- Home > Archive: December, 2014
At the last Superstars Writing Seminar in Feb 2014 we had a crackpot idea—we put together an anthology of Purple Unicorn stories, ONE HORN TO RULE THEM ALL, with original cover art by James Artimus Owen, edited by Lisa Mangum, with stories by Todd J. McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye, Peter S. Beagle, and the very best entries by alumni from previous Superstars. WordFire Press published the book—and all profits went to fund a scholarship for one student to attend the next Superstars, February 5-7 2015 in Colorado Springs.
We posted entry details and opened the scholarship to submissions in November, and we received thirty applications. The intrepid hardworking scholarship committee has combed through all the essays and letters of recommendation—and they have selected the winner. CHRISTOPHER BAXTER will receive full tuition to Superstars this February in Colorado Springs. Congratulations, Chris!
Sales of ONE HORN TO RULE THEM ALL have been very good, and as of the last accounting we were *very close* to being able to fund a second scholarship as well. After we finish calculating WordFire Press royalties in a few weeks, we *may* even have enough to give good news to the runner up! http://superstarswriting.com
And for those of you with serious, career-minded writers in the family who still need that perfect holiday present, you can give your own in-home scholarship by signing them up. Prices go up January 1.
Because of an avalanche of deadlines and obligations (so, what else is new?) I never managed to go out snowshoeing a single time last winter. I love to get out in the mountains in the pristine white silence and trudge along the snowshoe or cross-country ski trails and dictate new chapters. It’s hiking in the snow! I was determined not to let this winter go by without a snowshoe trip, so I cleared my schedule last Saturday, got my notes ready for three more chapters in CLOCKWORK LIVES, winter gear…now, all I needed to do was find some SNOW.
We’ve had a very warm fall in Colorado, not much snow even on 14,000 ft Pikes Peak nearby. But I checked out some other likely spots in the Rocky Mountains, using traffic cams on the highways, until I found Vail Pass (10,662 ft)—with plenty of snow and several nice snowshoe, ski, and snowmobile trails. I chose a nice, quiet, 5 mile loop that (according to the guidebook) gets little traffic, and headed out for the two-hour drive and the snow.
At the trailhead parking area on the pass summit, I got my snow pants on, jacket, gloves, backpack, then trudged to the start of the trail, where I put on my snowshoes…which are like giant flip-flops that keep you, for the most part, on top of the snow. The trail started steeply and I climbed up to the top of a ridge, following a well-traveled trail that had been used by other skiers and snowshoers. I even found a large group of skiers who were taking a lunch break.
But the main trail headed one direction, my loop took me down into the valley, where I had all the snow to myself. Utterly pristine, no other tracks (except for a coyote). I broke trail, following the drainage and relying on my sense of direction to get all the way around the loop and back up to the parking area.
I left a nice trail for others to follow—and I dictated two complete chapters in CLOCKWORK LIVES, and another one on the drive home. Great temperature, breathtaking scenery, wonderful exercise…and I think the writing was good, too. A great day—and I hope to do it more often this winter.
Don’t forget to order your 2015 Tales from the Trails calendar with more of my hiking photos and stories! See the link above, top left of the blog page.
As I posted yesterday, T. Duren Jones and I just released the new 2015 TALES FROM THE TRAILS calendar with some of our best wilderness photos and a monthly story of one of our hiking escapades.
Here’s a sample of the January story and photo:
Doing the Impossible, as a Matter of Course
This year I turned 52, and Tim turned 60. We started our main hiking season up in Steamboat Springs with a gruelling 21-mile loop through the Flattops Wilderness, and we followed that with a 22-mile hike near Durango, where we completed the Colorado Trail. I climbed 14,286 foot Mount Lincoln via an obscure alternate route just so I could get my annual Fourteener climb in. Tim summited 14,433 foot Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in Colorado. Even though we had each climbed those peaks before, why not do it again when you have the opportunity?
When we finished the exhausting 21-mile Lost Lakes loop in a day—which the guide book calls a “three-day backpack trip,” Tim pointed out, “I don’t know anyone of all my friends, at any age, who could have done that with me.” I thought long and hard through my circle of acquaintances and couldn’t come up with another name either.
Several years ago Tim and I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again in a day, despite signs warning hikers that this is not at all recommended. I remember passing a particularly buff and tan German hiker on the trail who was huffing and puffing trying to keep up with us. The fact is, both of us dislikes backpacking and hauling our camp on our backs; if we can be “there and back again” in a day, we will do so, even if it means an extra push.
We keep ourselves in shape and we maintain our endurance, but neither of us are “fitness gods” by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn’t jog for more than five minutes without collapsing, and a long-distance bike ride is completely out of the question. But we have figured out how to hike, how to navigate trails, how to understand terrain—and to have the endurance necessary to walk, and keep walking, and keep walking. It’s worth the effort. That is how we can keep doing what we most want to do—and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come. —KJA
SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED
Do you have your special calendar for 2015 yet? Do you have your KEVIN J. ANDERSON calendar yet?
Many of you have read my blogs about my epic hikes and mountain climbs, and I’ve posted countless photos of the beautiful places I explore in the wilderness. Each year I do a very special limited calendar with my brother-in-law (and frequent hiking partner) T. Duren Jones. TALES FROM THE TRAILS, featuring some of our gorgeous photos from our epic hikes as well as anecdotes about our trail adventures (or misadventures). We’ve just received the 2015 TALES FROM THE TRAILS calendar—probably our most beautiful one yet.
We do these calendars as special holiday gifts for our editors, publishers, and industry professionals, but we always keep a small supply to make available to fans. If you’re interested in having one of these limited calendars, the cost is $20 plus $5 shipping (in US, more for international). At the link below.
Last year, Tim also wrote an entire book of wilderness experiences, TALES FROM THE TRAILS, with many stories featuring our escapades as well as other hikes with his family. I wrote the introduction, and WordFire Press published the trade paperback and eBook.
That book is available in all eBook formats for $5 or in trade paperback for $15. As a special holiday gift for all my readers, you can get the book TALES FROM THE TRAILS for only an additional $5 (save ten bucks!)
This way you can vicariously explore the wilderness with Tim and me throughout the year. And we’ll keep hitting the trails.