Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Moving Right Along...

With the page count decreasing, it is time to report on the Bromley Boys again, now the hull has been breached and the sentinels are inside…

I’m making decent headway, with the questions and comments for Dave piling up as I do so. It’s a slow process, made slower by other nagging schedules Portico has, but then if no one can hear you scream in space, what hope do you have in publishing?

I’ve promised I would deliver all my questions and revisions to Dave next week. Possible rephrases, cuts and revisions are minimal – the only real issue is cutting down and amending sections that stop the energy and flow of the text when it’s pacing nicely. Though that’s to be expected for a book of this ‘memoir’ nature. Dave and I have revised a few bits and pieces together as we have gone along, but as far as I am concerned this is the fun part – studying the book as if it were a menu and coming to a decision that’s both filling and delicious.

The process is made slower by the fact that every couple of sentences it is impossible not to stop and think about just how many fun and imaginative ways we could design the book. I’m not a designer but it’s difficult to not think about it when the inspiration leaps out at you from the page. I keep thinking of how we could set out the contents list to look like a division table, or have the endpapers be a scrapbook collage of old ticket stubs or have an illustrated pair of muddy boots hanging over the pages as if they would do on a peg in some timeless 1960s stadium changing room. I'm thinking of tedious clichés, obviously, and I shouldn't, because so far I haven't come across any in the book. I’m getting ahead of myself, but the manuscript really does evoke that immediate kind of nostalgia and imagination.

Which is weird as I wasn't alive in 1969. Not even close. But, somehow, with each new chapter of Dave's text, I can imagine it just that little bit clearer; what it was like to have been a childhood fan of a team that was going through a 'bad patch' – just like I remembered when I was thirteen and wanting to be the next Bruce Grobbelaar. The outrageous transfer fees, the prima donnas with shaving foam sponsors of today, and their WAG’s, all seem such a distant cry from the innocent enthusiasm and passion of a young boy in the days when football seemed to mean a lot more to people is infectious. And thats the USP of this book – to use such a torrid modern acronym.

I’m pretty enthused by working on this book because, ultimately, with each page I tick off, I’m wondering when the next goal will slip past David Jensen… I imagine it wont be long.

My deadline for Dave looms, so I better crack on…

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