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March 23, 2017

Editing. I believe I’ve always possessed a hidden certainty someone from out of the blue would arrive someday and extend the tender loving care each one of my stories deserved and, in some cases, desperately needed. But much like stumbling upon a thousand-dollar bill, or waking up to discover I’ve had the talent to slam-dunk a basketball all along, such a miracle hasn’t yet arrived. So I’ve reluctantly had to undertake this task myself.


The biggest hurdle in getting through this website was dealing with the sheer volume of fiction I’ve written. I was pleasantly surprised at how many stories held up and happy to think I’d somehow found the energy to write them in the first place. But every one was in need of some form of editing, whether it be a word choice, a grammatical error, or a plot detail. So I got to work.


After the six books of short stories were revised and michaelaba.com was launched last May 31st, I thought I was finished. But my website genius Kyle had prompted me to include screenplays on the site, so I decided to tackle the three you’ll be seeing soon. All the while, I was wondering if I might have the energy to go through an entire novel written my last year in Boston, and was dreadfully unsure. But here we are, months later, and I’m pleased to say “The Reinvention of Richard Bent” is now available for purchase on this site.


At the same time, my good friend Julia has used her keen eye to spot the occasional typo here and there, which occasionally has me rereading sections of short stories again. Well, now that my editing “skills” are at an all-time high, I thought it might be interesting to take a more complete glance at a story or two…


And yes - they weren’t in desperate need, but a change here and there seemed to provide a nice lift. I read a few others, and well, some of the errors were more obvious. Maybe it has something to do with proudly coming from Vermont, but I pretty much seem to like using the words “pretty much” pretty much all the time.


So… I’ve decided to go through each story one final time.


“Early Odds and Split Ends”, the last book to take into account the typo fixes, is also the first to be revised a second time. I expect to have a truly-finished version of “Michelle” ready to be sent out by next week.


Now, I resisted the urge to modernize the stories the first time around and I’ll continue to do so. References to VCRs don’t suddenly turn into an ad for the new Tivo. People used to talk on land-line phones, and read books, and in many of my old stories they still do. There were several instances of me having fun with how the Boston Red Sox could never beat the Yankees or win a World Series. Alas, this has long since been untrue. It’s still fun to remember, though, and I’m glad to confirm those references will remain.


So I’ve taken on the task of sorting through everything again. Doesn’t mean I’m still not harboring some kind of hope someone will appear to assume the role of editor. But I probably have a much better chance of finding that thousand-dollar bill.

Editing. For all I know, these blogs could use a round, too. Well, maybe when I finish going over the “Sam and Me” collection I’ll take them on next.


Have a great month - and thanks for your support!

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