An idea for a new book took hold today. I don’t mean a new idea — it was one that I’d been kicking around for a while. But today, for whatever reason, it seized my imagination and demanded to be moved to the head of the line of my various projects. (It’s nonfiction, by the way.)

My family went on a short road trip this morning. Ordinarily on our outings I’m happy to drive while my wife knits. But on the way to today’s destination, I asked my wife to drive while I outlined the book and bounced ideas off her. By the time we got where we were going, I had what I needed in order to begin researching. (I’ve sung my wife’s praises before, and I’ll do it again. She’s the best sounding board a guy could have.)

Not that I actually can just drop everything and turn my undivided attention to this new project, which I’ll call “E.F.” I’m still reworking James and want to get it finished and submitted to an interested editor. Just yesterday I did a phone interview with the daughter of a labor organizer whose threatened deportation played a key role in James’ life, and early this morning, before E.F. took hold, I e-mailed interview requests to another couple of potential sources.

But E.F. is not going to be denied, I don’t think. It seems like the perfect next step for me professionally, a world of fun to research, an important topic for its audience to know about, and a timely one to boot. It’s all I can do to go to bed tonight and not stay up late to start my fact-gathering.