Fonts, blurbs, and dingbats: Putting the finishing touches on Upwards

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Like this porcupine, I’m scrambling to finish by the publisher’s deadline for the fall trade catalog

After returning home from Virginia (and waiting for the laptop that I left in my bedroom there to arrive by Fed Ex), it was time to accept or reject Dan’s edits. Dan Karker, my editor from Maine Authors Publishing, not only found mistakes, but added consistency to the style and formatting of the manuscript. And boy did I have a lot of commas to move around! I added scene breaks, cleaned up my bibliography, and even paid $90 for permission to use two opening quotes from Sigurd Olson that were dear to my heart.

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The owner of Ecopelagicon in Rangeley ordered 4 autographed copies, my first commercial sale

With the edits finished, photos chosen and captioned, and graphics in hand, it was time to go up to Maine Authors Publishing for the design meeting. From here on out, the book will be in the designer’s artistic hands. Decision by decision, the interior layout is coming together, as Wendy Higgins translates my ideas into PDF drafts. Next week I hope to receive the first full-length layout, and September 1 is the finish line, when the press proof must be done.

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What a delightful surprise and honor to have Gil Gilpatrick feature Upwards in his August column in the Northwoods Sporting Journal. Gil, the author of Allagash: A Journey Through Time on Maine’s Legendary Wilderness Waterway, has inspired both my paddling and writing journeys over the years.

Look for a trip report from our Jackman area NFCT trip in my next blog post!

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Energized and enlightened at the Maine Canoe Symposium

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Inspired by the many hand-crafted canoes and paddles at the Maine Canoe Symposium, I came home feeling creative. Last evening, I glued, sanded, and stained my new canoe yoke.

One month…two paddling events…I could get used to this.  After enjoying the NFCT Freshet Fest so much, I had high expectations for the Maine Canoe Symposium.  From the first scrumptious meal to the last informative workshop, we enjoyed the community, stories, advice, and especially the warm welcome and encouragement from everyone at Camp Winona in Bridgton, Maine.

Meeting Gil Gilpatrick, author of our “family Bible” on the Allagash, and his wife Dot was awesome and we took a good luck picture together after hearing about his latest Allagash trip at age 80.  Dad and I also had a personal workshop (no one else had signed up) with Reinhard and Nancy Zollitsch on the most applicable topic of packing for a solo expedition.  Reinhard is a sea canoe adventurer who has done many amazing unassisted solo trips along New England and the Canadian Maritimes.

Then there was Emily Turner’s valuable workshop on planning for an extended paddling trip.  I have discovered a kindred spirit in Emily and we certainly share a love of planning with spreadsheets.  I’ve already created an Emily-inspired spreadsheet for Leg 1 (Maps 1 and 2 of the NFCT), where Dad and I will paddle through the Adirondacks from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, NY.

Emily is really the reason we discovered the Maine Canoe Symposium.  Dad met Emily last summer near Big Island on the West Branch of the Penobscot, as she came poling upriver.  They shared Dad’s steak and her fresh vegetables and we have heard a lot about her ever since.

Geoff Burke (in a traditional solo boat above) taught double-bladed paddling in the first workshop that Dad and I attended.  Who did I sit down next to but Beth Whelan, who through-paddled the NFCT last year (self-propelled) with her husband Paul?  They were kind enough to stay Sunday to peruse my maps and answer a million questions before we all headed home.  It was a nice respite from the preparations, which I resumed with vigor yesterday…making spreadsheets and granola, calling and emailing about logistics, and working on my yoke.

New friend Kathy Buhl, 2014 NFCT Through-Paddler Beth Whelan, instructor Geoff Burke, and Dad during our double-bladed paddling workshop. That’s Dad’s new Wenonah Wilderness Kevlar canoe in the background

 

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Mom’s favorite composition from her photography workshop
Encouragement from folks like Gil and Dot Gilpatrick give me confidence for the journey ahead