Ten years ago Harper Collins published my first book—A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers & Baseball Bats.
I got to travel the world—Venice and Cremona Italy, New Zealand, Tanzania, East Coast and West coast while researching it. I got to interview the likes of Jimmy Carter and Mira Nakashima. And I got to travel even more places while promoting it. It was selected by NPR as one of it’s “Best Books for Gift Giving,” and won a variety of regional awards. I gave presentations at dozens (and dozens) of libraries, book stores, clubs and conventions. It even became Amazon.com’s #1 “Mover and Shaker” for a brief stint.
The highlights were unexpected. One rough-around-the-edges fifteen year old kid approached me after I spoke to the Kansas City Woodworker Guild and told me A Splintered History of Wood was the only book he’d ever read; that alone was reward enough for having written the book. A doctor used a chapter out of it for an article he wrote for a Mayo Clinic Journal on aging. And I met another fellow who was on a mission to visit every city and place highlighted in the book. And lots of people have gifted it to the favorite woodworker, historian or curiosity seeker in their lives.
In retrospect I learned writing doesn’t just involve writing new chapters in a book; it also involves writing new chapters in your life. And that’s what’s kept me writing, researching, building and speaking for the last decade.
Thanks to everyone that’s helped me on this journey. And Happy 10th Anniversary to A Splintered History of Wood (available at Amazon.com)