Hooked (Blog)

How We Will Weather This

Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Commercial Fishing, Hooked Favorites | 19 comments

August: The Mayday wakes me. The radio volume is low, but it reaches the fo’c’sle. A man, his voice an octave shy of hysteria, yanks me from the bunk, pulling me upstairs. “There’s a boat one mile off Cape Addington taking on water! It’s a yellow-and-black troller, wood, two people on board. He’s got three or four pumps going in the engine room and a guy bailing in the fish hold.” “Roger, Captain, can you spell Cape Addington?” “A – D – D… It’s on Noyes Island!” The engine screams in the background. “He’s...

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Gearing Up for the 20th Annual FisherPoets!

Posted by on February 19, 2017 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 3 comments

We’re less than a week away from Oregon’s annual FisherPoets Gathering, friends! The highlight of our winter, FisherPoets is always special – this one especially so, as we celebrate the 20th year of commercial fishing women and men from across the country (and one from Belgium!) uniting to share stories, poems, and songs celebrating our industry. I usually try to share something about FisherPoets here, wanting to convey the magic, wanting to lure you to join us. This year, fellow FisherPoet (and gifted writer, mentor, and beloved friend)...

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Making Change

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Culture, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing | 10 comments

  I was fourteen years old when a man grabbed me by the pussy. We were in the checkout line of our Pacific Northwest town’s Payless drugstore. It was early evening, one week before Valentine’s Day, and I was buying a cassette tape as a gift for my best friend. (The Thelma & Louise soundtrack. Seriously.) My parents were waiting in the car. I’d stepped up to the cashier when a hand squeezed my ass. I was not raised to fight for myself or others. My family consisted of three isolated people who neatly sidestepped not only conflict...

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“What’s Happening With Your Book?” About that…

Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Reading & Writing | 50 comments

Twelve years ago I went fishing to save my life. I begged a six-week sabbatical from the non-profit where I ran a dinner program and trolled alleys for young people in crisis, asking for a week at sea for every year I’d spent on land. My childhood best friend, Marlin, needed a deckhand. I needed to know if I still existed outside city shadows.   Fishing’s familiar demands soothed me. The physicality of the work pulled me back into my body, while the monotony forced introspection I’d long avoided. The six weeks washed by. Each...

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Coming Up: 19th Annual FisherPoets Gathering!

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 3 comments

It’s almost time, friends! Oregon’s nineteenth annual FisherPoets Gathering is less than two weeks away, with storytellers, musicians, and poets readying to flood Astoria this February 26-28. It’s an immersion into the authentic, captains and crew of diverse fisheries and eras reflecting on the single moments and entire careers that have both nourished and devoured us. It’s an exercise in expressing what has often seemed beyond expression, and the belief that the effort matters. That belief pulls us back, a flood tide, every...

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A Voice Lost, then Found

Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 10 comments

  On December 15th, six hours after submitting Hooked’s final revision, I lost my voice. Literally. All these years a devoted disciple of the “tell your story” gospel, and, upon surrendering that story for my editor’s review, I couldn’t manage a rasp of a whisper. (Dear Universe, must you be so heavy-handed in your metaphors?)   I won’t lie: the six weeks leading up to that deadline were rough, reminiscent of the final push to get through the fishing season, when Joel, the Nerka, and I all stagger into September, hanging...

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The “Me” Within “We”: Soliciting Stories

Posted by on October 19, 2015 in Culture, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 14 comments

Last June, my editor’s response to Draft #2 arrived on our doorstep just as we were preparing to head north. If there can be a good time or place to face the fact that your book needs major revisions, I found mine in the Nerka’s pilot seat, alone on my wheel watches while Joel slept, the promise of Alaska ahead. My manuscript was heavy in my lap as, removed from the world within this pocket of suspended time, I read it from beginning to end. All 323 pages, many of the margins dark with penciled edits. Then I read it again. Comments that...

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On Missing the Boat, Speaking for Salmon

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Alaska, Commercial Fishing, Environment, Sustainability | 3 comments

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 McConnell for a...

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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 tonight. We’re two days in the 18th Annual FisherPoets...

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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 somewhere far below. A...

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