September 17 probably came and went without you recognizing that it was About Bone’s fifth birthday. I started blogging then in 2017 because I wanted to write a book about bone. Before accepting such a proposal, a publisher wants to know that the author has a “platform.” This might be, for instance, 10 million twitter followers or international visibility in the daily news. So to entice a publisher, I started blogging to increase my platform.

A year later when I submitted the proposal for Bone, Inside and Out, to publishers, WW Norton bit, even though my platform was somewhat less impressive than John Grisham’s or Jennifer Aniston’s.

After WWN accepted the final manuscript for Bone in December 2019, I discovered that I had more stories to tell about bone. Some topics hadn’t fit in the book. I also found new topics, and readers suggested others.

Feeling ambitious, I started blogging every week, but I soon discovered that each post was very time consuming because I wanted to put bone’s best foot forward. Now, I post every three to four weeks. That is a pace I can sustain and which I hope will not overburden loyal readers.

Today’s post is #105. The most popular posts in 2021 were

Bone or Ivory? A Cautionary Note for Collectors and Gifters (2017)

Serpent slither from the sea, meaning is ambiguous. (2020)

The Versatile Cannon Bone. What Is It? (2018)

Skulls in Fine Art (2018)

The dates in parentheses indicate the year that the article was posted. So you can see that interest in bone is durable. If you find yourself in solitary confinement or trapped on a desert island that happens to have internet connection, you might enjoy scrolling through the archives and reading/rereading some of the other 100 posts.

I could probably continue blogging about nothing other than bone forever, but I have decided to extend my reach and begin including posts on bone’s closest friend: muscle. Many of the upcoming posts, beginning with #106, A Snake’s Breathtaking Embrace, will feature interesting information on both bone and muscle.

WW Norton found my relatively paltry but slowly enlarging platform acceptable because they have agreed to publish Muscle, The Gripping Story of Strength and Movement in June 2023. They now have the final manuscript, and Muscle is in production. (Remarkable to me but characteristic of the industry, a publisher typically requires nine months to turn a manuscript into a finished product.) I will keep you informed as I sign off on jacket design, ask notables to write endorsements for the back cover, and other milestones.

In the meantime, join with me in celebrating About Bone’s fifth birthday. An author’s platform can never be too big, so let your social media contacts know how much fun reading about bone and muscle can be.

Rick Steves signs off with “Keep on traveling.” I say, “Keep on learning.”

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