Why I Wrote ‘There Are No Penguins in Alaska’

When I was living in Alaska, I saw a lot of wildlife in the wild. I saw brown bears, black bears, moose, foxes, beluga whales, and other animals while I was hiking – often they were not far from town. It’s an absolutely stunning state, especially in the summer. The one creature I never saw was a penguin because there are no penguins in Alaska. Still, tourists would continue to ask waitstaff, grocery store clerks, and random strangers: How can I see the penguins?

Continue reading

Preorder ‘Tales at an Alaskan Cabin’

Tales at an Alaskan Cabin: 16 short stories to pass the time” is set up and ready for pre-order in eBook format. Simply, head over to Amazon.com and place your order today.

Tribute to the Decameron

I wrote this in the style of the “Decameron“, one of the oldest pieces of European literature. Completed in the 1353 by Boccaccio, the “Decameron” predates Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” (1400) by about 50 years. The “Decameron” focuses on ten wealthy, young people who flee the plague, and the scandalous and dangerous behavior of those in a town that has no law or moral decorum due to all the death, by going to their estates outside of town. At those places of rest, each person is charged with telling a story on a theme, with the exception of one young man who claims the right to tell the last story of the day to help improve upon any of the earlier stories or the mood as he sees fit.

At the Cabin

In this story, four men rent a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness during the winter. They decide that they will pass the time by telling each other stories. There are science fiction stories, myths, stories from other cultures and history, and personal tales from their lives. Some of the tales are related to Alaska; most are straight fiction. If you like reading short stories, this one should keep you entertained for a few hours.

How to Pre-order

The only way to pre-order is to go to Amazon.com and get the eBook. If you want a hard copy, it will be released on or about Feb. 11, but you won’t be able to read it right away as it will need to be shipped. The eBook for “Tales at an Alaskan Cabin” will be available immediately when Feb. 11 arrives. Read it first and find out what stories men tell in the cabin. (You can find a preview of the first part of the book here.)

Tales from an Alaskan Cabin: Chapter Fifteen

Gerald told this story:

When I was driving in from Canada, I made one mistake. I didn’t fill up at the border. I don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe it was the stress of going through border patrol, or it was the hours I had been putting into driving. I was tired and not thinking correctly. Whatever the reason, my car sputtered to a stop about 30 miles from where I thought the border was – the place that was marked by the U.S. flag on one side and the Canadian Maple Leaf on the other.

Continue reading

Stories from an Alaskan Cabin: Chapter Thirteen

John got up absurdly early and started puttering around the cabin by the light of his battery-powered lantern. The sun wouldn’t be up for a while. Darkness covered the cabin like a threadbare blanket.

John stoked the fire, and threw some paper into the wood stove. He added some kindling and then threw a larger log on the top of the pile. Soon, the fire was warming up the cabin. He went to the sink area and grabbed the coffee pot. He put coffee grounds in first and then added water. He put that in top of the stove.

Continue reading

Stories from an Alaskan Cabin: Chapter Twelve

“Ordinarily, I would’ve told you a story about the Northern Lights or why there are no penguins in Alaska, but I guess I will save those for later,” Gerald began. “The idea that common sense isn’t so common was something that my grandfather said on several occasions. He didn’t really think that schooling was a necessity, but he encouraged his grandchildren to go to college. He just warned them about the dangers of getting too educated. He thought too much education sabotaged common sense if you weren’t aware of what was happening. I want to tell you about the time that led to my grandfather and me gaining respect for each other and learning to love each other’s differences and what we had to bring to the table in our interactions.”

Continue reading

Stories from an Alaskan Cabin: Chapter Eleven

This is the story John told:

I have a friend who works with Fire and Rescue in Anchorage. Every year, he has to go down to the mud flats to rescue tourists who think it’s fun to hike on them. They don’t realize that Turnagain’s bore tide comes in so quickly, and sometimes, they get stuck in the mud. More than one pair of shoes has been left on the flats as people fled the coming tide. Still, in spite of numerous warning signs, it seems that many tourists are oblivious to the danger. Some are more oblivious than others.

Continue reading

Stories from an Alaskan Cabin: Chapter Seven

John was a gourmet camping cook. He had everything measured out and out into plastic jars that wouldn’t break or leak if they got frozen. He put together a meal that was fit for kings, and they dined well that evening. When Gerald added a freeze-dried dessert to the menu, the men took great delight in enjoying the end of the meal.

George set his drink down, “So I guess it’s my turn…” He leaned back a little on the bench. “Let’s go outside.”

Continue reading