Am not around much because I'm deep into it (the new book, I mean). I just started a new section of the project, which means reading tons (not quite literally, but almost) of material and getting myself up to speed on homesteading laws, property law in the 20th century, the nature and meaning of "modern" agriculture, more in anti-trust legislation, and other matters that probably don't sound interesting. (Although I intend to make them not just interesting but fascinating for the people who read the book).
I'm also at the point of the project where, for better or worse (and I can never decide which) that my sleep at night is wracked with dreams about the book. When I wrote the beer book, for example, for several months running I dreamed about Frederick Pabst and Adolphus Busch. We took carriage rides together, enjoyed long dinners, shared long conversations. (Yes, it was interesting. Although the meals contained an insane amount of heavy, rich food.)
The new book involves also involves people although none of them enjoy the several-chapters-long central role played by Pabst and Busch. So my current dreams tend to revolve around Congressional hearings, city streets clogged with livestock, and anonymous ranchers and livestock commission agents.
But that's okay. My dream-mind is enjoying lively conversations and I'm listening to people debate and argue and sometimes shout at each other, and in general go about the business of letting me understand their world. (Although frankly I could do with less shouting; the other night, a heated Congressional investigation of some sort kept waking me up. Maddening.)
I know. I know. It's weird. But it's how my mind works when I'm deep into a subject. So --- back at it. I'd say I'll see you in my dreams, but I dunno. I kind of doubt you'll show up there --- and I bet you wouldn't like it if you did. Back to work.