Walla Walla native to sign copies of 'Raising Lucy,' an orphaned goose


Walla Walla native Carol Morin Muzik will be in town for a book signing from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Hastings Books, 617 S. Ninth Ave.

She wrote and illustrated, "Raising Lucy, The True Story of Raising an Orphaned Wild Goose," a finalist in the USA Book News-sponsored 2009 National Best Books Awards Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Non-Fiction category. This year, it won a Mom's Choice Award for children's picture-books in the non-fiction category.

A 1971 Walla Walla High School alumna, Carol was a registered nurse here at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Valley Home Care. She moved to Spokane and Coeur d'Alene in 1988 and is currently artist in residence with the Idaho Commission on the Arts and has been involved with Get Lit Author Tours.

She and husband Nick Muzik faced a dilemma when a day-old Canada gosling appeared at their door with no parents in sight. They wanted to find a family for it and return it to the wild, but were unsuccessful, despite exhaustive searching. Meanwhile, they helped her learn to fly and gain the strength and endurance needed to join wild geese and make a long migratory flight. Lucy, as she came to be known, worked her way into their hearts and those of family dogs Lily and Humfrey, who became fast companions.

The resulting book outlines their experiences as the wee orphan grew to maturity. Carol's colorful artwork enhances the heartwarming story of Lucy's early life with their family.

After the first edition sold out, the book was recently re-released in hardback and Carol was able to tweak the content and use of color in her striking illustrations.

Mariposa Press in France is now distributing "Raising Lucy." The company "told me that books there should have a book jacket which gave me the opportunity to add one -- and it looks great." She also wanted to add the Moms Choice Award emblem to the jacket, after receiving it in March. "It was a special recognition that carries a little bit of clout for a non-fiction children's book."

The book is available nationally through Baker & Taylor, Ingrams, Partners West, American West, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, can be ordered by any bookstore and Carol said it sells very well through children's online bookstore Chinaberry.

Carol also documented Lucy's life through photography and video and the documentary won nine national film festival awards, including a Charleston International Film Festival Best Documentary Award in 2009.

She is at work on a chapter book version of this story that will feature her photography and has other ideas fomenting for other children's books.

She serves on the board of directors of Idaho's oldest grassroots environmental group, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. She gives 10 percent of her net profits to Idaho non-profit wildlife rehabilitation and rescue groups.

Carol is the daughter of the late Lorene Moring, a longtime area teacher and reading specialist for fourth- and fifth-graders at Paine, Green Park and Edison schools.

For more information, see www.RaisingLucy.com .


Former College Place resident James Richman, 51, has been racking up experiences in ironman competitions lately, according to mother-in-law Joyce Aylward, who lives in Walla Walla with husband Jim Aylward.

It takes plenty of stamina and training to tackle the grueling event, a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

An assistant city attorney for Spokane, James placed third in his age group in the 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada competition at Penticton, British Columbia, and garnered first place in his age group in the 2011 Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 24.

Joyce said what ironman competitors work for when they cross the finish line is to be told "you're an ironman."

Hearing those words happened again for James, who completed the Oct. 8 Ford Ironman World Championship race at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Joyce said there were 1,859 men and women in the Hawaiian event, 127 in James' 50-54-year-old age group. They swam in the ocean, cycled over lava-covered terrain and ran in 85-degree temperatures. James was in 97th place after the swim, 67th place after the bike ride and in 31st place after the run. He covered the course in 10 hours 26 minutes. The pros begin the event at 6:30 a.m. and it's completed by midnight.

During the swim, James said, "I did see large fish that looked suspiciously like sharks to me, but I'm sure my imagination was getting the best of me. I can't blame my slow swim time on the big fish though. I think it was just a lack of experience swimming in the ocean with currents and swells making it very hard to swim in a straight line."

He ran track and cross-country in 1978-79 while attending Walla Walla High School, James said. "I also delivered the Union-Bulletin for a few years when I was much younger. That is probably where I got some of my earliest experience at distance running. On Sunday mornings when the weather was too bad to ride my bicycle, my dad would drive the car while I ran my route delivering the morning paper," James recalled.

James' wife Cindy had strongly urged him to train for the Kona event. He brought a large cheering section to Hawaii that included son Jacob Bliss and his girlfriend Mica Sansaver, both of Ellensburg; Cindy and her mom Joyce; Cindy's brother and sister-in-law Brad and Pam Wheeler of Portland; and James' brother Jeff from West Virginia. James is the son of J.W. and Anne Richman of College Place.

James said he felt euphoric at the end of the three ironman events. "In the last mile, you forget how tired you are and how sore your legs are and the blisters on your feet. Finishing is one of the best feelings I can imagine. Of course, it would have felt even better if I was placing better -- I guess that's why I may have to try again."

After he and "Team Richman" finished dinner in Kona, they returned to the finish area and joined the crowd that cheered in the later finishers. "Lots of cool stories around some of the people that are finishing close to deadline. Some are in their 70s and even an 80-year-old, and a few are physically handicapped -- one double amputee finished in about 16.5 hours. The crowd is so supportive. It's really a party. Also, the winner of the men's and women's competition (i.e., the world champions) are down cheering these finishers in and giving them their medals. Very cool and something very unique to this sport. It is a wonderful experience I was very lucky to enjoy."

James added that "it was truly a privilege to participate in such a wonderful and well organized event in such a beautiful place."

His final race of the year was the 31st annual Tri-Cities Marathon on Oct. 30 in Richland. He expects to take a year or more off from ironman-type events to rest and to catch up on work around the house and yard. He also plans to get in some riding time aboard his Harley Davidson with Walla Walla friend and riding buddy Chris Shepley.

"I took up the ironman thing about two years ago with the goal of doing the Hawaii world championship race. That was going to be it -- sort of a bucket list thing I had always wished I'd tried when I was younger. But I have met a lot of wonderful people in the process and want to maintain the new friendships. Some are people I see only at ironman events. So I may give ironman another run in a couple years with the goal of going to Hawaii again and placing better in my age group."

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.


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