Day three: Alaska beach walk


I know, I know: You’re all sitting at the edge of your seats wondering how my Write Every Day For a Month pledge is coming along.

I’m happy to say that it started with stunning optimism. Bright and early on the morning of Sept. 1, I jumped out of bed, ate a hearty breakfast, sat down at my desk and immediately pounded out 10,000 of the most beautiful and perfect words I’ve ever written.

Yeah, right.


Actually, I spent the previous night staying up late and pounding out some very un-perfect and un-beautiful news copy for the small Alaska newspaper that I edit and write (Monday is deadline, you see).

I fell into bed around 5 a.m., and when I finally dragged myself back out again, I didn’t immediately sit down and write. I wasn’t in the mood to write. Instead, because my sister is up visiting from Philly and because I didn’t want to make her sit around and do nothing as I sat around and wrote (i.e., also did nothing), I ditched my writing goal and we headed to the beach.

It was cloudy and everything was cast in the most beautiful and unearthly blue tint. We walked in the sand dunes (yes, there are sand dunes in the Alaska!), and through hilly wooded trails overlooking the inlet.






It’s the end of summer, after all, and even when the sun is warm there is a sharpness in the air, a crispness that signifies endings. How can I possibly sit inside and write when outside summer is slowly slipping away?

It’s a good excuse, I think, and perhaps I shall use it again. But no matter. I haven’t written much. But I have been up in the mountains, out at the beach and hiking down along Turnagain Arm. I’ve picked the last of this year’s raspberries and eaten ripe rosehips and even saw a family of moose out on the trails earlier this evening, a mama and two calves eating brush and ignoring me as I quietly slipped past.

But still, I was hoping to have a couple thousands words of my novel by now. Instead I have eight hundred. It’s a feeble amount, yes, but tomorrow it’s supposed to rain so maybe I’ll shape up, sit down and struggle more words out across my computer screen. Though maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll pull on my rain jacket and hike with my sister up in the mountains, up in the wind, with the wet brush hitting against our legs like small  and secretive kisses.

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
E. L. Doctrow

6 thoughts on “Day three: Alaska beach walk

    1. I know, Lynn! It’s so hard to write when it’s the end of summer, isn’t it? I feel as if I need to be outside, enjoying the last of the nice weather. Cheers and happy writing. P.S. Can’t wait to read your new book.


  1. Love the pics! I can almost feel the air, and the light is stunning.

    As for the writing, don’t you find sometimes that word-target writing is often a little bit less inspired, less organic, and you have to go back and mess with it later to winch it back onto the tracks? You’re not necessarily talking about targets here, but at least the writing-every-day approach gets you into a certain frame of mind that can yield good results.

    Then again, a setting like that beach would have me making deals with the devil all the time!


  2. With your sister visiting and your adventures outside, that’s just fueling your inspiration for when you do sit down and write, isn’t it? 😉 That’s how I’ve been doing it….although my blog has been a little inconsistent these last few months. Perhaps a bit too heavy on the inspiration and not enough on the disciplined sitting down. Oh well. 🙂


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