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.
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, Nathan. Yes, I named him for the steadfast and loyal character in When I Found You. He's a registered Quarter Horse, 14 years old, and he's been mine since February of 2015. This first photo is courtesy of professional photographer Hunter Kilpatrick, who did Nathan's and my first photo shoot just out of kindness--a Pay It Forward gesture.
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.
If you’re interested in the outdoors, I hope you’ll check out my blog, where I often post photos and video of my trips. And I keep a separate photo gallery page, for those who are interested. But the blog is not always about hiking. I try to mix it up. Book news, my views, my events and travels…and I very often give away books on the blog. When you see a blog post announcing a new giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on that post to get your name “in the hat” for free books.
I also love to kayak. And I love photography, which goes well with all the other things I like to do. I always bring home tons of photos. And 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.
Look around. Feel at home. Thanks for coming to my site.