Sunday, March 16, 2014

Close encounters of the moose kind

Earlier today, Kim and I and the kids went out into the woods and marsh in our backyard on a “bear hunt.” We’ve also gotten into looking for shed deer antlers – as I’ve written about before – so we were doing that, too.

But aside from deer tracks in the crusty snow – which Tori identified correctly, by the way – all we saw were a few tweedy birds. Not that any of us were complaining about a nice hike on a sunny winter day.

As soon as we arrived home, I saw I had a text message. It was from my cousin Kirsten, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

“I’m just trying to shovel, and look who walked up and interrupted my work!” she wrote. And pictured was a big ol’ moose.


The thing is, I could search and hunt my whole life, and as far as experiences with wildlife go, Kirsten probably could beat me every time. I could see a deer in the backyard, and she’d have a moose in her driveway.

It has to be a function of where we live, though, because as excited as I am to see all the bears and moose and salmon she encounters, she’d likely be just as excited if I sent her pictures of the Mall of America.

At some point, Kim and I hope to take the kids to Alaska. My family’s trip there in the mid-1990s remains one of my fondest memories.

Until then, I’ll just live vicariously through the lens of my cousin’s camera.

An update from four hours later: "He's back!"

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book No. 2 – The River

Roughly 37 minutes after my first book, Two Shots, was available on Amazon, the inquiries began: When’s the second one coming out?  OK, maybe it wasn’t that quick, but I feel like I’ve been fielding that question for a long time.

Not that I’m complaining.  After all, if people didn’t like the first book, they probably wouldn’t care when – or if – there was a second book in the offing.

Well, I’m happy to report the first draft of the second book – The River – is complete.  As any writer will tell you, now is when the hard work begins.  The River is another Tony Leach novel, is set in Bemidji in northern Minnesota, and revolves around current events in the outdoors.  I’m pretty darn excited about it.  So excited I'll share the first few paragraphs below:


The fish’s eyes were set below the centerline of its head, so even when held upright, it had an upside-down appearance.  Its body color was faded silver, the top of its head dark gray.  A nasty fish in looks and effect, the man thought.
Still, he released them one by one into the Mississippi River.  Slime coated his hands and the fish slid from his gloves before hitting the glass-flat water with a plop.  The moon was full and high overhead, but he didn’t watch them swim away.
It was his fifth night on the job, and he looked forward to being done.  Good money, but far-from-ideal conditions.  Access to his current location involved tramping through a quarter-mile of the thickest shit he’d ever been in.  And the reward for all that hard work?  Swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes and black flies that called these swampy backwaters home and left the man with buzzing ears and welts all over his body.

It’s too early to say exactly when The River will be available, but check back for updates.