Michael Wallis kind words about “Then There Is No Mountain”

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I expect to receive a final proof of “Then There Is No Mountain -An American Memoir” in the next few days. Assuming all is well, then I should be able to provide advance copies in both print and digital form shortly thereafter.

I plan to wait for a wider release until I get some reviews back from critics. If I get favorable, useful reviews, I’ll want to add them to promotional materials.

I got a very complimentary response from Michael Wallis, who has read the manuscript. Michael is the bestselling author of approximately 17 books, including “Route 66: The Mother Road”, and “Pretty Boy”, the biography of outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd. Here is what he says about “Then There Is No Mountain”:

“When asked about overcoming writer’s block, Ernest Hemingway famously said that, ‘All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ If that is accurate, and I know it is, then Richard Higgs need never worry. His book, Then There is No Mountain — An American Memoir, does not contain one false word.  In a series of compelling stories that move seamlessly through time and place, Higgs lays bare his soul by sharing episodes of his life pilgrimage from picking cherries and climbing mountains to spending time in jail and battling cancer. Much like Jack Kerouac and Edward Abbey, this is an author who truly knows the importance of movement and that complete calm is certain death. And he is also a man who lives by the belief that the journey, not the destination is what really matters.”

I’m grateful to Mr. Wallis for his kind words. It means a lot to me that he liked “Then There Is No Mountain”.

Streetfight in Madison

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I was just passing through Madison, but I had some slack time, and I’d always been curious about the city, remembering the university there as a hotbed of radicalism in the Sixties. I parked in the back row of a truckstop north of town that evening, caught up my logbook, waved off a truckstop whore, unhooked from my trailer, and bobtailed into town.

I parked about three or four dark, deserted blocks from the Capitol building, and hiked past the Capitol to the thriving business district skirting the University of Wisconsin campus. After weeks of highway isolation I walked in love through the crowds of students, all those laughing pretty girls, and those happy loud boys, out for supper and an evening’s carouse. I claimed a table for two in a crowded bistro, where I ate a sandwich, and drank deeply from the loud music of their voices, above the clatter and clink. Whenever anyone brushed against me in the crowded space, my nerves stood on end for more. I was thirsty for human contact, but couldn’t reach out, couldn’t look anyone in the eye. Too many weeks on the highway. Back on the street I strolled the crowded sidewalks, aching for every shapely girl twisting past, and content just to ache, my pulse racing, my head spinning.

It was a pleasantly warm night, and a used bookstore with an open door drew me in. I’d been looking for a copy of “The Log Of A Cowboy” by Andy Adams, and, after a few satisfying minutes browsing the shelves, I found an early-edition copy in like-new condition, reasonably priced.

Book in hand, I hiked back past the Capitol, beyond which the sidewalks were deserted, and the buildings locked and dark. I saw another lone male figure walking toward me a block and a half up ahead. I didn’t know why, but I knew I didn’t want to pass this stranger, so I casually angled across the street. He did the same thing. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew this meant trouble.  When we arrived simultaneously at the sidewalk on the other side, we were about a half block apart. When we reached each other he lunged at me, grasping for my throat, and growled, “I’m gonna kill you.”

Before I could think to do it, I’d already forced both of my arms upward and outward between his, wedging his striving fingers away from my throat. Then, I drew my arm back, and with every ounce of strength in me, I jammed the spine of my book into his adam’s apple. The force of the blow should have collapsed his windpipe. But instead of falling to the ground and choking to death at my feet, he staggered backwards three steps. Then, for the first time, he actually looked at me. What he saw, there under our shared streetlight, was a man ready to fight.

I was facing him squarely, my hands down but away from my sides, and my right hand clutching the book, which he knew I knew how to use. I stared deeply into his eyes. I didn’t move as I waited for him to move toward me. I wasn’t afraid. I don’t know why.

 

Publishing Campaign Update

Hello, friends,

I’ve been campaigning to raise funds to cover the costs of publishing “Then There Is No Mountain” via Amazon’s self-publishing division, CreateSpace. I have 31 days left before my deadline. So far, 25 backers and I have raised $1,825.00 of our $3,000.00 goal.

Join us! Please visit my Kickstarter page here, and see how you can become a backer, too. You can back this project for ANY AMOUNT. However, I have backer-rewards set at different levels of support. Check it out! Join us! Here’s the location:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1067155587/then-there-is-no-mountain-an-american-memoir

Warmest regards,

Rich

Greetings, friends,

With 39 days left before deadline, I am 60% funded for my Kickstarter campaign. Our goal, by November 16, is $3,000.00. The funds will be used to have Amazon’s self-publishing arm design, print, distribute, and promote “Then There Is No Mountain”.

Please join my other 24 backers to get your cool backer rewards, and to help make this dream a reality.

Here’s the url to my Kickstarter page, which will tell you all about the project, and how you can help: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1067155587/then-there-is-no-mountain-an-american-memoir

I hope you’ll join us!

-Rich

Originally posted on Then There Is No Mountain:

Camp Muir is cemented and bolted onto a thin basalt ridge that juts up out of the snow, separating the vast Muir Snowfield below from the upper reaches of Cowlitz Glacier. If you have any breath left when you get there, the view will take it away. Its elevation is somewhere between 10,050 and 10,188 feet, depending on which map you consult. Or where you’re standing, for that matter. The camp has several buildings, including a crude tarpaper and plywood hut. The hut is about the shape of a boxcar, but smaller. It is walled off into two sections, one for RMI climbers and the other for climbers using another guide service. There’s also a stone WPA-style hut provided by the National Park Service for independent climbers.  Sitting on a slightly higher section of the ridge is the park rangers’ stone hut, outside of which rangers can be seen sitting…

View original 476 more words

Kickstarter Campaign Progress Report #2

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Great news! In the first two weeks of our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve gathered twenty backers, and, collectively, you’ve pledged $1,660.00. We are now over 55% funded! I thank each of you for your pledge, your encouragement, and your help in getting the word out to others.

We’re on target to be fully funded by November 16, our deadline. My task, as always, is to keep the momentum going. I suspect the second half of funding will be the more difficult half, and I imagine that to be pretty typical. I’ll continue to reach out to anyone I think would enjoy a good read.

If you know of anyone who might want to join our project, at any level, please send them a kind word and a link to our campaign.  If one of us can reach twenty, then twenty of us can reach…. well, you do the math. It’s a lot.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1067155587/then-there-is-no-mountain-an-american-memoir

Thanks again, my friends. I’ll send an update next week.

Best regards,

Rich

Kickstarter Progress Report #1

Well, we’ve come a long way in the first week of our Kickstarter campaign for “Then There Is No Mountain”. We are 34% funded already, thanks to the faith, generosity, and, I dare say, brilliant insight, of our first eleven backers! Together, you’ve pledged $1,020.00 of our $3,000.00 goal. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

We still have a long way to go, but I have no doubt we’ll get there together. My task now is to keep the momentum going by continuing to reach out to friends, family, and anyone else I can think of who might find ours a worthy project.

My bonnie backers, as generous as you’ve been, I still need your help.  If you can continue to spread the word to anyone you may know, outside my circle of acquaintances, I would be most grateful.

And, if you haven’t yet become a backer, please take a look at the project and make a pledge today! Click here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1067155587/then-there-is-no-mountain-an-american-memoir

Best regards,

Rich

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