Hooked (Blog)

How was your salmon season?”

Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Alaska, Commercial Fishing, F/V Nerka, Salmon Trolling | 2 comments

Yes­ter­day I received a let­ter from a friend. Dear Tele, she wrote. Many times I think of you and Joel out on the seas all by your­selves. What a con­trast it must be to come back to land, peo­ple and cities. I won­der if you have caught lots and lots of fish. I won­der if you are still fish­ing, head­ing home, or already home. I have so many wonders. I, too, have won­dered. I’ve won­dered how to fill my long silence. Every begin­ning fal­tered, deleted before it could risk notice. How do you pick up...

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Night Wheelwatch on the Nerka

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Commercial Fishing, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 0 comments

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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;...

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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...

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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...

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Signing Off, with an Invitation

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Culture, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing | 2 comments

Shortly after my return Down South this Sep­tem­ber, I received a let­ter from my friend Sarah. A real, honest-to-goodness let­ter: USPS-ushered from Seat­tle to Belling­ham, turquoise enve­lope double-stamped in honor of its heft. The card was lovely (whale, octo­pus, sea horses and fish min­gling beneath a sail­boat anchored on a calm sea) and bulging with four addi­tional sheets, hand­writ­ten on the bare back­sides of Sarah’s suc­cess­fully sub­mit­ted man­u­script. (“For luck.”) Let­ters are one of boat...

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Writer, Meet the North Cascades Institute

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Reading & Writing | 9 comments

“I feel anx­ious.” A redun­dant admis­sion, if Joel glances from the wind­ing coun­try high­way to my white-knuckled grip on my travel mug. “What if they don’t like me? What am I going to ask in this meeting?” Five months ear­lier, I’d approached the North Cas­cades Insti­tute, ask­ing if I could be their first writer-in-residence. They’d said yes. Now Joel and I are on our way to visit NCI’s Envi­ron­men­tal Learn­ing Cen­ter, two hours from meet­ing every­one and learn­ing what this exper­i­ment will...

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