From manuscripts to word scans to a word document to smashwords. The long haul.

Getting even one of Lil’s scripts ready for indie publishing is becoming a bit of a long haul. As her daughter though, I know it would give her such pleasure.  Having found her manuscripts in a refugee bag when she moved into the bungalow in the village I thought Eureka!  At last we can publish her stories.  Lil’s agent thought she was good enough back in the late 80’s. Retro is in and her authentic voice of that era rings loud and true.  I re read a few, Lil reads others. “When Bends the Bough” has the stamp of “Marie Pollinger” on it. It was all ready edited by the agent, contracts had been drawn up previously with publishing houses.  I think it is better edited then What ever next which is published.  It will be easy to publish it.   So we scanned the old manuscripts, all of them, and thought that was that.

We asked for a professional copy editor to quickly run through the scans of Microlight and When bends the Bough to make sure they were ready to reformat for Smashwords but disaster struck.  It turns out that scanning old documents in to Word is just the start.  The nice copy editor said formatting the scans of scripts is nearly impossible.  They are photographs basically and each word has to be checked.  Some have been split causing endless spelling mistakes, the odd coffee stain needs removing, and worst of all, the spacing is all over the place. Sometimes there are three spaces between each word other times two, or one.  Whole paragraphs of space suddenly appear and can’t be removed.

It might be faster just to re type the whole thing was her advice. So she has sent back “Microlight”.  She didn’t charge which was kind.  So what next? I am still plugging ahead with “When Bends the Bough” which includes the semi autobiographical Lucy stories. Each word needs to be checked and re formatted. When I convert again for e publishing, I presume I will have similar page by page problems to sort out.  So first convert the script to Word and then convert it for the internet.

Why does a daughter want to do this for her mother’s work.  It feels very personal, yet it is Mums work.  I am quite proud of her whacky conventionality.  I understand it.  The story is good, it would be a pity not to share her creativity.  As I am so close to her, perhaps, it is only a child who can edited using modern technology that is beyond the older generation.

When the flowers grow, I will stop for 6 months on literary stuff.  I am meant to be setting up a new business, but refuse to be put off by Lil’s old scripts.  So until the grass grows and my British Flowers for Florists business takes off, I push on.   All I really want to do is write my third novel. But focus and discipline is needed and think of all the delayed gratification.

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