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Important Notice! One of my duties as Piedmont Laureate is a biweekly blog. So, for the rest of 2015, I'll be posting only rarely here, usually exercise related posts that don't seem at home there. On the Piedmont Laureate blog, I'll mainly be focusing on topics related to speculative fiction. Check it out by clicking here.

I'm James Maxey, the author of the Dragon Age fantasy series of Bitterwood, Dragonforge, and Dragonseed, the Dragon Apocalypse series of Greatshadow, Hush, and Witchbreaker, as well as the superhero novels Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Best of 2015: Adventure

In absolutely no logical order, some scenes of Cheryl and I pushing our limits this year.
By the end of the year, we'd look back on this fondly as one of the easier bridges to get across.

Once you start collecting conchs, it's tough to stop.

Sunset at Murrell's Inlet

What we looked like a few minutes before launching on our 100 mile bike ride. There's a good reason we don't have "after" pictures.

Cheryl out on a limb.


This log cabin isn't on the official map of Eno State Park. We found it by following the very faint remnants of an old road.

At Hanging Rock.

At Tory's Den.

A winter's walk.

No one said there'd be dinosaurs!

Perched atop Cthulhu.

New River Trail, about 40 miles in, just before the last ten miles ground our spirits to dust.

Old tunnel on New River Trail.

Cheryl grooving on the ponies at Grayson Highlands.

A little together time at the top of the world.

Some alone time at the top of the world!

Reaching the top of the world ain't easy.

We took a lot of selfies in front of water and rocks. This is one of them.

Abandoned trestle off the Mountain to Sea Trail.

Literally pushing the boundaries at Eno State Park.

Neuse River Trail.

Warrior Dash!

That might be Cheryl near the top. The camera was a little muddy....

Definitely Cheryl!

We also posed in front of fields. Lots and lots of fields.

Advanced selfie taking while bike riding.

Not the only time this year we were caught by rain.

Biking after rain turns the pavement into mirrors.

Nothing like sharing adventures with family!

I've always liked Popeye. All this biking is giving me his legs.


Cheryl spend much of the year with a bike chain grease tattoo.

Best of 2015: Nature

Cheryl and I spent a good part of this year outdoors, keeping an eye open for the wonders of nature. Nature was happy to oblige!
We didn't have to journey far for this taste of spring. It's from a tulip tree in our front yard.

A stretch along the Eno we nicknamed "the Shire" for its idyllic beauty.

Farm creek on the New River Trail.

Colorful gravel beneath water at Hanging Rock.

I think this little guy is from the Mountain to Sea Trail near Old Oxford Road.

Petal suspended in a spider web, Eno State Park.

Off the marked path in Eno State Park, exploring an old road to nowhere.

Skinks near the Durham Farmer's Market.

A hitchhiker in a conch we found, just before we returned him to the marsh.

Dragonfly at Murrell's Inlet.

Dunes across from Murrell's Inlet.

This was taken in my mom's back yard.

Congregation of butterflies, looking somewhat like sailboats.

Sunset at Occaneechee Mountain

Fall at Jordan Lake.


Flower at Duke Gardens. Cheryl told me what it was, but I've forgotten. It reminds me of dragon scales.

Taken as we were leaving Duke Cancer Clinic.

This one was still occupied, so we left him.

Turtle in the Trent in New Bern.

Albino faun at American Tobacco Trail.

Blue heron near American Tobacco Trail.