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What Have You Figured Out These Last Few Months?

We're #2!

We've had a really nice summer with the book so far. Highlights have included the event at Main Street Books in Davidson, NC, with many friends new attending, and good old buddies showed up as well. Eight of us trucked up (and down and over) to Roanoke to WVTF Virginia Public Radio, and were recorded reading from our "Reflections on the New River" work. I was interviewed about putting the book together as well. We expect an hour-long show to eventually be produced with the material, to be aired later this year.

McFarland Publishers put out their newsletter yesterday, and we appeared in the #2 spot for printed books. It's very gratifying to see our marketing efforts at work. Next up is the On the Same Page Literary Festival appearance on Saturday, September 19, 10:00 a.m. at the Ashe County Farmers Market spot. So far, nearly 20 of the contributors to the book are planning to be on hand. It should be wonderful! Read More 
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So Crazy Good

I'm madly packing. I actually enjoy doing it - yes, it is crazy. But it's a challenge and an art, to assemble, anticipate, craft, wash, fold… I am getting really good at it, to tell you the truth.

It has been a whirlwind around here. We started out with a big dinner part -- a fundraising Feast for the Arts -- here at our house, then moved right on to the big book launch party, a rained out festival, then a special poetry reading and Wordkeepers, and a salon and performance for Henry and Scot. That's all in the last 10 days. Seriously?

Tomorrow my sister gets here -- she's minding my house and taking care of the kitties while we're gone to Jerusalem to participate in the Mt. Zion Dig again this year. In a weird way, the dig will be a kind of break in the action. As soon as we return, it all starts up again with book events, then a writing workshop (for which I have MUCH preparation to do) and then the Literary Festival… I think I'll have to rest for the holidays!

All of it. Every crazed minute, is good stuff, though. Stuff for which I am honored and privileged to have a part. Good thing I decided to go ahead and chop my hair and let the gray shine because no way would I have any time to deal with the!-  Read More 
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Coming Down to It...

Well, Julie, Scot and I went through every word of the new book. I read out loud and Julie or Scot sat there with a red pen and the print-out of the final copy from the publisher.

It's really going to happen.

I delivered all our marked pages to McFarland Publishers in Jefferson and then rolled down the windows in the car, turned up the radio (there was some early Fleetwood Mac playing), and cruised the few miles home with a satisfying grin on my face.

Now comes the cat wrangling. Our plan for selling this puppy includes as many readings/signings as we can line up in all three states that the New River flows through, and with as many of the authors as we can schedule. We've got such a wonderful group of contributors, I know they are going to have lots of suggestions, and hopefully, they'll help out with some of the leg work involved in setting this kind of stuff up.

Let the games begin. It's going to be a busy summer. Read More 
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IT'S HERE!!! We have a title and a cover!!!!

Look what appeared in my email this afternoon. The book cover and the title! In the next couple of weeks I'll be able to post a link to the publisher's catalogue for pre-orders, too. It's all feeling real now.

We don't have a publication date yet, right now they're still saying spring/summer 2015, and we haven't seen a proof yet, but it looks like the price will be $19.95 which is very pleasing -- we wanted to keep it as low as possible.

YAY! Read More 
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Expedition 2011

For some unknown reason in 2010, every damn time I got in the river I managed to dump myself and go for a swim. And mind you, that's no mean feat in a kayak. Well, maybe EVERY time is a slight exaggeration, but not much...

But Wednesday, the first day of the National Committee for the New River's first day of the 2011 Expedition, I managed to stay upright the entire float. I almost bagged it on one little rapid/rock, but managed to save myself at the last minute. George was watching me and I think he was disappointed not to have to fish me out. I'm pretty clear that the reason it almost happened was the River Gods were warning me -- right before it happened we were talking about (and making fun of) people who come out on the New River with us and whine the whole time. All whining and bitching was noticeably absent on Wednesday -- keep your fingers crossed that this state of affairs continues throughout the Expedition. Read More 
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Tire Trip

Staff road trip! I drove up to West Virginia the other morning, right before the weather turned back to fall and summer finally got left behind. With me went Carol, George, Courtney, and Twelve Grain from the National Committee for the New River staff. It was a Courtney organized clean up affair. I was the designated driver, not because of heavy alcohol consumption, but because I had the car the we'd all fit in that day.

We met up with NPS rangers from the New River Gorge National River, a new area VISTA worker, and got wet and dirty and nasty pulling tires out of the river and off the shore. We ended up with three rafts full for the day.

What, I ask you, is the deal with people dumping tires in the river? They don't belong! Is it a Southern thing? I sure didn't see any in the Betsie River in Michigan a few weeks ago? Read More 
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What?

What happened, you might well ask. There I was, blogging to you on the New River Expedition, it was just the first week, and then POOF - I was gone.  Read More 
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Expedition Day Five

OK, I'm not sure if this will work, but here's a short video I made of Day 5 today. There's one on You Tube of Day 4, too. I am starting to get dangerous with this stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=safz5pG3we8

Things are going well...knock on wood... only minor hiccups  Read More 
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Expedition Day One

In the car on the way back to town, our NCNR intern Jasmene asked me if I would call the first day a "success." I had to think about the answer to that question for a second or two.

I was kind of in a gut-twisting moment when she asked. I had thoughtlessly taken the long way back to where we were dropping off cars and just realized I'd added at least 45 minutes to our time to get home. Following me in another vehicle, my husband had just noted this screw-up via IPhone. Read More 
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Expedition Full Speed Ahead

I can't believe it's almost time. Time for another adventure down the New River -- about 235 miles worth. Holy crap. No matter what little thing I think up at 3 in the morning now, I'm sure to forget something that I needed to do!

It all starts on Saturday, July 24. That's not even a week  Read More 
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