The holiday season has been busy here - that's why blogging has faded a bit. And it's the time of year for looking back over the past twelve months. So, let me reminisce-blog a bit.
Exactly one year ago today I consulted the I Ching on what might lay ahead of me for 2007. In particular, I was wondering about the book project I had planned. The question was: "will I make some good headway on my book in the coming year?" And the answer, as I wrote at the time: "...was quite positive: 'it furthers one to undertake something,' among other good omens. Perhaps it will be a happy new year."
I then waited what I thought was a respectful six months (you do not want to ask the oracle the same kind question too often) and posed a related question: how do I get started on my writing (my one-semester sabbatical had just started and I could really focus on my work.) To my pleasant surprise, the the original prognostication was confirmed - different hexagrams but a very similar positive sentiment.
So here I now am, finishing up my sabbatical, looking back over a period of concentrated attention to my book. How did it go? I can say the I Ching was right, again. It has gone quite well.
Here's what I have: a short draft introduction (which will certainly change) and four draft chapters. I have developed a prospectus for the book as a whole and I foresee seven chapters. Half way done!
Just as importantly, it looks like I have secured an agent to help me get the book published with a commercial press (one of my goals is to continue to write and publish outside of academia as I did with Aidan's Way). Getting an agent is not easy, but it went better this time than last. I was rejected by a couple of people (par for the course). A few took it quite seriously. And two offered to represent me. The agency I chose (the contract sits on my office desk ready to be signed and sealed) is Creative Work, based in Hong Kong. What intrigues me about this company is their expertise in moving between the Chinese and American publishing markets. A year ago I was thinking how great it would be to write a book that connected with people in both of those places - and now it may be possible, or, at least, a little more possible than last December.
Oh, and I have renamed the project. Titles, at this stage, are always tentative, but right now the book is called: The Useless Tree: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life. Maybe that familiar name brought me some luck!
In any event, the I Ching saw it all coming.
Happy New Year!