Friday, July 8, 2011
Alaska is hard on writers.
You may be thinking about winter. It is cold and dark from October until March. When the sun comes out it is blinding and brilliant and the only colors are black and white and that amazing blue sky. The snow is tedious, the ice is treacherous and the wind is brutal. It is a major production to go anywhere because of the layers and layers of clothing you have to put on. Moose the size of a quarter-horse are hiding behind the bushes waiting for you to drive by so they can commit suicide. The cost of fuel is frightening and the cost of groceries horrific.
Uhh, no, winter is the easy part. Writers are happy. They're cozy by a fire, wrapped in an afghan with fuzzy socks and a cup of something warm. Not necessarily caffeine. They are writing like crazy because they know--Oh my Gosh! They've only got six months.
In Alaska the hard part is SUMMER.
There is so much to take you away from writing. Lush is the first word that comes to mind. Lush green chickweed growing inches overnight to envelope any little beet foolish enough to sprout. Fish to catch and process for next winter, a garden to work in. Festivals to celebrate all the foolish things we miss for the other six months. We get up in the light and go to bed in the light--oh, the glorious light. We look up from what we are doing and realize it's eleven p.m. and the reason we're hungry is we didn't stop to eat at six. The frantic pace we keep in summer is hard to explain to people from Outside. But, there is so much to do. Four-wheeler trips with family and friends-plane rides to scout for a new hunting area-new puppies and new chicks and new friends or old ones that you only see in the summer when they stumble out of the brush to go to the hardware store.
We collect ideas in the summer and write in the winter-I guess it isn't all bad.