Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Book (Part 1)

What's the significance of publishing a book for an academician? Some of the participants in the workshop agreed jokingly that it would make the CV looks good. Anyway, publishing in indexed journals certainly gives more weightage. A medical doctor who sat next to me, with a smirk, admitted it was for getting a promotion.

The purpose of the workshop like I mentioned earlier was to encourage us to convert our theses into books, so they can be published. One of the speakers said, for a PhD to be evaluated, only a few in the exam board read it. A lot of times, PhDs are left to collect dust on shelves as a lot of the scholars just do not manage to publish them (or part of them) due to various reasons.

But before I move on, I decided to record my journey in making the book a reality as a motivation to move ahead. I'm so excited about this project but I can loose my momentum, it can be draggy and I just can't afford to delay it. I have my target.

As for myself I attended the 5 days (with 4 nights finishing at 10.30 pm) meeting because I'm just not satisfied with what I've published so far from the thesis. I have new materials now, and the only way I can share my findings from the thesis is the book. And it's the fastest way I can think of.

At the beginning of the meeting, the only idea I had was the book would not differ much from the thesis. I thought I just needed some editing, I thought it was just a one-off assignment. But the first thing the speaker asked us was who would be our target readers. It didn't take me long to decide, among a lot of other things I do, I always want to share what I've been doing with the general public the most.

I'd been asked simple questions like "How old is the cave?", "How the cave is being formed?", "How long does a stalagmite take to grow 1 cm?".

I want to express how fascinated I am looking at the harmonious relationship between human and nature, between the people and limestone hills in the Kinta Valley. The expression on the faces of visitors in Gua Tempurung tells me they are just as fascinated as I am, at the same time they ponder on the God's wondrous creations.

And that would make the book differs from the thesis in some parts, as how we write, the style we choose must really relate to the readers. And I never really thought about that.

So, now my wonderful previledged readers already know the synopsis of the book;).

The editors said mine has the potential of being published as a coffee table book. I was like "Er...what's that?". They said it must be accompanied by lots of pics from a professional. Now, that's a challenge. Another is finding a sponsor as publishing that can be expensive.

I would leave the challenges aside and worry about them later. The manuscript must be ready before November. Sometimes I think I'd explode with excitement, other times I just can't help it. I feel a tinge of sadness when I think about my recent loss, as I was in between the workshop and the hospital during that time, and worrying (and crying sometimes) all the time. The book will forever reminds me of it.

Here's the first part, I hope it won't take me long to write the second which would show some progress of the book-writing, hopefully.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're book already sounds great Ros! I can feel the excitement through your writing. Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavour and hope that your book becomes a reality-soon! :D

10:54 AM  
Blogger mama23beas said...

Whoever you are anon...thanks, we will see that happening, though I'm just nervous as it also means an additional thing in my to-do-list;)

4:03 PM  
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