Discover more from Wonderlust
Weathering Doldrums & Moving Foreword
Why is it that when so many people talk about the future, they’ll say, “Moving forward, we’ll do X?”
I’ve always found moving forward an odd term. What other direction could we possibly be moving? Why not say in the future or from now on if you’d like to save a syllable?
Forward is our limited, incomplete experience of time, whereas God experiences all of time all at once and, as Thoreau said, “culminates in the present.” For us tiny humans, forward is relative to perspective.
I’d rather talk about forewords. You know, those handfuls of pages at the beginnings of books that you skip – unless, perhaps, you’re an Enneagram Five who can’t get enough knowledge.
Me, I love forewords and prefaces. (I’m not a Five, but the Five-wing force is strong with this Four.) These preambles are full of backstories, keen reflections and anecdotal color.
When it came to the foreword for Walden, I wanted to describe why we love the book at hand, why it matters more than ever and the why behind our editorial approach.
I’m delighted to share the first half of our foreword with you today. I say “our” because my co-editor, Corinne, penned these words. In the next Wonderlust, I’ll share the second part, written by yours truly.
We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, I have to level with you: our Walden preorder is stuck on the struggle bus. True, we’re only about a third into the campaign with over sixty days left. But as I write, we’re one book shy of 17% funded and at that rate, the project will not come to fruition.
I’d like to ask for your help. This isn’t a desperate appeal, but it is an urgent one. And I thank you in advance. Words can’t express my gratitude for the encouragement I’ve heard thus far from so many of you. You clearly believe this project matters.
We need to seriously pick up the pace if we’re going to produce this book that so many of you want to hold in your bands. Frankly, I’ve worked too long and hard on this book for it to die now.
I think somewhere in the business owner’s etiquette manual, there’s a word about putting a positive spin on crappy situations. Only show the highlight reel and sweep the pain under the rug. But I don’t buy it. I’d rather shoot straight, let people know what’s at stake and how they can help. And yes, you can help us – in less than ten minutes.
First, please share about The New Walden on your Facebook or Twitter feed. I’ve already written a post for your copy-and-pasting pleasure:
Calling all book lovers! This forthcoming edition of Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ is designed with love and made to last for centuries. Illustrated, annotated, clothbound. Housed in a gorgeous slipcase. Reserve your copy and help #thenewwalden come to life. https://bit.ly/3PSW3vj
Second, (here comes that word again) forward this email to anyone you know who appreciates well-crafted books, nature writing or Thoreau.
We’ve sold a few score books through direct outreach, social media and features in a few other newsletters, but most preorders thus far have come from those of you on this email list. If each of you finds just one person in your network who chooses to buy a book, we’ll be funded with weeks to spare.
The New ‘Walden’ Foreword, Part One
By Corinne H. Smith
You may know of Henry David Thoreau only by his general reputation and his famous quotes, and not by reading any of his books. You may have heard that he went off to live by himself in the woods, somewhere near a pond, and that he wrote about what he saw and what he thought. And you may also have heard that he spent a night in jail because he refused to pay a state tax. You will find these stories here. Throughout Walden, Thoreau will share with you some of his experiences and the natural wisdom he gleaned during his residency at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.
The Original Vision
Despite a lean budget, some wonky audio and several aspects that have evolved over time, our 2016 Kickstarter campaign video still captures the essence and purpose of this project.
My brother, Bryan, and his wife Ariadne wrote and recorded the gorgeous music for this video. It still gives me chills. Sound on! 🔈