I can’t help it. I’m excited. I must keep myself from doing my happy Snoopy dance too soon, but I can’t help but share the potentially good news …
Anyone remember my blog post series Florida’s Greatest Menace? Back in 2009 I had started researching the history of the evolution/creationism conflict here in Florida and discovered lots of cool stuff. The more I researched, the more I found. By the time I reached part 7 of the series I realized that I had uncovered plenty of material that could be turned into a book rather than just a blog series. So, I stopped the series and turned my attention to writing the book. It was slow going because I was doing it whenever I had some free time, which wasn’t often. But early this year I finally reached the end! I considered step one finally accomplished!
Step two has been a tough one. I needed to edit the work while also documenting all of my source material in tidy citations. The problem was that when I started the blog series I hadn’t been in book mode. I was simply writing about what I had discovered without bothering to annotate my sources. Big mistake. I had to go back and essentially do much of my research all over again. That was very tough, tedious and discouraging work that has taken months. Honestly, I’m still not all done, but I’m getting close. On the positive side, I had managed to turn up yet more new material that I hadn’t found before. That meant revising my text to add the new stuff, which was substantial work in some places! Of course, that wound up taking quite a bit of time, pushing me way past the step two deadlines I had set for myself.
Step two was taking so long that I found myself losing steam. I want to see this project through to the finish, but it just won’t end! From the time I started my series to now has been about three years. I’ve read my own work countless times and now my eyes start glazing over as I plow through each chapter yet again. I’ve been stuck in the mud for a month or so now without making much forward movement. It’s become my own private little hell.
A few weeks ago I decided that I need a massive shove in order to get out of this rut. So, even though I’m still crawling through doing all the citations, I said the heck with it! I’m going to start shopping this project around to publishers and see what happens. That should get me moving.
My first stop was the University Press of Florida. I figured that this book was right up their alley. I submitted the required one-page inquiry letter and was really excited to hear back in just a couple of days that my letter had been forwarded to the next editor up the chain! Cool! That’s a promising thing considering the alternative is a quick rejection letter. Then this weekend I got an e-mail from an editor-at-large there who has asked me to ship him my manuscript and other paperwork for an initial look. Hot dog!
Of course, I know that I haven’t been accepted for publication yet. So, I’m trying to temper my excitement so that I don’t come crashing down too hard if the manuscript is rejected.
But still … I think I’m out of my rut! Time to get back to work.