I am the ultimate morning person. The fresh promise of a new day always energizes me, and I can often be found writing as the sun rises, at least in the darker months. Today, here in Bremen, Maine, the sun rose at the precocious hour of 4:54 a.m., as it has for the last week or so. This is the third day of my summer vacation, so I was still deep in sleep at that hour. Nonetheless, I arose a little later with a much-anticipated mission—to give you all a glimpse into my new book and update you on recent milestones.
There is no better place to begin my story than with Maine Authors Publishing, my partner in publishing and marketing my work. Located in Thomaston, around twenty-two miles from my home, MAP has welcomed me into their fabulous community of authors and guided me through the years with wisdom and patience.
As a veteran author, navigating the publishing process has been smoother this second time around. One week ago, the edited manuscript was returned to me. Hundreds of edits, many repetitive in nature, awaited review. As I worked through them, the value of professional editing was once again clearly apparent. I learned a lot, too.
I hereby resolve to remember not to indent the first paragraph of a chapter or section, to spell good-bye with a hyphen and nonprofit without one. Note, in top paragraph, how proudly I exhibit my newly acquired ability to insert an em dash in place of a minus sign. Perhaps there won’t be so many edits next time around!
With Upwards, the adventure inspired the writing. With Through Woods & Waters (or will it be Through Woods and Waters?) , the writing inspired the adventure. By spring 2018, I was yearning to embark on another long wilderness expedition, one that could become the subject of a second book. I wanted a compelling destination and challenges in getting there. Tough river sections, novel vistas, thrilling beauty, rich history—I found them all on the way to and through newly established Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. (Look, another em dash!).
My travels began with a backpack and hiking boots, following the International Appalachian Trail up and over mountains and along part of the river I would later descend by canoe. After the backpacking trip and a long-awaited book event, I put my small canoe in at the western end of Seboomook Lake, some 150 miles from the national monument boundary. Going the long way ’round allowed me to incorporate a couple of hitherto unexplored alternative routes of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, as well as the upper reaches of the East Branch Penobscot watershed.
Shortly after creating this blog in spring 2015, I wrote a post about the “why” of attempting a solo NFCT thru-paddle. That post, entitled May you find fireplace birds, still rang true as I embarked on my newest adventure. Should you decide to come along on the journey, you will see that I found more this time than I ever could have anticipated.