23 June 2010

Rowe book due this fall. Why?

Danny Williams’ former personal envoy to Hy’s tossed out a few bon mots to those listening to the province’s Open Line show on a sunny Wednesday.

Someone else picked up on the rest of the chat but your humble e-scribbler chuckled at this bit:

There were a number of excerpts from the work in progress  that are now being compiled into a full length book.

Rowe thought he had something from his short stint in Ottawa that was worth putting to paper. It was a short time (six months), if memory serves, but Rowe apparently had great insights to offer.

So great were the insights that he quit his stint as a columnist at the Telegram to write the book.   Rowe claimed that writing a column every week for the largest circulation daily in the province would hinder his writing ability. Your humble e-scribbler had a great larf at that idea back when Rowe forecast his magnum opus was in the works.

So weighty were the burdens of a weekly column that Rowe took to writing a weekly column for the Spindy which would become the book. And of course, collectors of great local literature will recall Billy once edited a collection of his old Telegram columns together into a book as well.  Column-writing does indeed interfere with book-writing.

Don’t worry, folks.  This makes no more sense now that it did when Bill first penned his good-bye in the Telly.

And, as you may have noticed, those Indy columns were the works in progress now being compiled into a full-length book, not unlike the 1980s vintage compilation which also wound up in a full-length book. 

Just go with this for a second.

A full-length book would be in contrast to a half-length book or a three-quarter length one. 

Just take a book off the nearest bookshelf and see how many pages it is.  Now randomly pick another one – any book, any shelf – and preferably not from the same series or encyclopaedia.  Note that the number of pages is different from one to the other.  Pick another.  Same thing?

That’s because “book” is not a standard unit of measure.  There can be no full-length book since, by definition, every book is “book” length.

Yes, folks, Bill is a fountain of these sorts of idiotic remarks.

But anyway…

By now, those of you who haven’t clicked off to the old post from Bill’s last column at the Telly might be wondering how long this book  - covering a mere six months of time, don’t forget – has taken to cobble together.

Rowe started the Ottawa gig in 2004 and quit in the winter of 2005. Bill’s last column for the Telegram was in October 2007.  Presumably he was writing it then or had pulled together some bits and pieces to start work.

If this book appears in the fall of 2010, then we are talking six years from the time he started the gig, five and a half years or so from the time he quit the job and three years from the time he quit the Telly.

Even if we allow Billy boy finished bashing out the manuscript in late 2009, we are still talking two full years to document his recollections of events that took no more than six months to experience in real time.

And that’s allowing that he had three or four of the episodes published in the old Spindy.

So what’s so special about this fall for a book covering events that are already rapidly receding into the mists of time?