(Editor’s Note: I thought I’d caught a superfluous comma in today’s post title, but was disappointed to find that Andy knew what he was doing, at least in the punctuation department.)


I’ve got to level with you, I’ve been plumb sidelined from my primary artistic practice of late, supervising and assisting with the building of two studio apartments on a couple of our downtown Colorado Springs properties. Hence, I believe, the reason for my early morning writing; it’s been a way of venting some of the excess creative energy that’s not being expended in my art studio at the moment.

Regarding the builds, one thing that has dawned on me over the past few months is that evidently I have rather high standards for the quality of the work being done, whether by me or by others. I could cite a number of examples but here’s one that Miles, who has been my primary carpenter of late, told me after he’d been working with me for a few weeks:

He said he was leaving the lumber yard with a load of long boards in the back of his pickup truck one day last month and, despite tying the load down, noticed in his rear view mirror that the load had shifted. He decided to pull over to adjust the load and reinforce the straps. While he was doing so, a car pulled up and a man got out of the vehicle. Miles recognized the man: it was a client of his, an architect, whose home Miles had worked on extensively and who has exacting standards. He’d recognized Miles and had stopped to see if everything was ok and to say hello.

Miles told me that at one point during their conversation, he said to the architect, “You know how I used to tell you that you were the most particular person I’d ever worked for??”

But I think Miles would also say that I’m easy to work for. He’d better, or I’ll dock his pay! I may occasionally ask for something to be redone, as I did with the shiplap ceiling the drywall company was installing, and the lap siding another subcontractor was installing, etc., but I try to deliver the bad news gently.

Speaking of redo’s, our daughter, Sophie, is an editor who recently took on a ghostwriting project. A woman who desired to have a book written about her life had shelled out $25K to another ghostwriter before realizing that the writing produced would never make it to print. She entrusted the project to Sophie’s editor, Glenn, who passed the writing portion of the project on to Sophie.

The writing process was not an easy one. Sophie slogged through and, via Glenn’s literary press, the book was published in December of 2022. Since then, it has begun to receive praise, and while I won’t jump the gun overly, Glenn was recently informed that a noted book seller will soon be including the book among a short list of “Great Indie Books Worth Discovering”.

Sophie, who lives in Alaska with her husband, Erik, and their chocolate lab, Sucia, texted me a photo of one of the bathroom faucets in their rental home, installed terribly out of square, sometime before they moved in. She wondered if it was OCD that caused her to find it as irritating as she did, but it vicariously riled her dad up as well, and I immediately called her and we had a conversation about the importance of doing work with excellence – or some semblance of competence, at least. She followed the call up with a text reading, “Thanks for raising me to care about the details.” Truth be told, it was probably more her nature than our nurture, though, yeah, there was that time when she was in middle school that I had her rewrite a book report a dozen times or more…

I’m going to keep this post short today, but I thought I’d wrap things up by announcing that I am toying with the notion of writing a book. As mentioned at the outset, at the moment, I have to find something to do creatively beyond the build projects. Might as well see if I have a book in me.

Actually, I’ve written well over 400 blog posts since 2013, most of which are sleeping soundly in the ether of the Blogger and WordPress universes – enough material for a few books, though quantity doesn’t connote quality.

Still, in just a couple of hours I’d produced a rough, 30 chapter outline.

Of course, I’d need an editor with an eye for details…