It’s herrrre! My very excellent publisher Greystone Books slipped me a couple advance reader’s copies of my book. Yes that is Tracking Giants in my hand!! It comes out in May 2023 and I’d be truly delighted if you preordered. Maybe you can leave a fir cone and a preorder note under the tree this year? 🤷🏻♀️🌲
For me this project has been all about taking risks. I started my big-tree tracking project in June 2018. I’d just moved back to the West Coast and was totally burned out from 9 years in Toronto, and I wanted to be outside more. My friend Kate Harris had just read about the BC Big Tree Registry in Big Lonely Doug by Harley Rustad and suggested I visit all the Champion trees. I committed on the spot, thinking the project would turn me into a more adventurous version of myself. And the project did give me a chance to take risks in the forest, driving down FSRs in my little car and surprising bears in marshland.
But the more surprising risks came in stepping out as a writer, after 15 years as an editor; in forming true friendships in the woods, when I’m more comfortable being alone; in casting off the image I had of myself as someone who could find 54 Champion trees in a year, an impossible task.
This book took four years to live and write. I really didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off. Finally, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, I took a sabbatical at the beginning of 2022 so I could finish it 🙏
I have poured it all in here, but it was still important for me to write a short book, and a look at deforestation and climate change that wasn’t all depressing. There are puns here, s’mores, joints, and James Brown. I intended the book to be an artificial forest of trees growing next to each other, as they do in the registry, and along the way it also became a catalogue of the giants in my life: the writers and artists who inspire me. I started it in a tiny apartment in East Van, put it on hold during a pandemic, and finished it in a log house on a small island. This book has carried me, and now I’m carrying it.
I’m proud of this book and really think you will enjoy it! Link to preorder. Thank you 🌲🐻🌳