In addition to my writing, over the past few years I’ve done a lot of professional public speaking. I was privileged to speak at the National Conference on Education and at Cornell University. I even got to share a dais with Bill Clinton for three speeches. And I was invited to the White House for the movie screening of Pay It Forward.
But enough about career stuff.
Ella and Jordan
This is my dog, Ella. I got her at the Humane Society when she was four months old. She’s a cross between a Scotty and a Chinese Crested hairless. If you can believe that. As you can see, she likes kayaking, too.
I'd had Ella for seven years when I adopted Jordan, our cat. So I had no idea how that would go.
My friends on Facebook got quite attached to the day-by-day reports from the trenches, so I created an Ella and Jordan Hyde Facebook page.
Now, I’m pleased to say, they play together, and even cuddle together.
It’s been such an amazing example of how differences can be overcome that I wrote about it in my nonfiction children's book Paw It Forward.
And here is the newest member of my animal family, Soul. I named him Soul because the first thing I was told about him is that he has a beautiful soul. (And it's so true!) He's a registered Belgian Warmblood who turned 11 in June of 2016, about two months after I bought him. He's incredibly mellow and sweet and I could not be happier with him. We ride training level dressage.
Hiking and travel
I love to hike (particularly on trails that gain altitude) and I’ve day-hiked the Grand Canyon (South rim to River to South Rim) twice. Another time I hiked the Canyon but spent one night at Phantom Ranch before climbing out. I backpacked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in three days, two nights (Most people choose to do that trek in four or even five days. Even my guide thought I needed psychological care). Though, let me tell you, I’m never climbing to over 14,000 feet again. Breathing is good. I depend on it. I climbed Mt. Katahdin in Maine. The longest day hike I ever did, my genuine personal best, was the day I hiked from Yosemite Valley to the top of Cloud’s Rest (both farther and higher than Half Dome) and back. That’s about 22 miles and about 5,900 feet of gain, and it took me nearly thirteen hours. That wasn’t that long ago (’04 or ’05) but these days I try to be healthy without being insane.
In April of 2016 I took a trekking vacation in the lower Himalayas of Nepal. I flew to Kathmandu, then to Lukla, where I trekked three days with a guide and a porter up to the Hotel Everest View (13,000 feet). I took a million photos, give or take, then hiked down in two days. I saw a bit of Kathmandu while I was there, and Istanbul on the way home. Here's a link to the photos I took, and other older photos. And my newest passion is astrophotography. Photographing distant galaxies and nebulae. I’m adding to those galleries all the time, so please do check out my astrophotography here.
I also create video. There’s a lot on my YouTube channel. Lots of different kinds of videos.
I do love to hear from readers. So feel free to get in touch. My personal email address is on my contact page, and any email you send comes straight to me, and only to me, and I will always write back.
Look around. Feel at home. Thanks for coming to my site.