It was 1992 when Mel Maron and I had just published the third edition of Numerical Analysis: A Practical Approach. One of our editors made the suggestion that a Maple version of an advanced engineering math book should be written. For the next five years I steadfastly resisted the challenge. Finally, in 1997 I signed a contract with Addison Wesley for a 1000-page AEM text, the manuscript due in two years.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where I was teaching in the math department is on the quarter system, and math faculty normally teach twelve contact hours. Calculus classes are five hours per week, so for each calculus course taught, a faculty member picks up an extra hour. To minimize prep time, I wrangled three courses all the same, but they had to be calculus courses, so I was teaching fifteen contact hours and writing what turned out to be a 1200-page text.
After the first two quarters of academic year 1997, I needed to come up for air, so I set aside the project and spent several months putting together a Maple-based tensor calculus course. Happily, I even got to teach it in the following school year. One of the high points for me was animating a parallel vector field along a latitude on a sphere.