Alaska 2010: Planning 4
It’s one week to departure for The Last Frontier and the Brooks Range is officially out. KB and I will have to backpack through the caribou migration a different year, when an early, cold fall is not an issue we have to contend with above the Arctic Circle.
Meantime, we’re loosely structuring our 2 weeks together as writers in a cabin outside of Fairbanks. She is an investigative reporter covering women’s rights issues in Iraq an Afghanistan. I am writing short-short fiction in the persona of war, predominately from the perspective of active duty soldiers or recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We’ll conclude our writing retreat with a public reading somewhere in downtown Fairbanks if all goes as planned. I’m curious to see what putting the nonfiction and fiction lenses of war right next to each other reveals.
The flipside of planning for Alaska is avoidance of the goodbyes I have to say here at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Being Writer-in-Residence has been a phenomenal experience. The students are the brightest, most naturally talented I have ever taught. The sheer number of performances—in any medium—has been record-breaking. And of course, the audiences for my readings were as supportive as those I had at graduate school (in other words, phenomenal). Beyond the part-time teaching, though, I’ve enjoyed my writing time. I’m ready for a break from teaching, but not without acknowledging that my students have been mighty inspiring along the way.
Here’s to them!