Things have been quiet on the website but busy behind the scenes for me, as I’ve been writing and teaching an intensive graduate course on Emergence Christianity at Wesley Seminary, and also working on the book project.
At the end of June, I was privileged to present some thoughts from A Force of Will at a session in one of the Wild Goose Festival tents, to a warm response. Many folks dealing with losses old and new greeted my ideas with appreciation, and one bona fide grief counselor sought me out to commend my insights and approach. It was really affirming.
The next week, I found myself sequestered in a cabin in Northern Wisconsin with two professional video cameras and lots of bright lights, trying to be pithy and insightful and eloquent on cue as we tried to produce a promotional video. Doing my best to ignore the glaring fact that I should have been out on the lake musky fishing with my nephew Caleb, I allowed my brother-in-law Steve (of Nepo Productions in Marion, IA) to do a wonderful job of guiding me through the stressful process. Later, he sat down and masterfully edited my stammerings into a final product that makes me seem almost well-spoken. Steve was also gracious enough to lend his own musical stylings to the video, and you should really check out his Peaceful Piano Volume 1 and Volume 2 for more from the master of the keys. One of these videos is posted on the website, and several more will follow in the coming months.
No book launches without the pipes and tubes of the (World Wide) Web, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to benefit from the esteemed services of Jon White again. He’s engineered a redesign of the front page of the website, along with a standalone page at aforceofwill.org (and also forceofwill.org) and some other changes around here, too. Jon is in Seattle now, and though it is less fun to do web design without collaborating over beers in the kitchen he helped me to build, it is nevertheless a rare privilege to work with someone so talented and insightful, and I will take what I can get.
I’ve also been working on the ‘galleys’, which is the stage of the production of a book where things shift from pixels to paper: I get a stack of single spaced sheets in the mail that are proofs of the pages of the book, then take a pen and mark out any needed changes. After editing the book innumerable times, this seems redundant, until one realizes that the next time I see the pages will be the last time before they are permanent. So I’ve been poring over them, working out any kinks, catching formatting errors, researching footnotes, and Googling fine points of grammar as well as other minutiae. And, as always, trying to use less commas, and to find that perfect, uh, word.