NUMBER 998

Well, this is post number 998. That means I have just two more posts to go before coming up with a way to reward those who have followed my wanderings and ramblings for 1,000 posts. Do you have any suggestions? 
As is often the case, my weekend was consumed with a flurry of activity, most of which was centered on the quest to become a writer when I grow up. Of course that means a number of pressing projects unrelated to this pursuit were again pushed to the back burner – fixing a flat tire on Barney the wonder truck, scraping the eaves, replacing the tub surround, tax preparation, and similar items that have been hanging over my head. 
The publisher sent the text for the Route 66 encyclopedia, at least “A” through “Q”, with notes, requests for changes, and questions. So, the final edit stage of the project was the primary focus. 

Sunset in Glenrio

They also sent a list of images approved as illustrations for the project. The adjustments to this list, including the submission of alternates, and then the writing of captions for about 1,000 images will be the focus of at least a weekend or two, and a few evenings, once the text is complete. 
This is always one of the more exciting aspects of writing a book as it becomes easier to envision the finished product. With images from the collections of Joe Sonderman, Mike Ward, and Steve Rider constituting about 80% of the illustrations for this book, the anticipation is far greater.
The deadline for all of this is March 1. This was a secondary reason for the filing of an exemption request in response to the summons for federal court jury duty selection during the month of February.
I worked in the office until noon on Saturday, and as my wife was hosting a baby shower for my daughter-in-law at the house during the afternoon, grabbed some lunch and went back to work on the encyclopedia in relative silence. At home, I worked for another hour, and then watched a movie with my dearest friend. 
On Sunday, after our traditional mornings activities, I again fastened my butt to the chair and glued the eyes to the computer screen. I took a break late in the afternoon to answer correspondence, and to send a flurry of emails pertaining to upcoming appearances – Bookworks in Albuquerque, the Route 66 Fun Run, KABAM, Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari, and the International Route 66 Festival in Victorville. 
Today, a scheduled day off from the job that pays the bills and that supports the writing habit, will be spent in imitation of Saturday afternoon and Sunday, with the exception of an appointment with the optometrist this afternoon. It looks as though I have turned writing and photography into a full time job. Now if I can just figure out how to turn it into one that pays …
On a more serious note, as nice as it would be to make this the primary source of our income,    I can’t imagine doing anything else. I derive such enjoyment out of sharing our adventures, and encouraging others to explore through that sharing, as well as adding depth and context to adventures, that it is impossible to think of anything more rewarding. 
Even better, it has opened the door to meeting the most fascinating and encouraging people. What a blessing it is for a small town redneck to have friends from all over the world. 



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