Now that's a show that I would really like to see Simon Fuller and Nigel Lithcote (sp?) put on television. Then again, I think we all get enough of that already.

Here I go, blogging without a cooling off period - I'm living dangerously again. Of course, I can always delete this later after I die of embarrassment or the blogee discovers that this post is all about them. Dreams can come true people, just not for all of us.

I was asked by a good friend to edit some articles before they went up on a site. I agreed, knowing that most of the writers were excellent and would make the task easy for me. Then I received the article that almost killed me. Riddled with typos, tenses that travelled back and forth through time and punctuation that kind of came and went. Oh, and I love it when a writer can't decide if they want to leave one or two spaces after a period. Just peachy.

Then I read the article. And cried.

The beginning was missing in action, the middle sagged with a paragraph of monolithic proportions and the ending? Oh, maybe that would follow in another email. Random quotes appeared without any indication of who actually said them. Some words were used so often that I started keeping track.

It was all pretty exciting for an 800-word piece.

My concern was how far could I edit this piece and still retain its original story? I wiped off my glasses and looked again. Hang on, where was the story? I could have sworn I heard the screen door slam and a car speed off into the distance.

So I called the content manager of the website and voiced my concerns.

"Oh yeah," she agreed. "I was wondering when you were going to call about that one."

"This kind of goes beyond the scope of editing. He's used "fruition" instead of "fusion" throughout the piece."

"See what you can do. Want me to pull the article?"

I thought about it for a moment, then resisted the temptation.

"No, let me give it a try."

So I did. Reworked the opening paragraph, took some bulky bits out and created a sidebar. After a few hours, I was feeling pretty good about the article. There were some items I needed some clarification on, so I sent the revised article back to the writer.

And received an immediate request to pull it. At least he was polite as he told me I "totally destroyed his pride and joy, putting his efforts to waste".

Apparently I had totally screwed up and removed the overall vision of the piece. Of course, I think the vision was missing in the first place, but that's a case of he said/she said that could go on for days, weeks even.

I'm just mad that I didn't give up right away. If I had gone with my guts instead of my need to finish a project, I could have used those hours for something a lot more worthwhile. Downloading music, reading other people's blogs, looking for great photos of Lost cast members. Sigh.

At least I've learned from this experience. If I were a total cow, I'd post the original article and let you all bear witness to its unchecked glory. But I won't...for now. Bwa ha ha ha.