Posts Tagged ‘South Bend’

PGreci and PDahlmeyer copy

A couple days ago, I did my first Surviving Bear Island school visits. I visited two schools where I was student back in the 70’s, John Marshall and Andrew Jackson Intermediate Schools for grades five to eight.

paul and marshall board

I felt very taken care of at both schools. The visits were set up on really short notice and the school staff did a fantastic job of being prepared. And the kids were just awesome and full of questions about writing and about Alaska.

paul reading at marshall

Later that day, I got my first letter from a student who had read my book.

The next night I went out to dinner with my high school English Teacher and signed books for him and for the school library.

Paul SBI

If you’d like to schedule a school visit or book signing check out my schedule and contact information by clicking here.

Surviving Bear Island comes out March 25th. Look for it in bookstores or order online now at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


On the 25th I’ll be celebrating the release of Surviving Bear Island and will be giving away ten copies of my book!! One of them could be yours!!

I hope you’ll stop by then for a chance to win!!!

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I’ve been at my parents’ house in South Bend, Indiana for twelve days now, sleeping in the room I slept in when I was growing up. One more night and then I’m heading home to Fairbanks, Alaska. If you’re curious how I ended up in Alaska, I’ve written about it here.

I visit for long stretches because Alaska is so far away from Indiana. And the older my parents get, the farther away it feels. (My dad just turned 83 a few days ago.)

I try to visit three times a year for ten or twelve days. When I visit, we usually go to Lake Michigan at least once—a place I visited often when I was growing up.

Last summer I took my parents up to Pentwater, Michigan for a couple nights.

Last fall we spent the day in St. Joe, Michigan and I ended up with a new friend.

This winter we didn’t get up to the Lake, but this was what it looked like last February when we did.

I try to balance my writing with visiting, writing early in the morning or late at night, but inevitably, the writing falls off. I start off strong, then I hit a few fragmented days where I get nothing done. Then I get back into it, but the writing often feels clunky. That’s the way this blog post feels.

A couple years ago I was writing the first draft of a novel set in the mid-west and wrote sixty pages while I was here. That was cool.

But rewrites, like the one I’m working on now, are more difficult because I’ve got lots of notes, or I want to print out some pages and can’t, or I suddenly have to research something.

While I’m here, I accomplish what I can during the down time. A big thanks to Jill Kemerer, Jody Hedlund, and Natalie Bahm for keeping me on my writing toes via twitter these past twelve days. A few encouraging tweets went a long way. I rewrote five chapters. I was hoping for ten, but as Kim Stanley Robinson wrote: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

What about you? Where did you grow up and where do you live now? And, how does your writing routine change when you are away from home?

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