Compleat Idler, Writing and diction

Old wolf changes direction — Learns new tricks?


© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

It has been some time since I have posted in this venue. Quite recently I have been looking at my own life and at the world around me. I have made a decision that this blog will change its direction and be aimed at the Compleat Idler and subjects such as outdoor living, tools and cooking—I have said about everything I have to say about politics and see myself repeating what I have written. (Note: Decisions I make are subject to future change although at age 70 there is not as much future as there was.)

Expect in the near future articles on the scouting movement, tool use, changes in the earth and general outdoor living issues. But expect them to be fewer and better written.

The key to the latter is that I have changed my editing process. I write a draft double spaced in 14 point type—even with the stasis in my cataracts which puts off the decision for another year I have some trouble reading standard type. I had predicted back in 1967 when they talked about computer editing and type setting that copy editing would become sloppy and stuff would get by. This may have to do more with my view of the nature of mankind than with sociological studies but my reading of the local newspaper seems to bear me out.

About a month ago I went to the coffee shop with a draft in 14 point double space and sat down with a 0.9 mm pencil and went through it the way I used to in a newsroom. There was a similar level of noise, but there were no manual typewriters clicking at 40 wpm and there was not a cloud of tobacco smoke hanging over the room. I guess mocha or latte with a scone is probably better than my old formula of Snickers and Camels. Anyway, the editing went better and I was less distracted without the urge to go online to find out what’s happening in Tajikistan.

I recommend it.