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Expectations Beyond Ability ... A Throw-Back Blog
Posted On 06/27/2021 11:53:58 by yourchoice

After some discussion in bygone blogs about our use of the English language, it brought to mind one of the major projects that was presented to me some twenty-plus years ago. My abilities on the computer were being honed with persistence, and my first two major contracts were to design and print “advertising cards” for companies who wished to advertise through Welcome Wagon, and announcement cards for Christian Women’s Club. Being a home-based business in a rural setting added a lot of road trips to my adventures.

On one occasion, I received a phone call from a gentleman who said that he had received my business card from the Welcome Wagon representative, and wondered if I did proof-reading and script preparation for publishing; did that fit into the job description of “Your Choice Designs”? He was looking for someone to review his autobiography and ready it for printing. No, I had never done anything like that before. I told him that I was a retired nurse, I loved to read, and now was fairly proficient in ‘computer’ and ‘talking’. I passed English in High School, but that was the extent of my language skills. He suggested that if I would come to their home, his wife would be thrilled to serve some freshly baked cookies with coffee, while he told me about his project. I was persuaded (perhaps it was the cookies), and we agreed on the date and time for our first meeting.

In our conversation, I learned that he had previously contacted two editors who suggested that he needed to give more details in his stories before they would continue. He refused, saying that he had written what he could remember, and would not make up details as requested. His son had saved the text for him on floppy discs, and hoped that I would at least take a look at his work. He suggested that I select a random chapter in his files, review it and make any suggestions I might have. My computer accommodated floppy discs, so I decided to give it a try. I was pretty sure that he hadn’t written a book filled with risque stories and disgusting jokes.

To begin this project, I spent a number of days reading his files. It was an interesting read. He was the eldest son of a Seventh-Day Adventist travelling preacher, a conscious objector during WW II, an inventor, a world traveller long before guided tours, and a rancher, raising and marketing domestic buffalo. His formal education was minimal because of family responsibilities, but his knowledge was massive in diversity. His loving wife supported him in all of his adventures, and was pleased to now call our town their home.

I worked on his script for several months, arranging his short and long stories in suggested chapters, and he seemed to be pleased with the segments that I delivered to him for review. I found a local publisher who was very patient and helpful to me in every step of the project, until the book came off the press. The first printing was 1998, titled ‘Unprepared for the Adventures of Life on Planet Earth”. It is a 426-page book that included many vintage and current photographs, and an order form was on the back page, selling for $24.95 + g.s.t. My customer ordered 500 copies and was his own promoter and distributor. At age seventy-three, his life-long dream had become a reality. 

Unprepared for the Adventures of Life on Planet Earth

P.S. Not long after the book was finished, he decided that living in town was not for him. He purchased some rural land and a mobile home, and began again to raise domestic buffalo. We were able to visit them on the ranch, and even his wife seemed to be happy and content. However, two years later his wife passed, and he moved to the north country, near his son and family.

I missed him… he was quite a character!

Tags: Computers Learning Experience Surprises


Viewing 1 - 1 out of 1 Comments

06/27/2021 13:28:04

How cool! Seems you were a good editor after all! Sounds like his life's story was simply awesome and even greater he was able to put it into print.

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