Walk Softly was my trail name on the Appalachian Trail, a thru-hike I completed in 2004 after graduating high school.  It’s hard to walk 2,174 miles without being deeply effected, and I saw both my person and my writing grow.  The stories which demanded voice during that trip were real: the unwarranted kindness of self-described rednecks with a pickup truck, or the gift of a listening ear after three days spent alone, or the incredible, decadent luxury of hot water.

Of my learnings on the trail, one of the greatest was that I needed to do a better job of listening.  Listening to the world around me, listening to myself, listening to God.  I’d say this was half of what was missing in my earlier writing and relationships.  But either in the woods or away, listening requires stillness.  It requires a light step.  Which is for the better; I find I often do not know the nature of the ground on which I stand.

Walk Softly is an effort to implement that keener ear, that more considered tread in my writing.  It’s also an attempt to write honestly, enthusiastically, and to share those experiences which yield greater depth in the telling.  Do the words succeed?  Let me know what you think.