Here’s what I’m working on. As you can see I’m working on far too many things, and need to learn to focus on those that have the best chance of being published.
At present I’m working hot and heavy on a family history book. The title is Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West. This is not a commercial project, though I’ll publish it to Amazon so that relatives can buy a copy. It will follow the life of Seth Cheney, who, according to family lore, went west in the California Gold Rush, never contacting his family in upstate Vermont, and dropping out of sight for thirty years. He next shows up in the Texas Panhandle in 1880, where he falls in love with a young woman, follows her to southwest Kansas, and marries her there. His life is of great interest to his descendants, but perhaps not to others.
The book is finished and I’m editing it. It will be print only.
After that, I believe I’ll work on the next book in my church history novels series, which will follow the events in Doctor Luke’s Assistant. Tentatively titled Preserve The Revelation, this will involve the protagonist, Augustus, the Jewish amanuensis hired by Luke, being summoned by John the Apostle to help him write first his gospel then the Revelation. I’ve thought much about this one over the last five years. The plot is well set in my mind, though details will develop as I write it. Again, no time frame is planned right now.
At some point I’ll write a non-fiction book as a follow up to Documenting America. Actually, if my writing life works out the way I hope it does, I’ll write a whole series of these. The next one would be with documents from the Civil War era. I’d like to get that out in 2014, while we are still in the sesquicentennial. The next one after that would probably be on documents concerning the writing and ratifying the Constitution. No time frame for that one yet.
Update: I actually started on this, getting it to about 40 percent completion, but have abandoned it for the moment. I suspect I will get back to it someday, finish it, and publish it. Perhaps Documenting America will someday become the series I’ve hoped it would be.
Additional short stories are running through my head, but the subjects haven’t quite gelled enough to work on them. I have one more to go in my series on teenage grief, the Danny Tompkins stories. I know what it will be about, and have tentatively selected a title for it: “What Kept Her Alive?” And I have the poem to go with it. I hope hope to write and publish this before the end of 2015.
I’ve decided on the next one to write in the Sharon Williams Fonseca series, decided on a name, the setting, and a basic plot. But now words have come to me as of yet. This will possibly come out in 2015, though I’m not guaranteeing it.
Based on meetings with editors at the Write-To-Publish Conference in June 2011, I’m restructuring the book I had been calling Essential John Wesley into a series of shorter small group studies. This may be three, four, or five books of six lessons each. It seems that people nowadays don’t want long studies. That’s okay. I’ll be happy to publish four books instead of one.
Status: The series is planned. This just means breaking the larger book, which I had already planned, into logical smaller pieces. I had written one chapter and started a second, but will have to restructure this according to what the publisher is looking for. I should add that, although a publisher has shown interest, I have no guarantee that publisher will actually accept them. Update 20 June 2012: This project is on hold, as I have way too many things going on to work on it right now.
Update 16 Sept 2012: I’ve had this project on hold for some time, and don’t foresee starting it very soon.
Update 21 Oct 2013: A year has passed and I’ve done very little on this. So much to write, so little time. Oh, well, retirement is only 4 years, 2 months, and 10 days away.
I have “written” and taught several Bible studies or small group studies to our adult Sunday school class at church, now called a Life Group. These are all in a different stage of completion. Some have just the outline and the notes I used to teach. Others have just a weekly handout for the class. Some have both a handout and teaching notes. In general these could be submitted for consideration by a publisher, but have much work to be done to make them submit-able—that is, really ready to be published. Here they are.
– Life on a Yo yo: Learning from Peter’s Ups and Downs (14 lessons)
– The Dynamic Duo: Lessons from the Lives of Elijah and Elisha (18 lessons)
– Sacred Moment: A Study of the Christian Sacrements (10 lessons)
– Isaiah (a 20 lesson overview of the whole book)
– What One Thing is Strongest? (5 lessons in the apocrypha book 1 Esdras)
– Lesser Known People of the Bible (10 lessons)
– Good King, Bad King (outlining now complete; about 14 lessons)
– To Exile and Back: A Study of the Jewish Nation’s Exile to Babylon (16 lessons planned)