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Hello friends,

So it's been a year. I remember how innocent some of us were back in March 2020. Some of us made funny backpacking videos in our yards. We debated over whether it was ethical to drive to Cow Creek to hike, fifty miles away. We were frightened of the grocery store. People were kinder then.

In many ways, I've been fortunate. I've been working at home for ten years, so that didn't change, but instead of phone calls, where you could pace as you talked, everyone leapt on the video conference bandwagon. Looking at faces all day is hard, especially if you lead the... Read More...

Dear Vaccinated Friends,

I am happy for you. Seriously. I'm glad you are protected, though for how long we don't know. I'm also glad because everyone who gets vaccinated may make up for the deniers who have been gathering all along. So go ahead and celebrate, post on Facebook, whatever you need to do. But please. Think about the rest of us before you go on. Before you go on to say, "I'm vaccinated, so I am going to travel here." "I'm vaccinated, so I'm going to hug anyone who is vaccinated!" (I guess the rest of us are out of luck) "I'm vaccinated, so I am going to visit vaccinated... Read More...

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It helps me get the word out about my books. I love it when people write to me about what they felt when reading them. (Go to the contact form!) But...

I remember when Facebook started. It was exciting because here, some of us thought, was a way to connect with our far-flung friends, share our lives, especially because nobody really wrote letters anymore. But other stuff seemed to creep in. Pretty soon, people you never knew in real life wanted to be "friends." Ads appeared. People began to argue with strangers. I do like some of... Read More...

Querying for a book you have written is sort of like asking someone out on a date. Only in this case, you may never get a response, or you get a form letter back, or if you are very lucky, someone may want a first date (e.g. "send me the first fifty pages") or a second date ("Send me the whole thing"). Ack! it is nerve-wracking and makes me wonder why I do it. But, nevertheless, I persist, and have sent several queries for the novel out to various locations. Now I wait. Some take 4-6 months, yes that is MONTHS! The supply far outweighs the demand.

So what to do while waiting? Ski,... Read More...

Need something to read? Order from the Press!

Anyone else struggling? I'm usually really motivated, but lately I have had to force myself to do much. Writing, forget about it! I can't even spend time reading anymore. I think we all could benefit from off the grid cabins somewhere in the woods, for something like a year. I have an acquaintance who goes into the Alaskan bush every winter to run a trapline with her husband and child. She doesn't have cell service or internet for six months. That sounds pretty good right now.

But we go on. I am on night 32 of backpacking this summer. Normally I do a couple two and three week long... Read More...

Anyone else decide there are things that aren't worth doing anymore? I don't know if it is Covid or what, but I've decided to stop doing a few things that don't "spark joy." (Working doesn't really spark joy, but you know...)

  • Being someone else's guidebook. Several people ask me about snow conditions on trails, or where to hike, or for recommendations. Then they go back to their own clique group and don't invite me along. These are people I have invited along with me, but they always demur for whatever reason. So it's not like it's one way. I'm over it; I'll still give some... Read More...

I used to be a runner. I guess I shouldn't say used to be, because I still run. But my running is far different than it was. I've been running for.....42 years (yes that ages me, but I was young when I began). I haven't stuck with ANYTHING else that long (except chocolate). Back in the day, I ran fast. My training runs were between 7 and 8 minute miles--I didn't know about easy runs then. Races were in the 6 something range. sometimes very low sixes. I probably had some natural talent that could have been shaped into something, but there weren't really training plans then. You just ran as... Read More...

I've decided to talk about other things than writing here. If you aren't a writer, then it is a little...boring.

I won't duplicate my hiking blog, but I will share other things now and then. Lately, the world has gone a little crazy, and I have been going out into the woods. I do this all the time anyway but I find that now is more important than ever. I grab the dog, a backpack, and just go. Before Corona I took friends, but now I go solo. It helps to even out the rough edges. I feel like I could walk forever, and I remind myself that I have walked the length of the country. There'... Read More...

This weekend I led a writing workshop via Zoom. There were 17 people, and too much to say. I most likely overwhelmed them with all of my talking. There is so much I have learned, but everyone has their own path. 

I asked people to type in the chat about their project. There were all sorts of creative answers. I want to read all of their books! 

So there's this. In spite of the fact that less people are reading, and instead tapping on their phones, in spite of the fact that you don't make any money as an author, in spite of the depressing and divisive state of the world,... Read More...

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