Andrea Lani
Mother ~ Naturalist ~ Writer

The point of this hike is not to get to Durango but to be here on the trail, experiencing every step, every moment. So often I desire to have done something while the actual doing seems like too much trouble. I’ve already hiked the Colorado Trail. Hiking it again adds nothing to my list of accomplishments. But being here and experiencing the hard work of walking step after step and the beauty of each tree, rock, and flower, while offering this experience to my children, that is the point.

~ Andrea Lani, Uphill Both Ways

Last Friday Curry and I took Milo to Logan Airport and waved goodby as he sauntered into the international terminal, on his way to a semester in Copenhagen. I'd strongly encouraged Milo to do whatever it took to study abroad, knowing that there are few opportunities in life when anyone will invite you to live in a foreign country for several months, let alone give you financial aid to do it, and I was thrilled he picked Denmark, land of 1/4 of my ancestors and seemingly really cool place. I think I was looking forward to his trip almost as much as he was. Then we got to the airport, and I realized how much I'm going to miss him. It's been one thing for him to be at college an hour away from home, even if we don't see him all that often, but six time zones and an ocean away feels very, very far. This is the stuff of parenting, though, is it not? The push and pull of holding close and letting go. And I wouldn't have it any other way. All those years of hard labor were leading toward this moment, helping him build his wing muscles so he can fly away from the nest.

I didn't have much time to spend feeling sentimental about my biggest baby being on another continent, with a trip of my own to get ready for. I'm heading off to Mexico with a group of women who range from a close friend to total strangers. Though the trip required commitment months ago, it feels very spontaneous, and completely out of character. Mexico wasn't on the top of my list of dream destinations, and I'd never expected to patronize a resort. I'd always imagined any world travel I'd do would involve gritty hostels, buses crowded with locals and livestock, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants where the food is transcendent but not sanitary. But so far none of that has happened, and I'm not getting any younger. So when an opportunity to get out of Maine in January and spend a week in sunny seaside splendor, I jumped at it. I'm trying to not feel too guilty about all those I'll be leaving behind on what is slated to be the coldest day of the year so far. I remind myself that the closest thing I've had to a tropical vacation in wintertime is a road trip to Savannah, Georgia, in March, nearly three decades ago. And after I had to abandon my car halfway up my ice-rink driveway after taking the twins to the bus yesterday morning, I felt less rueful.

When I made a vision board for 2022 with my creativity circle last week, the Mexico trip factored in heavily in the images I chose--toucans, jaguars, sea turtles, butterflies. It may be cheating to manifest something that's already set in motion (the trip to Mexico that is, not necessarily the jaguars and toucans), but these days you can leave nothing to chance. Meanwhile, I like to gaze at the board and mix and match the words I cut out of old magazines:
  • Make positive small starts when stuck
  • Go on exotic journeys
  • Remember the restorative power of habits and journaling
  • Look up
  • Live a whole life
  • The world is full of wonders
  • Be a Wild Writer
  • Write here, write now
  • When in doubt, go birdwatching
All aspirations for both a short trip next week and the way I hope to live my life, in 2022 and beyond. What images and words are inspiring you in 2022?
Preorder My Book
You can preorder Uphill Both Ways from:
Or visit your local bookstore and ask them to order a copy for you and a few to put on the shelves for other customers.
Book Launch Party and Readings

Come help me celebrate the publication of Uphill Both Ways on Saturday, March 5, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. at Sheepscot General Store in Whitefield, Maine. There will be a reading, book signing, and art print giveaway. More details to come!

I also have a remote reading scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 6 p.m. MST with Old Firehouse Books in Forth Collins, CO.

Check out my events page for updates about readings and events as they're scheduled. And if you'd like to schedule an event at your local bookstore, library, school, land trust, business, or organization, send me an email and we'll put one together!
Signed Bookplates

If you can't make it to a reading, book signing, or other event, but would like your book signed, send me an email with your address and the name of the person the book is for, and I'll mail you a personalized, signed bookplate that you can stick inside the front cover of your copy of Uphill Both Ways.
Review My Book

If you're a blogger, bookstagrammer, or active Goodreads user, or if you have another platform on which you review books and you'd like to write a review of Uphill Both Ways, send me an email and I can forward you a digital advance reader copy of the book.
Giveaway Time
Once a month until Uphill Both Ways comes out in March, I'm giving away a matted 8x8 archival art print of one of the book's illustrations to a subscriber of this newsletter. If a friend passed this newsletter on to you, you can subscribe here. If you know of anyone who you think might be interested in reading Uphill Both Ways, please forward this email to them.
This month's giveaway is Anglewing Butterfly (above), and I'll draw the winner on February 1. Last month's winner is Helene Farrar. Congratulations, Helene!

Recent Blog Posts

Book Stack ~ December 2021
Flash Friday ~ January Twilight
Rare Birds
Turn Toward the Light
I Did It! 2021 (Apocalypse Year 2) Edition
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Check out the November/December issue of Literary Mama.
May you find the words and images that will inspire you in this new year, my friends, and may you find a warm respite this winter.
~ Andrea
Copyright © 2022 Andrea Lani, All rights reserved.

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