Anniversary Audio Book!

Khristine Hvam reads

How to Shit in the Woods

On the 30th of June 1989—twenty-five years ago!—the first edition of How to Shit in the Woods emerged from the jungle and hit the bookstore shelves. Now, on this very same month and day, Tantor Audio releases the audio book of my recent 3rd edition (4 CDs). Put your name in for one of the five “giveaways” with GoodReads before June 30th, when the winners will be pulled from, I presume, a Tilley hat.

I’m thrilled to have Khristine Hvam reading my guide. She studied acting for theater and film and then developed a love for voice over. You can hear her in various TV and radio commercials, video games, animated series (including Professor Juniper in the Pokemon television series), and over 100 audio book titles. Among her narrations are the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Dare Me by Megan Abbott, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. For the latter she won an Audio Award in the fantasy category.

Khristine lives in New York City. Visit her at

Happy summer to you all!

June 2014

Order from Tantor Audio

To see back cover, click on T.P.

April 2014, Learning curves seem to be my challenge.

Rapid Weaver: The Web site you’re currently visiting will be changing gradually to RapidWeaver, because—wouldn’t you know it—now that I’ve been building it in iWeb for going on four years that software is being left in the dirt and is no longer as compatible as I’d like it to be with some of the browsers. I’m also building a few RW sites for friends; it’s fun!

Text Wrangler and iBooks Author: I’m wrangling, all right, my way through converting my memoir Barefoot Hearted: A Wild Life Among Wildlife into ebook, er, well, iBooks. It’s a tedious process and only I can do it. This is because the only manuscript I had to work from was the original hard copy (paper copy) that travelled in a box back and forth between NYC and Montana for the four consecutive editings and my responses, scribbling all over the text and down the margins in eight different colors of pencil. After its publication—a few days before 9/11—the subsequent blackout in promotional press, and then, a year later, the book’s remainder, I bought up all the hard covers and started selling them off a Web site I built. Several years later, I managed a “rights reversal,” everything becoming mine but the final manuscript and the cover design.

No problem, just tear up one of my books and feed the pages into a fancy-schmancy scanner that turns them back into a Word document. But when I open it on the screen, it is quite the mess: having misread a lot; having missed all the colons and semicolons; having taken sentences, broken them apart, and scattered and inserted pieces into the next five paragraphs; having made every “fi” and “fl” into a ligature; and having squeezed the entire book in a narrow column down the lefthand side of the page. No problem. I throw it all into Text Wrangler where I can remove the line breaks and bizarre formatting, which also removes the paragraphing and reverts all the italics to Roman. No problem. I copy and paste it chapter by chapter into iBooks Author and start correcting, sentence by sentence—except, after all these years, because I can’t recall my precise wording, I must position an intact copy of the book just beyond my keyboard, beneath a blazing light.

Now here’s the lovely part (beyond, of course, my ending up with an ebook) . . .

After Barefoot came off the presses, I never cracked it, for several reasons. It terrified me to think that I might not like what I saw in a writerly vain, that there might be sentences or huge passages that I’d shrink from, and want to rewrite; plus, I was sure to be horrified by what I had made public about myself. There was also this: after having five years invested in the researching and writing of it, I was just plain sick and tired of it. So my current adventure into iBooks Author has been a revisiting of an earlier self, a self I’m liking! Loving actually. I’m amazed and impressed. What a wonderful book! It’s great to have days like this.

Lastly on this curve, Why iBooks? It is the “better-world” bent in me: I’m not fond of supporting Amazon. Apple, of course, is no perfect fruit either, but it hasn’t baked the whole world into a poison pie. (My other book, in all it’s forms, is available on Amazon—nothing I can do about that, beyond urging you to buy it from independents. Doing so makes a slightly deeper hole in our pockets, but it also offers much more in community and makes for a far better world.)

Audio Book Contract: This winter I was approached by an audio company with an offer to narrate How to Shit in the Woods. Such a project was in the works some 24 years ago, and then it washed out to sea. This time I’ve signed with a reputable company. I won’t be reading it myself but I think you’ll love the woman who has signed on to do it. More on this in approximately three months.

The learning curve here was getting myself educated in negotiating an audio contract.

“A Guide to Pooping in the Galapágos Islands,” by Kate Horowitz. Check this out!!!!!

Looking forward to spring, though it’s two months away for us in the north country. Fantasizing, meanwhile, about the Bitterroot’s hundred-year-old lilacs and crab apple trees bursting into bloom and our mammoth golden willows leafing out; also about a couple river trips and some pedaling on a new bike.

Be well, everyone.

Spring News . . .