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1:35PM

"Emily Updates" begins eBook production

I am in the process of working out the details with my literary agency, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, to publish the "Emily Updates," our (Vonne and I) real-time diary of our first-born's battle with cancer as a three-year-old in the mid-1990s, as a eBook serial this summer.  We're looking at four volumes, roughly 50,000 words each, released sequentially as eBooks via Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Today I turned in the edit of Volume 1, which encompasses the discovery/diagnosis (chapter 1), the long initial hospital stint (chapter 2) and then, after a time jump, the start of the weekly updates six months into her chemo protocol.  The rest of the updates take the reader through the end of her treatment 14 months later.

I'll be doing the same light edit of the rest of the 150,000 words of text over the next couple of weeks.  I am enjoying the process immensely and remain very proud of the work.  The original e-diary (really a blog before there were blogs) came to 400,000 words.  I spent 1996-1998 editing that down to 200,000, and that's the version I'm editing now.  That version was online from 1998-2004.

This collaboration with Zachary Shuster Harmsworth will be an experiment for both of us - a first-time event. But I wanted to explore doing eBooks, and I think this is the perfect venue and the perfect time to finally put this out.  It is especially joyous for me to work the text with Em herself home from her first year of college!

Today I edited a bit where my 1995 Tom was dreaming of watching an older Emily pull away from the pack at the 2.5-mile mark in the road race, as well as stun the audience with her brilliant comment during the competition.  I have since witnessed both events:  Emily winning her division in a 5k race at the Naval War College sometime in the early 2000s (the trophy is upstairs); and Emily helping her constitutional team take first honors in a state competition in Indianapolis as a HS frosh (I was in the audience when she pulled out the constitutional case that was the lever civil rights lawyers used to start overturning a certain class of discriminatory laws in the South (interstate commerce clause, if I remember)).

Anyway, it was just so amazing to see the words on the screen - dreams that have literally come true since then I penned them in pure aspiration 16 years ago.

More news on this project to follow, but for now the plan is to get all four volumes out as eBooks this summer. Reason for my personal push is that I begin discussions on a new professional book in the fall with 1-2 potential collaborators.  Pretty excited about that too, so want this out of the way.  Scrambling on the edit now because of the Wikistrat grand strategy coming up, where I'll be judging 200,000 words of submissions (minimal) every week for four weeks running.  I take grading very seriously, so I expect that effort to be consuming.

Reader Comments (2)

Most satisfying to read your introspection regarding your daughter. I don't know any of the story; but I do know you have a wonderful life-partner in your spouse, and that she'll be a major part of the story. Think on that....you are a rich man.

Family first. How marvelous that you took the time to write those things down, then. And can bring them out to share now. Your daughter is a rich woman today because of your actions yesterday.

Well done, Sir. well done.

The resemblance is striking. Congratulations on having achieved immortality. This is why we live.

May 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstuart abrams

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