Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Missed deadline

I received these two cards from Matt of Heartbreaking Cards a few days ago:

Very generous of him.

He had posted these very cards on his blog and then confessed that he had nothing to say about them.

As a proud Nomo collector, I was incredulous. I most certainly thought there was something to say about these fantastic cards, and their tale should be told. So, I commented and told Matt that I could certainly find something to say about them.

I didn't tell him that what I could say was, "gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme," but I think he figured it out anyway.

So, the cards arrived and attached to them was a note. The note said:

"I didn't have anything to say about these but I'll expect 500 words on my desk by Monday!"

Oh, great. Another deadline.

I deal with deadlines every single day in my job. I'm used to them. But I'm not very fond of them. And I don't like them creeping into my hobby life.

So, I conveniently let the deadline slide. It's not Monday anymore. Another deadline missed. It isn't the first time. It won't be the last.

But now I feel guilty, because Matt went out of his way to send cards that he didn't have to send at all, and all he wants is 500 words. Ungrateful on Thanksgiving eve!

I think 500 words is the least I can do. So that's what I'll give him, 500 words of prescient prose on these two fine Nomo jersey swatch cards.

There's only one problem. I don't know how much 500 words is.

In the newspaper business, we don't measure the length of stories by words, like in college courses. We measure it in terms of column inches. Depending on each newspaper's policy, your average game story is somewhere between 12-25 inches. I have no idea what that translates into in "words." I'm always stumped when some free-lancer asks me how long their story should be and phrases it in terms of "words." I should figure it out for those occasions, but we're so cheap these days that we rarely hire free-lancers anymore.

So, I guess I'm just going to have to guess how much 500 words might be. I'll just begin typing and then go back and count every so often and figure out how much more I need to write.

Damn, that takes me back to college. I was always doing that. I'd stop, count, my mind would wander, I'd lose track of what number I was on, and I'd recount again. It was always some literary work that I hated. For someone who likes to write, I don't have much tolerance for classic literature. Literary types who have a dim view of newspaper writers, would say I've found the perfect profession.

But back to the Nomo cards. It's time to get cracking and write what I like about them.

I think what I like the most about them is ... whoops, that's 500 words!

There you go, Matt. Sorry about the missed deadline.


  1. Very funny post!

    And you had 498 words under the pictures (according to Word 2003's File-Properties-Statistics feature.) So you need two more words. Here are some suggestions...
    Go Blue
    Thank you
    The end
    Need sleep
    Realtors suck (sorry, my personal life is creeping in right now...)

    We always used the thumb-rule that there were 35 words per inch, or roughly three column inches for every 100 words. So this post should be about 15 inches plus art. (Obviously point size impacts that.)

    As far as freelancers getting less work, that probably explains why I'm commenting on blogs this morning instead of being an actual contributing member of society :D

  2. Thanks for meeting my demands Night Owl! and I'm glad you like them.