This New Directions Initiative project involves exploring the process of writing a trade book, tentatively titled "Difficult by Design." Grant funds will support attendance at the three-day "Midwest Writers Workshop" to be held at Ball State University in July 2011. While the faculty proposer has written several book chapters and has edited several books, all of these prior works have been aimed at an academic audience. Therefore, learning to write a trade book geared toward a general audience represents a new direction. The specific topic of the book builds on a first year seminar course entitled "The Science of Design" that the faculty proposer has taught several times. Follow-up to the New Directions Initiative Exploration project is expected to come in the form of a book writing project that will be carried out during an anticipated sabbatical leave during the 2012-2013 academic year.