As 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.
I’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.
I’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!