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March 24, 2014
Posted at 10:24 am

In my last blog entry I gave you some idea of the process I sometimes go through when writing. It's not an exact science. Come to think of it, I don't think there's much science involved in it at all.

The point is that while I'm always working on something, I never know which project is going to float to the top of the pond first. I would draw an analogy to a drowned body lying on the bottom, until the gases that are produced by putrefaction overcome the weight of the body and it floats up, to be discovered by some traumatized fisherman.

But that would just be gross, and you wouldn't want to read anything that putrefied and floated up like that. I was a detective, and recovered "floaters" a number of times, so I'm used to it. But you aren't.

So forget I said that.

Let's try this again.

Imagine an artist working on three paintings at the same time. As inspiration strikes him, he dabs a bit of paint here and there. Which painting gets dabbed depends on his inspiration.

But I'm not an artist. The only thing I paint is houses.

I'll just give you the facts.

I somehow managed to finish three books at about the same time. One of them is ready to go and I started posting it today. The others will be coming along in the next month or so.

Now, I need to beg for a little indulgence on the one I'm posting this week. I had to get a new computer because Microsoft decided to stop supporting Windows XP. And while Windows 8.1 is quite nice, I'm sure, I'm a Luddite at heart, and making this thing work is still a challenge.

I use four programs to produce a story, in terms of you actually seeing it at SOL. One of those is used to convert text into html, which is what I submit to Laz and what you see on the screen. For reasons that would bore you, I have to use a MS Word document to convert, and when I drop that document into the conversion program, it contains a zillion things MS Word thinks are important, but which are not. So I have to get rid of those with various search and replace operations. I search for things, and replace them with either blank spaces or nothing at all.

But when I downloaded the conversion program onto my new computer, it was an updated version, and it operated a bit differently than I was used to. And what I ended up with were a whole passel of spacing errors where quotation marks are bumped right up against the next word, with no space between them. Unless the quotation mark is at the beginning of the sentence, and there's a space between it and the first word.

In other words, it looks like a third grader wrote the story.

I found a lot of them. I'm not foolish enough to think I found them all. But I promise to fix them as you notify me of the ones you find. And I know you'll find some, because that's what you loveable curmuffins do so well.

And, by the way, all this happened after Michelle and Andy did their thing, so it isn't their fault. And since it was my fault, I decided it wasn't fair to send it back to them to find everything.

Besides, that would have delayed things for another week or two. And, based on what I've gotten from you in the past, you'd rather read something with a few errors in it than not read anything at all.

So After School Job will be posted this week. It has eleven chapters and an epilogue. The next one after that will be Take Your Daughter To Work Day - Version Bravo. Both of those will remain free at SOL, most likely, because I doubt I could crunch them enough to get them past the censors at Amazon or Smashwords and still make them half way believable.

So there you are. Another chapter in the wacky, mixed up life of an author.

At least this kind of author.

Thanks for reading.