November 1, 2006, nearly one year after we started on this journey, the fact checking and editing continues. What began as a light and lively recounting of anecdotes I’ve experienced in radio has become that and more, much more.
The most amazing thing I’ve discovered along the way is how much has happened during these last twenty-seven years, to me and my family, but more so, what has gone on in the world during that time.
The book has been finished three different times. [October 21, 2009 and another chapter is being added and a complete editing has commenced. Hopefully this fourth phase will be finished by early 2010.]
Shortly after the holidays I had some twenty chapters in my “saved as” file. I finally printed the pages and sat back with a glass of port (tawny is best, less sweet) and read with amazement at what was on paper. Things and events and people I have been privileged to meet paraded across the pages. At the end of each chapter I recalled yet more than I had originally written. What was to be a restful few hours basking in the glow of having finished the manuscript turned into yet one more addition after another.
The following day I began writing more about the events already in the book and encountering memories and notes not yet recorded which required chapters of their own. Finally on Memorial Day of this year I reached what I thought was the “end of the trail”. Not so. While no chapters have been added, I have included an appendices where I boarded my soap box and expressed my opinion on some of the prescient Issues of the Day. This is not to say no opinion exists in the text of the book, rather this was my opportunity to express the arguments which have dictated my views and philosophy. No one needs to read them; they are merely my means of venting.
The fact checking continues even today. Events continue to unfold. The Big Dig scandal, War in Iraq, North Korea and Iran as nuclear powers, the border issues, etc. The list is endless. I’ve consulted with Captain Morgan and he suggested I treat what happens as new material; otherwise the book will never end. The compromise is to end it here and add supplements as I events unfold. [Wrong again.]
I’ve spoken to others who have written books and a couple of publishers. Those who have looked at a couple of chapters say the book has merit. But (darn it, the three letter word with a fist of iron) it’s too long. “We would need to reduce it in size, say by maybe 150, even 200 pages. To that proposition I can only say, oomgalagala!
I’m sure you know what oomgalagala is. Well you do, don’t you? No.
OK, here is the short version of the origins of that fine word created by Native Americans to describe their feelings about those who speak with “forked tongues”. A senior senator for the Bay State was in New Mexico speaking to the Heckowie Tribe about what he had done for them in the U.S. Senate.
At the conclusion of each statement the audience would chant en mass, “Oomgalagala”. By the end of the speech the senator was rather proud of himself. One oomgalagala after another was chanted by his audience.
As he was about to leave the reservation he spotted a prized bull in the pasture. The senator asked the Heckowie Chief if he could get a closer look at the bull. The Chief said, “By all means senator. But take care not to step in the oomgalagala.”
What do you do with a nearly 400 page book but can’t find a publisher who is willing to take it on?
That’s where a listener to our Saturday morning show emailed me with the recommendation I publish the book on the Internet. E-Publishing, Jim Ettwein said, is very effective, and would allow me to keep the cost of the book down to an amount that is not great. Jim had done it himself with a couple of technical books used in his trade.
If the E-Book is successful I could take the profit and self publish a hard cover and/or soft cover version. That is a strong possibility.
A listener, Scott from New Hampshire, recommended a talking book on CD and cassette. After all, this is about a radio experience. Most of my listeners listen. There is also a large portion of talk radio listeners who are vision impaired and a talking book would be their only way to read the book.
I’m sure WRKO would allow me to use a studio on weekends to accomplish that. I plan to do a test reading to determine the number of CDs would be necessary to accomplish such a talking book.
Fabled New York City talk host, Bob Gray, once reminded me a large number of our listeners are shut-ins and rely on talk radio to link them with the world.
They are the reason I traditionally do Thanksgiving and Christmas shows. We are a large part of their family and we should be there for them when they need us most.
I think the same applies to the book.
It is my intent to contact the Massachusetts or National Association of the Blind and offer a CD set to them with permission to duplicate the book for their members.
As soon as all the eyes are dotted and tees are crossed, the commas and periods are where they should be we’ll be on the way.
No matter what, it has been very exciting, both to live what I’ve been privileged to live and now to write (ok, ok, brag) about it.
(No more Introductions)