Subtle Hustle

1. As reported earlier, Marcia and I returned from Spain (yet again) in the middle of last week. We spent a couple of days getting our body clocks back in order; I always find that harder when making a long trip from east to west, rather than the other way around. Then we have had several days of what passes for awful weather here (i.e. balmy and pleasant winter days in Albany, Chicago or Des Moines), keeping us more housebound than we’d like to be. The day after tomorrow, Marcia and I are hitting the road and the airways again, this time to Hawai’i’s big island for two weeks. During the first week, I will be participating in this writing workshop, and in the second week, we’ll be joined by Katelin and John for some less structured family time in Kona. When I originally retired from my President/CEO job at TREE Fund in late 2019, I had booked or been awarded positions in three writing workshop type events (most notably, Ideas Island), but as with so many other things, those events were quashed in the Anno Virum. I’m participating in the fiction component of this writing workshop, figuring that my non-fiction writing has been far more widely published (more on that below) than my stories-based work. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hopeful for some good connections and tips on the marketing and sales side of the equation, since that’s the stuff that I hate to do for my own work, as much as I like and am good at marketing and selling other things. In any case, we’ll be getting some nice weather and good family time, so those are pluses in any equation.

2. Speaking of TREE Fund, in an unexpected turn of events, I’m working for them again in a consulting/advisory role, per this notice. My role is to assist the Board of Trustees with the search processes for two key positions, and to provide interim staff leadership until those positions are filled. It has been interesting to re-step into shoes that I thought I had set aside permanently. I know a lot of my readers here are seasoned nonprofit professionals, so if you are interested in taking a look at the two roles we need filled, either for your own purposes, or for the benefit of colleagues who might be seeking new challenges, I’d be most appreciative. One of the roles (President/CEO, i.e. my old job) is not geographically specific, and can be done from anywhere, as TREE Fund went to a remote, non-brick-and-mortar structure after I left, and after the coronavirus started running the show. The other (Operations and Governance Assistant) is a remote job, but does require at least weekly access to TREE Fund’s legal Naperville, Illinois mail drop, so there are some geographic considerations there. And since I’m working on the organization’s behalf again, I’d be remiss in not sharing the fact that Tour des Trees 2023 rider registration is now open (the peloton and crew will be going from Reno, Nevada to the California coast south of the Bay Area), and that you can support the mission of TREE Fund any time with tax deductible gifts here. I’ve always appreciated your collective support of my charitable causes in the past, and hope you might be moved to continue that trend of philanthropic benevolence as a statement of support for the current staff and volunteers, and those we hope to hire over the next few months.

3. And then speaking of my non-fiction writing, I’ve received the final galley proofs on my forthcoming book, Side by Side in Eternity: The Lives Behind Adjacent American Military Graves, written in collaboration with my Naval Academy and Supply Corps School classmate and friend, Rear Admiral Jim McNeal. It’s nice to get to this point of the process and see just how the whole thing’s going to look in print, and I’m quite pleased at the layout and editing done by McFarland Books, our publisher. While the release date has been slipping around a bit, Amazon is currently showing it available on March 14. It may be sooner, it may be later, based on the number of times we’ve seen the date shift since submitting the manuscript last year, but given the point where we’re at with final edits and indexing, we know it’s going to be soon. (Note that the Amazon page for the book has some inaccurate holding pattern information blocks, most notably on page length, so I presume that will also be updated in weeks ahead). I’m trying to get the indexing done before we head to Hawai’i, though it’s fairly time-consuming and painstaking work, so that may be over-ambitious. That said, I’m about 70% through the 225 page manuscript, and the index I have created is already over 20 pages long, containing nearly 800 specific entries. (!!) That’s a lot of people, places, and things, and I think it all makes for a rich and well-researched text. (Of course, I would think that, wouldn’t I?)

What’s it all about, beyond the summary blurb on the websites linked above? Here is a scan of the Table of Contents (in two images over two pages, that jog in the formatting is not in the book), showing the specific stories we share at length in the text:

It was fun and interesting to write, and I’m hopeful that others will find it fun and interesting to read. You can pre-order it from the outlet of your choosing if you’d like, and Jim and I would be most grateful for such expressions of interest and support. We’re already pitching our next collaborative book project to publishers (it has to do with extreme rites of passage through history), so if you’ve got any good leads for us, holla!

5 thoughts on “Subtle Hustle

  1. Congratulations on the book! Here’s hoping that Northshire Books in Saratoga will have (or can get) a copy. I look forward to reading it!

    Enjoy the Hawaii trip. Sounds like it will be a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, January 21, 2023 – Chuck The Writer

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