I'm pleased to share that my essay "Five Hundred Miles" appears in the 2022 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to give a presentation and lead a workshop at the low-residency MFA program I graduated from eight (!!) years ago. It was so good to be in a milieu of writers for the day, and both my sessions went incredibly well---I felt good while they were happening and I got good immediate feedback from a few students who stuck around (I think I might even have acquired a fan). It made me think I want to do more of it. Not teaching every day, and not in a traditional classroom setting. Certainly not to children or (horrors) teenagers. But adults eager and excited to learn, in a beautiful location, where I don't have to do any of the work to promote the event or recruit the participants, yes please.So that's on my to-do list, what I'm thinking of as my leveling-up plan. Although it's not so much a plan yet as an aspiration, a desire to raise myself up to the next rung in the writerly career. Some steps along the way include illustrating my second book and writing my third book. Both of these seem, from where I stand now, really, really hard. Beyond my current abilities. But I remind myself that when I was in the early stages of writing Uphill Both Ways that I didn't feel smart enough for what I wanted to do with the book---incorporate natural, cultural, and environmental history in the travel narrative in a way that felt natural and seamless to the reader. All that research, all that managing of different narrative threads seemed like it was going to be too difficult and unwieldy. But just as when you face an impenetrable mountain range you can find a path through, I found my way into the heart of the story I wanted to tell, and I succeeded in writing it the way I envisioned.
It just takes putting one foot in front of the other, or in this case, pen and pencil to page. So that's my plan for July and August, daily drawing sessions, and writing or reading/research sessions. I'll also be playing along with the Summer Blueprint & Butt in the Chair Challenge with #AmWriting and Author Accelerator. By the end of August, I'll have a plan for Book #3, and although I have a pretty good (I think) mental picture for how this book will go, having it all on paper should make it that much easier to stick to it.
I also want to try to avoid trying to do ALL THE THINGS this summer, as is my wont. Yes, birding, butterflying, dragonflying, hiking, and kayaking. Beach trips. Yoga when I get around to it. Reading through the books stack (which unaccountably keeps growing). Keep on promoting Book #1. That's a lot already, so I'm going to try to avoid adding additional projects to the list. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
A monthly post about what I've been reading, with aspirations but no real hope of reading down a very tall stack of books. Previous posts from this year: