A-Hiking We Will Go

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A couple of months ago, my brother and renowned international water tasting judge, Joe Baur, approached me with an interesting proposition. Would I like to cowrite a book with him? Joe had agreed to write two guidebooks on outdoor activities in Minneapolis-Saint Paul this summer. One of them would incorporate a number of activity types -- cycling, water sports, hiking, etc. The other would be a straightforward hiking guide, the breathlessly awaited follow-up to the sensation that was his first effort, Best Hikes Near Cleveland. Two books is a lot to do, so he wanted to know if I was interested in taking on half of the hiking guide. "Hmm...," I thought, "this could be just the excuse I need for not making progress on my novel. I'll do it!"

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Kidding! This is actually a great opportunity in several ways. I've made my love of Minneapolis and Saint Paul pretty clear and this is a way to promote it, it's an excuse to see a ton of great places and get lots of exercise, and it's a legitimate writing gig. The publisher, Falcon Guides, is well-known for these types of guidebooks, and they thought the novelty of a book co-written by a pair brothers was a novel idea.

Great! We did, too!

Work on this project has actually been going on for a little while now, but it's about to kick into gear. This seemed like the right time to make a real announcement. It's going to be a lot of fun working on this project with a consummate professional like the one in the picture to the right.

Though work on Best Hikes Near Minneapolis-Saint Paul has immediately become my primary focus, I'm cautiously optimistic that it will make me more productive on other projects as well, especially my novel. I think most people have probably experienced the phenomenon where having a lot to do makes you use your time more effectively. That's my hope. I still plan on blogging twice per week, and I'm sure Joe and I will have lots of fun stuff to share as we get further along in this process.

If you're interested in keeping up with us, follow Joe or me on Twitter, check out his Facebook page or my brand new one, sign up for emails below, or connect with us wherever else you do such things. We're around, and the important thing to remember is that social media validation is the only kind that matters.

If nothing else, you can begin looking forward to when we start promoting the book. Here's a taste of the special brand of excellence we can promise.

Best Hikes Near Cleveland: A Rip-Roaring Adventure Story Tale from Joe Baur on Vimeo.

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