By Luke Mehall – Today is a monumental day in my life, my book, Climbing Out of Bed, has been published. I thought I would publish my first book years ago, but honestly I’m glad I waited until now. I’m 33 years old, not too old for this occasion, and not too young.
Something I really want to share is that although these words were written by me, they are now yours. The greatest gift of writing for me has been inspiring, motivating and entertaining other people. When someone reaches out to me and says they enjoyed a particular piece of mine, it is very meaningful to me. When I was younger it would go to my ego, but now I realize I am just channeling a gift. I don’t know where the gift comes from, God, past lives, maybe simply hard work and dedication, but I know out of everything I have tried, writing is what I’m the best at.
I am proud of Climbing Out of Bed because it is an honest collection of stories and poems, centered around climbing and mountain town culture. This morning as I was editing the book for the hundredth time, I was reminded of the Willie Nelson lyric, “I may not be normal, but nobody is.” Our culture is so different than mainstream America, and I like it like that. Not only that, we are not just some passing trend like so many other countercultures; we truly live and love for outdoor experiences, and almost everything we do is based around that.
Although the words in Climbing Out of Bed are mine, there are several editors I’ve leaned on heavily, some who have read this book many times over. Because I’m publishing it as an e-book, I was able to edit it down to the last minute. I couldn’t imagine the stress of self publishing a printed book. Typos are so damn elusive, and I am forever indebted to this group of people: Lisa Lynch, Karen Ast, Jen Panko, Lindsey Nelson (www.typoslayer.com), Al Smith III (www.whatisaldoingfuntoday.blogspot.com), Mike Reddy and Mary Burt.
I am also grateful for the photographers (professional and amateur) whose images grace the book: Braden Gunem (www.bradengunem.com), Mark Grundon (www.elpotrerochicoguides.com), Mike Brenneman, Jonathan Schaffer and Greg Pettys.
While the promotion has only begun, I am grateful the book is completed. My favorite part of being a writer is doing interviews with awesome people, and actually writing. I’m stoked to start on my second book, and start the whole process all over again.