It’s amazing what one finds when rummaging through a wardrobe!
Yesterday afternoon I decided I would do what my wife is always nagging me to do, and that is to tidy the Study located upstairs of our townhouse. However on going through the cupboard where I file most of my writing stuff, some hardly ever worn clothes, laptop, vinyl records, etc, etc…. I stumbled upon an external floppy disk drive my sister, Lesley, gave me when I was in France last September. I then searched for my old floppy disks to see if:
- I could open them,
- What was on them – even though they were labelled: what was said wasn’t necessarily what was on them, and
- If I could save them onto my desk top PC to actually make something of them.
Amongst all the rubbish – stacks of stuff which just wouldn’t open because of wrong formatting or were just saved on old software programs no longer available like Star Office and Corel – I found the final version of Smithy’s War. I was having problems saving it because the computer was telling me that the document was version 2 and that the computer was blocking such documents. Not to be defeated I searched the Help tab and found how to unblock it so I was able to save it on my computer.
I abandoned the “tidying up”, at least for another day and started editing it for e-book publishing. I then started to rummage through boxes of old research material and manuscripts I have stored in the laundry cupboards in the upstairs landing to search for the original photographs and maps that had been inserted in the original hard copy print of the book. My wife, who was downstairs trying to read was getting utterly fed up by the racket I was making, but I persevered until they were all found. I then commenced the task of scanning them in.
I was having so much fun that the afternoon just vanished and before I knew it, it was 6pm and I decided it was time to stop before my name was mud. I first phoned my mum [ we speak every weekend ] and then thought it best to join my wife…….
Although the e-publishing of Smithy’s War was never on the schedule of books to release – only because I desperately want to finish The Sword and the Rose for e-publishing next June, and then make a sincere start on Elena I can’t help being drawn to my history book. It took me over ten years to complete because of other projects and daily life getting in the way, but it was a project which gave me the most pleasure. The research for it had been a mammoth task: reading countless reports and books on the numerous events during World War II; the search for the vessels mentioned in Leslie George Smith’s diary and obtaining photographs. Then drawing, freehand, various maps so that I didn’t infringe on anybody else’s copyrights, etc., etc….
In the end trying to get the book published was a nightmare as no-one was willing to take it on; so I did it on the cheap as there was no way I could afford the spend over $10K to self-publish it properly. I therefore printed up some 30 or so copies which I distributed to various libraries and gave to friends and family. Pity really that it was never published properly as I believe it deserves recognition, especially because Leslie George Smith and all the Merchant Seamen who served [and died] during that terrible conflict deserve all the recognition of their sacrifice.
With that in mind, I will be self-publishing this book – initially as a Smashwords Edition: I only hope their “Meatgrinder” which turns word documents into the various e-book reader formats can accept all the photographs and maps without trouble. Fingers and toes crossed. I expect I shall attempt to publish it perhaps in early 2013 [January maybe] I’ll see how I go for time.
RLB – Tomewriter