North to Alaska

The annual trek up to Alaska is rapidly approaching, less than a week away. This will be my ninth consecutive summer working/living in AK. It’s become a lifestyle choice, to say the least, a nomadic lifestyle: summers in Alaska and winters spent wandering the world. In truth, though, it’s mostly been California. I’ve become quite comfortable and settled in here in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. So I do a good deal less free-style gypsy living these days.

It was a good winter for connecting with people and community, making new friends and getting plugged in to groups, like with fellow meditators as well as with DSA, i.e., Democratic Socialists of America, an activist organization.

It was also a good winter for writing. I was able to make good progress on my nonfiction book. I finished the first draft of my novel a year ago but put it on hold for a bit. When working on serious, book-length projects, I find that it can be helpful to set them aside for a good while, to let things in my brain settle. My mind seems to reach a point where there’s simply too much activity, the many elements of a book kind of beginning to jumble together, and it gets difficlt to settle in to any kind of productive writing.

McCarthy Creek, fall 2017

I can also get tired of working at one project for more than four or five months. Given a little distance from the project, I find that I can bring both a fresh perspective and a renewed energy.

I’m hoping to get myself set up in a cabin in Alaska, for the summer. With any luck, I’ll be in the cabin pictured in this post. It would be conducive to good writing, I think, and it’s my plan to get a little more writing done this summer than usual. We’ll see, though, what the Alaskan summer brings. It usually holds surprises, which is one reason I think so many of us wind up coming back up north, summer after summer.


Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.