sI’ve been pulled in a few directions these last couple of years, which explains the scheduling of writing here.
In 2013 I resolved four things: write more, finish my book, meet more, and lose my job. By October of that year I had succeeded in all four. I was prolific and fertile, yet terrified and sad that year. By October 2013 I had already sent my 5 page prospectus to dozens of publishers. One showed interest , but wanted it to be about 10,000 words longer. I declined the invitation, glad that at least someone had shown interest. I was not barking up the wrong tree. I had read a lot of the books in my filed, and was trying to fill in a conceptual gap that I saw there. I used writing and research for the blog and the book as an escape from a work life gone wrong. I shook their hand when they laid me off.
In 2014, I resolved three things: to find a publisher, to work out, and to go to school. Why not? I had no job and no immediate hope of getting one. I took the GRE for a third (once every decade), got a perfect language score , and applied to the best programs in transportation and land use policy that I could find. By the summer, I had signed a contract with UIT Cambridge to publish “Sustainable Transportation without the Hot air, US Edition”. By the late summer I started taking classes at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Campus. By the fall I had a job doing work I believed in. This all piled up at once, in such a way that I started dropping balls. Like writing for this blog.
In 2015, I had two resolutions: Learn my job, and get the book published. By the middle of the spring semester, edits started coming back from the publisher, which interfered with finals for Virginia Tech. I’m well into my 23rd grade, and frankly I’m tired of getting assignments for teachers to teach me things. Not because I’m flawless and all grown up, but because I’m just done with classwork, OK. I had to rewrite and reorder whole chapters, to make it more enjoyable and satisfying read. Turns out my first aliquot of distilled brilliance was just a inert plop of clay, requiring much work to make it into anything like a sculpture. I owe my wife everything for putting up with me for four years and editing for one. The book comes out in March.
This year, I have realized I just have one resolution: Get back into reading, so I can get excited about a subject again, find where the holes are, and stuff another book or dissertation in there.
Expect “The Point of Walking” when I beat a story out of it, in a few weeks.