New books

As much as I like the serendipity of writing about each day as it comes, I’m starting to bore myself.

Now that I’ve written more than 500 posts, it’s time to get serious.

Writing time is precious. With this volume of words, I want to be aiming toward a finished product. Books.

More than a year ago, I set up seven categories for this blog, dividing it into books that I have thought about writing.

This week I have reviewed my blog posts and thought about my book ideas. I tried to clarify what I love and what I have to say.

Here’s what has risen to the top. They aren’t all books, yet. They are the subjects I want to fill my daily life with, and the ones I think are worth exploring as a book or multimedia project.

Beauty: The idea for Seeing Beauty – in difficult places, in common places, in every day – emerged in January. I’ve written some posts about it, and I’ve also worked on it as a manuscript and written the introduction. I’ve collected my photos and outlined the book. The art book I made 10 years ago, Original Pulse, remains a source of intent.

Shelter: This category eliminates Places, which I intended as a travel book called Difficult Places. I started that book 20 years ago, but now the original concept is outdated. What comes to me now is that travel offers learning through dissolution and re-creation of shelter, both physical and metaphysical – changes in time frames, cultural identity, architectural meaning, technology, tears in the fabric of society. The category explores the structures that support us, and what is exposed when those give way.

Pennies: The category I formerly called Sculpture needed to be redefined. If and when I write a book about The Weight of My Days, it will be about the pennies and their history and meaning, not only the sculpture I’m making from 16,072 pennies. How to build something big from something small.

Improvisation: I’d still like to pull together The Adventure Girl Cookbook: Improvising a Life. Not only recipes but stories about creativity and improvisation as a major ingredient in art, food, work, life.

Refraction: The biggest category has been the catch-all I had named Reflections. But I think it’s not enough to just contemplate the day. Looking back, I see that my reflections on the days were often about one of the other six categories, and I will reassign those posts accordingly. Refraction, on the other hand, is about how a wave changes direction. So this category will be more focused on life changes, creating change and recovery from change. It will probably use brain injury as the compelling events.

Inheritance: Stories about my ancestry and my DNA quest, and all the things I inherited from my parents and their parents, are only one part of this category. It wraps in memory, blood ties, what we gain from the past. The book focus of this is the nonfiction 1919, which looks at people and events of that year in their convergence, as harbingers and initiators of all that happened in the century.

Trees: I’ve renamed the spiders category to reflect that my baseline as a naturalist is the tree, as I attempted in my brief blog To See A Tree. This book would use that name with the subtitle, A naturalist’s journal of the Southern Appalachians. The category retains its original intent to explore our ambivalent and ignorant relationship with the natural world.

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