Staring at a computer screen for 15 hours sucks.
It wasn't a straight 15 hours, thank heavens, as I'm afraid such a feat can be braved only by the truest of IT techs and World of Warcraft gamers and I am not a man of such mouse-clicking mettle; but rather 15 hours within a 30 hour time frame. Stephanie and I did take the occasional break to drink water, pee, or eat something that wasn’t 99% composed of carbs and dairy.
During the recent three day weekend we had rallied ourselves as key-striking soldiers for our most recent literary campaign. An editorial scorched earth policy where we would finally – Finally! – go through in hand-stitched detail all of the recipe feedback forms that had been pouring in from our testers for the cookbook.
Allow me, first, to provide some statistics to ease in comprehension of this task:
- 72 testers from eight countries, and nearly all 50 states
- 53 completed and approved recipes
- 3 testers per recipe, sometime more
Careful as a surgeon we read through each form as they trickled in over the past few months. Now we were going back and re-doing, re-testing, tinkering, or totally scrapping some recipes as testers wove stories of glowing dishes that wowed their friends, belabored the stresses of unclear or rather quirky instructions that left them in stupefied state, and hearing about the joyful discovery of new cheeses and/or the depressing inability to uncover them. Yet, to go over the whole of them again in one fell swoop for editing purposes was… daunting.
Like scaling a mirror-surface mountainside daunting.
More than once we attempted to forcefully distract ourselves with web cartoons or by teasing Rocky, Stephanie’s Aslan-looking cat with a Cowardly Lion demeanor. Yet, when one of us began to waver the other would rap the other on the knuckles like sister of the cloth-come-teacher and sit him or her back down in front of the computer because the work must be done.
The only real work breaks were, well, other kinds of work.