Finishing touches

I’ve been waiting to share some news with you. I finished my book! It will still be a long while, probably more than a year, before the book hits store shelves. I still have a few tiny holes to fill in with some additional reporting. My editor needs to go through it, and I’ll need to make some changes. Then a copyeditor will look over it, and I'll have to make even more changes. The publishing house will commission the cover art and any explanatory diagrams. We'll also need to figure out a plan for publicity. Even once a book is written, there are many, many steps before publication. But still, it’s exciting to get to this moment. And the end is getting closer.

While I'm thrilled, I've also been hit with a strange feeling of purposelessness, like that feeling marathon runners get after the race is done. Though there’s still much to be done, the work going forward won’t be nearly as intense. So what do I do with all this free time? I’ve been focusing on my teaching, and I’m working on a touch-related article for Discover magazine. And there's wedding planning. I started taking a Muay Thai class last week, and I’m thinking about making it a new hobby, though I’ve certainly never been much of a fighter so I don’t know how long it will stick. Do you guys have any ideas for me? New recipes to try? Crafting projects that don’t require too much coordination?

Finishing my book means that you’ll be hearing from me less frequently. Now that the reporting is just about done, I just don’t have as much to say in a monthly newsletter, though I might still send out messages once in a while when I find some interesting new factoid on touch or when my cover art is finalized. And you’ll certainly hear from me when it’s time for the book launch. Until then, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read my little notes each month. The routine of sending out dispatches to an audience was immensely helpful, and the comments I got from you along the way were so thought-provoking and encouraging. You guys are the best.

For now, I'll leave you with a list of books I want to read, mostly but not all popular science stuff, now that I’ve got a little more time.
 
1) The Story of a New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two
by Elana Ferrante (I suspect I’ll be tearing through this four-part series. I loved the first book, which I read while finishing up my own book.) 

2) The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club
by Eileen Pollack
 
3) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
by Cynthia Barnett
 
4) Naturalist
by E.O. Wilson
 
5) Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
by Jon Mooallem

Cheers!

Sushma Subramanian