Alaska

My ever present writing Challenge

Posted on Updated on

The other night my husband and I were walking around Barnes and Noble and I was talking about how I was becoming a writer just like him. And as I made this comment I was thinking about the possibility that I had been a writer and never known it. Mostly because when I was a child in third grade I wrote a story called ” a Trip to Pianoville” about a girl who didn’t want to practice and fell asleep on her piano keys one night only to be taken to PIanoville by her piano to learn from famous composers, from notes and from different “keys” the importance of learning how to practice. Of course, in the end the girl learns that practicing is what makes you sound beautiful and she won 1st place at her piano competition. For a third grader, this story is amazing. The fact that I would write something so creative as a 9yr old kid still impresses me.

Then I came to realize that it isn’t that I am a writer, per se, but that I am imaginative. Creative. I try too often to think outside the box in an attempt to understand things or to interpret things. This I have been doing for several years. And now, it presents itself in my writing.

So, last post I presented a character from a story I have conceptualized for the last couple of years. I have always wanted to write a story much like how Madrash stories are written–with the intent to communicate a great Christian truth and understanding of how to live without stating the obvious. I think its every writer’s dream to write something and see people come to conclusions on their own without help from the author. So i got into writing my ideas down, creating the characters I knew in my head and started formulating the world that this tale would take place in (something I learned is key for stories and novels–a setting 🙂 )

BUT…

instead of growing in this tale with its complicated theological revelations and breakdowns–I have begun to create other stories that appear to write themselves. Another story (or set of stories) that I am working on is dog rescue in Alaska. I love the state. I have not only meet but volunteered with dog rescue groups here and in Alaska and want to take some of the tales I have seen or learned about and write stories from the dog’s perspective. I do not plan on copying specifics (like names of dogs, groups, etc.) but there a lot of common trends in dog rescue (like health issues, breed restriction issues, even the same sad tales of “cannot take care of dog anymore”) that those involved see over and over again. The reason I chose Alaska is because I believe it gives me the most opportunity for contrast in the story lines. For example, while I can have a pit bull get rescue due to breed restriction issues–I can also have a husky “mix” get left in the middle of the woods and survive for months before coming up to humans (almost white-fang like.) Or i can have a shepherd get caught in a fast flowing stream trying to cross to safety and have a helicopter transport. Or a bear attack surviver. Or just having animals survive the cold weather would be a story in itself. I would choose colorado or some place similar but I have been to alaska  (and I’m going back in less than a month) and I can learn more from the people who are actually there as opposed to guessing storyline.

My third story that has just exploded on itself is this sci-fi type story about what if people’s emotions were a physical trait you could see? It’s called “Emotionality” and its about a couple that gets involved in space/time travel to an alternate universe where emotions are visible to all. Your eyes, your hair, things change when your emotions changed or take over. This originated out of a dream one night so I just started writing down everything that comes to mind and suddenly I had a story. I swear this is crazy. I have the chapters already laid out, scenes within those chapters (about 4 1/2 done out of the 10 chapters) and have probably about 1 chapter clearly written. It’s just insane. I’ve always wanted to write my theological story and yet THIS comes out. Don’t worry–I’m letting this story run its course first so I get it all down. It also has potential for multiple story lines ( based on what happens in this book so I’ll leave that for now 🙂 )

Not that I mind being distracted by my own writing… but hopefully nothing else come to mind while I’m trying to get these three stories put together. I really want to finish a novel. I think it would be a great accomplishment. So I’m working on trying to finish my creative writing certification (Groupon purchase through a school just to get some basic story line knowledge) and then finish up these stories. Who knows where this will take me. 

…You’re going WHERE?…

Posted on

Though I typically try to keep up a weekly “word of the week” or “Word Woche,” this week I was hoping to learn something new when I traveled to Alaska (like a native Alaskan word or something of the sort.) However, I realized I need something first to even post and that would be internet.  So in place of my weekly informative word post I thought I would dispense some interesting things I did learn this weekend.

To give you a fuller picture–YES, I did travel to Alaska in a weekend.  And yes, I did not stay in the city nor in a major trendy metropolis. I actually stayed in a cabin with no running water (don’t worry–I had access. It was on property) and my source of heat was a propane tank and little electric heater set for 57 degrees.  In NO way am I complaining… because honestly the heaters and blankets/pillows were all I needed.  And I am thankful for the people who housed and shuttled me around to some interesting spots near Fairbanks, AK.  It was truly a wonderful experience.

So here is some items I learned if you’re ever going to travel to Alaska:

1) Don’t stay in Anchorage.  It’s not a representation of the state and I found out that because its the only “major” city they have subsidized utilities and in a way prevents other communities like Fairbanks and possible Juneau from having utilities at a reasonable cost.  However, this doesn’t stop anyone—a wood stove heats a house just as good if not better than a furnace.  It just sucks when you rely on a something we take for granted in the lower 48 states.

2) It’s cold–yeah, we get it. It’s Alaska. bring a sweatshirt and some layers and you’re fine. If you can’t deal, I would honestly say don’t come.  Because though Alaska is absolutely beautiful in the way of mountains and snow and seeing nature–if you can’t experience it first hand (a.k.a. not from a boat) then don’t bothering coming.

3) I truly have learn to appreciate things because I live in a warmer climate because of this trip.  At the same time, I want to emphasize that just because someone lives in a more remote portion of the world DOES NOT mean they are backwards, different or less technologically advanced.  I was reminded of this by one of my friends in Alaska that people in Seattle often do this–ask if they need help when they just don’t understand it just works differently.  Here’s a simple example.  There are plugs hanging from the cars’ front grills.  This is not because their electric but because when it gets 40 below, you need to keep your engine & battery going by plugging in & keeping it warm.  Logical sense.  And the community has plug-ins everywhere so its not an inconvenience.  It’s not backwards, its practical.

I honestly think I had the best experience–being able to enjoy something very few people do–the real down to earth part of Alaska.  And in turn I learn some things to be thankful for and might consider coming back in the future 🙂