A memoir, Prevailing Winds, about my family's former summer house on Lake Erie, in Ontario, Canada. The chapter "Asleep in the Cottage" was published in Southwest Review, Vol. 100, No. 4, 2015.
An international database development project about interactive textbooks and other learning materials in publishing studies.
A documentary film proposal based on Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities, by Alex Marshall (Running Press), a book I conceived and edited. Producer inquires welcome.
Cultural history essays about American booksellers, from the 18th century to the present.
Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities, by Alex Marshall (Running Press / Perseus / Hachette). Documentary film rights are available.
Exploring the Appalachian Trail, a five-volume series of hiking guides, now fully revised in a second edition and ebook editions (Stackpole / Globe Pequot).
At Emerson College, in the graduate program in Publishing and Writing, in 2016-17, I will teach "Book Publishing Overview" and "Book Editing." See QUICK LINKS, under SELECTED WORKS.
Travel writing and editing assignments have taken me far and wide. Summer '15, Canadian Maritimes, plus the French island of St. Pierre; Fall '14, on sabbatical in Europe, from Rome to the Scottish Highlands. Next up, Florence, Italy, publishing conference, By the Book, June '16. Dream trips still to come: Morocco and Patagonia.
Previous adventures in...
St. Martin, West Indies
US Virgin Islands
and deep inner space.
On this web site you will find information about my professional life.
-- PUBLISHING WORKSHOPS FOR ACADEMIC and TRADE BOOK AUTHORS
-- WRITING AND EDITING
-- BOOK PACKAGING
Excerpt from "The Palmer Method," Southwest Review, 2007 (Best Nonfiction Essay)
"From Canada, in cursive to die for, mother narrated for me the turbulent weather blowing in from across the twenty-five mile wide lake in front of our house. She told me about grey herons and screech owls and flying squirrels and fire flies that coasted right by her window. So many delicious words, so many exquisitely formed letters. I read, in her steady, always fully legible script, about the long awaited arrival of each summer’s crops of Silver Queen sweet corn and Big Boy tomatoes; about the tradesmen (her charmingly antique term) we had known for decades who stopped by, unscheduled, to fix whatever needed fixing and never gave her a bill. There’s no denying that a certain yearning abides in my heart for one more letter from her, postmarked Lowbanks, Ontario, Canada, because the quality of her handwriting, regardless of the banality of the news she passed on, confirmed in an instant that she still had her wits about her, that the effort required to add a touch of graciousness to life still seemed worth making.
I like to believe that still, somewhere, in that more gracious world, the ascenders rise in a handsome stretch skywards, the descenders dangle playfully like children’s legs off a dock on a warm summer’s day, the roundness of “a’s” and of “q’s” and the sensuous curves of “s’s” and “r’s” and the arresting angularity of “z’s” – that all these scratches on the page still yield something beautiful, personal, and meaningful when strung together with patience and care. The clock moved glacially in Mrs. Goldfus’s classroom in 1953, but not one of us was restive to leave our seats during the long penmanship exercises. Mastering the skill of writing in cursive with a straight pen was tantamount to learning to ride your bicycle with no hands – something every cool kid was determined to do.
Cursive power! Straight pen power! Viva Mrs. Goldfus! Viva the Palmer Method of Penmanship!"