An Author's To Do List

As you probably know by now, I am well into the writing of my second nonfiction book. It is a memoir about my boyhood home in St. Paul, Minnesota in the 1970's and early 80's. I am 220 pages into it and am hoping to finish it by year end 2017. It is at the "I hate everything about this book" stage right now for me as an author who is clearly too close to it. Everyone in my writing group loves it and keeps cheering me on as I sulk away threatening to send it to its room for six months like I did with Dirty Shirt. 

I'm really trying to avoid doing that and I plan to keep plugging onward with it, but that doesn't mean that I can't think about what's next or what else I want to work on. 

Knowing this is how I feel, I've compiled a list of books I want to write before I'm dead and gone. 

Here is that list:
Books I Still Want to Write
  • A (posthumously) Co-Authored Book. My uncle Jack wrote a couple of books in his day and never had any luck getting either of them published. I've read both and would like to take one of them and rewrite every other chapter and try and get it published. This would fulfill his dream of wanting to get published and would help me in some strange way connect with his past. I never knew him very well, but I can certainly relate to his love for the craft.

  • A Far Out Science Fiction Book. I love to read science fiction (Isaac Asimov, Michael Crichton)  and sometimes wonder if I'd be any good at writing a sci-fi novel. I've written a couple of short stories that are loosely based in science fiction, but haven't had much success in getting them published. (Maybe this is a sign from God.) It may be a ways out, once I'm done with the nonfiction/co-authored thing, but it is on my mind.

  • A Collection of Short Stories. My writing instructor has a couple of these collections published and I've always thought it was a cool thing. Now, I have a grand total of about six short stories that I've ever written, none of which have garnered much interest from publishers, so there is work to be done for sure. But I think it would be a nice way to diversify myself as a writer.

  • A Collection of Road Trip Stories. As a family, we've taken a number of cool trips over the years. Places like the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Colorado Rockies, Poconos Mountains, New York City, Mexico, Disneyland and many more. I think it would be fun to pull out pictures and write a story about each trip. Will get to this down the road - so to speak.

  • A Poetry Chapbook. A chapbook, for those unfamiliar, is smaller than a collection. Written Life and Reciting from Memory are more along the lines of collections. I currently have one out there that I am trying to get published. They aren't huge money makers, but hey, if I was in this for the money, I wouldn't be writing poetry at all. None of my writing is about the money.

  • A Book of Letters. My wife and I met through letters back and forth in the late 80's. I'd like to put them together into a book of some sorts - possibly with some editing for the sake of my children. Ha!

  • A Book About My Faith Journey. Coming from a Catholic background, my journey to where I am now has been a fascinating one of discovery, revelation, self-examination and enlightenment. Everyone has a journey to or away from God, so I would think there would be some moments that most people could relate to somewhere in such an account. 
Those are just a few of the stories still in my head. I figure if I get to half of these before I kick, I'll be happy. Heck if I finish the one I'm working on I'll be happy. Gotta shoot for the sky though. 

What books would you write, given the chance?

Blogging off...


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