t’s that time of the quarter again. Tonight is deadline for The Journal Box, a model railroading publication that I assemble four times a year. And it’s a real labor of love.
This is the all-important election edition so I’ve been getting biographies of candidates (as well as the division reports). And these communications come in all sorts of formats – I get emails, text files, Word docs, and even PDFs (which I need to strip the text out of). All of these I gather into one Word document so I can sort them and then shift them to Publisher. And that platform has its own peculiarities.
For the last three days I’ve been doing my pre-work, getting the updates into the basic format (the footers, the title page, the cover art). And I’ve been putting in the bios in the order of importance (from president down). Pretty much all of them are in (except for one head-shot photo, which I’ve asked for three times now). And of course, two or three guys went long-winded about their lives and such – this chews up the page and since they have to be in order of importance, there isn’t anything I can do when two slightly-more-than-half-page pieces are adjoining. I figure I’ll just keep the space open and then put in side-announcements (boxed so it’s clear it has nothing to do with the candidate). But yes, if I had to describe this, it’s rather like Tetris.
So I’m standing by for midnight – that’s the cut-off. When you see this blog posted I’ll already be at work assembling the rest of this into something like a sixteen-page newsletter. Then it’s over to Jane for the editing, then off to the husband/wife officers I know for a final review before being shipped to the printers.
And then it’s finished.
God knows how newspapers manage this sort of crap. I gotta figure, as a small blessing, that the formats and deadlines are set. Small mercy.
Into the breach.