To edit a book, it seems, requires that you read it aloud to some poor, trapped sap. My daughter, Emily, and her husband, Brian, are here on vacation and they have no where else to go. They are my trapped saps. So, I have been reading the first draft of the book out loud to them. Two chapters every night. Trust me, there is no harsher critic on the planet than your own daughter. We got to chapter three last night (did chapter two twice) and mercifully, we quit. They were not pleased at being my biblio-Guinea pigs.
This exercise does not bode well for a best seller. In the words of my critics, “This is a book so easily put down. And should be”. Even I was nauseated by chapter two and I wrote it!
I can see the review now: ‘The author is writing under the delusion that his life is interesting and that people are particularly fascinated to read about his self-inflicted injuries. They are not. His eventual demise, on the other hand, will be much anticipated news. I want to be on that notification list’.
By chapter three my daughter said, “Oh my God! How is it that you actually survived to this point? The only impression I am getting from this book is that you are an idiot with no practical skills and a complete disregard for personal safety. Or even common sense! I had no idea my father was such a doofus. Well, I had an inkling, I admit, but now I have proof. I am surprised I haven’t inherited the place by now.”
“So, you like it so far?”
“Only my chances of becoming a property owner earlier than I expected”.
“Brian, what do you think?”
‘Well, now I understand the reason for the first aid kit being the size of a small freezer. So, I am learning. I guess. And I appreciate much more the fact that the house and you are still standing although, to be frank, I think that is a fluke. A miracle, actually. But I have to question just how many more blows to the head you can take. That Sally encourages you to go to work every day is also something I think you should look at. I now see her in an entirely new light.”
“So, you think I dwell too much on personal injury?”
“Ironically, I don’t think you dwell enough on personal injury, given your history. Don’t you see a pattern here? I know your wife does. Seriously, dude, consider taking up an indoor hobby. And, please, NOT writing. Maybe macrame?”
“Wow! That bad, eh?”
“Dad! We are only at chapter three and I would run screaming from the room if it didn’t mean falling into the sea like you seem to do in every chapter.”
“OK. More ravens, then?”
“All ravens. All the time!”