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Write that book: A 6-part series on writing a novel.

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"Write that book" scrolls across my screen saver. It's there every day; a constant reminder, staring back at me after the blue screen of activity gives way to procrastination, frustration or the words become insurmountable walls of gibberish piled on top of each other.  

For me, the process was similar to thru-hiking the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail-only much harder. And just like life on the trail, there comes the point, early on, when the struggle gets real, and you probe your soul to find the answer to some simple questions: Is this worth it to me? Do I want to commit months, even years, of precious time to fulfill this goal?  Why?  Straightforward questions, with loaded answers depending on the circumstances.  And just like that first thirty mile stop on the trail, you can either quit with the majority or persevere because something at your core is telling you to keep going no matter how difficult.   

The one thing that I can promise is that your reason for writing will regularly be scrutinized and tested until the very last sentence is written. There will be hundreds of peaks and valleys and some of those icy river crossings where the cold water penetrates into your boots to soak your last pair of dry socks.  

There will also come periods of jubilation where your writing takes on a rhythm of its own. When the research, story, and characters come to life in ways that you never imagined.  And in that dimly lit room at 2 am you will eventually reach your trails end, the figurative Mount Katahdin.

 

Big Rock Cave, Sandwich Mountain Range

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Big Rock Cave Trail is off 113A in Tamworth - just down the road from the little church with the mountain back-drop is a parking lot.  Park and walk by a couple of homes/driveways and continue on the trail to the top of Mt. Mexico. You will cross a mountain bog with that sweet balsam fir smell before a sharp hike down to the Rock Cave.  It's a cool little hike.   

Minion 1 is inside the cave for depth perception while minion 2 guards the entrance.  The photo was taken some time ago.   The second photo is the middle of the cave as it curves to the back.

 

 

Total Eclipse and Space Exploration

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News cycle making you nauseous? Elevate your thinking with the upcoming total eclipse scheduled to hit Nashville, TN for 2 minutes on August 21.  The partial eclipse is scheduled to begin around 11:58 AM CST with full coverage, totality, peaking at 1:27 PM  CST.  Nashville is on a direct path for this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event which is attracting star gazers from all over the world.   

Here is a link to the NASA website with great coverage and tips for viewing the eclipse.  The Adventure Science Center has a number of scheduled events and fun facts listed on their website here.

The above photo was taken while on a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama which has an incredible museum, space camps, lunar equipment, various rockets, even a full-size Saturn V (Lunar) rocket.  It's an inspiring stop for anyone remotely interested in science or space exploration.  There are also tours available to the nearby Marshall Space and Flight Center where planning is taking place for a future trip to an asteroid and eventually, Mars.

The 2nd photo is a Saturn 1B rocket located at a rest area (you read that correct) off of southbound I-65 in Alabama, just one mile over TN border...which is a pretty cool bathroom break on your way to Huntsville.

Pathfinder Rocket

 

Scenic Fall Sports

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The town is quieting down in Wolfeboro; or at least a brief respite before the leaf peepers start filing in.   The fall temperatures and crisp air make for a perfect start to the school year and fall sports.   If you feel like you have missed out the the last 2 months of summer then get out there.  We still have two months until the 4pm pale-eyed, early night shuffle!

A Plea for Freedom, James Foley

Journalist James Foley 
 
Few times in your life you are asked to help a friend when their life hangs in the balance.  Maybe you can't influence the outcome and maybe you can but one thing is for certain, you have to do all that you can.  
Even if you don't know the journalist James Foley that is being held in Libya, if you read this, and could spare just 1 minute of your time to fill out this petition it helps keep James' plight in the forefront.  Tomorrow night there will be a press conference at 5pm at the Foley residence with media outlets followed by a prayer vigil at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, 189 North Main St, Rochester, NH at 6pm.    

James Foley is the type of young man that you would be proud to call a son, nephew, brother, friend:  Self-less, kind and a passionate advocate for the voiceless.  He has worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya at his own peril, to bring awareness to the hundreds of young men and woman serving our country and the inalienable right of freedom and liberty for the oppressed.  Some use the words liberty and freedom as catchy slogans.  James lives it, breathes it and puts his life on the line in the hope that the message is carried forward.    Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out and forward this petition.  We are going to do all we can until he is free.  http://www.freefoley.org/

Here is a photo of Jim from 1998.