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Happy Hiking is available, time for a happy dance

I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Christmas. We had a wonderful low key holiday with Bruce's Parents and our son, Stephen. I know Christmas isn't about the lights, shopping, presents, glitz, and glamor, but this year just seemed so weird. So many things were missing from our usual celebrations, mainly church, and our other son, Patch and his fiancé, Brittany. This year Christmas just wasn't the same. Yes, I have Christmas in my heart, but not being able to get out and see friends and family in person due to covid left a void no online streaming could fill.

It is hard to believe the holidays are over and 2021 is knocking on the door. But the year will not end without another fabulous accomplishment for me. Book number 3, Happy Hiking: Falling In Love on the Appalachian Trail is available at Amazon.

Thanks to my awesome designer, Chris Berge who worked last week to get my files corrected and back to me Christmas Eve so I could upload them to Amazon. I was so hoping it would be released Christmas Day, but, the world in fact, does not revolve around me. I uploaded everything Christmas Eve but there is a lag in time before it goes live and since it was the holiday and then the weekend, nothing happened. But after breakfast this morning, voila! Happy Hiking is live!!! I am so very excited.

I know this pandemic has disrupted the lives of so many in such horrible ways. My heart goes out to each of you who have suffered from this dreadful virus. But for me personally, the down time has allowed me to focus on this five year adventure, writing. I remember when this whole thing started and it was apparent we would have more time, hubby and I remarked how we should take advantage of the gift we have been given and not squander the time away. So, I didn't.

I dusted off all my notes from three books that I was working on and got busy. First, a dear friend from a ladies writing group - The Art and Joy of Words - told me about a Pitmad event that was happening soon (in March), an online pitch day where writers can pitch their work to agents. So, a huge thanks to Jennifer for opening a door for me to get back to my writing. While I did have some interest from agents - that was exciting - I was not accepted by any of them for my children's book.

I didn't let that stop me. I kept pushing forward and decided to self-publish. I wanted to be in control, that shouldn't surprise any of you who know me. There is always room for improvement and maybe one day I will put out a second edition, but for the present, I didn't want to cut anything from the book, and that's what the agents wanted to do, cut, cut, cut. I felt there were too many good lessons in it. In late summer Black Bear's Adventure and Black Bear's Adventure Companion Book were published, my first two books.

Happy Hiking was actually the first book I started writing. In fact, I was working on it as I hiked the Appalachian Trail. Once I returned home, it took me a few weeks to actively start writing on it again. It was slow and painful. Then one night, not sure if it was late 2015 or early 2016, I couldn't sleep. I got up and wrote Black Bear's Adventure. It was rough, but it was written on one sleepless night. I am just very skilled at procrastination, so there it sat, mostly neglected on my computer until March of this year.

In the mean time, Happy Hiking was getting most, but not much more of my attention, until Jennifer told me about Pitmad. Then Happy Hiking took a back seat again until I finished the children's book and the accompanying book Black Bear's Adventure Companion Book. But after five long years and three months, I have not just one book, but three, of my 2015 Appalachian Trail Thru hike.

I could not have done the hike alone and I could not have become an author alone. There are many people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the journey come to fruition and you can read about my gratitude in my books.

Black Bear's Adventure and Black Bear's Adventure Companion Book are available here on my website. Happy Hiking (color interior images) will be available on my website also late January. Right now all three books are available (black and white interior images for Happy Hiking) on Amazon.

Thanks to all of you, my readers, who have encouraged me and continue to be my lifeline for getting outside. You were a huge part of my success while hiking. I continued on those grueling days because I did not want to let you down. After awhile, I realized, it wasn't just my hike, it was our hike. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Happy Hiking,



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