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Writing Thoughts While on the Roof
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I was up on the sunporch roof today, taking advantage of the unseasonable warmth to clean the gutters and nail down a few last strips of roofing before the winter sets in. I had a good view of the guys renovating the house at the bottom of the hill. They've all but built a new house around the old one and as if that wasn't enough, they were adding what looks like a sun room. They were hammering and sawing and throwing around boards and sheets of plywood and setting them at this angle and that, putting in window frames and who knows what else.

I managed to measure out three lengths of rolled roofing, got them cut badly but without slicing my fingers, nailed them in place and brushed on a gallon of tarry sealant. That's about the limit of my construction ability.

It would never occur to me that I could build a whole house like those guys below were doing. Even if I had the requisite innate ability, which I doubt, it would take years for me to acquire the skill.

I do have some limited skill at writing. It took me years to learn what little I know. And yet people will insist they can write, without any practice, with hardly any effort, people who would probably be offended if I suggested I could do their jobs without any appreciable training.

This occurred to me because of reading a couple excellent entries about vanity presses posted by Keith Snyder, here and here. They are well worth reading.

I realize that not every self-published book is hopeless and that some writers do see vanity presses as a way to eventual publication. But on the whole, it's a good thing iUniverse and the like can't help would-be carpenters who don't know what they're doing throw up something that resembles a house. Would you want to live in an iUniverse house?

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