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Fed Ex Santa

Karl Giberson

Writer’s Log: Stardate 22-2-12

Yesterday morning, as I was preparing to head across Boston to Gordon College, a Fed Ex truck pulled into my yard. This piqued my interest, of course, since Fed Ex is a bit like Santa Claus, bringing fun packages. 

When I saw the driver staggering out with three clearly heavy boxes, I knew what Fed Ex Santa was bringing—my new book from InterVarsity: The Wonder of the World: Hints of God in a Fine-Tuned World.

Getting the printed copies of something you have written or worked on is so satisfying.  I can remember, when I was an editor, how my entire staff would stop working, put their feet on their desks, and read the latest issue of Science & Spirit when it arrived from the printer. There is something wonderfully tangible about a printed copy of your work—like a flourishing plant you nurtured from a seed to full maturity.

I gathered some copies of The Wonder of the World and headed to Gordon. I had made arrangements with my publisher to provide a free copy for all the students in my writing workshop. It was great seeing the excitement in the class when I gave them the copies of the book. Our class—my “dream team”— is starting to feel a bit like a “family” where we are all interested in each other’s achievements, and they were genuinely interested in my new book. It was, I must say, humbling.

We used the last half hour of class to talk about the book and we got to discuss the many trivial—and not-so-trivial—considerations that go into writing a book. How do you get permissions for pictures? Lyrics? Quotes? Who designs the cover? Can authors write the titles and subtitles for their own books? How do you choose blurbers for the back cover?  My goal in this writing class was to let students see the writing process from every imaginable angle and the arrival of a newly published book is one of those many angles.

Books—even boring ones—are quite interesting when you look at them in the right way.