The Not-So-Lonely Writing Life

That’s me getting ready to sign stock at Sing Lee Alley books, located in a well-appointed converted house in Petersburg.

The writing life comes with its share of frustrations, not the least of which is the rather solitary nature of our craft. Especially when I’m drafting a novel, as I am now, getting out seems like an intrusion. But when I break away, especially when it’s to mingle with other writers, I return refeshed, and my project benefits.

So we do hope you’ll take a break from writing and all the summertime distractions to spend an hour with us after tonight’s UAA Summer Reading Series event. As mentioned in yesterday’s ADN, the 49 writers no-host gathering begins at 9:45 at the Embassy Suites lounge (600 E. Benson). We’ve heard from a number of local writers as well as some of the UAA series authors, so we anticipate an energizing event, despite the late hour. You don’t have to RSVP to attend. Just show up and look our group – I’ll be the one with the pencils. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

Another great “coming out” event I enjoyed this summer was the guest lecturer opportunity my publisher arranged for me aboard Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus. Setting sail from Whittier last month, I cruised the Inside Passage in the company of some remarkable passengers with a keen interest in Alaska and its history. Without getting into an extensive travel piece, I’ll just say that the cruise, with its intimate setting, attentive staff, and adventure-oriented itinerary, is one of the best travel opportunities around.

In addition to talking about my latest book, Picture This, Alaska, onboard ship, I also was able to visit bookstores and sign stock on our way south. We spent a full day in Skagway, where Jeff Brady’s Skaguay News delights Alaskan visitors with a great selection of books. Author Nita Nettleson was signing at the store that day. In Sitka, I visited Old Harbor Books, another delightful store, and encouraged them to share book-related news with us here at 49 Writers. Ditto in Petersburg, where Sing Lee Alley Books is, in my opinion, the nicest shop in a charming fishing village. The owner gave me a locally published books called The Strangest Story Ever Told, recounting the author’s experiences with what the Yup’ik people call the “little people.” I was fascinated to find such similar lore from such far-flung places.

If all book promotion were as personable, fun, and effective as my guest lecturer stint, no one would complain. It got me out of my bubble and into everything I love about this place.

1 thought on “The Not-So-Lonely Writing Life”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Sing Lee Alley Books! I fondly remember visiting 14 years ago (yikes, time flies) and am glad the store is still going strong. Thanks for the cheerful update, Deb. I am always inspired by others' successful promotion stories.

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