I want to share my Alaska experience, but first let's talk writing. My short story 'You Get What You Pay For' was accepted by The Chic Lit Review (www.chicklitreview.org) for publication in their Sep/Oct issue. Yahoo! And they are actually paying me to run it.
Been doing a lot of critting on all my writer's group. Feels good to be back in the swing of things. My FlashXer group is having a discussion on the pros/cons in entering contests that request entry fees. Some folks absolutely won't, but most look at the opportunities on a case by case basis. That's how I look at contests. I entered that fake poetry one years ago and was suckered into buying their book. But, having said that it was a sucker deal, I do love that book and having my poem included in the hard bound book with its gold edged pages. Folks who look at it don't know it was a sucker deal and besides, I do love my poem that graces its pages. Also, it cost me $25 to enter the Ariz. Author's contest and my short story 'A Part of Him' took first place and earned me $100. For us starter outers, it's a case of seeing our stuff in print. Besides, many of the authors who say they won't pay money to enter a contest, give their stories away to ezines and such just to see them in print. I'm not judging anyone. I've done both. I just love to write! Oh, talked to my writing buddy Dave who is spending the summer with his wife in Oregon. He's working on his latest 'Popcorn Skies', a novel that follows a teenager from boy to man. He misses our Thurs. crit sessions and so do I.
Okay, now on to Alaska. Arrived in Anchorage on Thurs. 6/21 and picked up our RV. My daughter Kim, her husband Gary, granddaughter Hailey (9) and grandson Nick (7) and I headed out to explore the Kenai Peninsula. We spent the first night in Kenai with gale force winds rocking the RV back and forth. Had a beautiful view on the Augustine Volcano across Cook Inlet.
Friday, headed out to Homer Spit and saw a moose and her baby along the road on our way to Homer Spit. There was a terrible fire just outside the city of Ninilchik that clouded the sky and made the air reek of smoke. Found a great campground right on Katchemak Cove right on water's edge. Dave's daughter Linda, grandson Alex, son Mike, Mike's wife Adrienne and grandson Travis showed up late in the evening.
Visited the Homer Spit museum Saturday a.m., then we met at the shoreline in front of our RV and held a quiet ceremony for Dave. The four grandkids and I walked the brich bark urn out into the water and set Dave's ashes free among the halibut and salmon he so loved. For the rest of our time in Homer, bald eagles circled the area as if to guard Dave's ashes. It was lovely.
Sunday, we headed for Seward. Beautiful scenery along the way, but no wild life.
Monday, we took a dog sled ride and fell in love with the canine mushers. Nick got selected to help the driver and got to ride on the back of the sled. It was on wheels, due to no snow, but it was still a wild ride. Next it was off to Exit Glacier. It was a long uphill hike, but well worth it. We were only a few yards from it, but we couldn't quite touch it. Next it was off to the Seward Sea Life Museum. Saw lots of critter up close thru great windowed pools of water. Then, on our way to our campground we got to watch the local fish hatchery release 100,000 tiny salmon out into the bay. The birds had a feast, but I have a feeling that most of the little guys made it out to sea. It was an amazing sight. The kids met some kids in the campground. One little boy was from Fairbanks, Alaska. At one point, my grandson came in and wanted something to help make a squirel trap. They had some fish guts for bait. When we asked what they were going to do with the squirel if they caught one and were told that they were going to skin it and cook it for breakfast. I told my daughter, that the Fairbanks boy might not be kidding. Thank goodness, no squirels were caught.
Tuesday, we took a cruise out into Resurrection Bay. Saw a whale, lots of birds and had a tasty salmon bake lunch. Then it was a rush back to the campgroung so Gary and Hailey could take a 4 hour kayak tour out into the Bay. They had porpoises come to within feet of them as they paddled along. Then it was a 3 hour drive back to Anchorage where we arrived at 2 a.m. and spent the night in a McDonald's parking lot.
Wednesday, we returned the RV and flew home to San Francisco. All in all, despite the sobering realease of Dave's ashes, it was a wonderful trip.
But now I'm back to the computer, at least when I'm not worn out after a day with the grandkids. They are lively and so much fun to be with.
Back to the writing. I MUST get some submissions out there. I do love hearing from the editors, especially the ones that say 'YES!' :-)