Thursday, June 18, 2009

Call of the Not-so-wild

on the drive from Homer to the "spit"

I'm home from Homer, Alaska, with fond memories and a sinus infection. While I'm laying low, I thought I'd (a) show you some Homer photos to convince you that you should visit and (b) share some writing tips I picked up.

Writing tips first: Robert Root opened my eyes in his workshop, "Writing by Ear," a title taken from an E.B. White essay. Through examples from work by White, Annie Dillard and others, Bob showed how breaking prose into poetic lines can help the writer see where her words need tuning. He's a terrific teacher and all-round nice guy.

Poet Todd Boss (whose first book, Yellowrocket, is like picking up a family photo album and looking behind the smiles) offered a session that encouraged us to look at the sounds in our work.

I didn't get to attend any sessions offered by Laurie Lynn Drummond, former Baton Rouge police officer turned writer, but her room was next to mine and we shared morning walks for lattes and heartfelt talks over dinner.
Side-stripe shrimp at the Spit-Fire Grill in Homer

I bought and read her Anything You Say Can and Will be Used Against You. How often do you have the chance to discuss a writer's work with her on the plane ride home from a conference?! Laurie felt like an old friend I didn't know I had and, since her father lives on Bainbridge Island (she lives in Eugene and teaches at U of O), I'm looking forward to her visiting, so we can talk even more in-depth about gardening, food, dogs, oh, and writing, too!

Okay, I need to go steam my aching head so I can breathe. I'll leave you with a Homer photo gallery and this last word, from my hero, E.B. White: "Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than a whole one." As a cracked pot, I take great comfort from this!

A display of friend Laini Taylor's "Laini's Ladies" at the Homer Bookstore

Fresh caught halibut -- the big one weighed 225 pounds

Puffins on Kachemak Bay
Driftwood Christmas trees

Knots on display at the Lands' End Lodge -- I took this for you, Susan Patron!

Late evening photo of Kachemak Bay
Seafarer's Memorial


  1. I'm sorry you're ailing but glad you're home. I missvirtually checking in with you each morning.

  2. Get better Kirby! Thanks for sharing the cool trip. I like that EB White is your hero. Hard to find a better hero than that.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful trip!! I've always wanted to see a Puffin! Maybe in Maine this year... Hope you are well. :)