The Great Alone

 

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

-Excerpt from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34912895-the-great-alone)

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Just. Write.

Just. Write.

 

Just freaking write,” I tell myself, as if it’s as easy as ripping paper. Just write, and something will come to you. Something inspirational. Something just erratic enough to be gold. Put your fingers to the keys—we’re done with paper for the moment—and just. freaking. write.

At times like these, I remember days when words flowed endlessly, endlessly like wildfires in summer. Writing was more than an escape, more than an afterthought. It was life. I’d have a thought and, without hesitation, open my computer, and words would pour and pour out, spill and spill. Badly strung together words. But words, nonetheless. Words, and stories.

I miss those days.

I often wonder how I strayed from that light. Was there a single, sudden cause, or was it a slow descent into nothingness? Was I like a frog, being boiled in increments? I’d like to think there was one cause, because dealing with the aftermath would be easier, a simple mathematical equation.

Is this what adulthood is like? Becoming too busy for the things I love, acknowledging that they are slipping away, bathing in the regret, yet failing to do anything lasting about it? If so, can I reverse time? Can I return to my endless days? Well, I know that I can’t, but at least, I’d like to think about it. It makes it sadder, though, I know it does, thinking like that, but I can’t help it.

Just. Write. As if it’s so easy.

Shinkansen Sunsets

I rose, groggily, from as good a slumber as a train ride would allow me, to find the setting sun alight just outside my window. Regardless of the day I had had, of the emptiness of my stomach, and the heaviness in my body, suddenly everything became okay.
Imagine a fire suspended in the air. A perfect dot of red paint against a dull sky. I thought, then, that perhaps the sun appears differently to people in different parts of the world, because I had seen many sunsets in my life, but I hadn’t ever seen anything like this.
On a lonely Shinkansen ride home, I saw true beauty.

Written on September 18th, 2018

PS – I wish I could have taken a picture of it, though a picture may not have done it justice. By the time I’d pulled out my phone, the train had turned into its path. It was the sunset equivalent of a blood moon, I’m sure. But redder. Much, much, redder. 
It was a memorable end to my last trip in Japan.

MORTALITY

HAVING SPUN A WEB FROM WHICH THERE IS NO LIKELY ESCAPE

THE HUMAN SPIDER RESIGNS ITSELF TO ITS UNFORTUNATE END

EVEN THE FLIES PITY IT

THEY CONTINUE TO FEED IT

THE HUMAN SPIDER DIES FAT, AND FULL, AND EMPTY-HEADED


Written on April 15th, 2018 at 9:05 AM

Happy Halloween!

Why I Write

Why do I write?

 

Well, what a silly question indeed.

What a silly question to ask myself.

Why do I write?

I suppose I should answer it, though.

 

I write because I have to.

Because there are things I cannot express with my voice alone.

There are things hidden within me that only flow when I write.

I write because I want to record the stories that appear in my mind.

The stories of people whose lives only I have created,

Whose worlds I have developed.

I want to share those stories with myself.

Other people, too. But mostly myself.

I want to read the stories I have created

Laugh at the jokes I have crafted

And perhaps, have others laugh too.

 

This is why I write.


Written on August 15th, 2018 at 7:29 AM