How to Write Four Books in a Month

Aston Martin, by James Bow

Well, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Two of those books have not yet been written.

It’s been a busy month, especially with the travel we’ve done to Des Moines and Fresno. Over and above that, I’ve had non-fiction educational commissions land on my desk at the same time as a major commitment for the real estate developer I write marketing copy for. Suffice it to say, it’s been a scramble.

But I also have to say: no regrets. Even though I’ve not had time to write about Nora and Vivian going with Grandma Rosemarie to see Elvis (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) at the Iowa State Fair, I did get to see that, and my life is the richer for it. It’s also richer having seen whales in the Pacific from California cliffs, adding the Market Street F Line and California Street Cable Cars to my transit bucket list and seeing Wendell and Judy’s new home. And experiencing what 42’C in the shade (no humidex) feels like. I am the richer for it.

And I greatly appreciate how understanding Erin and the in-laws have been as I’ve quietly slinked away to dash off a page here, do some research there, and be generally anti-social. I greatly appreciate my own parents’ willingness to take the kids for an afternoon or manage them for a little while on a Saturday morning as I write out a few more paragraphs. And though I know it’s ludicrous to think about writing four non-fiction commissions (to be fair, two of them came off a long hiatus unexpectedly; they’d been started back in November), I’m pleased to be here.

Because writing is what I like to do, and I’m doing it. Just not here on this blog.

I should point out that, earlier this month, while visiting Des Moines, I picked up a copy of the fifteenth book to bear my name on the byline (my twelfth non-fiction offering). Aston Martin is a continuation of Crabtree Publishing Company’s Superstar Cars sequence. They were pleased enough with my writing on Lamborghini to ask me back, and I am pleased with the result. The Superstar Cars series is a profile of the history of legendary car makers like Ferrari or Bugatti or Jaguar.

At 64 pages, though the target market is supposed to be students in grades 5-8, I still feel as though I have more space to really get into the history of the subject and why they’re worth a both. Though I’m sure the irony of my writing a book on super cars isn’t lost to anybody who knows my history as a transit geek, I quite enjoyed putting it together. I enjoyed the research, I enjoyed learning about the subject, and I enjoyed putting it together in a comprehensive whole. And, yes, after writing these books, I do think Lamborghinis and Aston Martins are cool. Lambourghini’s story is cooler, in my opinion, but Aston Martin does have James Bond.

So, expect slow and/or erratic postings for the next little while. Or, basically, expect things to remain as they’ve been for the past few months, excepting that brief spate in February when I managed to write a post a day. I am doing what I love and, because I love writing, I expect I’ll be back, sooner rather than later. Hopefully with news and observations on how the marketing of Icarus Down is going.

P.S. I should mention that my latest column in The Kitchener Post is now up. I’ve also been grateful for this weekly gig of writing in the local paper, and if you want to read more from me, you really should check me out there.

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