Fall Creek Falls Photographs

I was at Fall Creek Falls state park last weekend, and I wanted to share some pictures. Nothing to say about my writing at the moment. Just pretty pictures.

fall creek falls3

This first one’s a full shot of the 256 foot Fall Creek Falls.

fall creek falls 2014

This is what the falls looked like this time last year when there had been a lot more rain. Just thought I’d show it because the water was so low this year.

fall creek falls from bottom3

This one’s looking up from the base of the falls.

trail to base overhang2

A small portion of the trail leading down to the base. Probably the easiest stretch.

rocky point

This is looking from Fall Creek Falls overlook at Rocky Point overlook. It’s not an easy hike(climb) to get to rocky point, but the view is amazing.

from rocky point overlook3

Looking out from the edge of rocky point to the left I think.

from rocky point overlook

from rocky point overlook2

Then this is the far right view from rocky point. I’m pretty sure I’m remembering this correctly.

from rocky point self

And because everyone needs a selfie at the edge of a 200 foot cliff.

piney fallspiney something

One of these two is Piney Falls. The other may be still considered Piney Cascades, but what I know as cascades is slightly upstream from the second of these. I couldn’t get both in the same shot, but they’re right next to each other.

overlook overlooking overlook

This one’s a little out of order. I’m trying to keep the pictures how they appear on the trail, but I just wanted to show the “overlook” I took the previous two pictures from. You can see people in the first of those. It’s got a good fence and a nice little walkway leading to it from the parking lot about two hundred feet away. The “overlook” in this picture is a across about a fifty foot suspension bridge that’s partially held together with duct tape, up close to(over) 100 usually wet cement steps, a quarter mile along a rough trail following the edge of a gorge, down a much narrower trail a few dozen feet, and finally, you have to make a three foot drop from the trail to the about 5×15 dirt overlook with a fence of three loose two inch steel cables. The cables are spaced about toddler sized apart, so don’t bring your kids to this one, unless they’re on a leash. And this little overlook is easy compared to rocky point.

piney river bridge

Suspension bridge across piney river.

IMG_2015

And just in case you didn’t believe me about the duct tape.

down from cascades

I can’t remember if I took this from the bridge, or if it was when I scrambled across some rocks to the other side of the river. Looks awfully close to be from the bridge. Anyway, the cascades is just beneath me in this picture, then around the bend is the right picture of piney falls.

cascades3cascades

Two of the cascades. Different days I think.

cascades bottom

And one last one taken from those rocks you saw at the bottom of the cascades. You can see the bridge above the river.

george's hole

then this is George’s Hole. It’s just a little spot right off the road.

broken (1)broken (2)broken (3)

And finally, the currently broken suspension bridge at George’s Hole. It’s the shortest and lowest of the three at the park, so I doubt anyone was hurt if they were on it at the time. It’s funny. That red sign you see in the middle of it reads “No diving,” yet the sign itself is much easier to balance on and jump off of than a bare steel cable. I guess this one got the most traffic, and the diving probably put a lot of stress on it, but I thought the one with the duct tape would have gone first. Anyway, these are about the best of the pictures I took on my little visit to one of my favorite parks. I would highly recommend it as it has some great views ranging from fifty feet from your car over a paved path, to several miles weaving up and down cliffs. But be sure to stay on marked paths. I may have…peeked off the trail a little and found a small entrance to a cavern that you probably wouldn’t want to fall in. It was in the shade and I didn’t have a light with me. Could have been ten feet deep. Could have been a hundred. Either way, stick to what’s safe. You don’t want to need rescuing. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Advertisements

Audio book!

For everyone who doesn’t know, which at the point of adds up to all but about ten people in the entire world, I’m currently in process of doing an author’s recording audio book for my novel. We briefly entertained the idea of recording a professional speaker, but it was decided that mine would be the voice everyone will hear. It has me really excited, and doing it is so much fun, but it’s not what I expected. The outtakes are overwhelming. I lost track of how many times I burst into fits of laughter over things that…didn’t come out quite right. I think I need to contact Merriam-Webster with all the new words I’ve made up, and I find myself sometimes not even vaguely reading what’s written. And I wrote it! It’s a little bit frustrating, but only because we set an unrealistic deadline. Other than that, it’s all been great fun and I can’t wait for it to be finished. I’ve got some special plans with the outtakes, and I might even be persuaded to share them when all is said and done. Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to read more, this is my novel in E-book form. I still have plans to bind a few copies by hand, but it’s in the back seat right now. I can’t promise a hand bound copy to anyone at this point as I don’t know when or how much they’ll be. But let me know if you’re interested! I want them to go to good people and I’d probably put in a hand written love letter in the last few pages(teasing of course). And if you’re the kind of person who likes to listen, you’ll also have to wait, but not very long as I’m going right back to the studio!

Book Binding and Drum Set.

I’ve decided I’m going to learn how to bind books by hand. I like books, and the way they feel. My goal is to get several copies of my own book printed and bound so that I can have a couple on hand for whatever situation I’m in. It’s a chance for me to learn a new skill, and give a work of passion the attention it deserves. E-books are wonderful, but they aren’t for everyone. (but if you are someone who E-books are for here!) Some people understandably hate technology. I live with it, but a physical copy of a book seems so much more genuine to me, and making it myself adds that special something extra that I want to go to some of the first few people who are giving me a chance.

I have also decided to continue to learn to play drums. I played a little six or so years ago, then my family moved and the drums never got set up quite in a way that was accessible to play until recently. I tried playing a few months ago, and I was just so tentative. It didn’t feel right. But now I’m in love again. I don’t know if I’m any good, but I really enjoy the sound of percussion, so I’m gonna have fun with it.

Goals

I’m the type of person who needs to set goals for himself. I work best under pressure and I’ll hardly finish anything without a deadline. Sometimes I’ll wiggle in a little more time to my deadline, but without it, I’m barely treading water. I have several goals currently that will hopefully help me progress toward the future. The first, and probably most important, is to finish the initial draft of my second novel by December of this year. At first, it seemed like an impossible task for me, but a few things put it into perspective. The framework is already in place. I’ve established my characters and all I have to do is build upon them and guide them toward their goals. I’ve known the direction of my series for years, and all I need now is to get from A-Z. Or, I’ve got A…A through H-ish? Sooo, I-Z and I’ve got a trilogy!

My next goal is seemingly a little divergent from my current path(see what I did there?), which is to host a panel at an anime convention. The first convention I ever went to was MTAC 15 to life, and it was so much fun. I really enjoy watching anime, but more than watching, I like learning about it. I’ve been told I’m charming and charismatic, so it seems like a wonderful opportunity to share some of the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years.

My last goal is a secret. It might take a little longer, and I want it to be a surprise. Just know that I have a lot of things I’m currently working towards in life, and once I start the ball rolling, I should be able to pick up enough steam to make all my dreams come true, and there’s no reason you can’t too.

Amazon link to the book I mention: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Of-Voices-Divergent-Paths-ebook/dp/B010KI2GZ8

Education, expectations and the unexpected.

I was thinking about school earlier today. Middle(6-8) and high(9-12) school. They were an odd time for me. I was remembering how well I did in math and science. If you asked any of my teachers(the ones that didn’t think I was a lost cause) from back then, most would probably say I had a bright future in some sort of engineering field. But that wasn’t for me. If you don’t know anything about engineers, in general, they’re very literal minded people and don’t have much of a sense of humor. Compared to me who was the class clown. To put it lightly, I was an attention whore. I liked people hearing what I had to say, and I liked making them laugh. It did get me kicked out of class from time to time. Like when I was in art class, we were making something out of clay, and the only direction we’re given is it has to be at least twelve inches. How am I not suppose to say, “You’ve got some very high standards, Ms. Blank.” Or if Business education literally has us playing Monopoly as an assignment, the class is already a joke, so I shouldn’t have been sent out for throwing money in the air and rolling in it. And she definitely shouldn’t have complained when, as she was escorting me out the door, I pulled a twenty from under my belt, handed it to her, and said, “Buy yourself something nice.”

Okay. Maybe that’s a little over the top, so lets go back a couple years. Seventh(or sixth) grade, we were given the assignment to write a short, fictional story in English class. At that point, I was enthralled in the epic fantasy, genre defining, action role-playing game, Diablo II, and that’s where I drew my inspiration from. I can’t remember much, but I think it was a group of three ill-fitting heroes their quest to stop some dark force. I do remember that mine stood out in the sense that I actually had the class’s attention, as opposed to doodling and dicking around while the other kids read their stories. They were listening. They were paying attention. And they broke into wild laughter at a Dirty Harry reference. They loved it, and I loved telling it. But the teacher didn’t. When I got the paper back, I noticed I had fewer red marks on my paper for spelling and grammar issues than people with higher grades. And that was my last experience with any kind of creative writing in public school. Every English class from then on was read, report. Read, report.

Wait. I take that back. Eighth grade, the end of the day, my literature class would always start with a…I can’t even remember what she called it, but our teacher would have have a topic on the board, and as soon as we sat down, we were to take out our notebooks and write for the first fifteen minutes of class on that topic. That was actually amazing. The most fun I had academically that year, and I can’t even remember my teacher’s name. But once I got into high school, there was nothing like that. I didn’t have a creative outlet, so I just focused on the hard facts. Math. I was great at math. When I was in algebra, I remember my friend being amazed as he watch me reading the problems and simultaneously writing down the answers. I never really got the concept of “show your work” back then. Of course it’s so the teacher could know where you went wrong, but I didn’t go wrong. I could focus. I was in the zone. Unless you didn’t read the question right, I didn’t understand how anyone could get a wrong answer. That’s just how my mind worked. The same went for physics. It was just formulas. You put in the numbers, and you get the right answers. But my peers didn’t get that. And my poor teacher, Mr. Devine(?) didn’t have it in him to fail anyone. He would grade the tests based on a curve, so the entire class would at least pass. Say there were 50 questions, he’d grade it as if it were only 30-35 and everything else was extra credit. Consequently, on our bi-weekly tests, I was getting something like 140-150%. It was so odd to me. I couldn’t give children false hope like that when they obviously didn’t understand the material. But that’s what happened, and I feel sorry for my classmates if they ever encountered a teacher who wasn’t spineles….lenient.

Tenth grade is where it all fell apart. I couldn’t be a mindless math drone anymore. I didn’t know what I needed, but I needed something more. Ha, it was pretty much a rebellion. I lost all interest in math and science and spent the next couple years figuring out what I was looking for. During that time, my mind went through a sort of shift. I lost my knowledge of math and gained back my affinity for storytelling. I’m still a problem solver, but now I deal in life problems, which are much harder because there’s not just a clear cut answer. And I like it. I like the way I am now. I was saved from a life that wasn’t for me. You may say it’s a waste of a brilliant mind that I’m not Jed Hayward, the man who contributed to an efficient and cost effective form of green energy, severing our dependency on fossil fuels(or some other “noble” cause), but I’m much happier being Jed F. Hayward, author of A Journey of Voices: Divergent paths.

That’s the amazon link feel free to check it out *cough cough*

Dwayne Johnson(world class actor)

I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up a movie poster for the recent blockbuster, San Andreas, starting none other than Dwayne Johnson(world class actor). Most who’ve seen it say it’s not a very good movie, and you might agree, but I’m also fortunate in the fact that I’ve never seen it. So why do I have a poster for it? Well, it’s a bit of an inside joke, but I’ve decided to let the world/all three people who will potentially read this in on it. Who is Dwayne Johnson(world class actor)? Aha, that’s a good question. My clever and subtle use of parentheses might indicate that he’s an actor I hold in very high regard. And you might be right! But Most of the world would know him better by his ring name, “The Rock”. It’s not uncommon for a professional wrestler to explore the world of cinema, and many times, it’s led to amazing things. Two examples that come to mind, and two of my favorite movies are Andre the Giant’s contribution to The Princess Bride added a larger than life personality to the perfect fairy tale, and Rowdy Roddy Piper filling the cult classic action horror film, They Live, with quotable one liners and  made the perfect 80’s action hero. So what makes our new-age action hero, Dwayne Johnson(world class actor), a source of laughter in my household? Is he a bad actor? Ehh, he’s fine. Nothing laughable. I kinda liked The Scorpion King, the movie, not to be confused with his character from a film the previous year, The Mummy Returns, where he played, “the Scorpion King.” It’s also an okay movie film. So, what’s my problem? Well, it’s the name. At first you would see him listed in the credits as “The Rock” because he is “The Rock.” Then he would show up as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Now he’s Dwayne Johnson, and he’s a serious actor. SERIOUS. It sort of feels like he wants everyone to forget that he’s “The Rock” and pursue a serious acting career. Which is fine. More power to him. And he wants to do it without piggybacking off of his ring name. Even better. But for a man built the way he is, Dwayne Johnson doesn’t seem like a fitting name. For me, it invokes the image of someone who’s typecast as a sly business man or someone along those lines. Not a rugged action hero. Now, this is all ignorant speculation and judgmental on my part. If I did a ten second google search, I would probably find the reason he dropped The Rock is because Vince McMahon(WWF) holds ownership of his ring name and either Dwayne Johnson wanted to act without Vince McMahon needing to be on board as an executive producer or something, or Vince McMahon didn’t care for a film producing career, but also didn’t want to give up rights to the name. But whatever the reason, Dwayne Johnson(world class actor) will always put a smile on my face and possibly send me into fits of laughter in the right context.

Oh…and I wrote this book that has nothing to do with modern cinema, wrestling, or Dwayne Johnson(world class actor). But it has humor! It also has a werewolf with a split personality, a sadistic dragon who’s out to change the world, an adorable pink haired troll with a short temper, a sheltered and self-important vampire with an idealistic world view, and a man destined to destroy the world. Can these conflicting parties compromise for long enough to prevent the disasters awaiting just over the horizon? Find out in the character driven opening to my first trilogy, A Journey of voices: Divergent Paths.

A Journey of Voices

Hey there. My name’s Jed. I don’t know anything about this whole blogging thing, but I know I always have something to say, even if I don’t always have a way to share it. I’m the author of the newly published A Journey of Voices: Divergent Paths. Now I have to guess if you here would rather know who I am or what the book’s about. Well, I’ll start with the book and open by saying the genre is fantasy. There are some science fiction elements and a little mystery to it, but it boils down to a fantasy. My fantasy I guess you could say. It’s a product of passion. Writing began at an odd time in my life. I felt pretty alone. I had just transferred out of a school that wasn’t teaching me anything to a homeschooling situation. I had good friends, but I didn’t know them outside of school and cut all ties with them. My family always made it home for dinner, but they worked long hours. We made time to spend together, even when we didn’t have any to spare, and I cherish every moment I have with them. But some days, the only company I had were my keyboard and my thoughts. So I decided to combine the two and start writing a book. I didn’t have any intention of sharing it with the world. It was mine. Every time I’d get in that position, I’d write. Habit turned to hobby when it became more than just something to clear my head. I enjoyed it and was choosing it over other activities I could have been doing. And hobby became this when, about a year ago, I decided that I loved writing more than just about anything and wanted to do it for the rest of my life. Fast forward to today and it’s all become real as I look at the Amazon page. I’m not gonna lie. It’s frightening. This story that I have created is so personal that I feel like I’m allowing a bunch of strangers have free range, strolling the halls of my heart and mind. Maybe that’s an unhealthy way to think of it. Maybe I’m exposing myself to lots of potential pain, but it’s okay. I don’t need everyone to like me or what I’ve done. My biggest hope, though, for putting such a personal work out there for the world to see, is that someone, somewhere can honestly say that I have written their favorite book. So there’s my little introduction. If you want to get to know me faster than I can present myself here, http://www.ourhousecraft.biz/joofvo.html is a link to a little corner of the web, dedicated to me. It will lead you to my twitter, my author’s page on Amazon, and of course where to get the book itself. Bye for now. I look forward to understanding this new world.