Writing the Distance: Frank Soos

The Covid 19 pandemic is isolating Alaskan writers. We can no longer attend workshops or public readings. The coffee bars where we met with other writers are closed. To bridge these physical gaps, 49 Writers is providing this on-line forum for Alaskans writing the distance.  Today, former Alaska Writer Laureate Frank Soos writes about a day in a time of quarantine. Margo Klass provides the photograph.

A Day in the Life During the Time of Corona

Dawn: Or at least earlier than is our custom. Margo and I are up and off to Fred Meyer to shop during the designated codger hour. In the parking lot, we glove up, mask up, then into the viral maelstrom.

I try to read the cashier’s face when I tell him the bottle of Everclear I’m buying is for Margo to make into hand sanitizer.

At last: Breakfast. I pour myself a bowl of granola made of pumpkin and flax seeds and hope it is good. I have bought enough of this stuff at Costco to get us through several pandemics. Actually, it’s not too bad.

More time than expected: I dismantle and clean the light fixture over the bathroom sink.

Lunchtime: Tasty leftovers from that one brief rainless window when I was able to grill chicken outside. Margo is a genius of leftover mélange.

Time passes: While Margo and cat relax on the couch, I work on my pack raft I’ve been building on the dining room table. Why not? No guests expected. On the news, we hear about the oil crash and I try not to think of how this event plays perfectly into our benighted and nefarious governor’s hand. Try to concentrate on my work: It involves a very hot iron. Anticipate the future prospects of fishing in my boat: fishing the ultimate social distance activity—at least as I practice it.

Ongoing: I make a small fire in the wood stove which has trouble catching. Probably damp wood.

Time well spent: I gear up in raincoat and breakup boots, head out to the driveway to ditch out the torrents running off the suddenly rapid snow melt. Then I whack away at the glacier most of our driveway has become—very satisfying work for a guy with a touch of OCD.

Too much time: I pull on bike shorts and jump on my bike mounted on a wind trainer in the garage. As I ride I try to think of how to resolve the short story I’m struggling with (working title: Love & Death). No luck, but I find a couple of sentences I may be able to use.

Dinnertime: Maybe our favorite time of day. Margo has made another wonderful meal (I made the salad!). We linger at the table as we always do while a show about who should be given ventilators plays on her cell phone. Yes, we have spent time in our quarantine updating our advanced medical directives.

Frank Soos lives and writes in Fairbanks and is a longtime supporter and instructor for 49 Writers.

3 thoughts on “Writing the Distance: Frank Soos”

  1. Shirley Schneider

    Thank you, Frank. I read your writing with interest. Now may attempt to enter my own. I figured maybe I was being too personal, but you changed my mind.
    Thanks for the opportunity of having known you. You were one of the favorites I’ve met in my lifetime, and at age 83, there have been a few.

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