The Book: Word Engineering

Posted by in Book

Dear Amigo,

I’m on the third floor in my corner office here at Casa Oro (Mom, I made it!). The power’s out, so I’m writing this first draft by pen and paper. It’s a hot and windy day here in San Juan del Sur – dry season in Nicaragua. Only a few brave leaves remain clinging to their branches and, soon, they’ll be taken, and it’ll look like a desert outside – a sharp contrast to the lush jungle scenery from a month ago.

This newsletter is the first of a series of updates chronicling the creation of the book I’ve mentioned for the last two years. After much initial stream-of-consciousness writing, it’s time to shape it into something to share with the world.

Beside me is my hermano, Dane Johnson. We met in Chicago during our year as Founding Fellows of Experience Institute. He’s a talented writer, published poet, musician and all-around wonderful human being. I’ve recited his poem, Natural State, dozens of times in front of crowds from around the globe, as it cuts so deeply into why I’m here. Dane has joined me here to help write this book.

Together, we’ve been posing questions that we hope this book will answer. Here are three of nearly 60 that we’ve been asking:

  • What is a regenerative business model?
  • How can we apply design inspired by nature to shape society?
  • What’s love got to do with it?

We’ve also been focusing in on who we are writing this book for, thinking specifically of a person who we want this work to resonate with. This suggestion was given to us as we listened to the best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) instruct aspiring writers at a recent conference Dane and I both attended in Los Angeles.

In the coming month, we are aiming to complete the first draft of the first chapter and to complete a proposal to ship to potential publishers. We’ll continue sharing updates on the book’s progress with you here until you can hold a copy of the finished product in your own hands.

For now, let us share a sneak-peek of an introductory poem for the first chapter; it’s intent is to poetically outline what’s ahead:

A boy who couldn’t speak,
following faith blindly.
An achievement junkie,
working on it.
A sacrificial savior,
making a small dent,
longing to be content.

If you’re interested in the topics of regeneration, sustainability, ecotourism, and/or building a business in a foreign land, then stay tuned. We’re going to be covering all of those things here.

Con Amor,
Muffa & Señor Johnson

PS: Dane is fairly consistent at sharing micro-updates on his Instagram account. Follow him there for visual updates on the project. I hope he tags me…

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