Remembering Thoreau & Walden ... Plus BIG related book news!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It is a gorgeous spring day on the coast of Michigan. The lake is flat, the breeze is warm, the tree limbs are heavy with new leaves, bluebells and dogwoods saturate the surrounding woods, and tulips light the yard. It makes you thankful for the simple things that nature provides ... even a former city boy like myself, who tends to prefer Starbuck's and Banana Republic over mulch and duck eggs.

I took our mutts -- Mabel and Marge -- for a walk along our trails and through the woods today, and let them sniff the emerging ferns that are popping up along the creek, sprint through our neighbor Sally and David's blueberry fields and woods, and generally embrace spring.

I returned to find the following email from Sally:

"It was 6 May 1862 at 9:00 am that Henry David Thoreau made the change. His sister Sophia was attending him. Thoreau asked her to read aloud from the last chapter of A Week. After she had read the sentence, 'We glided past the mouth of the Nashua, and not long after of Salmon Brook, without more pause than the wind,' Henry murmured, 'Now comes good sailing.' A short time later he died.

Enjoy this day of serenity and reflection. A walk in the woods is most fitting.

With this in mind, I think it only fitting to announce that my third memoir, tentatively titled RACCOONS, RATTLERS & RESORT WEAR: A CITY BOY BATTLES BLIZZARDS, WRESTLES RACCOONS & CUTS CABLE IN A QUEST FOR HIS MODERN-DAY WALDEN POND, will publish next summer from Random House/Harmony (my current publisher).

It was recently described this way on Publishers Marketplace: "America's Boy and Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler author Wade Rouse's Raccoons, Rattlers & Resort Wear: A City Boy Battles Blizzards, Wrestles Raccoons and Cuts Cable in A Quest for His Modern-Day Walden Pond, pitched as 'Sex & The City Goes Country' as the author strikes out for rural America in an effort to recreate Thoreau's Walden but discovers the simple life isn't so simple, especially when wearing high fashion waders. A hilarious and heartwarming memoir that seeks to find if it's possible to recreate one's life in today's fast-paced society."

The upcoming year will be filled with lots of RACCOONS news, including contests, exclusive peeks at early chapters and covers, and more (including other big work due out this fall)!

For now, I end with two passages from Walden, which remind us to admire what is around us as well as to follow our dreams:

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each."

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

Happy spring ... and happy castle-building,