Update: The book is now available for pre-order here.
Well hello there. I’d like to say I’ve been busy whipping this house into shape, but that has been tasked to my dad for this week.
And don’t worry about those bike tires hanging there or all the scraps of wood on the chaise lounge chair. This area is much more work shop than it is back yard these days. And I think those bike tires got hung there on moving day and I haven’t noticed them since, until this picture. Note to self, put the mountain bike tires in the attic since there are no mountains in Key West.
Ever since the book announcement my world has been pretty much all about the book. And I know this blog isn’t all about the book, but I do try to meld in everything as it relates to our DIY adventures and I’ve gotten some great questions from some of you guys asking “how did this all happen?”. And honestly, who knows how the process works from the publisher’s side and how long they had been looking for an author for this book and how they landed on me, but I thought it’d be fun to give you the run down from my end and a bit about how it’s going. You guys have been awesome in sharing my excitement and I really wish I could invite you all over so we could settle in on the couch and dish about the whole thing, but I guess a blog post will have to do for now.
But picture us sitting in these chairs chatting the day away, ’cause it’s been cold where many of your are. Yikes!
That was from our first ever trip to Key West before we even knew we were moving here, see more pictures of the trip here.
In October I was minding my own business when I got an email from a publishing company with a pitch about a book idea that about knocked me off my feet. It was clear they had done their research, they were talking about a project book with DIY tutorials and nitty-gritty specifics about how to make things for around your home with pallet wood.
I may have immediately tried to strategize ways to include some things for these gals complete with purely gratuitous shots of them splattered around the book.
Before responding I did some research of my own on the publishing company. They are called Adams Media, they are based in Massachusetts (high fives for New England!!) and they are the publishers for the Everything Series of books. But my book is not part of that series. They also just recently published a beautiful book from another blog I love, The Handmade Home. That’s an affiliate link to their new book.
So I decided to email them back and be all Joe-cool and say “um, maybe I want to hear more, not really, but since you’re practically begging, let’s hear it” … or something like that. 😉
And I went back to the usual, which included updating our patio posts to a chunky, craftsman style, that post is here.
And after an awesome phone call with Christine, who is originally from Florida (two cheers for Floridians!!) I decided to submit some info at their request “to be considered among their group of potential authors”. Yikes.
All of a sudden I was faced with an opportunity I hadn’t ever really dreamt of for myself. And I wasn’t willing to let myself get all wrapped up in it just to be let down when they picked someone else.
So I went back about my own business, again, and reminded myself it was an honor to even be
nominated considered and let myself get a big head for second about the academy a publishing company even knowing my name at all. Pinch me now. (Clearly someone is in the award show season spirit.)
Well, not right now, I’m a bit of a mess. I might not be drywalling, these days, like I was here, but I still manage to make a mess of myself on a regular basis.
And I didn’t even let my mind wander to the what-ifs because I know we have a full life as it is, writing a book wasn’t even on my radar, other opportunities would come my way down the road, it would be good to be able to just focus on work on the house without any major distractions.
So when they emailed me back with an offer I just stared at my computer screen, jaw dropped and silent for minutes.
I seriously have to take a minute every time I think about it to put all the pieces together in my brain to confirm that this is in fact a true, real-life happening thing.
You know, like that weekend we could see the sky out of our living room.
Then when I shared it with all of you I literally grinned from ear to ear reading your comments and responses and questions. You guys are the best!!
And because you seem to be interested, and I get excited sharing my thoughts with you, it helps distract from my fairly constant state of anxiety these days (I’m still getting used to the UNpressure concept), here are some answers to your questions.
Do you have to come up with all new material or are you able to use some of the projects that have already appeared on your blog?
It is actually part of the contract that I can use some material that has been already published on my blog. But, enter self-imposed pressure here, I want the book to be all new tutorials. So I will include some new pictures of old projects that you’ve seen on the blog, but I don’t plan to just regurgitate any tutorials that have already been published on this here blog. Whatever happened to that pallet slat crate I made in Curacao to house all of our canned goods in our kitchen?
I don’t want you fabulous blog readers to think “oh, I’ve already seen all that”. But I think it will be fun to see new pictures of old projects used in a new way, and maybe those ideas will lure unsuspecting book readers to the blog. Oh those future book readers have no idea what they’re in for. 😉
If it is all new material how will you keep up with your current level of blogging?
Seriously, that is my answer. I’m winging it here. To think that 2 years ago when I wrote a tutorial about how to make a Christmas tree out of driftwood would have ever turned into a full-time job blog and now a book … no, I didn’t think that. But, I just truly believe this is one of those opportunities I could not pass up and no matter what, I can make it work. Well enough, I can make it work well enough. I spend a decent amount of time stressing about my remedial photography skills or the ability to explain complicated steps of a simple project or infusing the right amount of encouragement in the book to inspire people to use power tools they never have before without coming across like an insincere cheerleader.
Wait, that doesn’t even answer the question. Clearly my mind tends to gravitate towards that which stresses me out.
About maintaining the blog, I’m trying my best. I like to write posts in real-time as progress is happening so I think it’s natural that as less progress is made on the house there are less updates. But we are also trying to be smart with our time and tick off little things in the evenings and be productive around the house on weekends so even though we won’t be painting the whole exterior of the house, which we had really thought we’d have done by now, I’ll definitely share what we do accomplish along the way.
Tell us more about the book.
I mentioned that it is targeted to be right around 60,000 words. It will be 35 different project tutorials (that number could change slightly) and then some extra chapters with information relevant to gathering the wood, creating the projects, using some tools and additional ideas for finishing off your projects. I have to work really hard to focus on the projects at hand and not just take one project and keep thinking of fun new ways up update it or embellish it or make it bigger/badder/better.
And these guys are always close at hand curious about what mess I’m making today.
It’s an interesting study in self-awareness as I struggle to stay on task, work hard to balance multiple projects in various stages of completion and actually take the time to sit and write.
So, time to get back at it. A huge thanks to my dad for keeping the house improvements boat afloat and I hope to share a few updates here soon. Like, we actually have all of the siding on the front of the house done, it only took us almost 5 months, and we hung a ceiling in the new vaulted ceiling … and it’s not drywall. 🙂 I think I shared our ideas for that here.