Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Write on Time

I finished up my first draft of this year's solo book right on time over the weekend. My husband is taking on the duty of first reader and going over it for typos and places that could use some extra attention, whether that attention be the machete or some polishing.

I'm happy with what I wrote, and I'm also happy to have gotten to relive some of those moments from over the summer. The ending of the trip wasn't what I'd planned, but there were so many incredible moments. I had a chance to hang out with rafters from across the country. I pushed myself hard on a difficult trail. I hiked through rain and camped alone in a thunderstorm.

And next year I'm going to do it all again! Well, sort of. While the original plan was to hike all the way through to the Magruder Corridor, I discovered when we drove out there that there aren't really services out there. Once I got off the trail, we'd have a four hour drive down to a real road, then another half hour or so to a tiny city. But, if I started hiking from the Magruder Corridor, then I could come out at Big Creek and get myself another $8 shower within an hour of leaving the trail.

Plus, there's a part of the trail where the elevation changes about 5000 feet in about 4 miles. Northbound, I would be climbing that. Southbound, I would be descending. Now, I like climbing and all, but that's a lot. And the trail is no longer maintained. So I'd rather hit it on the downhill when I'm fresh than on the uphill at the end of my journey. Especially since I'd need to haul water up with me.

So next year I'll be doing a southbound segment from the Magruder Corridor to Big Creek. That will get me to about 420 miles of the Idaho Centennial Trail completed; nearly halfway.

But for the rest of this week, and pretty much until I'm done with publishing, I've got to focus on the other part of the solo book. The pictures! And the formatting. And the cover. And the back cover copy. And all the other little joyful minutiae of self publishing. I actually do like these parts, but they can be fiddly. Especially considering I typically only do it once a year so I need to remind myself how to do things.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Few Photos

Just a few photos this week. My brain is being consumed with the write up of my solo trip :)

This wall is actually blue, but in the early light of the morning that color has disappeared. The shadow is cast by my succulents.

We drove into a storm.

It was a bit scary, but we passed through quickly.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Writing Progresses

The writing is going quite well. Whenever I have a big gap of time between when I take a trip and when I start writing about said trip, I always worry a bit that I'm going to forget everything and have nothing to write about. That never actually turns out to be the case, but it doesn't stop the niggling concern. And it does, sometimes, motivate me to get writing sooner than I would otherwise, like when I knew I was going to write about both my solo trip and a coast trip, I got to writing on my solo trip in June (since I'd done the trip in May). And I finished well before the coast trip in July, so I didn't have to worry about forgetting two trips.

This year, I ended up waiting quite a while before I wrote about my solo trip. It's not uncommon for me to put the write-up off, but waiting until November is pushing it a bit. I think the reason that I waited so long was because I felt so conflicted about not finishing the exact trip that I planned out. But as I write about the trip, I'm finding so much joy. It was a really great trip.

I'm doing a couple things differently this year with my write up. First, I'm waiting to transcribe the notes that I took on the trip until after I write up that particular day. I find that this allows me to do my best to remember what happened (assisted only by the photos that I took), and then I can transcribe my notes and go back and add in anything that I forgot. I find that working the other way around constrains my mind to only think about the incidents that I wrote down at the time.

Second, instead of sticking to a 1000 words a day type schedule, I've been letting myself do what I can during the work week and then really putting the hammer down over the weekends. I know that I can write 1000 words a day and get through the writing portion of one of these books in pretty short order, but my brain doesn't always want to settle in to doing more work after I've worked all day. Especially when I've got projects at work that are eating up my brain capacity.

So I decided to experiment one weekend and ended up with over 6000 words for the weekend, and the next weekend I topped 8000. And I didn't spend the whole weekend writing, either. This system allows me to be flexible about how much I write during the week, and then really get things moving come Saturday and Sunday.

I'm hoping to finish up the writing portion of the solo trip by the end of next weekend, which will give my husband some time to read it over and make suggestions. While he's doing that, I'll be selecting photos, and, depending on how long he takes, starting to process and caption the photos. If everything goes according to my fantasy timeline, I'll be putting the book together over Thanksgiving.

Here's hoping that plan works out better than the one for the trip did :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Stop Trying to Save Daylight

I don't know why exactly, but the time change hit me harder this year than it had in the past. Perhaps it was because I forgot to set my alarm clock ahead and ended up winning up at 4:30 am on Sunday. Perhaps I'm just getting older. Or perhaps I've been cursed by a witch.

At any rate, it's been three days and I have managed to feel worse each day. Possibly because my body thinks I'm getting up at 3:30 in the morning to work out at 4 (because getting up at 4:30 to work out at 5 is so much more natural??). Or possibly I'm having a tummy issues flare up. Or it could be that my period is due soon and I'm PMSing on top of the time change madness.

I voted in my local elections last night, and if I could have voted time changes away, I would have. Unfortunately, that wasn't on the ballot. Maybe next year...