I am excited to report that I finished the first full draft of my book on making peace between evolution and Christianity! It's in my editors' hands, and I'm waiting for news, and we'll start editing for publication in - if all goes as planned - Fall 2010. It's been a long journey for this book. I started writing the book proposal in New Mexico which I blogged about toward the beginning days of this very blog in November 2005, and I also published an essay in E/The Environmental Magazine about that great solo adventure in Back to Nature: What is it about simplicity and solitude that inspires writers?. The book goes as far back as 2003 when I testified at the Texas State Board of Education hearings over biology textbooks, but really goes all the way back to my childhood and my own spiritual formation. I'm very excited about the book and though it took way longer to write than I ever imagined, and was more challenging, I am finally over the hump and super excited about refining it and presenting it to the world. A bit scared too! It's my baby!
In other news, my next big adventure: I plan to fly to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving with Doug, and then we'll drive back! We will go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - my furst time there - and to Louisiana's Northshore for some R&R. It's going to be a long drive but I'm excited to visit some states I've never visited before. I have been to every state out west, and only a few on the east coast but will get to see Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for the first time, and maybe North Carolina (The national park is in both Tennessee and North Carolina, so if we drive through the whole thing, I'll see both states. I've been to TN before though). I'll get home just in time for my lovely daughter's 15th birthday! She is very excited about getting her driver's permit. Me, not so much...
On a personal level, despite some ups and downs in figuring out communication in relationships, my spirits have improved dramatically from a few months back. There are a couple reasons. I am convinced that a main reason is that I hadn't been on any big trips for the year and a half prior... except for the one to Portland, Oregon during December when I got snowed in! Taking another trip to Oregon and Washington in August so rejuvenated my spirit! I love traveling so much. But also, though I am a person who has long been adamantly opposed to antidepressants, I started taking a very low dose a few months back, but then got off of them a month ago and I feel great! I believe that they helped me through a rough patch, and my body and mind, perhaps has fixed itself, who knows. Though I'm not sure what my future holds on many levels, I am feeling great and excited about the possibilities!
Now that the draft of my book is complete, I have started to ponder the many things I've long put off that I have passion for. Should I produce and star in a documentary on sand mining on the San Jacinto River, raising some funds through the nonprofit organize I run (though it's been on hiatus for a while) - the San Jacinto Conservation Coalition? Should I turn my material from my online writing green class into an e-book? Should I start a local natural foods co-op? That last one is a recent passion of mine, and the biggest and most challenging idea but I'm pondering it. I'm considering starting a book club geared towards socially conscious books and documentaries, and I've run the idea by several of my conscientious friends in the area and we're going to get that started soon. The first book? Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, which has gotten a lot of attention so far. His article, The Fruits of Family Trees, in New York Times Magazine based on the book wowed me.