Saturday, July 21, 2007

working away

I've been working hard while the kids are gone at their grandparents, trying to finish revising my book proposal. Yes, the same darn book proposal I've been working on for over 2 years! The first version was more of a straight narrative nonfiction type book, which I called The Fish Wars: How Evolution and Christianity Can Make Peace. My agent sent it around to publishers but it didn't fly for various reasons - too many competitors that were about to come out, I didn't have enough of a platform (i.e. I'm not a pastor or an academic scientist). But after meeting with my literary agency (the Carol Mann Agency) when I went to New York City in April, I came up with a new idea that we're very excited about.

This version is much more of a memoir, my personal story about how I became a Christian who accepts evolution, and what that means. It's more like Elizabeth Gilbert's eat, pray, love (which I love, by the way) than like one of the stuffy books about theology and religion and evolution. I hope to reach a far broader audience, and I can use my strength which is my writing style. So wish me luck, send good wishes and prayers as I'm getting close to being done with this new revision and then my agent will hopefully soon send it to publishers again!

My latest article is out in TX Parks & Wildlife Magazine's Annual Water Issue. This year's theme: The State of Lakes. As you may or may not know, Texas has only one natural lake, Caddo Lake. I covered the newly emerging concept of offchannel reservoirs in Dams on the Side: Off-channel reservoirs can help meet water needs while causing less environmental impact than dams that halt a river’s flow.

These are the books I want to read, or more correctly listen to (I don't have time to read these days, I just listen to audio-CDs when I run or drive around). Has anyone read any of these? Comments? Poisonwood Bible has been around for a long time but the rest are relatively new.

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
God After Darwin by John Haught
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

Did I tell you I got Sam a Robo Sapien? I think I blogged a couple Christmases ago about how Sam, Savannah and I just laughed so hard in Radio Shack while playing with a Robo Sapien and Robo Raptor. Well they were God-awful expensive ($200) and I said sorry, no way. But we had fun playing with it in the store. That year, Savannah was the only student in Holy Trinity middle school to get the Superior Achievement Award (which means she got a 95 overall average and never lower than a 90 in any class all year long) and I told Sam, who was about to enter middle school, that if he got that next year then I'd buy him a Robo Sapien! And what do you know, he did! In fact both my kids were the only 2 kids in middle school this year to earn than same award, and I'm very proud of them. Luckily the price has gone down some, and it's only $99.95. There's a V. 2 that has better gripping claws and more programming options. He's a pretty cool little dude. In fact that is what we named him, Dude.

Travels ahead - I'm going to the ASJA East Meets West conference at UC Berkeley Sep 29. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet editors from The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Wired, and Smithsonian. Other than National Geographic, those are my dream markets!! With a book possibly coming out sometime soon, this is a great networking opp.

I may be going to Nepal in November for a story on red pandas, more details soon, and I also WILL be leading a group either to Panama, Belize or Bolivia in Dec 07 or sometime in 2008. It will be a 10-day/9 night trip with lots of wildlife, rainforest and reef/beach time. If you're interested let me know!

1 comment:

Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

Good to see that the book project continues! I've often used your article on the ASA website in talking to both believers and non-believers about evolution. Count me as a future customer...Scott