Hooked (Blog)

On Missing the Boat, Speaking for Salmon

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Alaska, Commercial Fishing, Environment, Sustainability | 1 comment

Joel and I went to a movie the other night. We finally saw The Breach, an award-winning film I’ve been anx­ious to see since its 2014 release. Described as a love story for wild salmon, it’s a love story in all the truest ways – risk, betrayal, loss, resolve, hope. It took my breath away.   (You can watch The Breach your­self here. Please do. Please.)   After the lights came up, direc­tor Mark Titus joined com­mer­cial fish­er­men Melanie Brown and Marsh Skeele, Anchor­age chef Rob Kin­neen, and Sitka Mayor Mim...

read more

Live from the FisherPoets Gathering!

Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing | 1 comment

It’s a mag­i­cal day in Asto­ria, Ore­gon: sun on the side­walks, fes­tive chop on the Colum­bia. I’m tucked in the Blue Scorcher Bak­ery (try the car­damom rolls), an intro­vert on glo­ri­ous over­load, try­ing to steal an hour of quiet time to recharge. Red lapel pins reveal the kin­dred spir­its sur­round­ing me — the $15 but­tons our entry into all seven venues — and we exchange know­ing smiles and eager reviews of last night’s favorite per­for­mances, rec­om­men­da­tions of who we’ll catch...

read more

Fear, Art, and Love in the Canadian Rockies

Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Culture, Family, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing | 25 comments

Head down, I watch my snow boots creep across the lake, one shuffle-step at a time. Joel doesn’t shuf­fle. He hus­tles, hunched beneath his cam­era bag as he rushes for a dis­tant spot of blue. Ice wiped clean by the wind: the per­fect frame to lead into the fast-approaching sun­set. It’s neg­a­tive three degrees. As I mur­mur into the scarf swathing my face, words form frosty pel­lets in the fibers. I can do this. I can do this. A chant intended for my ears only, the lake responds. Bu-BUM. A deep drum beat, issued from...

read more

Night Wheelwatch on the Nerka

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Commercial Fishing, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 1 comment

53⁰23.596’ N 129⁰52.095’ W 11:15 pm, Principe Chan­nel, British Columbia   Dusk tames the ocean. Dims it to liq­uid mer­cury, a sil­ver sheet with yel­low threads peek­ing from the folds. My favorite kind of ocean. The hill­sides brack­et­ing this two-mile wide chan­nel have retreated, sac­ri­fic­ing sub­stance for allu­sion. Joy and relief rush my veins, a flood tide. We’re less than three hours from Alaska now. I lean for­ward in the pilot seat, as if that will push us along any faster. Charg­ing ‘round...

read more

FisherPoets Live on Kickstarter!

Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing | 1 comment

Fish­ing, sto­ries, cul­ture, com­mu­nity, authen­tic­ity… These are some of my favorite things, and they all come together in the Fish­er­Po­ets Anthol­ogy, Anchored in Deep Water. My friends Pat Dixon and Chelsea Stephen have done a tremen­dous job cre­at­ing and edit­ing this project over the past year, and have just launched a Kick­starter cam­paign to fund print­ing. Thanks for read­ing their let­ter below and sup­port­ing this project in what­ever ways you’re able.    ANCHORED IN DEEP WATER: The...

read more

Returning to the Cave

Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Reading & Writing | 13 comments

Just as Cap’n J and I out­fit the Nerka with emer­gency equip­ment – radio, bilge pumps, fire extin­guish­ers – I reach for par­tic­u­lar sur­vival gear as a writer. Lately, the one I’ve been keep­ing clos­est is Dani Shapiro’s Still Writ­ing: The Per­ils and Plea­sures of a Cre­ative Life. This book is a rare gift, one I flip open to a ran­dom page and find myself face to face with the truth I most need to hear. Today’s sec­tion, “The Cave,” is no exception:   One of the strangest aspects of...

read more

Residency Wrap-Up & Storytelling Events Ahead

Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Commercial Fishing, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 6 comments

We spend all sum­mer mov­ing through the salmon sea­son, yet Sep­tem­ber always sneaks up on me. It lunges out from where it’s been hid­ing, hunched behind the cor­ner of August. I jump every time. The end of my res­i­dency with the North Cas­cades Insti­tute feels sim­i­larly star­tling. It shouldn’t: my Feb­ru­ary 15 move-out has been approach­ing ever since I moved in on Novem­ber 20. This con­clu­sion stirs in me an ambiva­lence sim­i­lar to the fish­ing season’s end. Being here has been a tremen­dous...

read more

Postcard from NCI: Writing in the New Year, Week Six

Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Reading & Writing | 17 comments

    Happy New Year, friends! Finally, a post­card for you that actu­ally is a post­card, thanks to Cap’n J’s Sol­stice photo shoot. (And how awe­some is my many-legged friend? Sock­to­pus is my crafty sis­ter Ashley’s work.) It was a pretty wild New Year’s Eve up here in the moun­tains… Nachos and a soda with an evening of word-making. In the final hour of 2013, I took a break to read a let­ter, a wel­come sur­prise from an old friend. (My neigh­bor deliv­ered sev­eral weeks’ worth of mail the other day;...

read more

Letter from the North Cascades: Week Four

Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing | 2 comments

Hi friends – A month into my time with the North Cas­cades Insti­tute, I’m think­ing that a writer’s res­i­dency is some­thing like a fish­ing sea­son. As on the Nerka, I rely on rou­tine here in Dog­wood 2. Instead of get­ting the gear in the water at first light, though, I’m work­ing at each day’s oppos­ing end, tap-tapping my way into tomor­rows. I’ve second-guessed this process – you’re sup­posed to get up early and work­ing first thing in the morn­ing; all the Real Writ­ers say so! – and...

read more

Postcard from NCI: A Writer’s Residency, Week One

Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Reading & Writing | 13 comments

Hi friends – Some of you know my Thanks­giv­ing falls at the end of Sep­tem­ber. Fishermen’s Thanks­giv­ing, where we cel­e­brate a safe and suc­cess­ful sea­son. The fourth Thurs­day of Novem­ber doesn’t ring true to me in the same way. This year is dif­fer­ent. This Thanks­giv­ing finds me nes­tled up here at the North Cas­cades Insti­tute, reflect­ing on my first full week of a three month writer’s res­i­dency, feel­ing quite swathed in grat­i­tude, indeed. Leav­ing the house last Wednes­day was harder...

read more