November 26, 2015 § 2 Comments
Pleased 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 . . .
September 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hey 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.
An 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.
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!
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.