Hooked the First, Laid to Rest

6 01 2013

This is it, friends.

I’ve delayed this move for over a year, but it seems time for Hooked to migrate. Please join me at Hooked the Second. (www.teleaadsen.com) I’m grateful to the Chicago Boy – he’s done a beautiful job of setting our space up. I’d never have had the courage or tech-savvy to make it happen without his help. (Thanks, sweetie.)

Some of you have asked about Hooked’s past posts. It appears that everything is in our new home, minus a handful of the most recent comments that didn’t want to move. I’m not ready to delete our beginnings, so Hooked the First will remain dormant here. I won’t be responding to comments on this site anymore, so please bring our conversation over to Hooked the Second. I’m hoping it’s a more comfortable, reader/participant-friendly space. If you don’t find it so, or have trouble with anything, please do let me know.

I’ll do my best to figure out how to seamlessly transfer those of you who’ve subscribed, but am a little anxious about that. You can also re-subscribe on the right side of the new homepage, and if you’d help spread the word of our relocation, I’d be grateful. I’m grateful, period. You’ve all been a wonderful community. This is just a blog move, I know, not like we’re actually saying goodbye, but I feel oddly choked up all the same. (As you know, I’m a little sensitive.)

So let’s lay Hooked’s WordPress home to rest with a short video that’s not meant to be morbid. This Sitka cemetery is a special place – “Sacred Grounds,” warns the sign at the entrance. Hidden in the center of town in a Tongass thicket of cedar, hemlock, and devil’s club, trails wind through the overgrowth. The gravestones are Russian Orthodox, largely consumed by the rainforest’s inevitable moss. Stone angels are mostly headless.  Only croaking ravens break the tranquility. It’s been one of my favorite places since I was a teenager; I’m glad to close this site by sharing it with you.  (And you, SethSnap.)





Bellingham Writers’ Resolutions, plus a Call for Women Writers

2 01 2013

I’m blessed that both of my home communities have amazing bookstores: Old Harbor Books in Sitka, Alaska, and Village Books in Bellingham, Washington. Independent bookstores do heroic work to foster lively literary communities – readings, events, opportunities you won’t get from Amazon. Village is hosting one of those opportunities this weekend, with their annual “Resolutions for Writers” extravaganza.

Saturday’s five mini-workshops are designed to help jump-start your writing year, by tackling clutter, getting un-stuck, loving finances, intention-setting through collage, and maintaining vision and balance. Check here for more information on teachers and workshop times.

As good as Saturday looks, I’m especially invested in Sunday’s line-up:

If you’re in the Whatcom/Skagit County area, I hope you can join us. Check here for full details.

*****

In an opportunity open to female readers wherever you are, Cami Ostman is seeking submissions for another anthology. (Her first, Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion, co-edited with Susan Tive, will be released this spring.)

She Writes Her Life: Women Explore How Writing Has Informed Their Identity Development explores women’s relationships with writing. Why we write, how our writing influences how we think about ourselves and who we are in the world. Essays should be no longer than 3500 words, have a $25 submission fee, and are due by March 4, 2013. Visit Cami’s site for more details.

I’ve had a few friends ask about the submission fee. She Writes Press is an independent publisher that prioritizes empowerment and community. Your $25 covers evaluation and printing, but most importantly, contributes to a pool for publishing at least one pro bono project a year. (Visit She Writes Press to learn more.)

I suspect Cami’s project – and SWP’s values – will resonate with many of Hooked’s regulars. (Happy New Year, Patricia, Tina, EBW, Heather, Claire, Lisa!) Please do pass this opportunity with your own readers. A new year is a great time to start a new essay!





Hooked Ends 2012 on a Note of Change

31 12 2012

I’m a migratory creature. Twenty-five years as a fisherman will do that, successfully rewiring one’s homing instincts to change with the seasons. Too long in one place, I get twitchy. So it suddenly strikes me as funny that Hooked has held the same home – down to the same floorplan! – since its inception.

Brace yourself, sweeties. We’re ringing the New Year in on a note of change.

Hooked launched on March 18, 2011 – entirely thanks to prodding by my friend and mentor, author Cami Ostman. Upon hearing my self-conscious mumbles about wanting to write, she asked, “Are you blogging? You should be blogging!”

I hadn’t considered that. All I knew at the time was that I had a desperate hunger to find a writing community, similarly driven people who would inspire and hold me accountable, and no idea of how to find them. Despite self-doubt and an embarrassingly high level of technological incompetence, Cami’s suggestion seemed a good place to start. Maybe an online community would help get me out of my own way.

That, certainly – and so much more. I couldn’t have imagined the diverse collection of people who’d converge here, or what powerful, generous allies you’d be. Just as you deserved honoring (and cake!) on Hooked’s first birthday, I want to close 2012 with appreciation. As often as I try to express this, words fail to capture  how grateful I am for your reading, your writing, your presence here.

WordPress has been a good home for us – particularly for tech-challenged me. But our community has grown. I’d like to bring out a few more chairs, offer a comfortable space with new rooms to explore. Thanks to my longtime friend the Chicago Boy, that space is almost ready. Generously trading his web-savvy for fish, he’s been putting together an author’s site that includes this blog’s new home.

Every migration reminds us that, no matter how many times we’ve pointed the bow north or south, there are always surprises. Unforeseen bumps, essentials we’ve forgotten. In the case of Hooked’s migration, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all of you subscribers will be successfully transferred to the new site. Feeling anxious about that – I’d hate to lose any of you – but hoping for a smooth transition.

Stand by, sweeties. As soon as the site is live, I’ll post one final message here, inviting you to join me at our new home. (I hope you will.) Whether you’ve been following Hooked from the beginning or are a recent friend, thank you for being here. My best wishes to you and yours for a safe, happy New Year.

 

Joel's Starrigaven Sunset

Also, thanks to everyone who submitted quotes. If you’d like your name to go into the boot for tomorrow’s drawing (gifts! for 2 of you!), you’ve still got time. I’d love to hear your favorite words.





Hooked Trolls for Help (& Offers a Gift)

28 12 2012

A funny thing happened on the Facebooks today.

When I opened my email this morning, a whole string of notifications greeted me. A long list of folks responding to one of my photos. That’s weird, I thought. I haven’t posted anything new.

Even odder: the image inspiring so much response was from last December – ancient by social media standards.

Tele's Proposal, Submission #1 2011

December 5, 2011: My first attempt at shopping my book proposal.

Turned out a new friend had given that old photo a second life. With her enthusiastic comment, it began appearing on other friends’ walls. One after another, folks chimed in with their support. “Can’t wait for you to sign my first edition at Old Harbor Books,” one wrote. Said another, “I’m not at all concerned over the fate of this book. I’m more worried about the effects of wealth and fame on your life.”

With every new congratulatory response, I felt a bit more embarrassed. More like a fraud.

Then Marlin called. “Hey, Sis! Congratulations on getting your proposal out. That’s really exciting!”

I interrupted his praise. “That’s an old picture of the proposal I submitted last winter. It totally got rejected – that’s okay, it deserved to be rejected because I submitted it before it – or I – was ready – but nobody commenting now knows that and I feel silly.”

Marlin’s laughter swept me up in his good humor. I chuckled with him, then considered, “The timing’s funny, though. I got good feedback from an agent and have been revising so it’s in better shape. I think it’s almost there. My goal is to submit it to her the first week of January.”

“Sounds like all of those sudden comments are the universe’s way of giving you that final push, telling you not to give up,” Marlin observed. “Maybe this was the best time for you to hear all of that encouragement.”

Ah. How can I be so lucky, that one of my oldest friends is also one of the wisest people I know? And how good Sitka’s docks have been to me: both my “brother” and my sweetheart, two of my life’s greatest gifts, are fellow boat kids I met on the breakwater over 25 years ago.

*****

If you’ve wondered why Hooked’s been such a quiet little place lately, that’s why. You’ve been on my mind, but everything (and everyone) has taken a back seat to having this second attempt ready to submit next week. After way too many slow, discouraging days, today feels better. The 25 pages of book overview, bio, chapter summaries, marketing strategies, and comparative titles seem like they’re in good shape. The sample chapters still need work – not so much that they’re overwritten, like dough that’s been kneaded too long, but just enough that they sing in the right places and murmur pleasantly in the rest. Though I may feel differently tomorrow, today this feels do-able.

It’d feel even better with your participation, sweeties.

I’m a fan of epigraphs – relevant quotes providing a touchstone for each chapter’s takeaway message – and need your suggestions. What’s relevant? Hooked: a memoir of love, sex and salmon is a story of fidelity, as I struggle to define what it means to be true to a partner… a place… a life… and myself, over the course of a season aboard the Nerka. The voices I’ve gathered so far include Barbara Kingsolver on forgiveness, Cheryl Strayed on fear, Dan Savage on the myths of monogamy and “The One,” James Baldwin and Lynn Schooler on home, and Rumi on human imperfection.

I’d love to hear your favorite reflections on home, the sea, love, trust, forgiveness, belonging. Actually, I’d love to hear your favorite reflections on anything. A beloved quotation, poem, or song lyric – who knows what might strike just the right chord? Whose words have spoken so deeply to you?

Because you’re all wonderful and I’m grateful for your support, everyone who comments with a suggestion over the next three days gets their name in the hat. (Boot, actually – an old Xtra Tuf.) I’ll draw two names at the end of New Year’s Day, two lucky participants who’ll receive care packages of local-made Sitka goodies and Cap’n J’s newly printed photo cards. Random gift-giving aside, my big appreciation and love to all for your contributions.

 

Update: Congratulations, Scott and EBW! Thanks to all for playing.

Hooked's Quote Giveaway Winners





Teenagers and the Sea: Fisher Poet Tales (with Video!)

7 12 2012

National Fisherman did a nice write-up on last week’s Fisher Poets “On the Road” performance at Fish Expo, where Dano Quinn, Patrick Dixon, Abigail Culkin and I each had 20 minutes to perform. For the second post in a row: thanks, NF!

I swear Pat and I didn’t plan this, but with back-to-back readings, you couldn’t miss our shared theme: adolescence. Rough for any parent/spawn relationship, this is a particularly rocky period for those trapped together aboard a small fishing boat. Forced not only to co-exist, but to cooperate – the family’s livelihood depends on it. So does physical safety. As their parents’ crew, boat kids develop a ferocious work ethic, endurance, and responsibility. Transferable skills, whether they continue fishing or not. And it seems to be about a fifty-fifty split: of the boat kids I grew up with, maybe half are like Joel and me – salt-stained lifers who aren’t fully themselves away from the sea. The other half couldn’t jump ship fast enough.

Photo thanks to F/V Kathleen Jo

Photo thanks to F/V Kathleen Jo

The story Pat read, “The Connection,” is one of my favorites. It’s how I met Pat, and first learned about Fisher Poets, at Fish Expo four or five years ago. The audience packed the room – it was right next the beer garden – and I wedged into the back. When this tall gillnetter took the stage, I didn’t know what to expect – but it surely wasn’t this tear-jerking story of a reluctant killer, reflecting on what it meant to build one’s life by taking life. I’d never heard another fisherman so perfectly express my own inner conflict. Watch “The Connection” here.

And the story I read? Years ago, one of our fleet elders said something that stuck with me. He said, “Everybody has a rock up here with their name on it. If you fish long enough, you’ll find it.” As it happened, six years was all it took for this sleepy mariner. A story of drama, danger, romance, and triumph, watch “The Rock With My Name ” here.

This is a great warm-up, friends… Mark your calendars: the 16th annual Fisher Poets Gathering is less than three months away! This year’s dates are February 22-24, hosted in Astoria, Oregon. Check out their brand-new website – which includes a sneak peek at the performers signing up! (Between the veteran and first-time names, it’s already a great line-up, with many more yet to come.) I’d love to see you there.

Thanks again to National Fisherman for supporting this Fisher Poets “On the Road” performance, and to Pat Dixon for making it happen. Also, thanks to the delightful Betsy Delph, whose video may not have turned out as well, but her efforts were much appreciated. 








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