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ECT #6, 7 and 8: Cobbler Path

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I hiked the Cobbler Path from Outer Cove to Red Cliff in three sections, since I was solo hiking and didn’t have the option of a car at each end. On the first hike, I started at the Doran’s Lane trailhead and took the relatively short hike out to Torbay Point and back. Though this was the shortest segment of the trail, it was the most challenging for me as I did it on a windy evening and a good bit of this trail is over open ground near the edge of the cliffs. While the East Coast Trail is built in such a way that even the trails that go along clifftops are well in from the edge and perfectly safe, it doesn’t always FEEL that way to a person who suffers from fear of heights, as I do. I had one of the worst bouts of vertigo I’ve ever had while climbing back up that trail, and had to sit for awhile with my back pressed against a rock to feel grounded — even though I was never in the slightest danger!

My second crack at the path took me in at Doran’s Lane again but this time I went south to Cobbler Brook. This took about an hour (and of course another hour coming back) and involved some steep climbing and lovely views. I met a fellow hiker with two very friendly dogs (I never walk Max on the ECT because he doesn’t interact well with other dogs, and as so many of them are off-leash on this trail I would not be able to handle him if they rushed up intending to be friendly. But I always enjoy meeting other hikers with dogs!). Finally, today I tackled the last part, entering from Red Cliff Road. I hiked out to the other side of Cobbler Brook, meeting up with my own progress from last time, then hiked back and looped around the end of the trail at Red Cliff to come back by the gravel road that leads past the old military ruins up there. I also did some geocaching on this leg of the trip and found four of the seven caches I searched for.

Total distance — about 8K, but since I had to double back every time I guess that puts it around 16 K for all three hikes.


Sunset Over the Ocean (a GCSA15 and ECT mashup)

You’d think I’d have a lovely picture of sunset over the ocean to illustrate this post instead of a Springsteen concert video (although, when is a Springsteen video ever a bad thing?), but the whole point of the story is about a hike where I didn’t have my phone with me. I couldn’t take a picture, but — and this is important — I also couldn’t check Twitter, and while I usually think it’s a bad idea to go hiking without a phone, in this case, it was the right decision.

I took the hike in question — the Silver Mine Head path from Middle Cove to Torbay, for those keeping score at home — last Wednesday evening, July 8, at the end of a day when I’d outwardly done little except stare at my computer, but inwardly it had been a tough, emotional day.

To those of you who either don’t go to church, or go to churches where they’ve very sensibly given women equal status with men years ago, this may seem unnecessarily obscure, but I spent most of this Wednesday completely absorbed (via Twitter, Facebook, and live-streaming) in my church’s General Conference session, a world-wide meeting held once every five years, at which delegates were voting on whether to allow the different divisions of the world church to proceed with ordaining women to ministry as they saw fit. After a long day of speeches on both sides, the vote was taken.

Most supporters of women’s ordination, like me, already felt that the “Yes, allow women to be ordained” side would probably lose this vote, for a lot of complex behind-the-scenes reasons having to do with both politics and politicking within the church, and with deep cultural differences between the different areas of the world church.

As I watched the livestream and commented on the presentations via Twitter and Facebook, I felt hopeful and encouraged at some of the powerful, visionary speeches that were made in favour of the motion, but also deeply discouraged by some of those against. Not so much discouraged by delegates from Africa and South America speaking against women’s ordination because I know that people are deeply influenced by their culture and I know that cultural norms in many of those countries don’t grant women equal status with men. But discouraged by people from North America — especially one young woman, who spoke with the kind of confidence and authority that could only be assumed by a woman benefitting from 50+ years of hard-won feminism in her culture — speaking against it, arguing to hold women back from full equality. It was hard to listen to, and discouraging. Then people began voting, and, knowing that it would take hours for the votes to be cast and counted, I went for a hike by the ocean.

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7 Reasons Why This Traditionally-Published Author is Releasing a Self-Published Novel. Number Four Will Blow Your Mind!

This summer, I’ll be releasing my novel What You Want, a work of contemporary fiction about three unlikely friends on a road trip, as a self-published e-book. There’ll be a paperback release later, probably sometime in the fall.

What would convince me, as a writer in mid-career who has had 23 books published by traditional publishers, to self-publish a novel? You’ll be amazed by the answers!!

1. I have run out places to spend or store the piles of cash I made from traditional publishing.
As we all know, there’s a TON of money in traditional publishing. Authors can make as much as one or even two dollars for every copy of a book sold, and with small publishers like the ones I’ve worked with, that can run into three and even four digits! It’s just not fair for one human to have so much wealth at her fingertips.

2. I need a break from the paparazzi.
The book trade is glamorous but exhausting. I’m sure you’ve all read blog posts and tweets from your favourite authors complaining about how tiring it was when they went on that nine-city book tour and had to be up at five to do morning television and come back to the hotel room and ice their hand after signing 3000 books in two hours. I myself have gone on tour to locations as exotic as Mount Pearl and even Conception Bay South. I have spoken to groups of up to sixteen people and signed as many as five books in an afternoon. A gal needs a break from that kind of adoration.

3. Matt Damon is bugging me to know if he can star in the movie adaptation.
We all know that some writers have achieved mind-blowing success with books that started out as self-published works. Let’s take E.L. James for example. Wait, no, let’s not. Let’s take Andy Weir, whose book The Martian, originally self-pubbed online, not only became a bestseller when it was picked up by a traditional publisher, but is now being made into a movie starring MATT DAMON. MY MOVIE BOYFRIEND. So apparently, self-publishing a book will lead directly to me meeting Matt Damon. I can’t draw any other conclusion, can you?

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Shelf Esteem: Book Questions Answered

In this video I talk about books people spotted in my last video, the Messy Bookshelf tour. In less than 5 minutes total I discuss Margaret George’s The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Caryl Rivers’ Virgins and Girls Forever Brave and True, and, last but not least, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, which I explain (as I did in my review after reading it) is, in a few ways, quite a lot like the Bible.

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ECT #3: Flatrock to Gallows Cove

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I had company this time — my cousin Jennifer joined me for the 5.7 km hike from Flatrock to Gallows Cove on Father Troy’s Trail. Having another hiker is not only good company but offers the possibility of a car parked at both ends so we could do a longer one-way hike. It was a chilly but clear evening and the views were tremendous! Also, I found a cache.

This means I’ve now done almost all of Father Troy’s Trail, except for the little piece from Torbay Beach to the Spray Lane end of the trail, and I’ll soon have to start branching out to other parts of the East Coast trail.

Distance: 5.7 km. Probably would have been an even 6 if we’d walked all the way out to the Beamer at Flatrock, but I was in a bit of a hurry to pick up Emma from work so we took a shortened version and did not go right out to the end of the point (if we had, I’d probably have found another cache, because there is one out there).


ECT #2, Gallows Cove to (almost) Torbay Beach

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Continuing from my last blog post, I did another mini-section of Father Troy’s Trail on the ECT this past week. I started at th same spot I started before — Gallows Cove — but headed south instead of north, making it almost all the way to Torbay Beach and back in about an hour. I could have gone farther if someone had been picking me up at the other end, but knowing that if I went all the way down to the beach I’d have to turn around and climb back up kept me from going any farther! It was a beautiful evening; I found three caches and thoroughly enjoyed my little hike.

Observation at Tapper’s Cove: if you’re going to put money into public art for your community, you should put some money aside for maintenance. Otherwise you get this Ghosts of Murals Past look:

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Distance: about 2.5 km one way, 5K return.


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