19 Million Mule Steps

A while back, I rode my mules Brick and Cracker seven months and 2,300 miles from North Carolina to Idaho. I photographed and interviewed all kinds of folks, from the Chicken Slat Man and the Girl in the Green Dress to Libby Loos, who taught me how to walk a pig. Then there were the mule adventures, like when Brick refused to cross an expansion joint on a bridge.
When I got home, I hunkered down and started writing “Two Mules Two Triumph,” my memoir my journey.

The trouble was, I’d fallen in love with so many of the photos and characters I met on my journey that I put them all into the first draft of my book. The first draft contained 326,000 words. I got the manuscript for the second draft chiseled down to 215,000 words which still made for an eleven-pound manuscript. That was still too long to interest most publishers, so I did another ruthless edit. By the third draft, I was down to a manageable 100,000 words, about right for a travel memoir.

The thing is, I loved so many of the photos and stories I cut. It hurt to think that the photos of the Girl in the Green Dress, the Chicken Slat Man and the story of Brick’s Great Bridge Standoff would never be enjoyed by others.

Well, here they are, packaged into a beautiful photo book, “19 Million Mules Steps”.
I think you’re going to love it!

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