January is not as busy as some of the other months. It is cold outside, especially so this January. The blood is thicker at this time of year and we move more slowly. There is a large amount of time spent planning compared to the actual time spent doing anything. All that will change soon enough – I say, enjoy it while it lasts.
One of this year’s projects that I am about to begin is a rewrite of “A Sea Kayaker’s Guide to South Puget Sound.” It first came out in 1997 – 20 years ago! – and even though a second edition came out later, not many changes were made. Twenty years is a long time to go without an update, for anything. That’s reason enough to do it.
The other reason that I find myself about to paddle these waters again, and to write about them one more time, is that the south Sound is a place that I have come to claim as my home (in a way that is deeper and more profound now than when I first wrote the book). As I put the dates on the calendar for trips to places like Case Inlet and Blake Island, Hammersley Inlet and Gig Harbor, I can see vignettes from the other times I’ve been there, all the many faces of these special places that are still vibrant in my memory, that need to get out onto the page. It is as much a love story as it is a guide book.
When I first put out the book, I did 50 copies on a mad day of photocopying and coil binding by hand. It was a day of frantically printing a hundred pages at a time, maybe a few more, in between paper jams and toner replacements. I was supposed to do a slide presentation at Backpackers Supply that evening and I got finished with those first 50 just before go time. It’s gone through three different printings since then and sold more than 5000 copies. (Which may or may not impress Stephen King, but there you go.) I’m looking forward to rewriting it, updating the guide portions and providing perspective in the trip descriptions that would not have been possible for me 20 years ago.
And, even though it is a rewrite, I am a different person now than I was then. It cannot help but be a different book.
Expect more on this as the year progresses. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of the year.