Thank you all to who participated in my poll. And thanks for the kind comments from Julie, Melissa, and Lola.
I thought the poll was kind of fun, and interesting. In many ways, the votes aligned with what I expected. However, the fact that nobody voted for the tales of a bookseller almost makes me want to share a few stories from Fireside Books just so you know how interesting it can be. (You would be amused, touched, and amazed at what we find in the boxes of used books people bring in.)
Outside of this streak of rebelliousness, though, the feedback will help me a lot in guiding how I divvy up my letter topics. The overwhelming winner was “life and adventures in Alaska,” which is wonderful because I love writing about Alaska. It really is an amazing place to live.
The next preferred topics were the writing life, The Snow Child, and one vote for “books I’m reading.” Strangely enough, I think the percentages equate pretty well with how much time and space I’ve devoted to these topics — mostly Alaska, some about my novels, and a mention here and there of books I’m reading.
In honor of “adventures in Alaska” being the top vote-getter, I had planned on at last telling you the story about the black bear on my porch. But yesterday we Alaskans got news of a horrible bear attack not far from where I live. Seven teenagers, here from New York, New Mexico and all over the country, were participating in an outdoor leadership school when they were attacked by a brown bear with a cub. Two of the youths suffered life-threatening injuries, and all were injured to some degree. The experience must have been incredibly traumatic to everyone involved, including the teachers and other students in the school.
It is a sober reminder to the hazards of the wilderness, and it didn’t feel right telling a different kind of bear story without first acknowledging this recent situation and sending out my wishes for a fast recovery for all involved.
On Wednesday, though, I’ll share my Alaskan bear tale.