Printed The Rough Draft For Editing

I wrote the concluding paragraphs to the final chapter of The Human Squirrel Cage today. It felt pretty good. Tonight, I printed out a very rough draft. The final copy will be 350-360 pages or so, I think. A lot will depend on how much space the photographs use. The photos I don't use in the book will be printed and put on display at the book signings, whenever those happen. I will post the dates, times, and locations once they're set up. Lord willing, the first one will be in mid to late April, but I'm not promising anything. I have tried, three times, to finish this book and I have mentioned an anticipated date each time only to see it slip from my fingers. Lord willing, it will be in April. Let's leave it at that.

Before the book can be uploaded for publication, there's a lot of tweaking to do. The photos, as I mentioned, need to be inserted, and there are a couple of questions to be answered. The final six chapters have to be reread and fleshed out. The whole book needs a serious look-see and in order to view it more objectively I'll have to set it aside for a day or so. I hope to begin that process soon.

It's been several years since I began working on this project consistently. I have been collecting data for it even before I began drafting the outline, and climbing over hurdles, some large and some small. There were times when I didn't think I would find what I needed, and then, voila, pull a thread and new information becomes known. I've had a lot of input along the way from a lot of sources. I've rewritten the acknowledgement page three times. I hope I didn't miss anyone. The notes for the book are over 470 pages, not including two spreadsheets, a host of unincorporated PDF files, and some last-minute articles that have yet to be abstracted for the notebook. I'll try to finalize the notes as I work through the editing phase. I'm actually looking forward to that. I didn't print the notes out this time, as I did with the information on the Rasco book. It was simply too massive. And it has been quite a chore to whittle down those notes into a manageable narrative.

The next nonfiction book will be a shorter companion book to The Human Squirrel Cage. It deals with the escapes and attempted escapes from the jails of Nodaway County.That book will be titled Thanks For The Hospitality . . . But We've Gotta Go. That title seemed to fit the subject matter. Sort of something you might say when checking out of the Crowbar Motel without paying your bill in full.

Nodaway County has had five jails over the last 174 years. Did you know that? The one we have now isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore. It will celebrate it's thirty-second birthday in 2019. Dave McClain, who was the sheriff of Nodaway County at that time, and who is now the sheriff of Holt County, was one of only two sheriffs to be in office when an old jail was razed and a second one erected. He shares that honor with James Anderson, who took office in 1882. He was the first sheriff to live in the residence of the Human Squirrel Cage. He also has the distinction of being the sheriff in office when the only gun battle known to take place at the jail occurred. He and his brother were trying to keep a mob of "fifty masked men" from taking Omaha Charley from his cell in the rotary cellblock.

There are some other firsts related to the Human Squirrel Cage, but you'll have to read the book to learn about those. I don't want to spoil things. There are also some myths that have been debunked.

That's all for now. It's time to click play on an audiobook and start working on some other things. I usually work until my eyelids are too heavy to keep open. Perhaps I can finish a couple more tasks before the sun rises. Lord willing, of course.

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