my name is bill. i carry a pen.

i recently handed over some strange happenings for a book someone else is compiling and the author sent back the finished work for my final look through.

my initial reaction was far less than jovial.

i guess i expected more from a published author. something with a bit of style and flair. but this? this was Joe Friday's penciled notes typed verbatim - complete with spelling errors. this was just the facts ma'am. just the facts. and, even some of the facts were wrong.

it was disappointing to the max and i moaned out loud to nobody that had i known it was going to read like that i would have submitted something with style and flair.

but wait. what's this? a glimmer of hope at the top of the page?

"below is the finished product. feel free to correct any errors."

my in! yes! i can just rearrange his stuff a little. tweak it here and there. yep, that'll work.

i started typing my heart out thinking; now this will be something i can show off to my friends.

"hey look! i have a story in a published book! me! little old aeolistic me! how cool is this?!?"

and as people are wandering through my thoughts looking at my story i see that the author is sitting behind the book signing table lighting my firework display. people have read the book and thought; 'damn i like this author's style and i love this book excerpt enough to stand in line on a dismal rainy night to have it signed!'

wait a minute! that's my writing! you're getting the glory for my story! i put my personal stamp on that and i got nothing but a nasty taste on my tongue!

i thought better of the author's Sergeant Joe Friday style.
i realized maybe Officer Gannon was wise to keep his mouth closed and let Joe think he was the smartest guy on the force.

i backed up the curser deleting my style and flair. i simply corrected his facts (and his spelling, though i thought long and hard about that) and sent it back.

his name is Joe Friday. he writes the books.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Sorry it was a fiasco. This reminds me of my early signs of competence with word processors. Someone asked me to layout and write an article, "as I was good at that sort of thing". I showed them my proposed portrait page layout and wrote the story. When it was published, it had obviously been printed, cut out, fragmented, stuck onto plain paper in landscape format and then photocopied. And yes, it had my name on it. I didn't do them a favour again.