Thursday, August 31, 2023

Whitecap to the Nth power

Playing (too much) with the editing
feature on my phone. 

A cool, fall-like day on Whitecap allowed us to hike without too much struggle. I love fall, winter, and spring days on the mountain. Summer? Meh. After the hike and walks in the neighborhood, we hit 16, 027 steps and nearly 7 miles today. Good on us.  

Spot the Berner. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Sing On, Maine United!

Earlier this week, I finished a final working draft of Sing On, Maine United! My editor-friend, Kate Kennedy, conducted a full manuscript read-through in hard copy and sent back the manuscript with comments throughout. I also sent the opening pages to a former student, now writer, Daren Worcester, and asked for feedback on the back and forth in the opening 30 pages. He said what I knew, I needed to trim. 

Now, the book is out to several beta readers as I search for publishers and agents. I approached another former student, now writer and editor, Meika Hashimoto, for advice on young adult publishing and agenting a book. She gave me a slew of information and shared a picture of Kiko, her first child! Congratulations, Meika! 

During this final revision, I cut out 2000 words from the first 30 pages. Throughout the rest of the book, I cut another 20+ pages bringing the word count to 66,745 words. The main point of my revision work has been to tighten the action to maintain the forward motion.  The other issue: from beginning to end, the story has changed. Once focused on a single character, now the story is more about a team. Who knows, maybe more revision work is about to come. We wait for reports from beta readers.  



In the final plaque, "GO, FALCONS!" will be in
large font. 

I spent 25 years in our local high school now known as Mountain Valley HS. I ran the hallways as a student in the class of 1972, then sauntered the corridors as a teacher, coach, substitute teacher, and writing center director. Over the past twenty years, I spent a lot of my university time writing grants and raising money for various experiences, functions, or awards. I decided to take that skill and apply it to our town's high school. 

Thanks to donations from Rumford High School Class of 1972 and 1973 as well as Mexico High School Class of 1972, we purchased two 8', Arched Back Steel Benches with bronze plaques. The benches will be placed in a new entryway outside the school. 

There's a lot of joy to be had in giving back. 


The Athletes: Anne & Joe


The Athletes

Hanging out with Anne Wood and Joe Sirois is joyous. Yesterday, over coffee and treats, we chatted about life and living, healthy habits and food recipes, movies and books, yesterdays and tomorrows. 

I'm not sure how many octogenarians on our planet you could ask, "When's your next race?", and get an immediate answer: "September 17th," said Anne. "Five k." (Did I get the date right, Anne?) 

Last week, Bailey and I happened to meet these two athletes striding through Swift River Park. Anne wore a stop watch around her neck to keep track of pace. Joe wore his marathoner's gaze (he's completed 28 marathons...yes, the 26.2 mile kind). Please let this be me in 12 years. 

Here's to lives well lived... to Anne and Joe. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Farewell, William & Frederik!

 Farewell, William & Frederik

We should all be so lucky to have great people like the Wagner brothers in our lives. 

Farewell, my friends. 

Back to Denmark! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Hiking Whitecap with the Wagners

Overlooking the Mahoosuc Mountains on Whitecap.
Click on photos to enlarge. 

What a great time hiking with the Wagner boys. And, yes, we made good time as well: 2:15 for 4.5 miles. That's one of our faster times this year. 


Rich and Bailey's cairn

Our cairn

A good hike for everyone. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Upta Camp

Byron Notch from Burt's Point, Webb Lake, Weld, Maine

Most of the time I spend at camp is with family at meals. My first sunset this year with my brothers plus William and Frederik (Denmark) and Anna, my sister in law. 

The Kent brothers

William and Frederick

William and Frederik

Fire gathering, taken by Frederik. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

William and Fred

Welcome Frederik & William! 
Click on photos for larger versions. 

One of the gifts of hosting exchange students is when they return as adults. That's happened this August with William (2015-2016) and his twin brother, Frederik. These two young guys are such interesting people, and together, they enjoy easy conversations and laughter thanks especially to their engaging and entertaining parents, Marianne and Kenneth. 

William and Frederik shared their cross-country journey with me (and Bailey), highlighting hiking into the Grand Canyon and road-tripping Route 66. They spoke about the fun of Bricktown in Oklahoma City and the coziness of Ottawa. They visited our quite wonderful neighbors, Connie and Ben; we watched The Equalizer, talked about Rumford, eaten burgers, toured town, and hiked two small mountains in one afternoon: Mystery Mountain in Rumford Point and Cataracts in Andover. We've even been to an American football game to watch Melissa (niece) and Alban's son, Gavin, play our local team. Gavin's a sophomore beast on the field. Melissa is my brother Fred and his wife Pam's oldest daughter. 

Today, we'll head on the traditional loop of Height of Land, Rangeley, and Smalls Falls ending at our camp in Weld. Fun day. 

The arrival!

Hiking Cataract Trail 

Hiking Cataract Trail

Hiking Cataract Trail

Hiking Cataract Trail

The Mountain Climbers :-) 

Trailhead Cataract Trail

Mystery Mountain

Mystery Mountain with the
Androscoggin River in the background 

"We're glad you're here!"
(Bailey said your visit would be better 
if you'd hand over some of your morning bacon!)