This is where I am four full days from my second April vacation as I prepare to take on the dystopian American political system like the Man of La Mancha. Que the lyrics “To Dream the Impossible Dream.”

If I am going to get elected to Congress or knock the windmill Pete Stauber off his foundation I must do accomplish a lot in the next four days. April has been and will continue to be a challenge.

So, in the picture above which I was able to upload to my ancient Flickr account online with a single fortunate upload shows you the 260 word “broullion” I have put together and which I have labored on for several months. I didn’t realize just how hard it would be to put a publishable book together from already published materials.

I have never had a very serious outside proof reader. the overworked editors of the Reader columns I send in glance through my work, I presume, when I submit them early but they have a fat little weekly to put together and my contribution for ages has been to turn them in late. I’ve gotten better at that recently after learning the hard way that when I make life difficult for them its easy not to add my column to their last minute rush to go to print.

So, after handing out 7 of my rough drafts, the aforementioned “broullions” (I’m still keeping up with my French daily – just notched a 2000 streak on Duolingo) and only getting one bit of feedback I’m doing what my helper suggested. I’ve found a copy editor. Oh, its not human. Its AI. And it’s the free one – Chat gpt.

Thirteen days ago I set out with Claudia on a ten night excursion to see the recent full eclipse from McKinney, Texas, at my sister-in-law’s home. I took the fat broullion you see in the photo with me JUST IN CASE. That case did not arrive. I had busted my balls to get the broullion finished before I left by rushing to clean up the new material I used to glue together, or segue between about 70 quite different items that I have published over the last quarter century. Most of them were old Reader columns of mine.
I had reread most of them starting last December from among about 300 published columns skipping the ones having to do with Education which I figured might fit better in a Volume 2 or 3 if I ever get around to one. One of the annoyances is that having been written over 20 years borrowing from old reminiscences they often contained the same anecdotes. For instance I’ve mentioned my Grandfather, George Robb, a war hero many times and sometimes ten years apart I would retell something like his warning to me never to vote for a Democrat. Well sewed together in my Frankenstine of a book that could be an annoyance to readers who will be satisfied to see it once and not repeated over and over.

I have not done as much as I should to remove those duplications although last night I got rid of one concerning my son telling me never to come to his class again. I worked until eleven last night after returning from my Sunday evening at my daughter’s house to watch Netflix series with her family. Last night I was four episodes from two series about aliens. Claudia and I have three such doomsday series going now. Think of the aliens as stand-ins for Freedom Caucus Republicans.

As you can see I’m over half way finished with my brouillion (that’s “rough draft” in French). I woke up at 4 to continue working on it. Then I decided to write this for my blog which I’ve neglected for three weeks while traveling. Only now it looks like a good column for the Reader. That will make my editor happy. I hope. I am taking some liberties promoting my potential candidacy in column after column…..think of them as Quixote-like runs up a hill leveling my lance against giants….fantasy maybe.

There have been two sorts of targets for my edits. The first are my old writings. For the most part I took the trouble to go through them with a reasonably fine toothed comb before letting the public see them. And for me I asked my better half Claudia to read them too. This was a first. My vanity is such that over the last twenty years I’ve not bothered to show them to her if she wasn’t interested enough to see what I place before the public. She wasn’t. This was for several reasons including my unwillingness to write inoffensive drivel. My drivel was often very pointed and my sweetie is a pacifist of sorts. There’s a lot more expostion required to explain this but I’m so intent on this book which she will have to pay for as well as live with the blowback I asked her to read all the old columns I’ve selected to include. She agreed. It took several days on her part.

She discovered that most of them were reasonably well composed with the occasional double word “that that” that slipped my attention before publication. But the segues that I threw together like fluorescent arrows in the night to show people where and why I was sending them through my Frankenstein…..they were full of rough draft crap.

So to come up with my broullion I cleaned them up and often decided they were unnecessary to my purposes. What’s the damn book for? Well its to intrigue voters into thinking I’m no ordinary politician. TA DA! That’s what my damn business card and lawnsign says.

But I am a living breathing representative of humanity. So that’s what every piece I’ve ever written attempts to portray…..honestly…..if at risk of exposing possible self delusions on my part. 998. Great I’m at my word limit for a Reader column. I’ll just add a little more before I continue on with my work.

I’ve cranked this out in an hour and a half after making coffee to fortify myself. In two hours my publishers will be at work and I’ll race to finish the brouillon for a paper copy of my book which. You can see a mock up of it on the left side of the picture above.

I have until Thursday to get a camera ready view of my book to the printers. I’m still waiting for an ISBN number from the Library of Congress but after a heated heart to heart with my wife I’ll probably only ask that a measly 500 books are printed in my first run. The cost on that will make any profit so slim, if I can sell them, that they will mostly be useful to prove how serious I am. Before I left on my eclipse tour I realized how impractical it would be to mail books out when I needed to campaign instead. I’m a one man campaign as usual for now. So, I’m going to advertise that the books can be purchased for $5 or $10 on Kindle which will make it unnecessary for me to keep track of sales taxes and also make it possible for the “viral” element I hope to infuse into my campaign. Even if a sympathetic or curious person won’t spend $25 for a silly vanity book maybe for a good cause they will spring for a fraction of that amount for an interesting cause. That’s my working plan. If I make only $2.50 on a sale 10,000 impulse buys is still $25,000 dollars for Welty Press. That’s me. And if I earn it I, as a candidate, have no limits on how much I spend on my campaign. It will be my money not some contributors.

However, my book also tells buyers where to donate to my campaign should they wish to do so. I could potentially kill two birds with one publication.

Uh oh. I’m at 1340 words…….I’ve got some editing to do.

Oh yeah, about the title “Commas.” That’s what the damned AI keeps suggesting to me. Adding more commas to every damn clause as though I were in a freshman lit course in high school. Too damn many commas. Now apostrophes! I appreciate those corrections. 1395 words…….AHHHHHH!

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