My new series on Christianity Today/Jesus Creed:
I just signed a contract with Leafwood which is the trade publication of Abilene Christian University.
The advance is modest, but definitely helpful for paying some bills. Most of all, I am glad to have another publisher that is producing some terrific books, both in style and content.
Mine is an introduction to the study of history tentatively titled, Making Connections: Discovering the Riches of the Past. It will be out in Fall of 2021.
This was one of my Christmas presents and what a gift it is!
Caro’s model of persistence and never giving up is motivating, especially for those like me who spend much time writing and doing research.
But highly recommended for anyone who wants to see what great effort and excellence look like.
From my forthcoming book on history, Making Connections: Discovering the Riches of the Past:
According to neuroscientist, Daniel Levitin, we are hardwired (he thinks due to evolution, I think due to God) to name our world. Not only are we hardwired to do so, but we delight in doing so:
This innate passion for naming and categorizing can be brought into stark relief by the fact that most of the naming we do in the plant world might be considered strictly unnecessary. Out of the 30,000 edible plants thought to exist on earth, just eleven account for 93% of all that humans eat: oats, corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, yucca (also called tapioca or cassava), sorghum, millet, beans, barley, and rye. Yet our brains evolved to receive a pleasant shot of dopamine when we learn something new and again when we classify it systematically into an ordered structure.
With respect to history, it is easy to see that classification (knowing some of the differences between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment) provides a necessary scaffolding to keep learning and delighting in one’s understanding of the world.
 Daniel J. Levitin, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in an Age of Information Overload (New York, NY: Dutton, 2014), 32.
I agree with all those habits, but would add another to make a baker’s dozen. It is the one that I most frequently tell folks who ask me how they can get published:
Don’t write to get published. Write because you must. Twisting Jer. 20:9 to serve my purposes, write because you can’t hold it in!
Walter Brueggemann is one of the greatest living biblical scholars. I don’t always agree with him, but he always makes me think.
Check this out at www.walterbrueggemann.com: He wrote 53 books by the typical retirement age of 65 and another 78 books from age 65 to now at 86 on this his birthday!