Hike the Book
a preorder gift for you
Happy mid December, folks. I hope this email finds you well as we head into the final weeks of 2022. It looks pretty dreary outside my window today as the temperatures inch above freezing and the snow takes on a drippy and gray jacket, but nontheless, I’ll probably at least attempt to cross country ski around the hayfield later. And if that doesn’t work (and I end up face down because my skis keep sticking to the snow..), a walk to the woodshed to load up on logs for the pending winter weather that they say is coming tomorow is in order. As is a walk down to check the thickness of the lake ice (it’s taking its time in truly freezing up this year) and to look more closely at the various trails of animal tracks that I can see from the back deck. I know some of them are from deer and coyotes, and there are even some otter slides to investigate. (I know this because we spotted the otters a few days ago booking across the middle of the lake and then sliding on their bellies …. run run run ssssllliiiiiddddddde run run run sssllliiiiidddddddde and so on. It was awesome.1
Anyway, a dreary day is a great day to share some fun news. And you, dear newsletter subscribers, get it first. Because you subscribe, and I’m grateful for your attention.
So, here’s the news. I’ve partnered with fellow St. Croix River Valley dweller, local history buff, avid hiker, community builder, and designer (and now realtor for BOTH MN and WI- whoop!) Alyssa Auten, to be able to offer you a really fun preorder gift when you reserve a copy of Collisions of Earth and Sky from either Valley Bookseller2 or the Natural Heritage Art Centre. 3
Introducing Hike the Book, a currated itinerary that follows my travels on each side of the St. Croix River as you hike the trails that I explore in Collisions of Earth and Sky. It includes an interactive map, descriptions of each trail, some local history, and suggestions on where to eat and stay so you can make a whole weekend of it if you so choose. It’s wonderful, and I hope you enjoy it. Even if you’re not local to the valley, it’s a lovely spot to visit any time of year.
To get yours, just email me proof of a Collisions of Earth and Sky preorder from either Valley Bookseller or NHAC and I’ll send you yours! Please use firstname.lastname@example.org with “Collisions preorder gift” in the subject line.
I can’t promise that you’ll encounter otters sliding on the trails (though you could see them doing this on the river…) but I can promise that a portion of every preorder will eventually4 contribute funds to a number of indigenous and BIPOC-led organizations who are doing good work in the communities they serve.5
Reviews are starting to trickle in, and one from Publisher's Weekly came out a few weeks ago—they say, “Barr’s sensitively written book combines practical guidance with ample opportunity for personal reflection, while taking care to foreground readers’ social and environmental responsibilities. This will be a welcome offering for anyone looking to commune with the natural world.” I sure hope it is!
Here’s to communing with the natural world—in my opinion, hiking the book is a spectacular way to do just that. 😉
I’ll leave you with a photo from a less dreary, much more sparkle-filled day from my time sking around the hayfield and our small patch of woods last week.
An icy morning
witnessed by gliding
through the woods
toward the sun.
P.S. Oxford Language's word of the year is “goblin mode,” a term defined as a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent in a way that rejects social norms.
I can get behind this.
What does “goblin mode” look like for you in this season? More reading? Fewer parties? Not sending holiday cards? Moving to a cave filled with treasure for a few months? More wandering around outside, less scrolling in the living room? Enjoying food that you really like without feeling guilty about it? Sleeping as much as you need to to feel truly rested? Anyway, here’s to the unapologetic self-indulgences that reject social norms. I think rejecting social norms is a great way to end a year.
Ordinary Collisions is a reader-supported publication. You can subscribe if you like. You don’t have to pay, but you can. Either way, I’m grateful you’re here.
You can read more about my first encounter with the resident otters in Collisions of Earth and Sky.
Valley Bookseller will ship anywhere, and the book will be signed by me!
NHAC is hosting the book launch on Feb. 3rd, so if you’re local this is a great option—you can pick up your book at the event.
I say “eventually” because it takes a good long while for authors to get paid from book sales…but a portion of the [very modest] advance will be donated as well.