Given gibberish in old WordStar files, to the rescue came Martin, my computer guy. He recovered the contents, converting the files to Word and placing them on my laptop hard drive. Yay! As well as the phrases and sentences, the files are full of random symbols. I’ll have some major editing to do. That’s okay.
So … all those full categories were from the 1980’s. Thirty years later, in addition, I have five inches of piled white 3 x 5″ index cards, crammed with quotes, plus 464 pages of thoughts I’ve inputted into Word. All of this random.
“What do you want to do, Bruce?” And the answer comes swiftly: “Before I die, I want to put all these quotations into categories, adding and subtracting subjects as a reflection of me as a 70-, 80- or 90-year-old, rather than the WordStar youngster of 35 that I was in the era of big blue binders. I want to publish the results through Blurb and somehow get the books into the hands and hearts of people who will appreciate them.”
How many pages am I talking about here? The one binder that I still have is 248 pages. So double that to include the resurrected contents of the missing binder … 496. Add the 464 pages in Word, and then whatever five inches of index cards would amount to – 200 pages? So … drum roll please … that comes to 1160. The maximum number of pages that Blurb allows for their trade books is 480. Therefore to do all this would take three volumes of “Transformational Subjects”, averaging say 400 pages. Whew!
A few questions seem to be poking out through the vines of my mind:
1. Who would I give these books to? How would I find folks who’d like to read about one bloke’s take on life?
2. For close on forty years, I’ve plucked quotations from books and articles without writing down who the author is. So if I self-publish this potpourri of wise thoughts, am I going to have hundreds of people suing me for using their words without permission? (Wow, that sure sounds paranoid. Or maybe true.)
3. Do I really want to spend a large portion of the next five years pulling all this material together, arranging it to my liking, designing the books and publishing them?
4. If I don’t share these perspectives on life with whomever wants to hear them, why exactly have I been poring over index cards for four decades? Have I done all this just so I can get a little more evolved? I don’t like that. I see my job as being a contribution to people near and far. How can I keep all this stuff hidden?
Time to sit quietly, Bruce, and think.
I want to publish these ideas
I’m willing to be sued
I want to leave something behind when I die
Do it, Bruce