I am nowhere. I mean that in a literal and philosophical way and a literally philosophical way. At the risk of sounding as campy as an NPR personal commentary, I am nowhere in every sense of the word. Now don’t get mad at me because I made fun of the profound and liberal. I’m not trying to get political. It’s just the mood I am in at the moment. Besides I enjoy making fun of the History Channel, as well. I would make fun of Rush Limbaugh, if I cared enough about him to pay attention to his latest silliness. But I don’t and frankly I don’t think Rush Limbaugh, the History Channel nor the people at NPR care about my getting nowhere with my writing.
Feeling stuck in the vacuum of Nowhere is a scary part of the writing process. It’s when the tides are low and yet there are no notes in bottles to find. (see How Fiction Finds Me). But there’s another Nowhere, a geographical and political one, which I love. Yes I’m referring to Ketchikan, Alaska the salmon capital of the world. (I don’t mean to offend the east coast fishing industry but our salmon lives free and dies hard.) In the fading past, Ketchikan had also spawned a hot topic political catch phrase, which the nation digested along with the other pureed headlines. I use the Bridge to Nowhere because Nowhere in a philosophical sense tantalized me as a writer and Ketchikan, Alaska is the setting for my fiction and life. Besides if it’s good enough for Sarah Pain, it’s good enough for me.
The fifteen minutes of Ketchikan’s infamy hit a sensitive nerve in Ketchikan. Some feeling were hurt because “We really are somewhere.” Others embraced the notion and made t-shirts sporting a rebellious flare, chewing the sarcasm like the best seventh grader. You can tell by reading the title to this blog which camp I chose.
As the wheels of tourism squeal for oil, motivating the people here in Ketchikan, Alaska to scrap off the rust and paint the happy colors for another season, I feel a bit nowhere. I could wallow in it like a pig in chocolate or I could just have fun with it. like Ketchikan, my writing might not make it on the contiguous map, but it’s somewhere.
- Alaska Commercial Fishing Viewpoints | F/V Iris | Ketchikan Power Trollers (juneautek.com)
- Oregon company to manage Ketchikan shipyard (seattletimes.nwsource.com)