“Diamondback Mountain” out at Craft Literary

December 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

markos-mant-597793-unsplash-1024x683Happy to report the release of “Diamondback Mountain,” the final previously unpublished story in the fiction collection A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing. The folks at Craft have done a beautiful job and I’m happy that they’re hosting this story, which holds a great deal of personal significance for me, as explained in the author’s note. In the story, a young ski instructor at a remote hotel in 1930s Colorado falls in love with a rising Italian movie star, but fate conspires to keep the couple apart. Read the full story here.

Return Engagement: Tierra del Fuego & Southern Patagonia

November 4, 2018 § 3 Comments

On this key midterm election day in the USA, I’m so thrilled to be heading back (after voting, of course) to one of my favorite corners of planet Earth, an area of vast and stunning wilderness encompassing the islands, waters, and mountain ranges of the southernmost reaches of the South American continent.IMG_2134.jpeg

We’ll be stopping over for a few days in Buenos Aires, but the real adventure begins in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, as we board the Stella Australis, a small (150-200 passenger) Chilean-run cruise ship, and set off into the stark and storied landscapes and seascapes of Tierra del Fuego.IMG_4173.jpegIMG_8177.jpeg

We’ll visit the legendary Cape Horn, making a landing if the weather allows, and then follow in the wake of Charles Darwin’s Beagle and use zodiacs to explore various fascinating features, including fjords, tidewater glaciers, a penguin colony, and pristine high latitude temperate rainforests of this spectacular convergence of land, sea and ice, we’ll be on the lookout for whales, sea lions, penguins, albatross and many other fascinating bird species.IMG_8086.jpegIMG_4303.jpegIMG_2150.jpeg

Next, we’ll stay in the amazing Tierra Patagonia hotel at the foot of the dramatic granite spires and horns of Torres del Paine National Park. Here we’ll have several full days of hiking and/or horseback riding amidst one of the world’s most striking landscapes, in a part of Chile with some of the lowest human population densities on the planet.IMG_2244.jpeg

This rich and diverse ecosystem is of particular interest to us because it includes an apex predator, the elusive puma, and its primary prey, the charming and highly entertaining guanaco. What a magnificent opportunity!IMG_4623.jpegIMG_2277.jpegIMG_4697.jpeg

This will be my fifth time on this particular National Geographic itinerary, and I’m thrilled to be heading back. One of the advantages of being a writer is that it’s a multi-disciplinary pursuit—and a trip like this provides great material.IMG_2942.jpeg

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I’m a big fan of history, geography, ecology, and biography as disciplines that enrich any travel experience, and it will be my privilege to share some of those wide-ranging interests with the National Geographic group.IMG_2264.jpeg

Talks will focus on the history and geography of the region and the lives of explorers and adventurers who went on to make important contributions to humanity and the planet—and whose early lives were shaped by their journeys to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. My final talk will be more personal in nature, about my parallel careers as a novelist and travel guide, the links between travel, writing, and environmental awareness, and what I call the “geographic imagination.”

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All in all, it promises to be an unforgettable experience. This is a really fantastic part of the world and I highly recommend you get there if you can. I could be convinced, by the way, to organize a custom trip or two if anyone’s interested . . .IMG_2617.jpeg

Podcast: The Rocky Mountain Writer

October 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

podcastlogo-ORIGWhat a pleasure it was to spend part of a recent afternoon having this wide-ranging conversation with Colorado novelist Mark Stevens on The Rocky Mountain Writer podcast.

We discussed many topics of interest to writers and readers, including A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, travel and fiction, Ecuadorian volcanoes, Venezuela’s Orinoco basin, Eastern Cuba, fiction vs autobiography, the importance of place in fiction, dropping acid and pushing the bounds of objective reality, interiority and loneliness, The Grateful Dead and the Eleusinian Mysteries, fly fishing as metaphor, Ursula K. LeGuin, William Golding’s The Inheritors, Newport MFA & the Cuba Writers Program, and a recap of a talk I gave on “The Essentials of Voice” at RMFW’s Colorado Gold conference in September, 2018.

Listen to the entire podcast here. Mark also did a wonderful followup print interview here, in which we talked about life experience as a point of departure for fiction, the deep sources of story ideas, more on why I think dreams and hallucinations shouldn’t be off-limits for fiction writers, place-based writing as a response to environmental crisis, the challenge of endings, some of my favorite writers, and more. Enjoy!

Back to Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia

November 2, 2017 § 2 Comments

It’s been a few years, and I’m thrilled to be returning to one of my favorite regions on the planet with National Geographic Expeditions’ Exploring Patagonia program. This season I’m slated to accompany two trips: one in November, 2017 and a second in January, 2018. We’ll be cruising through Tierra del Fuego in a small, expertly crewed, Chilean-owned ship, the M.V. Stella Australis. We’ll embark from Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, round Cape Horn, and make our way up through the Magdalena Passage and the Agostini Sound, taking advantage of daily Zodiac landings to explore Hornos Island, Wulaia Bay, glaciers, and penguin colonies. Fantastic!

The Stella Australis will then drop us off in Punta Arenas, Chile, and we’ll head up to the stunning wilderness of Torres del Paine, where we’ll have daily opportunities to wander, both on foot and horseback. We can expect to see guanaco, rhea, Andean condor, many other bird species, and possibly even a puma or two. But it’s the vastness and sublime beauty of these wilderness landscapes that is the true highlight here. This part of the world is one of the least densely populated on earth, and it’s never short of inspiring!

I’m excited to be leading the educational aspects of the program in my role as National Geographic’s “featured expert.” Other than informal group interactions the main element of this task is to give a series of illustrated talks: an intro to the history and geography of the region; Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle; American artist and adventurer Rockwell Kent; Ivon Chounard, Douglas Tomkins and “los Fun Hogs.”

I’ll also be giving a brand new talk that I’m thrilled to debut in Patagonia, in which I’ll attempt to make sense of the links between travel, fiction, place-based writing, all in the context of this strange hybrid career of mine.

If you’re signed up for either of these trips, I look forward to traveling with you. If not, stay tuned: there are likely to be similar opportunities in the future!

Collection is a finalist for the International Book Awards

May 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

245_IBAfinalistwhitesmalljpegHonored and very pleased to report that A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing has been chosen as a finalist in the 2017 International Book Awards (Short Story category).

9780997452877-JacketGrayAFG2.inddIt occurs to me to mention that for a certain kind of person, this collection would make an excellent Father’s Day gift! You can order the beautiful hardcover first edition at IndieBoundAmazon, or Barnes & Noble — or request it from your favorite local bookstore! (ISBN# 978-0997452877). Read all the latest reviews, and check the upcoming events page for a reading or signing near you!

New interview up at Fiction Writers Review

May 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

logoReally enjoyed this wide-ranging conversation with the perceptive Art Hutchinson at Fiction Writers Review. We discussed, among other things, extreme sports, the supernatural, foreign and historical settings, pushing the boundaries of conscious perception, and why the inner landscape is something fiction can do better than any other art. Read the whole interview here!

Vermont Public Radio Interview

April 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

tim-weed-fishing-courtesy-julia-jensen“What I was trying to do was first of all just to tell a good story.”

Really enjoyed my recent conversation with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb! We discussed writing, fly fishing, avalanches, the Grateful Dead, and other topics related to my newly released short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing.

 Here’s a link to the podcast and transcript of the interview. Have a listen if you’re curious: the whole thing is just under seven minutes long. And here’s a link to the collection, which can be purchased at Amazon, B & N, or by request from your favorite local bookstore!

Advance praise & early reviews: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER & FLY FISHING

February 17, 2017 § 4 Comments

51bkcjkdvplDeeply honored by these early reactions to my forthcoming short fiction collection, which launches officially on April 7, 2017. Excerpts linked to full reviews:

“From the mountain lakes of the Colorado Rockies to cobbled streets of Spain, this fascinating collection of short stories by Vermont-based writer Tim Weed (Will Poole’s Island) never disappoints. The stories are more about choices than they are about fly fishing or murder, but time and again Weed’s vivid characters in these thirteen tales of dark adventure are forced to confront a vision of themselves—or others—that’s not quite as positive as they’d hoped . . . A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing is a collection you’ll be happy to get lost in.” Julie Reiff (full review at Ploughshares). 

“Tim Weed’s A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is a fiction collection of the first order. I found myself parceling out the stories to make them last. These are stories that will live a long time both on the page and in your heart.” —Joseph Monninger, author of The World as We Know It.

“In his first short story collection, novelist Tim Weed shows his stunningly impressive range—transporting readers from the heights of the Andes and the depths of the Amazon to the backstreets of Rome and Granada. Many of Weed’s stories have a hint of the mysterious, even the supernatural, but they are all grounded in sharply-rendered material worlds so fresh one feels one might step directly into the literary photographs he has created and stroll around for a while. A top-notch debut, not to be missed.”—Jacob Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House (full review at Goodreads)

“Each story is a jewel, cracking open what matters most: love, family, and our big beautiful planet.” —Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most

“A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is more than a collection of adventure stories. It is a significant and moving collection of ideas, snapshots, and visions that leave a lasting impression . . . Never predictable, this collection is a must for travelers, adventure seekers, and anyone who cares to examine the depth of [Weed’s] varied and flawed characters.” —Ron Samul (full review at We Are the Curriculum)

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the April 7, 2017 release on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the email newsletter. No need to wait though! Pre-order the collection at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Collection is Semifinalist for Subito Press Book Prize

November 26, 2015 § 2 Comments

DSC04036Pleased to note that my short fiction collection, “A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing,” was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Subito Press Book Prize. So far, earlier versions of the same book have also been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Stories within the collection have won a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and the Grand Prize of Outrider Press’s The Mountain anthology, and have been shortlisted for many awards including the Lightship Publishing International Literature Prize, the Glimmer Train Short Story Award, The Richard Yates Short Story Award, and others.

It’s been a long road for these stories, all of which  have appeared previously in literary magazines and/or anthologies, but a final home may be in sight. Stay tuned for more exciting news about the collection . . .

New Short Fiction out in Saranac Review

September 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

100_2020Hey everyone, very pleased to announce the publication of my story, “The Dragon of Conchagua,” in the latest issue of Saranac Review.

In the story, a troubled former Peace Corps volunteer returns to Ecuador to climb a high-altitude volcano, where he is plagued by disturbingly vivid memories. This is a subject that has been haunting me for a long time, since the early nineties, in fact, when I was doing quite a bit of work in Ecuador and exploring the evocative páramo in the “Avenida de los Volcanes” near Quito. Its interesting how long actual experiences have to gestate before they can emerge as fiction—although the truth is that this story, like most of my published stories, has gone through literally dozens of drafts, often over a period of many years. 

307962563An earlier version was shortlisted for the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, but this is the first time it’s been released to the world at large. I’m especially thrilled about this one because Saranac Review is a well-regarded, well-put-together literary journal, and this issue looks particularly good. You can order the paperback or PDF copy of the journal here

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