Back From the Wilderness

“If you understand, things are just as they are. If you do not understand, things are just as they are. – Zen saying

C&O Canal Towpath

C&O Canal Towpath

After fifty-nine years, I suddenly have this new identity—author. Nothing has really changed. I still grind my own coffee beans in the morning, gas-up my jeep, run with my guys, and write for hours and hours. So what was my reaction when Twenty-four Years to Boston was published?

The book was published on October 1st and I disappeared into the wilderness with my buddy Ed on October 2nd for eight days. We shoved off from Pittsburgh and cycled the Greater Alleghany Passage and C&O Canal to Washington DC.

A marketing expert would mock, “Good timing, JB,” for my timing because a rational marking strategy would be to strike while the iron is hot. Thing is, I don’t rationalize the way most people do.

Viaduct Into Fall

Viaduct Into Fall

Publishing a book is extraordinarily exhausting, and spending time in nature is exceedingly revitalizing. Cycling 335 miles, with 100 pounds of camping gear in tow may be grueling, but physical exertion has always been my magic potion. And sleeping on God’s good earth, and bathing in Monongahela, Youghiogheny and Casselman Rivers was reinvigorating. So to me, my timing was genius.

In the midst of our venture fresh ideas filled my head. Life made perfect sense while pumping my legs like pistons up to the Continental Divide, wading in rapids at the end of the day, and cooking over an open fire before snuggling into my sleeping bag each night.

Passing Thru the Continental Divide

Passing Thru the Continental Divide

There is no reception in the middle of nowhere, so I was completely disengaged from distractions like my iPhone. It was just me and Ed in the outdoors exchanging jokes and tossing insults at one another. Life is so good.

Refreshed, revived and batteries charged, I’m ready to push forward with life–writing, running, and oh, the book. I talked for an hour with my publisher today and he is sending marketing material out to indie book shops, and to me. I’ll be busy with this new life, but then there’s a small matter I’ll need to tend to—a marathon next month, my fourteenth. I guess I should get serious, focused. Nah!C&O - Tent

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About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in Health, Marathon, Running, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Back From the Wilderness

  1. Amazon lists it as 4th Oct
    Paperback: 180 pages – Publisher: Saint Johann Press (October 4, 2013)
    Language: English ISBN-10: 1937943135 ISBN-13: 978-1937943134
    So 3 days were not lost after all – it took them that long to get you onto their system – is the book available in Europe yet it is listed in Amazon.com but not Amazon.co.uk

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  2. aaronwest says:

    I know the feeling having just spent a week on the Parkway. It is definitely liberating to be away from everything, although a big part of me clings to civilization (and wifi).

    Allegheny Passage looks like one to add to my bucket list.

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      Met a lot of cycling tourists on the Allegheny Passage, it’s absolutely incredible. One couple were traveling from Toronto to Tampa via DC. Need sturdy wheels, it’s unpaved, but worth every mile.

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  3. PaulSmuts says:

    Congrats Jim, sorry that I’m only writing this comment now. It’s amazing that you can call yourself an author. I’m adding your book to my Christmas list! – Paul

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  4. msmidt says:

    Sounds like fun. Now get busy pushing that book!

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    • Jim Brennan says:

      I’m on it! I’ll be planning a book tour in the coming months. Let me know where you’re at and I’ll see if it’s feasible to work it in.

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      • msmidt says:

        That would be too cool, Jim. I am located in Keokuk, Iowa, which is right along the Mississippi River. If you get anywhere near, reach out to me. Best of luck nt he tour!

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  5. Congratulations on publication. That is a significant accomplishment. The 8 day ride sounds awesome also. No technology for 8 days? Nice!

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