50 Shades of Gray on the Moral Spectrum
The following article is the uncut version of that which was published the week of July 25, 2016, in Red Dwarf Newsletter, owned by Red Sun Magazine. And y'all thought I only wrote dirty romances.
This week I have nothing really coherent to impart. Lucky you.
Those of you who know me personally know that I "do the 4-H thing." Last week was punctuated by club members getting those last-minute tasks and reviews in before heading off to the county fair. The Clark County (Ohio) 4-H llama and alpaca show occurs on Saturday morning, so stall decorating was scheduled for Thursday. For the first time in years, I was not able to be there because a last-minute editing project came in with the client paying for expedited delivery. My younger son graciously volunteered to serve in my place. (Yes, I delivered the project on time.)
Brutally hot and humid weather affected showmen, animals, and parents--not for the better. Animals were hot, tired, scare, and most definitely grumpy. Kids were hot, tired, nervous, and most definitely grumpy. Parents were hot, tired, anxious, and most definitely grumpy. See a theme here?
Monday morning dawned with more grotesquely hot and muggy weather. Today it cooled down. It's till humid, but the temperature never hit 90 degrees F, so it feels comfortable in comparison. Comfort's important, especially when you work in an environment without air conditioning.
So...projects this week. I hope to begin working on revamping the website content for a new client. I finished ghostwriting a short book for another client. I restarted ghostwriting another book for another client. Don't ask. The upshot is that I haven't gotten any of my own writing in. As always, I'm hunting down other freelance gigs. So it goes.
The house is quiet, except for the radio. The station I favor has been playing a really good selection of oldies today: Queen, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffet, Eagles, Kansas, etc. Last night the quiet was broken, which startled me. A vehicle in our driveway was burgled last week, so I'm being extra-vigilant. My Beretta Tomcat lies on the table next to me during the day. Yes, it's loaded. Yes, I do know how to use it. The laser grip makes a fun cat toy.
I broke another glass yesterday. I've been on a roll with those and soon we'll be out of glasses. Of course, they only break when I'm barefoot (which is most of the time anyway).
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What price quality?
I came across an interesting conundrum this week with a prospective client who posted a solicitation to develop his screenplay into a 75,000-word novel. My fee for the work covered the anticipated 150 hours of work that the project would entail. He replied that he liked the writing samples provided to him, he admired my credentials as a writer, and that my fee was way too expensive when other vendors were offering to do the project for $200 - $300.
My response: You get what you pay for--people who are willing to work for $2 per hour or less.
He acknowledged that the quality of writing at that bargain basement rate would likely be poor; however, it made better financial sense to him to hire a cheap (re: poor quality) writer and pay an editor a few hundred bucks to fix it, than it would to pay for top quality writing and still have to pay an editor.
Egad. I may have to raise my editing rates if that's the sort of thinking to which buyers subscribe. Of course, an ultra-cheap editor can also be counted on to perform poorly. (See my blog on that little experiment last month.)
What gets me is that this guy is a writer--he writes scripts. He knows the time and effort that goes into building a good story. And still he opts for the lowest price option.
On the upside, I did start on a project for another playwright who does value good writing. Bless his heart. Really, I'm not delivering a southern insult.
This week's blog will be short: it's time to wash llamas.