Thursday, May 17, 2018

For the Book

When I last checked in I mentioned a new book in the works, one focusing on poker and popular culture that will be bringing together a lot of the poker-related writing I’ve done over the last decade-plus both here on the blog and via other outlets.

As I’ve mentioned, the book will be called Poker & Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America’s Favorite Card Game. While it discusses the history of the game it will primarily focus on cultural representations of poker -- i.e., “mainstream” depictions of the game that also tell the story of poker’s significance and attitudes toward the game.

As I continue to work on the book I’ve come to realize every time I think about posting something here on the blog, I’m better served not doing so and instead saving it “for the book.” Truth be told, it isn’t true that everything I might write about here belongs in the book, but I’m still at an early enough stage where I’m more inclined to include more than exclude when it comes to envisioning Poker & Pop Culture.

It’s great fun, let me tell you, thinking about what I want to include and still sitting here at a point where most of the different possible versions of the book still happily co-exist in my jingle-brain.

That said, I know that way of thinking about the book isn’t going to last much longer, as the book will, in the end, be of reasonable length. I remember interviewing James McManus back in 2009 shortly after he’d published Cowboys Full and him telling me how his original draft had been around 1,000 pages. I’m quickly realizing how if I included everything I could end up with something similarly unwieldy, and so am already in the process of trimming back as I expand.

I guess I’m also saving “for the book” my finite supply of energy for writing about poker, which I’m also continuing to do elsewhere as part of my regular workload. I additionally keep teaching my poker-related American Studies courses every semester at UNC-Charlotte, which also takes away from the time I might have spent on here scribbling over here.

I’ll keep checking in here, though, when I can, and promise once the manuscript has been submitted to do so more often, particularly as we get nearer to publication.

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