August 4, 2015 § 2 Comments
Check out this inspiring two-minute video from National Geographic Expeditions’ talented videographer Steve Pickard. It features an interview Steve did with yours truly in my capacity as the featured expert for the Exploring Patagonia program. Warning: it’s going to make you want to go to Tierra del Fuego and southern Patagonia!
July 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
Very much looking forward to joining a group of young American writers in just a few days as the guest novelist on this exciting international writing program. We’ll begin in Prague and then head down to southern Bohemia, where an historic castle will be the staging ground for field exercises, craft talks, hiking, stimulating conversation about books and literature, and miscellaneous fun.
Putney Student Travel is the same group that has taken me to Dublin and the small island of Inishbofin for the last two summers, and it’s a great experience. Travel and writing go so well together, and it’s always inspiring to work alongside young women and men who are passionate about writing and literature. I’ll post some pics on my FB author page . . .
July 10, 2015 § Leave a comment
Looking forward to discovering a brand new corner of the world next week: Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. I’ll have a chance to get some creative work done and explore the Atlantic waters around the island, and, as the theme speaker for participants in the All-Star 2 Family Conference, I’ll be delivering a five part lecture series: “Life Stories: Creative Adventurers, Adventurous Creators.” I’ve had a lot of fun planning and researching these lectures, which focus on figures who have engaged in a deep and life-changing way with some of the parts of the world that are important to me from life and work. Here are the subjects:
Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle
Ernest Hemingway in Spain and Cuba
Georgia O’Keeffe: American Visionary
In my final talk I’ll discuss how my own engagement with place influenced the writing of Will Poole’s Island.
If you or an organization you belong to is interested in booking me for one of these talks or something new, send me a note. My schedule is busy but flexible, and I love doing this kind of thing. It’s quite possible that we can work it out!
April 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
A new article, “Rounding the Horn,” is out in Nantucket Magazine. It combines an account of part of last winter’s trip to Tierra del Fuego with some of the history of the early Nantucket sailing vessels that had to round Cape Horn in order to get to the Pacific whaling grounds. Click here to read the article. I hope you enjoy it!
April 17, 2015 § 3 Comments
Very pleased to report the publication of my narrative essay, “Extreme Parenting,” at Bloom. I’ve long admired Bloom, which is associated with The Millions and is dedicated to the work of writers whose first novels have been published after the age of forty, so it’s a great honor to appear there. The essay had its genesis in an “extreme” ski trip I took with my son and some friends a few years back. Here’s an excerpt:
I wasn’t worried for my own safety, but I was frightened on behalf of my 13-year-old son. The truth is, I hadn’t fully appreciated the difficulty of the spot I’d gotten us into. Below us, a knotted climbing rope disappeared into a narrow chute that was the only way down through a two hundred foot cliff band. There was no question of climbing back up; we’d skied fifteen hundred vertical feet of steep powder to get here, and this was the heart of avalanche country. Our guide was irrevocably out of sight, having painstakingly lowered himself and Joe, my son’s ski buddy, down the climbing rope to arrive at what was presumably safer terrain beneath the cliff band.
So here we were. Early this morning eight of us had strapped on avalanche beacons and packs with shovels and rescue probes and voluntarily entered the most extreme and dangerous lift-served terrain on the continent. My son Toby was next in line, then Brad, a new friend, then it was my turn. I’d been watching Toby, and I could tell from pallor of his face beneath the helmet and goggles that he was scared to death. Not that he would ever admit as much, but I could see it.
“Brad. Do you mind if we switch places?”
Read the rest of the piece here.