Sample Chapter Titles:
The Whispering Tree
Cuddling My Fear
In the Shadow of Totems
Tendon for Twine
The 70-mile Row
Excerpt from MayDay Dreams Chapter
I heard my childhood dream whisper a few times as I bumbled around in college, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, but it never yelled loud enough for me to hear it until I was 29. While browsing my survival teacher’s bookshelf, I spotted a copy of My Side of the Mountain. With book in hand I stood frozen as memories of tree forts and wilderness adventures flashed through my mind. Bam! The thought hit me: I could become Sam Gribley.
I didn’t have to wait for a plane to crash. I opted for Plan B: Pay someone to abandon me in the wilds.
On February 25, 2004, I stepped into my childhood dream, crunching ashore on a deserted, white-shell beach with a feral cat, a tiny rowboat, and a stranger I now call my best friend. I abandoned a life of pedicured toes, Thai restaurants, and diamond rings for dirty nails, roasted mice, and bear-claw necklaces. I rubbed sticks together to create fire, hunted game, harvested wild salads, and cured injuries with plants. I had become Sam Gribley.
Excerpt from Shape-Shifting Hunters Chapter
“I decided I would never shoot a deer from farther than eight steps away. I felt this was an honourable thing to do. I wanted to become a hunter in the truest sense, not simply a killer. I felt if I couldn’t get that close, I didn’t deserve to take the life of a deer…Then I reminded myself that the most important invisibility tactic wasn’t the camouflage; it was quieting the relentlessly chattering mind. When i still my mind into a place of sacred silence, I need no mud or charcoal to vanish from the view of others. If I wanted to get within eight steps of a deer, I needed to breathe in this space of invisibility. Camouflage merely kept my logical mid focused, helping it believe the impossible.”
“Darkness always came before I had time to hike around to harvest a fluffy new hemlock bough mattress. For months, the Sacred Order of Survival never expanded past number 6: food. I positioned a new mattress at about number 42.
“I loved every word. You will inspire me for a long time.” – Martin Lareau
Excerpt from The Crabby Cougar Chapter
…trembling every time the cougar screamed, I realized how much my family meant to me. A smile came to me as I remembered our going-away party.
An hour before our guests were to arrive, Micah and I charged into my mom’s lovely apartment with a dead beaver that we proceeded to slide into the oven.
When my mother arrived home with the cake, she cried out,”What stinks in here?”
Enthusiastically, I replied,”Micah and I found a perfectly good roadkill beaver on the way home. It’s super-fresh, Mom. We’re cooking it up for the party.”
“Get it out,” she said, “before it stinks up the whole apartment.”
Micah put on the oven mitts and pulled out the baked beaver, its two front paws hanging over the side of the pan. The steaming scent of gamey fat billowed from the stove as Micah high-tailed it to the porch with our surprise entrée.
At the unveiling, there were shocked looks from those who didn’t know me well and head-shaking laughs from those who knew me best. There were a lot of leftovers, but few people refused to at least try the tail. It became the party no one could ever forget.
Everyone had a different perspective on my primitive living adventure. some couldn’t understand my reasons for needing to leave, some wished they could follow along, and a few thought I was plain crazy, ut after they all realized I was fulfilling a dream, they smiled and wished me luck and success in finding what I was searching for.
Excerpt from Latin for Dummies Chapter
I had run to the woods with the illusion that by living simply and purely in nature, I wouldn’t have to deal with the temptations or distractions that bombarded me in the city. I thought becoming a truly good person would be a lot easier in the forest. I quickly discovered that anything can become a distraction. I had plenty of them, even in the middle of nowhere. I am who I am no matter where I dumped myself off.
I recognized that if I truly wanted to discover my goodness, I not only had to bravely face my fears, but I had to start looking honestly at a part of myself that was easily ignored. I also realized that when we live alone, it is easy to create a comfortable illusion of personal perfection; living with someone else reflects our darkness within. I had planned to get to know my lower human ego, and I couldn’t have done it without Micah.