With the decision to make Anthrospin my official full time occupation, a lot has already begun to change. Dedicated blocks of time spent on ONLY writing, researching, outlining, editing, networking, or any of the other countless tasks I’ve been so excellent at falling behind on mean that EVERYTHING is making significant headway.
I have reviewed the majority of my materials on Scrimshaw and have put together a broad but pretty solid inventory of what I have to work with and what I need. This has led to a decent outline with essentially a four act story. It touches on indigenous whaling before the start of European colonization in the Americas, segueing into the onset of European/American whaling and what it meant for indigenous communities and practices, contrasted with what it meant for the Western World as a whole. From there it moves to the shift to petroleum for heating and lighting oil, sort of just in time for the collapsed of marine mammal populations.
After that it moves on to how our dependence on oil has similarly impacted indigenous communities and communities of lesser means in general (particularly in more remote parts of the world). It leaves off painting a picture of history repeating itself, with more dire consequences each time it does, and hopefully a mushy and inspiring message to take away at the end.
It’s been fairly tough to re-insert my brain into this project. I have probably over 100 hours of audio and video to pore over, and who knows how many documents and images. I think my time away and current return from this project has given me a better perspective both on the importance of this project and why I am a good person to be telling it. I don’t anticipate finishing this one before the move, but I DO anticipate finishing it by the end of the year at this rate.
I am very deep into formatting the cast iron book. This is exciting for a whole lot of reasons. There is still a lot of information to add to it, and I’ve been doing a lot of backtracking to get more primary source documentation. It’s coming along very well and I feel comfortable saying that it will be available for pre-order (if not purchase!) by July, 2022. Just in time for the move, actually.
And speaking of the move! There is a pretty fun project in the works related to it. My wife, our baby, and I are going to be working out a podcast format that explores the challenges and fun of living in and learning a new culture with a baby. It’s a very rough concept right now but we are both (all?) very excited for it and think a lot of people will get a lot out of it.
Lastly, and I am super excited for this part, starting next month (May, 2022) Anthrospin will be adding two contributing authors to the website. I’m going to hold off on a lot of the specific details, but both an archaeologist and a primatologist will be contributing regularly to speak to current topics and/or issues within their respective sub-disciplines. This has been a pipe dream of Anthrospin for a while now, and is the first step toward building a platform for student contributors and paid internships, and (eventually, hopefully) scholarships.
All of it means I’m going to have to devote more time to building a funding base for Anthrospin, but with a full-time schedule to work on that, it doesn’t seem so insane anymore.