It may be 80 degrees throughout much of the country but here in Alaska, it’s cold and cool, with temps in the mid- to upper-50s.
I spent most of the weekend writing. My agent sent a senior reader review of the first half of my second novel, Waiting for My Daughter’s Ghost, and I was pleased and excited to read the positive comments.
It’s comforting to know that I’m on the right track. Waiting for My Daughter’s Ghost is more complex than Dolls Behaving Badly, with multiple themes weaving and interweaving, multiple layers and sub-texts, etc. As a writer, it’s difficult to know what works for readers, difficult to know how much is too much information and how much is not enough. It’s such a fine line, writing, such an intricate process. Often I wonder why I bother, though of course I secretly love it, love every single messy and agonizing moment.
After my long bout of writing we escaped up in the mountains to Flattop Peak. While it’s not a very high mountain or particularly strenuous hike, it still offers a good workout plus a chance to shake off the city.
We climbed at around 9 p.m., a few hours before sunset. It was cold and windy, and I had to tuck my hands in my sleeves to keep them warm. Still, there’s something exhilarating about being on a mountain when almost no one else is around, when the day is slowly fading and silence rises around you and everything looks so pure and still that it almost breaks your heart.
We always run down the mountain, we throw away caution, jump over rocks and slick mud as the wind blows through our hair and the air currents slowly warm the closer we get to the bottom.
Sometimes I wonder what type of writer I’d be if I lived in New York or Chicago, if I’d be more successful or more confident, if I’d finally live up to my potential. But then I run in the mountains or over the trails and none of that matters. I’m here in Alaska, and I’m running and the air smells clean and damp and I’m totally alive and in the moment, get it? I’m really, really alive. And that’s enough for me.