Monday, June 29, 2009

On Book Writing

Henry, the Canadian Cancer Society volunteer driver for today, is weaving in and out of traffic like a kamikaze pilot on crack. All the while he is keeping up a funny monologue on the traffic violations he's received in the three years he's been driving patients back and forth to Princess Margaret Hospital. He fights every ticket in court and usually wins because the police officer fails to show up.

Ahead of us a teenage girl has stepped out into the cross walk with her little dog on a thin pink leash. She sees Henry coming and decides to scurry across the road dragging a reluctant pooch behind her.

"It's alright girly," Henry mutters, "No problems. I see you."

I'm in the back seat squeezed in between two women, one of whom has defensively fallen asleep. The other is holding onto the door frame for dear life.

"Don't worry, honey" Henry tells her. "I've never had an accident and I don't plan to start today."

After a while, I stop focusing on the road ahead and survival, and loose myself in the idea of writing a book about my cancer experiences. My first thought is that 90% of the writing is already done. I just have to copy and paste my posts into a manuscript, and add some more personal information about myself.

By its nature, blog posts are episodic and it would take some revision to rework them into something that has the kind of flow a book would need. And I've been using spaces to separate paragraphs, because, I find a solid block of script on the screen a little intimidating. But those spaces eat up a lot of pages in book form. So they would have to go and each paragraph would have to be indented.

Picky, fussy work. Yuck. But doable.

Also the book would require I survive my upcoming surgery because I hate a book with a sad ending, especially if I'm not there to write it.

But if all goes well, I could have a 300 page book ready to go by Christmas.

Anvilcloud has recommended BLURB, a self publishing program. I've already downloaded their software. A sneaky company. The first thing they get you to do is design a cover. Once that's done, well, you just can't help going ahead a writing the darn book. Something that looks that good deserves to be given birth.

Besides, like MemoryKeeper said. What have I got to loose?

Well, $20 maybe. BLURB requires you to actually purchase at least one copy. But it occurs to me that one way I could pay-forward the generosity shown me here at blogger is by donating copies to the PMH Patient Library. The idea appeals to me. Perhaps my experiences can shed a light forward down the dark tunnel that is cancer for some newly diagnosed patient who could use a little encouragement.

Beside me, I notice the woman I thought was sleeping, is actually in tears. Quietly sobbing to herself. I don't think it's Henry's driving that has saddened her.

She notices me noticing her and gives me an embarrassed little smile.

"Hi," I say. "My name is Barry, what's yours?"