Cue David Bowie’s Fame

I returned from two days in Chaco (that’s another story) to find myself on the cover of the Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook. Cool! I knew Andrew Webb’s article was coming, but I never expected the big color photos by Greg Sorber (taken during an Advanced HTML class).

article by Andrew Webb; photos by Greg Sorber; published by abqjournalI am thrilled and honored, as one should be to see one’s name in the same sentence as wit sans nit. I’m humbled to be identified as a photographer, poet and prolific blogger — even if that is just a quote of mine. (For what it’s worth, it is much easier to be a photographer than a poet, and blogging is easier still. However, they all pay the same.)

I enjoyed my lively conversation with Andrew and I appreciate the generous article he has written well. Though I strive to be profoundly memorable and he took notes, I don’t expect any two people to recall a conversation exactly the same way. I’ve had students say to me the exact opposite of what I thought I just said — communication is a sloppy process, even between professional communicators like Andrew and me. Nothing that follows should be construed as criticism of Andrew’s article. Consider this compulsive tidying-up.

Originally, I was to be THE technical editor of the book, not one of several. The original author didn’t exactly back out — he failed to deliver on schedule. (I do not mean to rub his face in that.)

Although I had about five days to think about taking the job, that period was a bit more interesting. As TE, I wrote the DE (Development Editor) to inquire when I would begin to receive chapters. He told me there was a problem and if the author missed a critical deadline, Wiley would offer the book to “… wait for it — you” (quoting him quoting Barney). The five days — miserable days of doubt — were between that teaser and the actual offer. It was during that time I passed through the stages of grief/death, from elation to certainty that they had found someone else. When the EE (Executive Editor), Chris Webb (no relation to Andrew Webb), offered me the job, I waited overnight to accept. (My friend, Leah Kier, at UNM Continuing Education, once observed that when asked to do the extraordinary, I always say no and then come around to yes.)

Now, it is absolutely accurate that I wrote the first draft in barely 8 weeks — I inherited the original author’s deadline and none of his lead-time. Those were demanding, exhilarating days. In early October, 2006, I delivered the last chapter. Almost immediately, I began to receive edited chapters in return. The DE, John Sleeva, did a great job of coaxing more out of me. In fact, over the next month, I added 50% more material, including one or two new chapters. And that wasn’t the end (though I wish it had been, in some sense). Next came the PE, CE and proofreader — all striving to make this a better book.

I finished the last round of review on New Year’s Eve. Merri and I walked out the door on Valentine’s Day to find two cases of books waiting on the porch. At last, it was real.

At the moment, the book ranks #12,732 #9,885 on Amazon Books (rank has to be below 2,000 to penetrate the Best Selling Computer Books). Still no review. mjh

PS: If you want more, I blogged during the process. See the first entry ( and follow links to “next in this category” at the bottom of each entry. There are 14 other entries. Or see for the same material organized newest to oldest, as is the blog-way. That’s not the best way to tell a story.

PPS: I’m wearing Marj Mullany. That’s to say, she created my beautiful tie, which Merri bought as a gift for me. The tie-clip was a gift from a stranger, but that, too, is another story.

Facebook Comments