- Oct 27, 2011 6:20 am
Kathy and I have the ability to delude ourselves with great regularity. For example, we have an office building in town that we no longer use. Back in the day it was our distribution point for the buffalo meat business, bulk book storage, and our office on those occasions when we did radio interviews as books were released. Our fax was also stationed there, and FedEx and UPS could drop packages since they can’t make it out to the ranch. Times change. Mom accepts our packages now, publishers don’t do much in the way of promotion for authors these days, and no one sends faxes. Now the place just sits, packed full of books, furniture, and old motorcycles.
So we thought we’d sell it. But before that we have to build bookshelves, move out the books, fix the ceiling panels, re-tile the counter, and attend to some flooring. When we made the decision last November, we figured we could take a month, maybe February, and get it done. In February we thought maybe we could get it done in May, in May we thought we could get it done in September, in September… Well, you get the idea.
We currently write for three different publishers, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Luebbe. Each wants a book a year minimum, but with the crisis in retail sales, they want more. Most hardback books are only on sale for three weeks now before they’re pulled and returned to the publisher. Publishers, therefore, want more books so they can keep their space on the shelves. In our lives, the publishers come first. Everything else, including doctor visits, vehicle maintenance, friends, family, and of course the office, gets put off.
But not fixing fence. Without good fences, we can’t keep the Arapaho cattle off the place. And if the cattle break out, we’re always worried the bison will wander out through the holes they leave. Arapaho cattle are relentless, and they’ll eat up our buffalo pasture. Not to mention what a hassle it is to get them off the ranch once they’re on.
When Mike checked the fence on Sunday, it was in bad shape. So, the day was spent fixing wire, testing electrical charge, and finding faults. Generally fencing is a rancher’s greatest bane. But Sunday, after days of writing, editing, revisions, contract negotiations, and being trapped indoors, the process of fixing fence was a marvelous relief.
And when will we get to the office? We’re thinking maybe in March?
Ah, the joys of self-delusion!