Ned Hayes Writing

Ned Hayes is a voracious reader (and writer). I wrote THE EAGLE TREE and the best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK, set in the 14th century, illustrated by New York Times bestseller Nikki McClure.  The novel SINFUL FOLK was nominated for the "Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award." 

 

NedNote.com | TheEagleTree.comSinfulFolk.com

The Eagle Tree - Ned Hayes
 
on September 25, 2016
 
As an autistic mother to an autistic child, a poet, and an environmental advocate, this book will be important to me for a long time. It moved me to tears. I laughed. And I was ravenously hooked in after a few chapters while whole-heartedly rooting for March and his family.

March is such a strong, determined, passionate young man. I really appreciated reading a story about an autistic protagonist who has depth, nuance, insight, intelligence, and dynamism. He was not dehumanized or belittled. I sensed authentic compassion between the lines of this book that never struck me as misplaced pity and instead struck me more as an attempt at genuine acceptance. The significant characters wanted to see March be his truest self while balancing the need to navigate with March the sometimes harsh realities of the neurotypical world to help March in achieving his own goals.

March and his family were easy to love and also imperfect people who had their own growing yet to do. I enjoyed learning more about the Pacific Northwest and our ecosystem, especially with March as my teacher and guide. I am grateful to have connected to an autistic protagonist whose impairments were significant, whose gifts were hard for him to share, and whose flapping and stimming were an ever present part of how he moved in time and space. Too many people do not yet know how very much autistic people have to offer the world. How excellent if this book chips away at that unfortunate ignorance. Diversity is key with forests and with human kind.

I hope one day to give this book to my son so that it might encourage him to follow his passions brazenly and so that it might serve as an emblem that growth is a constant and life is full of cycles.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3H9LW5UFM07IX/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01BVD40HS
Eliot quote
Eliot quote

T.S. Eliot quote for his birthday: September 26, 1888

Source: http://nednote.com
cannon beach book company
cannon beach book company

Books on the Beach! Thanks to the Cannon Beach Book Company for stocking and hand-selling The Eagle Tree. #Eagletree #books@cannonbeachlife

Source: http://theeagletree.com

How We Write Clergy

(originally published by Elsa Cook on her blogPUBLISHED ON


I am a character in a book.


I learned of this news from a Facebook message. A member of the community had written a book and he wanted to know if it was alright to name the church in the book. That wasn’t my call anymore. I was no longer the pastor there, except that I was in the book.

 

While I was still in ministry in that place, I had had coffee with Ned Hayes many times. He was someone who came to worship on occasion. It was always clear to me that he was seeking something. He was incredibly well read. He’d read all kinds of theology and had even gone to seminary but there was still something he was looking for. I did not know in the middle of writing another book and that I would end up being a character. Of course, I said yes. By all means, print it. Publish it! I can’t wait to read how those cups of coffee and mornings in church translate into a character like Pastor Ilsa.

 

See what he did there? He changed the name by one letter. No doubt he was trying to avoid the connection to Disney’s Frozen that I cannot quite escape. Smart move. I borrowed a copy from my goddaughter and started to read at the pool.

 

14045951_1068662506550170_8991399356609680619_n.jpg

 

Eagle Tree is the story of a boy growing up in Olympia. He is a boy that is somewhere on the spectrum of autism and it is his voice that leads the reader through the journey of saving this tree in the LBA Woods. When I lived in Olympia, there were signs all over town to save this particular park. This is the fictional story of how that park is saved from the hands of developers by this boy named March who sometimes goes to church at the United Churches of Olympia. Church is a confusing place for March. It is a place where the pastor tells strange stories that are true, but not factually true.

 

This is how Pastor Ilsa is introduced. His mother drags him to church and March offers this narration:

Ilsa says she likes to talk about God because she cannot
entirely understand God, but that is not how I feel at all.
I need to understand things all the way down to the root
.

 

Though Ned denies it, this could have been a note he jotted down while we were having coffee. This is totally something I would say. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I did say something exactly like this. There are, however, other things that don’t line up about me. It is fiction, after all. Pastor Ilsa is married to a professor at the local college by the name of Pierre. His name sounds equally exotic to my husband’s name but their careers are totally different. Ilsa was also a botanist before she came into ministry. There was some kind of accident that shifted her focus. Again, this is not me but makes for a good character. Most surprising to me: Ilsa is old. He husband has grey in his beard. This is not a young pastor.

 

For this, I am admittedly sad. Clergy are so often imagined to be sage and wise because of their many years. It somehow makes them approachable.

 

I’m not complaining. Not exactly. I’m just interested in how we write clergy. I’m interested in how clergy are portrayed in the media. Consider AMC’s Preacher for example. This is nothing like the pastor that Ned Hayes writes.

 

Ned portrays someone far less of a bad ass, though she is a police chaplain which I thought was pretty cool. Maybe because Ned isn’t worried about ratings or sensationalism that television seems to require or maybe because he sees that there is something that good that does happen in church. And he thinks that clergy are a part of that.

 

The pastor he writes is approachable and caring. She has an incredible bond with March. She is able to get on his level and welcome him as a full child of God. I can only pray that I do this every day in my ministry, then and now. It is really what I hope not just for clergy but for all Christians.

 

Ultimately, this is not a book about Christians or even clergy. It’s a book about connections. It’s a book about how we relate to each other and how we relate to the world around us. No matter what separates and divides, we can come together to do good. We can change the world around us. We can make a difference.

 

I am not in the least bit surprised that this is Ned’s heart or that he still sometimes worships with this brave group of people in Olympia that shares the same hope.

 

Source: http://cookingwithelsa.org/2016/08/24/how-we-write-clergy

Book Review: The Eagle Tree

 

Book Review: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

TheEagleTreeCoverSynopsis: Set in Olympia, Washington, Peter “March” Wong is a fourteen-year-old autistic boy who lives with his mother. He loves trees and loves to climb them. He sees a giant Ponderosa Pine called The Eagle Tree and dreams of climbing it.

 

Review: This was an illuminating, but slow, read. I almost set it aside, but pushed through and I’m very glad that I read it, as I feel this is a book I will continue to think about.

 

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes is a very sweet book that I discovered by surfing Amazon one evening. I was drawn to the cover and the interesting sounding synopsis, and it was a very unique read.

 

Told entirely from the point of view of Peter “March” Wong, March is an autistic boy who loves to climb trees and learn about them. March is single-minded about the trees, and it was interesting to get inside his head and hear his perspective about other people and why he reacts in certain ways, and why he loves trees and climbing them.

 


“The Eagle Tree was like a lighthouse to me, a beacon of hope, a sign of great life that towers over everything. It drew me in, saying, Climb me, climb me. Trees like this keep me oriented in a storm of things I do not understand.”


 

Once I got over my panic at the thought of a fourteen-year-old boy climbing trees (and big trees!) constantly, most of the time without supervision, I was able to settle into the story.

Set in Olympia, Washington, the trees are all around, and are characters in their own way. Each tree is different, with different features, and March explains them all, which can be very dry at times. So dry, that I almost had to set the book aside. But I continued on because I wanted to know if March would ever climb his beloved Eagle Tree.

 

Once March spies the Eagle Tree, he fixates on being able to climb it, and must overcome obstacles to get close to his tree. Obstacles include his mother, his uncle, the fact that the tree is now on private property and is slated to be bulldozed for a new development, and the state potentially taking March away from his mother.

 

There is a lot of tree science in the book, and there is also a lot of talk about climate change (seriously – if you know someone who doesn’t believe global warming is real, this book might change their mind). Sometimes all of this science stuff just made my eyes glaze over, but other times it was fascinating, especially when it talked of various reasons the beetle populations are so large now and how that impacts trees, and also humans. It’s actually quite scary.

 


“What action can you take to influence the world? What can you do that doesn’t hurt you or the people around you? What can you do that takes all that powerful energy you have and does good in the world?”


 

There are several interesting characters in The Eagle Tree, from March’s hardworking and patient mother, Janet Wong, to March’s kind and understanding uncle, Mike Washington. There are also great characters I wanted to know more about: Maria Elliot, a Nisqually lady who works for the Environmental Defense Council in Olympia, and March’s classmates, Stig, and Sarah.

 

Since March is autistic, it was absolutely fascinating and illuminating to me to be able to see what goes through his mind. Reading how sounds and lights impact March and why he interacts with people the way he does was very insightful. The author, Ned Hayes, has worked with children on the autistic spectrum, and this shows in the writing. I thought this aspect of the book was very well done.

 

There was a part at the end of the book that I got very emotional over, because this book called to mind my great-grandfather, who was a logger and high climber in the PNW. Having just lost my grandfather, his son, this June, I really felt this book in a different way most readers would, as I’ve recently gone through a bunch of the old logging photos and I can understand the allure of climbing trees and how brave someone is who climbs them.

 


“Nature is God’s vast palette, and through it I believe that we can see fingerprints of grace everywhere we look.”


 

So because of my personal attachment to parts of the plot, and due to the fascinating insight into someone with autism, this is a book that will stay with me for a while, and will be one I continue to think about. This would be a good discussion book, but some may have a hard time getting through the drier sections.

 

Bottom Line: Wonderful insight into autism. Very dry in parts, but it has a lot of heart and spotlights timely issues.

 

Links to The Eagle Tree on   Amazon  and   Goodreads

 

Have you read The Eagle Tree? What are your thoughts? Do you know of any other books with autistic characters? Any other books that tackle global warming?

Source: http://luvtoread.com/2016/08/15/book-review-the-eagle-tree-by-ned-hayes

New York Times bestselling author Steve Silberman on THE EAGLE TREE

"The Eagle Tree is a gorgeously written novel that features one of the most accurate, finely drawn and memorable autistic protagonists in literature. The hero of the book is like a 14-year-old Walt Whitman with autism, seeking communion with the ancient magnificent beings that tower over the landscape around Olympia, Washington. Ned Hayes plays with the conventions of the unreliable narrator so that you end up feeling like March is a very reliable narrator of glorious and terrifying aspects of the world that neurotypicals can’t see. Credible, authentic, powerful. A must-read.”

– Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.

Source: http://theeagletree.com
Everyday Aspergers
Everyday Aspergers

BOOK REVIEW:

 

"Everyday Aspergers is an unusual and powerful exploration of one woman's marvelously lived life. Reminiscent of the best of Anne Lamott, Everyday Aspergers jumps back and forth in time through a series of interlocking vignettes that give insight and context to her lived experience as an autistic woman. The humor and light touch is disarming, because underneath the light observations and quirky moments are buried deep truths about the human experience and about her own work as an autistic woman discerning how to live her best life. From learning how to make eye contact to finding ways to communicate her needs to being a dyslexic cheerleader and a fraught mother of also-autistic boys, Samantha Craft gives us a marvelous spectrum of experiences. Highly recommended for everyone to read -- especially those who love people who are just a little different.”

 

(I write this as someone who loves people who are not just average -- my novel The Eagle Tree is about just such a person.)

 

The new book by Olympia-based Samantha Craft ( @aspergersgirls ) is EVERYDAY ASPERGERS and I highly recommend this book as a great set of vignettes about life on the spectrum #actuallyautistic http://amzn.to/2a9XzX9

Source: http://www.amazon.com/review/R5E0IDX5J5V03/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1610058054&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

The Eagle Tree REVIEW

Insightful review by "Loves Dandelions" (original here)
 
The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes
 
The Eagle Tree - Ned Hayes

This is a beautifully well-written book that will open your eyes to the beauty and the need to protect the trees that are around you from the tree-tops down to their roots. This book will also help in understanding those that are on the spectrum and how they see those around them.

Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests.

One day, March is devastated to learn that the Eagle Tree—a monolithic Ponderosa Pine near his home in Olympia—is slated to be cut down by developers. Now, he will do anything in his power to save this beloved tree, including enlisting unlikely support from relatives, classmates, and even his bitter neighbor. In taking a stand, March will come face-to-face with some frightening possibilities: Even if he manages to save the Eagle Tree, is he risking himself and his mother to do it?

I loved this book! I highly recommend this book to tree huggers, people interested in climate change, nature lovers, hikers, or anyone that has ever climbed a tree even if you were to scared to climb down.

"I believe in trees. I can touch them. And they have true names."

"Trees do not require you to make certain sounds to be understood. They are simply present and ready for you to climb at any time. Trees are easier."

"Sometimes I think I would like to be a tree. Sometimes I think I am a tree, just located temporarily in a moving body, like one of the Ents from the Lord of the Rings"

"You cannot own all of a tree," I said.

"Sometimes I wish it was not so hard for me to make myself understood. I wish I could plug an electric cord from my brain into someone else's ears so that they could hear how I think and I could understand how they think."

"Human beings are on the cusp of destroying all of God's great natural world, which was originally gifted, according to the scriptures, to the human race, who would function as stewards of this great Earth. We have not been every good stewards in the last century."

Source: http://lovesdandelions.booklikes.com/post/1433170/the-eagle-tree-by-ned-hayes

BOOK LAUNCH week for THE EAGLE TREE! * ( print and audiobook editions) *

 

It has been so exciting to see the success of the e-book, and I'm excited to see where the print edition takes us! The book is now available at every bookstore nationwide (here's the Indie Bound link for ordering at your local bookstore). 

 

But I could use your help with one thing, my friends.

 

The Eagle Tree has 695 reviews on Amazon... and even local booksellers use this gauge to figure out whether or not to order the book.

 

So if you could add a little review, and push the book over the [[ 700 reviews ]] mark, that would be absolutely lovely. Thank you for your avid reading, thoughtful insight and your continuing support!

 

Source: http://theeagletree.com
eagle tree quote
eagle tree quote

Book Quote: from The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes

 

"My fingers are callused from gripping tree limbs, and my nails are short and grubby with bark. They are like the talons of a bird that lives only in trees."

 

-- The Eagle Tree

Source: http://theeagletree.com

The real tree that inspired my bestselling novel... THE EAGLE TREE

Source: http://www.theolympian.com/entertainment/article81502237.html

THE EAGLE TREE: The Remarkable Story of A Boy and A Tree ~Ned Hayes

An environmental love story, takes place in my hometown, is a great voice for autism and potential.  Peter March Wong is a fourteen-year-old boy who loves to climb trees – at least 3 everyday.  He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about trees and he is a gifted scientist.

 

March and his mother have moved into a smaller house, because Dad has moved to Arizona.  This move is very unsettling to March and he needs to climb a tree, a very tall tree.  He does not follow the rules because he discovers an extremely tall, old tree in the distance, when he was up in the new neighbor’s tree.  He spent too long up in the tree and his mother is worried and concerned….everything is new and different…. March explodes into a screaming and hand flapping experience and the police arrive to take him to a hospital for observation.  Now March needs to learn new behaviors as he comes into adulthood and in order to stay with his mother.

 

The huge EAGLE TREE is also under attack, as a developer wants to clear-cut the area and put up houses and apartments right at that very spot.

“Intertwining themes of humanity and ecology, THE EAGLE TREE eloquently explores what it means to be part of a family, a society, and the natural world that surrounds and connects us.” (cover)

I so enjoyed the comments in the book that praised our wonderful schools and the commitment to assisting children to be their best.  March’s mother will not move to Arizona because there are no programs like here and no commitment to education for all.  Washington State has amazing schools.

 

I knew nothing about this book when TLC Book Tours sent me a copy for review. I am so pleased to share this story with you.  It was a wonderful read; a hopeful read.

The Librarian I was working with last week said he had the book on his list and he was #15 for check out; he could hardly wait for his turn.

 

I want to share two cover quotes that I believe are significant in sharing this book with others:

“Every human experience is unique, but THE EAGLE TREE provides insight into one distinctive and uniquely important perspective.  The descriptions of climbing in EAGLE TREE get deep into the mathematical pattern-based sensory world of a person with autism.  The experience of navigating a tree climb is described in detail with mathematical and sensory detail that seems very authentic to me.” Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

“A gorgeously written novel that features one of the most accurate, finely drawn and memorable autistic protagonists in literature.  The hero of the book is like a 14-year-old Walt Whitman with autism.  Credible, authentic, powerful.”  Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

I enjoyed every single page of this book and cheered for March’s growth, passion, and determination.  This book should be required reading at least for our whole city and will bring a sense of pride and button popping spirit for our community and our efforts in behalf of our natural resources.

 

- See more at Patricia's Wisdom

Source: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2016/06/the-eagle-tree-the-remarkable-story-of-a-boy-and-a-tree-ned-hayes

Lovely Bookshelf -- "The Eagle Tree" Book Review

Thanks to Lovely Bookshelf for the thoughtful review! 

 

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes
Published by Little A on May 1, 2016
Pages: 262
three-stars

Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door.
One day, March is devastated to learn that the Eagle Tree—a monolithic Ponderosa Pine near his home in Olympia—is slated to be cut down by developers. Now, he will do anything in his power to save this beloved tree, including enlisting unlikely support from relatives, classmates, and even his bitter neighbor. In taking a stand, March will come face-to-face with some frightening possibilities: Even if he manages to save the Eagle Tree, is he risking himself and his mother to do it?
Intertwining themes of humanity and ecology, The Eagle Tree eloquently explores what it means to be part of a family, a society, and the natural world that surrounds and connects us.

------------------------------------------------

The Eagle Tree is written in a first-person narrative from the perspective of March, an autistic fourteen-year-old boy. My first thought was: How accurate is this portrayal, especially given that the author himself is not autistic? According to at least one reviewer who is on the spectrum, this was very well done.

 

.... March makes me pause to consider how impatient we are with each other. ... There are some intensely beautiful moments in The Eagle Tree. The way March sees the world around him. His appreciation for nature, down to the smallest detail. His interpretation of the way society does things combined with his need to have insignificant things explained in great detail—that makes one think about why society does things the way we do, about the point of some of the rules we have. I can’t help but appreciate that.

 

IndieBoundBarnes & NobleAmazon | Goodreads

Source: http://www.lovelybookshelf.com/2016/05/eagle-tree-ned-hayes.html

Review from "No More Grumpy Bookseller" !

A great review for TLC Book Tours from "No More Grumpy Bookseller"

 



March loves trees. He knows everything there is to know about their ecosystems, the various species, and anything else pertaining to them. His real passion is climbing them, mapping out the routes in his head and planning which to tackle next. 

His absolute favorite tree is the Ponderosa Pine. A rare and endangered tree, he never thought to see one in his home state. But while climbing the tree in his new backyard, he catches sight of a magnificent specimen. Known locally as the Eagle Tree, March believes it might be an elusive Ponderosa Pine. But when the land the tree sits on is purchased privately and under contract to become the site for a new development, March realizes the Eagle Tree is in grave danger. March's sole focus is saving the tree, no matter the cost, but doesn't realize that it could mean losing his mother in the process. 

There's not really a way to sum up Ned Hayes's latest in a manner that truly does it justice. Yes, it's about a boy and a tree. It's about an autistic boy who connects to the world through trees. It's about an autistic boy being raised by his single mother who is facing the very real danger of losing her son to the courts.

And it's told from the perspective of March himself.

Because of this, the reader is forced to see the world through March's eyes. Pieces of his story, as a result, are gleaned through inference or by piecing together clues March allows us to see. In between facts about trees and global warming, that is. It might sound strange, and again I blame the fact that it's very hard to sum up adequately in a nutshell while conveying exactly what makes this book so special.

I loved it. Absolutely and completely. And honestly, though I'd read and enjoyed Hayes's previous work, I really wasn't sure that this one was going to appeal to me. I'm glad my apprehension was proven to be without merit!

I really thought that Hayes did a magnificent job with March. Without experiencing it ourselves, many of us will never truly have a good understanding of autism and how it affects people. Hayes, through March, gives readers a chance to see that first hand and to understand how a mind like March's works. And though we don't see the story from March's mother or uncle's eyes, we do see, through March, how his autism affects them as well. It's a unique perspective that could definitely have had grave faults to it. Hayes, though, manages to handle it with respect and honesty, making March a real and sympathetic character.

I could probably go on and on speaking to Hayes's talent and how wonderful this book is but I really want you to grab a copy and see for yourself. Know this, though: Hayes is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and an author who can grab my attention no matter what I might be in the mood for. And readers, that struggle is real! I'll admit that this holiday weekend had me craving GoT level epic fantasy and I thought there was no way I'd be able to get into and enjoyThe Eagle Tree as a result. I was oh, so thankfully wrong. I breezed through most of March's story in one sitting and stayed up way too late reading the rest! Hayes and Eagle Tree are definitely on my highly recommended list :)

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Ned Hayes and his work you can visit his website here. You can also follow him on Twitter.



Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Source: http://nomoregrumpybookseller.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-eagle-tree-by-ned-hayes.html

Book Tour: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes


Reposting this review from Lectus Book Tour

 

-----------------------------

 

Summary on Goodreads.

Release date: July 5, 2016

Available on:      Amazon     IndieBound     Barnes&Noble

"Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door..." [+ more]

I love books about autistic children so much! This one is about March, a an autistic boy who loves to climb trees. One day he sees a new huge tree, The Eagle Tree, and from there on all he can think of is climbing that tree.

I liked March so much because he was the one telling his story, how he processed thoughts, and how he felt... instead of  a narrator. I Think that there was too much information about trees in the story, though. So someone who really likes trees will be able to relate and like it. I kind of skipped those endless descriptions and information about trees. However, I do recognize that it was important because it was March talking about them, not the author.

I found a new view on autistic children in this book. For example, March would get hurt climbing a tree and he wouldn't feel the pain. In fact, he wouldn't know he was hurt is somebody didn't point it out to him.

Autistic children are peculiar, and just when I thought I had read all about them, The Eagle Tree comes along.

March is a lovely character and I had a lovely time reading this one.


Tour Provided by TLC Book Tours

Source: http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-tour-eagle-tree-by-ned-hayes.html
the eagle tree
the eagle tree

Book Quote: from The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes

 

"The tree's presence is overwhelming. I want to spread my arms and allow the sound that is building in my chest to come out of my mouth in one unending scream of joy."

 

-- The Eagle Tree

Source: http://theeagletree.com
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