Texts Sent over Two Days from the Bellvue County History Club to Their Volunteer Writer

Tuesday 10:10 AM

Hi Jace. I know you freelance for a living, but I wonder if you ever volunteer to write stories for, say, our history club newsletter? I know Bellvue County, Our Home readers would love to see your writing in our pages!

Tuesday 10:53 AM

Thanks for volunteering for your local history club! We’d love it if you’d talk to Janice Newsome-Smith. She recently reorganized all our newsletters into a file that local history lovers can access by date, local significant person, or keyword. She did a ton of work! You’ll love her.

Wednesday 9:30 AM

We’re so glad you interviewed Janice! Take your time with the story, but if we could have it by late morning, that would be great. Our newsletter editor, Henry, is kind of a stickler for deadlines lol.

Wednesday 11:40 AM

Thanks for the story! We love it! Janice did stop in just now to drop off a list of 44 people who helped with the newsletter filing project. She’d like you to include their names in the story because they all were invaluable.

Wednesday 11:47 AM

In answer to your question, no, the 500-word limit is firm. Henry is picky about the newsletter being attractive to the eye, and if each story is exactly 500 words divided by rows of bolded asterisks, the newsletter is as balanced and attractive as a crossword puzzle. If one story is longer, it looks messy.

Henry has been doing our newsletter since 1986. He’s a little set in his ways, but we love him.

Wednesday 11:55 AM

Send the revised story with the 44 names at your convenience, but Henry sees his periodontist at 2:00 today and he wants to finish the newsletter before he leaves. It takes him 45 minutes to get there, so in 20 minutes or so?

Thanks, Jace! We really love your work!

Wednesday 12:10 PM

I ran your idea that the 44 people who helped with the filing project could be listed at the end of your original story past Janice, Henry, and Twila, who’s on our board and orders the ink for the copier here in the office.

Janice would prefer that the story be more personal than just printing a list, which she thinks is lazy. Henry was holding a heating pad against his jaw and his response was unintelligible. Twila said if people would just do their jobs in the first place, people wouldn’t have to ask people for revisions.

Not sure who Twila’s ticked at. Probably you, but don’t worry about it. She’s always mad.

Maybe you could write a line or two about each volunteer, just to keep everybody happy? And these files really are beautiful. Thanks a million!

Wednesday 1:15 PM

I just received your revised story. It’s huge! There’s no way Henry would run a story that size in the newsletter.

I can ask him about a three- or four-part series, like he did in 2001 when I wrote “Our 20th Century” for Bellvue County, Our Home, but I don’t think he’ll agree. For one thing, this isn’t breaking news, like the turn of the century was, and also, he refused to accept my 6-part story, “Our County Fair Is a Great County Fair” after I’d slaved over it for an entire afternoon.

Anyway, he’s already left for his appointment. So can you just snip seven or eight hundred words real quick? Henry is making a special point of coming back after his appointment to finish up, and I don’t want to make him wait.

Wednesday 1:34 PM

Janice says she doesn’t want to be in the filing project story at all if everybody who helped with it isn’t in it too. It’s not as if it’s the great American novel like War and Peace, Janice says. She says just leave out her quotes, like where she says, “I would literally kill anyone who messes up these files.” At least three names would fit where those ten words are.

Wednesday 3:16 PM

Jace, are you okay? I haven’t heard back about your story, which we all just love. You have such a way with words!

Janice says if you still need to make room after you take out her quotes, you can delete the unimportant details, like the section about the arsonist who burned all the records in 1957 and was never caught, though recently some intriguing clues have emerged, and the part about the prison break when the escapees hid inside the history wing of the courthouse and wrote their demands on the backs of old newsletters.

Nobody cares about that stuff, Janice says. What they want is to see their names.

Wednesday 3:28 PM

Janice just called to say some of the names on the list she gave you are misspelled. “Lillian Lowmeyer” is “Lylyan Lomeier,” “Jeffrey Turpin” is “James Schronk,” and she’s not sure about Aurelia Fancher. She just got divorced (Did you hear that story? Yikes!) and maybe she went back to Aurie Gardener.

Maybe you could call around and find out?

Wednesday 10:37 PM

Sorry to text at this hour. I just heard from Henry. He has to have oral surgery and is quitting the newsletter. Would you consider taking his place? We love your work and we’re sure you’d do a great job! Think about it and text back in five minutes or so.

Wednesday 10:41 PM

Oh, and the copier needs ink. Let Twila know. Thanks a million!

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