So this is happening:
My book cover is finished! The design is by the incomparable Alejandra Wilson. Alejandra hiked the PCT in both 2013 and 2014, and she’s also an incredible cartoonist. You can check out her amazing comics here.
The cover is done, I’m in the final stages of copy editing/content editing/book formatting. Everything is starting to feel super duper real, and that both excites me and fills me with anxiety and dread. This will be the first time I’ve ever published a full length manuscript, and I’m doing it myself. I only hope that the book, when it comes out in April, doesn’t suck. That is my one hope.
A few weeks ago wordpress tweeted a link to my Cat Power post, and as a result I gained about 600 new followers. Welcome! I rarely write about my romantic life online, but when I do, and people respond to it, I’m reminded how universally relatable those experiences can be. I share so many parts of myself online but my dating life has always felt too private to blog about, like something I want to protect. Something that belongs to me. While it may seem as though I overshare with wild abandon here on the good ol internets, anyone with experience blogging or writing memoir understands what strong boundaries and emotional level-headedness it takes to be vulnerable in this way. Basically, this blog is a performance. It’s art. Just like all memoir. It’s not me. Actually, I’ve been told by a handful of people who read my blog before becoming friends with me that I’m really different in person than I am online. In person I’m blunt, funny, calm, level-headed, loyal, honest, grumpy and somewhat introverted. I don’t drink and I hate small talk, so I’m miserable at parties. I focus on one thing at a time to the point of obsession, so I usually only want to hang out with people who also want to do or talk about that thing. Right now I’m interested in self-publishing and long-distance hiking. You want to hang out? Ha ha.
That being said, during my PCT hike in 2013 I had one of the most epic romances of my entire life. I carefully edited it out of my blog at the time with a sort of literary photoshop, changing key details so that my readers wouldn’t know what was happening. Luckily for you, however, I feel like this trailmance adds an incredible amount to the story of my 2013 hike, and so I worked it back into second draft, using the journal I kept on the trail. Epic trailmance, for me, may not belong on my real-time blog, but in a book? Fuck yeah!
Makin’ out in the woods. So my book has that going for it, if nothing else.
Speaking of being in the woods, hiking season has started again (yay spring!) and there are already some really, really good blogs by hikers doing super cool trails. These blogs, when I can’t be on the trail myself, are like my favorite thing in the world. #1 best off-season entertainment, hands down. Here are a bunch that I’ve been super stoked on-
Jason Reamy is hiking the AT northbound, after which he’ll hike the CDT southbound. His blog so far is super good. I’m hooked! He’s also on instagram here.
My friend Lia (trail name Babytooth) is starting the PCT in a month. She’ll be keeping a video blog, which is cool- video trail journals aren’t that common. I also happen to think she’s super funny. You can also follow Lia on instagram here.
Desert trails! Three of the desert trails I’m most interested in right now are the Arizona Trail, the Hayduke trail and the Grand Enchantment Trail. And right now there’s an awesome blogger on each one! INTERNETZ, WE ARE SO SPOILED.
Wired is thru-hiking the Hayduke Trail. Wired’s blogs are super informative, almost like guidebooks. The info she puts online is invaluable.
Chance is about to start the Grand Enchantment Trail. This is the one I’d like to do the most. The route was developed by Brett Tucker, the same guy who created the L2H, and if it’s anything like the L2H it’ll be a wonderfully challenging tour of magical desert landscapes and enchanted water sources. I can’t wait to read about it!
Speaking of the L2H, the other day I stumbled upon the blog of Christy “Rockin'” Rosander, who is about to set out on the L2H with her husband. They start March 28th! Rockin’ will be blogging about the journey, which is super cool. There are so few trip reports online about the L2H, I’m really excited that there’s going to be a new one. And that I get to hike the trail again vicariously, via her blog.
One last exciting thing- I have a Q&A in the current issue of Brink Magazine, wherein I talk about long-distance hiking. This entire issue was written and photographed by women, and features all women. There are interviews with so many amazing people in this issue, I’m still sort of stunned and honored that I got to take part in it at all. Check it out, if you haven’t already.