Anyone who has followed this blog (or used to, I should say, since I have not posted in quite a while) is aware that it is based on a book I have been working on for a long, long time. I have worked on the book so long that along the way, I even changed the title of the book, though I did not change the name of the blog. The book is about the human experience of the seasons on earth–a large topic, I know. Perhaps that’s why it took so long to write. Or maybe it’s because my life has been through many changes while I worked on it.
Seventeen years ago, when I started thinking about the book, I was married, a father with a young daughter, living in a south St. Louis County suburb and working as adult services librarian at the Richmond Heights Memorial Library in Richmond Heights, Missouri. Since that time I have lived three and a half years on a large property in rural Jefferson County, Missouri, with horse stables, a fruit orchard, large garden, and beehives; for three years in a one-bedroom third floor walk-up in St. Louis city (which I ruefully, though somewhat affectionately called the ‘flophouse’), and now in a much nicer apartment in Webster Groves, Missouri. I have been employed since 2005 as the director of Webster Groves Public Library. I am also now single (divorced), and my daughter is grown, married, and she and her husband had my first grandchild in April of this year.
In addition to writing about things I have learned about the seasons while working on the book–which is now called The Measure of the Year–I have written quite a lot about the process of writing the book, the good and the bad, the forward motion and the reverses, the times I thought about just giving it up. I suppose that at this moment, I am perhaps the world’s leading authority on the human experience of the seasons on earth. I don’t mean to brag, but do you know anyone else who has spent seventeen years studying the same subject? Anyway . . .
The point of this post is to announce . . . I have finished. I finished a draft last month, and this morning finished one last read through, with quite a few changes. It as a little over 100,000 words, which means about 400 pages of text. As a Word document, it is 365 pages, which I think is a strikingly appropriate number of pages for a book about the natural year.
I am in the process of contacting literary agents to see if anyone wants to take it on. I have had some good responses, some encouraging emails from agents, though no actual takers so far. Wish me luck.
Now I begin work on my new book.