I know that readers visit these pages to read about Windsor chairs and to get the latest news from their fellow Windsor chairmakers. So, I apologize for today’s topic, as it is a bit off the subject –well, — other than it is about a guy who does happen to be Windsor chairmaker. During classes a lot of people have asked me about this and as you will see the event wrapped up only a couple of days ago, so my report on it is timely.
My first blog of the year was a list of my New Years resolutions. I am happy to report that so far, I have not missed a weekly love letter to my wife. Also, I am closing in a new chair for 2009, and it is not any I mentioned in January. If you remembered, I also resolved to finish a book I was working on.
Well, I finished a book, but it was not the one I began writing last year. If you read that first blog of the year, do you remember I mentioned that I had several books in my mind that I planned on writing someday? One of them is no longer in the planning stages. It is written, and it is now in the find-a-publisher stage.
Believe it or not, the following story is true. January 22 I had my left shoulder repaired. I came home full of drugs and with a prescription for vicodin. I took the pain killers for only two days and then stopped, as I found them very unpleasant.
I did not sleep for the next two nights. Instead of counting sheep, I lay awake and developed the entire plot for another book I had also mentioned in my first posting of the year. You may recall from that posting that my son Michael, now 15, is still friends with two boys he met in pre-school. When they were in the second grade, the three boys discovered they shared a common desire to become astronauts. They formed a group called the Comet Team, and the Comet Team’s imaginary adventures became the basis for a lot of their play together.
I always said that someday I was going to write an adventure book for young adults based on the Comet Team. Well, I finally did. It was the plot for that book that I worked out while unable to sleep for two nights.
After all that lost sleep, I just could not keep the book within me. It was bubbling out so, I started writing immediately. With a recently repaired shoulder, I couldn’t do much at work. So instead, I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. I wrote every day I could. I wrote at night. I wrote weekends. I wrote for two solid months until this Tuesday past, when I completed the book.
I have started to edit the manuscript and I am amazed at how clean it is. The edit is not requiring a lot of work. I am adding some detail and fleshing out some scenes, but so far, not much. Most of my editing is ironing out continuity problems. Someone wearing a blue dress in one chapter, is wearing red pants in another. That sort of thing.
I know I am prejudiced, but I really like the story. While sitting on the couch drinking coffee every morning for the past twomonths, I would read the previous day’s chapter to my wife Susanna. She is brutally frank with me and I can count on her to tell it like it is. If I lay an egg, Susanna does not ooh and aah. She tells me I blew it.
However, her reaction was very positive. She too, thinks it’s a pretty good adventure. With that kind of support I am ready to begin looking for a publisher. I expect to start shopping the manuscript around by early April. I have written other books and so, have been through this process before. I know from experience it results in a lot of waiting and frequent rejections.
In the event any reader knows a young adult book editor, I would be most happy to have the contact passed on to me. Personal contacts are invaluable and can greatly shorten the process of finding a publisher.
Thank you for reading my story. As I said earlier, I know you read this blog because you are interested in Windsors, and not with what I do in my spare time. To express my gratitude for your patience I have included a treat for you below — another example of the best of Windsor chairmaker humor. It comes to you courtesy of Sir Jerry Olson.
* * * *
A duck walks into Widow Fletchers Tavern in Hampton and orders a ham
sandwich and a Windsor chair. (For those who may have never eaten at Widow Fletcher’s the name of their martini is Windsor Chair.)
The barman looks at him and says, “But you’re a duck”.
“I see your eyes are working”, replies the duck.
“And you talk!” exclaims the barman.
“I see your ears are working”, says the duck, “Now can I have my Windsor Chair and my sandwich please?”
“Certainly”, says the barman, “sorry about my reaction. It’s just we don’t get
many ducks in this pub. What are you doing round this way?”
“I’m teach at The Windsor Institute over on Timber Swamp Road”, explains the duck.
Then the duck drinks his Windsor Chair, eats his sandwich, and leaves.
This same routine goes on daily for two weeks. Then, one day the circus comes to town. The Ringmaster of the circus comes into the pub for a drink.
The barman says to Ringmaster “You’re with the circus aren’t you? I know this duck that would be just great for you to have in your circus. He talks, he drinks martinis, and everything!”
“Sounds marvelous”, says the ringmaster. “He would make a wonderful exhibition for our side show. How about you give him a call and see if he’s interested in a job with me?”
The barman calls The Windsor Institute and makes an appointment with the duck to drop by the next day. When the duck arrives at Widow’s the barman says, “Hey Mr. Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good
“Yeah?”, says the duck, “Sounds great, where is it?”
“At the circus”, says the barman.
“The circus?” the duck enquires.
“That’s right”, replies the barman.
“The circus?” the duck asks again.
“Yes” says the barman
“That place with the big tent?” the duck enquires.
“Yeah” the barman replies.
“With all the animals?” the duck questioned.
“Of Course” the barman replies.
“With the big canvas roof with the hole in the middle”, asks the duck.
“That’s right!” says the barman.
The duck looks confused. ……
“What the heck would they want with a Windsor chairmaker?”
If you would like to receive periodic updates, tips, tool reviews, and new sources, that are outside the scope of this blog, join our mailing list by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org