May 15th, 2007

View From My Backyard

An indigo bunting, seen this morning at my pond. I don’t have a telephoto lens on my digital camera, but was inspired to point the camera through one lens of my 10x binoculars. I don’t know why I never thought of it before!

May 8th, 2007

Proposal Time

I am in a funny stage for a writer: I am working on proposals for several new books. This can be a laborious process and it is one that should not be hurried. You have to come up with an idea, first of all. This is not the most difficult part, at least for me. The most difficult part is the tedious process of filling out the chapter headings and subheadings, a description of the audience, a synopsis of the book, and an overview of how the book is organized. Sometimes, the publisher comes to me or my agent with an idea, and I have to flesh out the proposal. Other times, I come up with an idea of my own and send it to the agent, who sends it around to see if anyone is interested. Both of these situations are ongoing currently. Typically, a proposal goes back and forth between publisher, agent and me as many as two, three, or four times. With luck, one or two of the proposals will be accepted. It’s also possible that all of them will be okayed, at which point I have to make some tough decisions.

May 1st, 2007

I spent part of the weekend at an Enneagram conference in Michigan. It was conducted by the well-known Enneagram authority Helen Palmer. She was very impressive. At the very end she produced gasps of surprise when she announced that she just turned 70. I guess when you understand yourself and learn to turn your vices into virtues, the stress drops away, and you sort of turn back the aging clock, or at least slow it down. The Enneagram, by the way, is a spiritual path based on a system of psychological profiles. It was apparently developed by monks back in the fourth century. I find it quite enlightening. My personality type is the four (there are nine types in all). Simply being around people who are “like me” was a thrilling experience.