And sent to Homebound Publications. I’m referring to the completed manuscript for my next book, Writer in a Life Vest: Essays from the Salish Sea. The deadline for submission was yesterday (March 15), and I happily sent the document electronically at nine p.m. (after a delicious dinner prepared by The Naked Hiker).
The last few days were a push to complete the final two essays (there are thirty-six in the collection) and to do one last read-through and spelling and grammar check. Oh, and write my favorite part, a thank you to a bunch of people who helped the collection come together. I anticipate editor Leslie Browning will request some revisions to the manuscript, and soon I’ll turn my focus to promoting this new book. Here’s a first attempt to entice readers: a response to the question:
Why Should Someone Want to Buy Writer in a Life Vest: Essays from the Salish Sea?
My answer: If you’re looking for information, insight, and inspiration about climate change, put on your life vest and settle in to thirty-six lyric essays about the Salish Sea. Drafted while Pacific Northwest author Iris Graville served as the first writer in residence for Washington State Ferries, the essay collection explores: threats to Southern Resident Killer Whales (orcas), voices of climate activists and marine scientists, intersectional environmentalism, and the joys (and challenges) of ferry transport among Washington state’s San Juan Islands. Graville tackles complex interconnections and conflicts with a storyteller’s hand, following the advice of poet Kim Stafford to, “Figure out playful ways to write hard news that bring hope, that end in a song.” If you’re angry, fearful, or despondent about the climate crisis, these essays will buoy you to act on the planet’s behalf.
I’ve spent three years to arrive at this point and am grateful I’ve been able to focus on the Salish Sea for this time. But for today, here’s my priority:
Walk with Booker at one of my favorite spots on Lopez Island. Check!
Catch up on a few long-neglected emails (in progress—and will continue to be for some time).
Soak in a hot bath (next on my list after I post this essay).
Before I head to the tub, I want to express gratitude to the many folks who’ve supported me in a variety of ways on this project. Among them are my family, the Women Writers of the Salish Sea (my writing group), the Lit Chicks (my book club), numerous friends (writers and non-writers), and my Quaker community. I couldn’t have met this deadline without all of you.