Best Laid Plans, or What Passes for Such

Tasteful delapidation: a personal goal
Tasteful delapidation: a personal goal

Okay, so I’m not going to meet the deadline for having the books the first week of May (a time chosen to have books in hand for the Mt. Rogers Naturalist Rally, about which more soon.)

Okay, just for increasing the body text font from 11 to 12 points in Adobe Garamond Pro, I will have to start over from page one, going through every page break, every essay title, every image, every chapter break and retweak. My achin’ arse. I want to go outside and play!

Worse than that, I’ll have to wait on my graphics person to do the same before the final files can go off for proofing–something I had expected to happen not later than April 1. (More time now for your reviews!)

Okay, so now the number of pages will go up, each book will cost more to print, and I’ll owe more hours to the graphics lady. But as my musician friends say on stage, “we tune because we care.”

So I’m tuning this book to be readable for you guys and gals, and doing it this way, due to my own stupididity and my aim to please, the book is gonna take longer to pay for. This is where you come in.

There will be an order form as the last page of the book. There is a downloadable order form via the sidebar book cover image and the page it sends you to. I was going to bring that up into the radar sooner, but as it is, it will be a while except for those few who have read this far.

So your assignment, Junior Woodchucks, will be to print extra copies of the order form or copy the url for it to a friend, coworker or relative who would enjoy the book or copy the pdf and forward it to at least THREE friends when the time comes.

That will help me spread the word, get a few more books into the hands of a few more readers, and recoup the printing expense of what is going to turn out to be a more costly book to complete than I had planned for. Such is life. And money is really not the issue here; I’m just being fiscally proactive, hoping to stay somewhat in the black.

Until the delivery date comes, I’m trying to remember to breathe, to enjoy the journey, to stop and smell the roses (well, not much other than mud to smell yet on Goose Creek) and to know that everything happens for a reason balanced by the knowledge, too, that other stuff just happens if you read the bumper stickers.

Here’s the scenario: book is delayed bc of author ignorance. He thinks it’s a disaster and he is momentarily crestfallen. But just then, a well-known publishing mogul discovers Fred’s book. What! You haven’t printed it yet? Then I’ll make a movie out of it, he says, then a television series, a children’s cartoon show and a comic book! Thank god you hadn’t self-published your book on time!

It’s the coffee and the stress. Jamaican Me Crazy mon.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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    BRING IT ON…………


  2. Here I’ve existed for six decades, waiting for another assignment for the Junior Woodchucks. How many wonderful tasks we had in those years long gone by!

    Seriously, I was thinking of all those gifts I could make of your book, each with its own order form.

    I’m reminded of a saying that one of my college professors used to say, “The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.”

    Your book will be a delight, I know, and I’m willing for one to wait a little longer for it and pay a little more.

    Hang in there! It’s worth it.

  3. (applause) Yaay! Bigger print! Thanks, Fred!
    In light of all the time, $$, and effort to effect the larger print, your humor is delightful.
    My husband is an author wannabe, a couple books started, one nearly print ready, but laid aside to care for aging/dying parents. Being the chief editor-in-residence, I have a little bit of feel for what you have been going through. Carry on, sir!