With nine months to deadline I have turned the corner on writing my book and I can clearly see how it will finish. And that it will finish. There’s an American saying: inside baseball. It means discussing obscure details that only a true baseball fan would appreciate. Similarly, this post will outline things that possibly only another writer would care for. With that admonition, I proceed.
After I got through my week long visit of Arizona and New Mexico, it was clear I needed a way to organize all that I had seen and experienced. How to do that? Make separate entries in my Places to Visit Chapter for museums, natural wonders, rock shops, fee-dig sites, free collecting sites, and so on? The answer was a method I had already started when I first began writing the book: a county by county approach.
Most people want to travel efficiently, seeing all they can in one area before moving to the next. A separate museum chapter might contain resources hundreds of miles apart, with little connection to territory they were in. A county by county approach, however, listing everything rock-related in those politically organized divisions, would tie all that information together and make for easy editing. Let me show how this scheme would work.
For places I hadn’t visited, a brief, matter-of-fact synopsis would suffice. For those places I had toured, more lengthy entries would exist. The beauty of this approach is that it can be easily edited for length. A few hundred words can be excised by simplty eliminating an entry. This contrasts with editing narratives, where one has to do substantial rewriting to keep a story coherent. Here’s are two examples for Greenlee County, Arizona, whose county seat is Clifton. Note in the first entry that I haven’t visited it, so its listing is curt and limited but still informative.
Greenlee County (Clifton)
Greenlee Historical Museum
299 Chase Creek
Clifton, AZ 85533
33°03.368′ N 109°18.257′ W
Early mining history. Museum located in the Chase Creek Historical District.
Rock-A-Buy: Rocks and Gifts
809 SE Old West Highway
Duncan, AZ 85534
32°42.791′ N 109°05.921′ W
Doug Barlow is the affable owner of this east-central Arizona rock shop. Fire agate is the big draw in this area and Doug will show you samples of what to look for. He’ll even provide a map of promising locations for anyone who comes into his shop and signs his guest book. The Round Mountain Rockhound Area, listed below, is close and Doug . . . .
I can make entries as short or long as I please. I also envision a county-based state wide map with different colored stars for museums, natural wonders, rock shops and so on. Plus an appendix that lists attractions by type. By all these means, I can clearly see to the book’s finish. As for the rest of the material, such as reading maps, understanding GPS and how to use a metal detector, well, all of that is also coming along nicely. Nine months to go. My nine innings. Play ball!