I neglected to inform the blog universe* back in December that the Oregon State University Press has decided to offer me a preliminary contract for my book on Willamette River pollution. This contract hinges upon completion of my manuscript on or before Oct. 1, 2011, and positive scholarly review of the manuscript.
In climbing the figurative mountain, I've reached a plateau. When I look behind me, back down the trail I've been walking, I can see the previous plateau down below where I completed my MA thesis on this topic; at slightly higher elevation is the completion of my book proposal. Looking ahead of me, I see a steep climb and the mountain peek obscured by clouds. I know the peak is up there, and I see the trail in front of me, so I have full confidence in myself and this journey. However, it will require a lot of time, effort, and energy to get to that mountain peak!
Three external reviewers evaluated my proposal. All of the reviewers provided some great feedback that I'm in the process of incorporating into the full manuscript. One reviewer, however, recommended I focus more on the period of the 1920s, while another author suggested that I not end my analysis at the end of Tom McCall's second term as governor (1975), but continue it into the early 2000s. The former reviewer made his/her suggestion because of the relative paucity of scholarly work on this era of conservation/environmental history, while the second reviewer made his/her suggestion in light of my professed goal of providing some insights that current policy makers might be able to use. These are important considerations to remember, and I'm as yet not sure which path I will take.
Also, neither my contact at the OSU Press nor the reviewers liked my working title, Working for the "Working River": Willamette River Pollution, 1926-1975. I'm going to have to change this.
OK mountaintop of Willamette River pollution: Here I come!
* If a blog post falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?