January is the month for writing. The time is perfect. The holidays are completed, clients lazily make their way back to the office, and I get to avoid the cold north. I try to stay on the road during the warm months, and when Christmas arrives I start the tedious process of collecting and collating all of my thoughts and work in the reports that are required. I have spent most of this month ensconced in my office, failing away at the keyboard while my two cats watched approvingly.
The reports are done. The drafts for the first phase of the Caribbean birding trail interpretive plan, the Nebraska Sandhills Journey interpretive plan, and the ecotourism strategy for Kansas are all in circulation. Today I finished the final presentations for my workshops at NCTC next week, and I am making travel plans to return to Kansas for work on the byways later in the month. Yes, there is pride that comes with accomplishment. I try not to linger long in self-satisfaction, though. To be perfectly honest, a month in the office leaves me stir crazy.
I thoroughly enjoy the field work, I confess. There is nowhere I would rather be than out rather than in. But I have learned to appreciate my writing time as well. I do like to see the finished product, that magical moment when text, design, images, and insight come together in something singular.
I also found time this month to continue working on efforts to conserve Shoal Creek in Austin (my home). I created a blog for that effort several months ago. A number of stakeholders have joined me in creating a new organization, the Shoal Creek Conservancy, and the blog has been retooled to fit the needs of the organization. I enjoy this volunteer effort, and my time along the creek has opened my eyes to the incredible resource that it represents.
Fermata is well into its second decade, and I marvel at what we have accomplished over those years. More importantly, though, I am anticipating the next project, the next challenge. There is never a moment for rest in this business. Contracts are finite, and the demands of life are eternal. Hopefully our paths will cross during this new year.
Ted Lee Eubanks
29 Jan 2013