12705627_10208907920080306_2693434325711240864_nAs a writer I work with words on a daily basis, and I’ve been asked if it ever gets old, this spending my time at a keyboard instead of pursuing other potentially more exciting ways to make a living. Okay, I will admit there are times I envy my many photographer friends who travel to scenic places and bring back splendid photographs which not only make people oooh and ahhh but often bring the photographer a nice paycheck as well. I can take respectable photographs, but my forte is and always will be writing, because I love playing with words, selecting one over another to give a different meaning or inference, editing and rewriting until the meaning and intention flows smoothly and clearly. I believe the old adage, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword,’ because the world has been built on words, and they truly have power and magic.

10363344_10208903561291339_5458732217473317988_nI’ve done a lot of writing this winter, in part because winter is a time conducive to writing, and in part because as one who makes a living with her computer I need to keep the paychecks coming in through whatever means and channels are available. And of course I love seeing my name in lights – I mean print – and even more I love sharing the fascinating history and wonderful stories of our great state’s colorful past. I’m pleased to say I have articles in three Alaskan magazines this month, all three favorites which I love reading and sharing with others: Last Frontier Magazine is running an article on dog teams hauling the U.S. mail; Mushing Magazine includes my article about Mardy Murie’s dogteam trip down the Fairbanks-to-Valdez Trail and stopping at Yost’s Roadhouse (and check out that beautiful cover by Alaskan artist Jon Van Zyle!); and Alaska Magazine is featuring my story about the intrepid Samuel Hall Young, known as the ‘Mushing Parson.’ I also have more articles scheduled for future issues, and I’m expanding my writing borders beyond Alaska with queries to a few magazines in other places.

12791093_594199084071046_8903145598952231173_nI’ve also been writing presentations: In February I gave another talk and slideshow to the Palmer Historical Society on the old Alaskan roadhouses, and this month I’m once again speaking and presenting a slideshow at the venerable Talkeetna Roadhouse at their Iditarod Sunday dinner, about – what else? – sled dogs and roadhouses! I’ve always said I’m not much of a speaker, which is fairly common for writers, but I do enjoy sharing the history of Alaska in this very different and interactive format, and it’s always a fun time to meet old and new friends!




About Helen Hegener

I write nonfiction books about Alaskan history, and my titles currently include Alaska & The Klondike, The Alaska Railroad 1902-1923, Alaskan Roadhouses, Alaskan Sled Dog Tales, The First Iditarod, The All Alaska Sweepstakes, The Yukon Quest Trail, The Matanuska Colony Barns, and many others. You can contact me via email at helenhegener@gmail.com
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