Almost every day I spend 60 to 90 minutes biking on pathways along the river. On my route is a 50 acre (20 ha) grove of forest that hasn’t been cut in maybe a hundred years. It’s lush, green, and alive. Songbirds fill the air with their music of love and celebration. This is my church, a sacred place.
In the last 12 years, I’ve only seen a starry night once or twice. There must be thousands of children in this city who have never once experienced a sky full of twinkling stars. Moonlight is still able to penetrate the light pollution. The moon silently watches our frantic craziness. In years past, it watched the campfires of hunter-gatherers. It watched the wooly mammoths come and go. It watched the dinosaurs come and go. It watched the dawn of life. It will continue shining down when the lights of civilization finally blink out, and the family of life struggles to begin a long and difficult healing process.
Last year, I hoped that my book would be finished by now, but it isn’t. I completed the rough draft in early September, minus an unwritten summary chapter, the final item on my to-do list. Early sections of the draft date back to March 2016. I’ve learned a lot since then. I’m now rereading the entire manuscript, making revisions, and adding new info. I strongly suspect that the newer sections will need less attention. Maybe the revisions are half done. We’ll see. Quality is more important than speed.
Day after day, I slog through endless tedious details, resolving questions, zapping booboos, and fine-tuning the clarity. In the end comes the joy of finishing another passage. It’s satisfying to see that this torn and battered old brain can still produce work that warms my soul, and makes me smile with satisfaction.
Since the 2020 solstice, my blog has had 100,000+ more views. This summer, for reasons I don’t understand, I got a surge of friend requests on Facebook, rapidly tripling my friend collection. They came from Australia, Bali, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote D’Ivorie, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gaza, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zambia.
I wish I had time to chat with them, but the library gives me just one hour a day of internet access. Right now, my primary goal in life is to finish this book. Publishing a book can take years of effort, with no guarantees, and I’m getting old. These days, publishers prefer books with generous servings of magical thinking, sustainable solutions, and maximum strength hopium. That’s where the money is. I’m interested in where the reality is, which has become an entirely different matter.
In my ten years as an author and blogger, I’ve learned that when interesting writing costs nothing, it reaches far more eyeballs than when the same material costs money. My current plan is to skip publishing and give this book away, in digital formats, an Earth Day gift. It’s cheap and easy to send free PDFs to folks in distant lands, rather than paperbacks. After so many years of hard work, it would be fun to finally reach an audience.
All the best!