Friday, January 30, 2009

Wilderness Blues: In the Beginning

Hi. Thanks for joining me here. I'm really new to this, so chances are I will flub this up more than once. I've been known to wipe out entire chapters of the book I was writing because I misunderstood what the computer was asking me. When I hit the yes button, days of work disappeared, which was really kind of frustrating to put it mildly. However, several times, as I re-created my work, it came out better than the original. Anyway, we'll see how this goes.
I started writing Wilderness Blues for several reasons. When I first got started I was still angry, though I had been gone from the farm at Game Creek for over ten years. So often when I would be talking to someone, the subject of how I ended up in Alaska came up. I would start talking about the farm and how we were led to believe that the end of the world was coming and money was going to be no good, and one thing would lead to another and pretty soon an hour would pass and we'd have to go our separate ways, but almost always they would say-"you should write a book about this." I heard it enough times that I started to believe that maybe I should write a book about it before I forgot everything. Sooo...that's what I did. I was working at Hoonah Public Schools at the time and had master keys to both the outside and inside doors, which allowed me access to the library even after it was closed. That was really nice, because there were computers there and it was a good, quiet place to work, plus I didn't have a computer at my house at the time. The entire book was written at the library in my spare time. I edited it at my home after we bought a computer. I commercial fished during the summer, so I wasn't able to access the library for three months. As a result (at least partly) it took me six years to finish the book.
One thing I noticed was, as I wrote more, I would remember more. Many of the memories I had were unpleasant or upsetting, but the more I wrote, the better I felt. It was like talking to a pschycaitrist. It proved to be a very therapudic exercize.
Many of the people who lived with me at the farm and who had since moved on ended up buying the book. For some it was a pleasant walk down memory lane. One gal said that she read the book to her son while they were driving on different errands. It opened up a dialog between the two of them because she had never disscussed the farm with him before. He got to see his mother and father in a whole new light. One lady, who was an elder, read the book and totally disagreed with most of what I wrote. I wasn't overly surprized by her reaction, she was in denial about a good many things. Most of the feed back I got was very positive. For a good many of the folks here in Hoonah it answered some questions that they had had about the farm for years. Of course they are getting my version of events. I understand that one of the ladies who is still at the farm is going to write her own book. I look forward to seeing it.
I'm not sure how to end this post. I guess I can just say I'll write more later. Take care.

3 comments:

  1. Tom,

    I enjoy your easy-reading style. Pictures are good, too.

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  2. Catherine FergusonApril 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    Tom - to read your posts is just like sitting down talking to you! Great!!

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  3. Hi Tom,
    I've just remembered your blog and will be reading it with great interest (and clicking on google ads!). Add a new post for August, will ya?!

    ReplyDelete