We’ll Give Him A Hearty Welcome, Then…
While my focus at work and in my own writing lately has been non-fiction, sometimes, I find, fiction is really the only way to explore deep emotions and realities, because you don’t have to remain true to attribution or fact, but can shape the world to your needs.
“Welcome” is an attempt at exploring that sense of isolation I began to feel while in Japan. Even though it was a voluntary “exile,” the sense of being completely alone was one I’d never felt before, not even in the many moves I’d made as a child. It seemed overwhelming, so I started writing it down. But my first attempt – an autobiographical piece – flopped. Really tanked. Let’s just say it makes better compost than story.
So I decided to get away from the personal aspect. The Vietnam War is the pivotal point for my generation, and I studied it at length. But I never saw anything from the perspective of the men who left the country during that time, and it began to seem a perfect mirror for the feelings I was trying to write.
I did a lot of research on the subject. Hopefully, I’ve captured the atmosphere and emotions I was trying for.
Available at amazon.com
The Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race
Arcadia Publishing, 2013
After working with LeRoy Shank at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, I fell in love with this race (although not enough to run it, thank you very much). LeRoy talked me into writing about it. I wanted to document the tremendous effort on the part of LeRoy Shank and Roger D. Williams, their families, and the communities of Fairbanks and Whitehorse. The race was literally conceived and implemented in about 6 months, with little money. It was a long shot – Alaska already had a long-distance race that was well-known, but the founders wanted to re-connect with the things that get into the mushers – the history, the skills, the dogs. They wanted something anyone with a sled, some dogs, and a working knowledge of the sport and environment could run – not just those with lots of money or sponsors.
From the dream to reality – it took hundreds of dedicated people – none of whom made much, if any, money – thousands of hours to organize, fundraise, publicize, set-up, mark trail, and run the first race. No one knew if it would be a success or failure – no one had ever really run the trail start to finish before the first musher left the gate. It was purely a leap of faith, and that it is still successful 30 years later is a testament to the hardy people of the North, who really don’t care if you think they’re nuts to live here – it’s all about the life, you know.
Available at arcadiapublishing.com
See the calendar for book signings, lectures, and other activities (in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territories) celebrating the 30th running of the race.
I’m Just Her Father
Publication Consultants, 2013
The world seen from two set of eyes is enthralling, especially when those eyes belong to two people who share the same genes but different lives. For example, Mel Martin’s view of Alaska in the 1960s and 1970s is certainly different from Elizabeth Martin’s Alaska of this century. Besides, a father and daughter can look at the same thing and see two different universes.The book stretches from the past to the future, from Alaska to Russia, and from everyday to unique experiences. It includes poetry, short stories, opinion pieces, and even limericks. The goal is to amuse, not educate. Yet, you likely will mine some nuggets from the Martins’ combined 85 years of writing experience. Many of the pieces use humor laced with sarcasm. Father and daughter occasionally berate each other, but it is all in fun and includes a lot of love. Readers of all ages will find something in this unique book that appeals to them.
Available at Publication Consultants