Guard" almost unreadable. Because I use a variety of editing and word processing programs depending upon which computer is free in the house (with a professor for a wife and a houseful of children, my writing is low priority when assigning computer time), almost every instance where I used a long dash or an ellipses was garbled. It led to a host of run-on sentences and some paragraphs that were difficult to follow. When you toss in the missing and misused words, it was a chore to make my way through it. Hell, I knew what I meant to say and I found myself reading a paragraph two or three times trying to figure out what in the world I said. I'm surprised that anyone who fought through the first two chapters bothered to come back for Round 3. I wouldn't have.

Now Confession No. 2: I'm still not going to go back and fix things. It isn't that I don't care about the readers (OK, that's a part of it. We'll call that Confession No. 3). The truth is that I find it boring. Not because I don't believe myself to be talented beyond all belief - Confession No. 4, I'm a legend in my own mind - but because I already know where the story is going.

As difficult as it is to believe - given the mistakes that dot my stories - I've already read through these chapters dozens of times before they ever see the site. By the time I reach the end of a story like "Guard," or, God forbid, one as long as "Daze in the Valley" or "A Flawed Diamond" I am so sick to death of it that I just want it over. I just can't see myself going back through them and fixing things.

But I still would like the shitty text fixed. It isn't because I ever plan to publish these anywhere but SOL. It most is so I don't look like a complete dumbass when someone opens a story and finds a sentence with 33 words and not a punctuation mark in sight (yep, back to the ego thing).

I hope to solicit the kindness of the SOL family. If someone with the time, talent and inclination would be willing to go through the files and fix them, I would happily ship the formatted chapters to them. I should warn you that this person will have to work with little or no guidance or feedback. In truth, I doubt I will even scan the chapters before I repost them on the site. I'll simply scroll to the bottom, add the nom de plume of the proofer (so he or she can share in the blame from the Grammar Nazis when it still isn't flawless) and move on with my life.

If anyone is willing to take on an arduous task with no payment except my praise and gratitude (which I will give in no small measure), please shoot me an e-mail.

Jay C.