Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hello Darlings,
It's been a fab spring for publishing!

Besides getting published in Harbors Magazine and Modern Love Rejects (*with an essay that is about to be reprinted any second on the fabulous site Dating Diva Daily*) I've now published a story very dear to my heart on Literary Mama for their Father's Day edition.

This essay looks back at the formative years I spent backpacking with my family in the high Sierras. In particular it celebrates the way my dad threw himself into backpacking - dragging us along with him - after a major heart attack nearly killed him at 33.

I first wrote a version of this essay when I was about 11 years old. My parents - convinced I was a literary genius - sent it off to Backpacker Magazine, which promptly rejected it.

Then I took another stab at it in a college creative writing class with the the late great Leonard Michaels. That version had some damn good description in it if I do say so myself (Lenny's faint praise be damned):

"The most exciting part of the trip was glimpsing Wire Lake for the first time. It would appear in a sudden flash of silver through the trees. My dad usually offered a nickel to the first kid who saw it. Fifteen minutes later, we would come upon the lake in its entirety, sparkling blue and immense. Time would reduce its size and brilliance in my imagination, so that its beauty was always shocking."

Still, it was another 10 years before I dusted the thing off to try again: this time as an attempt to get published in a Seal Press anthology about father-daughter travel adventures. I never finished that version though I did come up with a good opening for it.

And finally, three more years after that, I dug it up, thought "that's a good opening!"  and then polished it the rest of it to a fine sheen for a travel writing contest at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

Which I did not win! I did not even get an honorable mention! Hmmph. But in the end, that is not the important thing. The important thing is I finally (finally!) wrote the essay to my satisfaction, and now it has been published. Just in time for Father's Day.

Here's to you Dad - who taught me to love and feel comfortable in the mountains, so that they are now like a second home to me. I miss you very much but you are always there with me on the trail, in the meadows, on the peaks, and - most of all - on the peaceful alpine lakeshores as the sun goes down.