Six day work weeks seem as normal as sunrise to me. However, I prefer to make that five days earning the paycheck to support the writing habit and pay the bills, and one solid day of working on projects related to the important things in life such as writing books, taking care of the house, or similar tasks. That leaves Sunday for reading, friends, family, and, in general, relaxation.
Ideally, we set aside a day or weekend every couple of months for a road trips. When the real job becomes a six day a week affair, the idyllic schedule goes out the window and Sunday, even though I do not relish the idea, becomes a work day and road trips become a luxury that time does not allow.

Such was the case yesterday. It started at 4:00 with some reading from the good book, correspondence, updating the blog with the weekly book reviews and travel tips, a short walk with my dearest friend, and then reading through the galley proofs for Ghost Towns of Route 66 in search of errors or captions that were out of place.
The intricacies of the publishing industry have become an increasing source of fascination for me in recent years. The rise of digital books, the Kindle reader and similar devices, and the desire to understand how books are created once the thoughts of the writer are made manifest as words on paper fuel this interest.
Another aspect is the ever changing world of promotion and marketing. As an example, Ghost Towns of Route 66 not scheduled for release until June 1, 2011, with its big debut being at the Deep in the Heart of Route 66 festival in Amarillo a week later, I am just finishing the final edits, and it is already available for preorder on
After a fairly solid seven hours of work, Sunday afternoon was spent with my son and his family that now includes a three year old and our grandson, now six weeks old. There is nothing like a house full of family and laughing children to lift the spirits.
I finished the evening by sending the publisher a small list of errors encountered in the proof reading, reading a few chapters in a new book, Canon Eos 50D Digital Field Guide, and making notes, and compiling a list of questions I would need answered for the latest writing assignment, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas. 
The late night study is resultant of the dawning and reluctant realization that we need to expand and update our photographic equipment. The tried and true Olympus will, as our back up camera, stay with us and still be pressed into service on a regular basis but to meet the needs of the current project, as well a few in the works, something with expanded application possibilities is required., even though it would strain the budget a bit, thought is being given toward the purchase of a Canon EOS 50 D which means the never ending learning curve will take a new twist. Would anyone familiar with this camera care to chime in and provide their two cents worth?
As to the encyclopedia, here are a few of the items I am seeking answers for:
Hyde Park in Arizona – when was it established and were the cabins demolished or moved to another location?
I have a copy of By Motor to the Golden Gate, Emily Post, 1916, reprinted in 2004. Are there similar books available that were written between 1920 and 1930? This leads me to the Westergard expeditions of the teens. Were these ever the subject of a book?
What is the history of Brooklyn Heights in Missouri?
The Harvey House restaurant in Bagdad, California, when was it established and when did it close?
Nelson, Arizona was on the National Old Trails Highway. Was it also on an early alignment of Route 66 and what is the history of the town?
Are there any accurate and reliable Route 66 guide books similar to the one wrote by Jack Rittenhouse in 1946 from the period between 1926 and 1940?
Snell’s Summit Station at the summit of Sitgreaves, was there ever a motel on the opposite side of the pass?
There are two aspects of writing that I never tire of, the discoveries made through research and the sharing of what is found. From this perspective the Route 66 encyclopedia is one of the most rewarding projects to date. It is also one of the most frustrating as I worry over its accuracy and content incessantly. 
I am now less than a year from deadline and already the pressure is mounting. As this will be book number seven, this feeling is becoming more like an old, comfortable sweater on a fall morning than a source of concern or apprehension.
Between then and now there are at least two big road trips, the cancer surgery, another interview with AM Arizona, lots of visits with old friends as they journey along Route 66, and friends yet met. The year 2010 is drawing to a close under cloudy skies but this often means the sunset will be gorgeous.
Here is to 2011, a year of grand adventures, good friends, and lost highways!

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