Toil (DOG EAR)

Toil (DOG EAR)

kay, I just got out my second edition of the Journal Box, the National Model Railroad quarterly newsletter. On the good side, it was not the suddenly can-you-do-it rush it was the first time around. And I wasn’t fighting an unfamiliar tool (MS Publisher). And we had a hard submission deadline – Feb 15th at midnight, and NO EXCEPTIONS (last time they were trickling in two days later, tormenting my formatting with every inclusion). So things were a lot more stable.

Still, last Thursday I started cleaning up a copy of the first one I’d done for the second. Looked around for cover art and found a nice one that would lend itself well to what I wanted to say in my own piece. The primary pieces were already coming in and actually I had a lot of extra submissions so I was set there. Saying this, most of Thursday was spent formatting the basics (the division reports, that go up front).

Once deadline was past (Saturday) I sat down about noon (my wife needed stitches out – no, I had an alibi when she tumbled off the back steps and cracked her head open) and began. With the front stuff in, I methodically went to the back page and started working forward, adding all the convention/activity announcements. When all those were in, I looked at the submissions. Those I wedged in (sticking individual announcements and clipart in to fill the gaps). I thought the best was to use the shrugging, pockets-turned-out Monopoly Man image for the board’s declaration on repaying members for missing JB issues. The NMRA (when they reviewed it) gave it a pass so I guess my little graffiti is in.

The last article was a breath-holder the entire way – sixteen steps with pictures, and I only had two pages to fit it in. In the end, I had to settle for the final picture to appear on the address page on the outside coverfold. You do what you have to do.

That’s when my wife (the editor) took over. She went over my “virgin” pages (which I’d read over once and edited) and found (literally) hundreds of wrong-words, missing commas, sentence fragments, etc. I had to groan when I’d flip to the next page and see more red than black on it. It was a laborious process that took about three-four hours on Sunday to correct.

Final NMRA agreement – some quibbling about the cover, some changes to paragraphs, some sweating (on my part) as I made the changes and hoped the formatting wouldn’t slip. But in the end, it was a good effort – a solid issue that should have stuff for everyone in it.

Though it did hit me – I also worked on adding to and printing off new club waybills, which took another couple of hours. And with all that work over the weekend and the days leading up to it, I hadn’t run one train. So much for the “hobby” of Model Railroading.

I guess my writing hobby got worked, though.