In a previous post, “New book project is on,” I described my long road to getting offers of book contracts for my project on new ways of living. I discussed the theme of the book there, too. While working on the proposal, I had also been writing a bit about the topic elsewhere – mostly in blog posts, but also in a brief opinion piece for the New York Times. Below are links to much of what I have written so far.
By the way, the picture is of a “pocket neighborhood” right here in Santa Barbara. It was designed by the visionary architect, Ross Chapin, who also wrote the book on the topic: Pocket neighborhoods: Creating small-scale community in a large-scale world.
Last January was when I first decided, with lots of input from my agent, on the theme of my new book project. It is about the many creative ways that we are living now that Americans are spending more years of their adult lives unmarried than married, and only about 20 percent of all households are comprised of mom, dad, and the kids. These are huge change from decades past. (See below for more on the theme of the book.)
Because of the prominent mention of people who are single-at-heart in the New York Times, I have been getting more inquiries than usual about what it means to be single-at-heart. Research on the concept is just beginning. Below are links to what I have written so far, and what I have learned from the first 1,200 people who took the single-at-heart survey.
Seems like this “All things single” blog has been a bit neglected of late. Sorry about that. I have been happily busy with lots of things. I’m getting that new-ways-of-living project off the ground, doing all the interviews I can afford to do on my own dime in order to be able to write a compelling enough proposal to get a book contract. That means either interviewing people I can get to easily by train or car, or visiting friends who can put me up for free. If I do get a contract, then I will be less constrained by costs.
Solo dwellers, we have our book! Eric Klinenberg’s book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, will be published tomorrow. My advanced copy is already dog-eared. At Living Single, I explained why I think this book will become a social science classic, read by students, scholars, and smart readers everywhere for years to come. At my Single at Heart blog, I shared 12 of the surprising facts you can learn about living alone from Going Solo.
Over at the Huffington Post, a post titled Holiday Advice for the Single Woman: 8 Reasons to Enjoy It, is getting teased this way:
“Instead of feeling down on yourself the next time Grandma asks you when you are going to meet a nice boy and give her grandkids, focus on why it’s sweet to be single over the holidays.”
Sitting in my favorite chair, sipping a cup of dark roast, I realized my 59th birthday is three months away. After a moment of terror, I fell into thinking about my life so far and where 58 years has “brought” me: I am approaching 60, was laid-off 6 months ago, I’m unattached, and starting my fifth career. The only constant in my life I could come up with, the one thread tying the patchwork pieces together, is depression.
“Wow,” I said to my cats, “the pinnacle of almost six decades of living! I never could have imagined.” Then, I did what anyone in this situation would do, I laughed. I don’t know what else to do with life sometimes. Besides, though my pinnacle of achievement is not as stupendous as I thought it would be by now, I’m happy (when I’m not depressed).