Turning the Organizational Corner: Inside Baseball

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!

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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