It’s wonderful to be able to take a trip back to one of my favorite places, and one I used to call home. I moved to Sun Valley, Idaho in 1993 with two cats and a rescue dog in tow. I was about to turn 28, and the heavy weight of Saturn Returns must’ve been part of this surprising relocation from the northern Michigan coastline. I had just graduated from a small writing program with an MFA in fiction writing, and I wanted to be a writer. What better place to pursue this dream than Sun Valley, home of Ernest Hemingway. He ended his life there, and his home has been kept in the exact same “moment” afterwards. Fun trivia: I learned how to play tennis there, my own writing taking a backseat at times to this endeavor, and I got to rally with one of Ernest Hemingway’s kids, and became friendly with a grandchild! One of the stories in Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition, The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business, was runner-up in the Prose For Papa literary contest in Sun Valley long ago; the contest was set up to honor Ernest Hemingway.
During this Idaho sojourn, I wrote and submitted to literary journals, magazines, and publishers—Crown Publishers was interested in my first short story collection at this time, but I shelved it. Never doubt that authors, at times, can be their own worst enemy. But, another dream did come true? I worked in two of the valley’s bookstores. One is no longer in operation. Forgive the namedropping, but Sun Valley is like a suburb of Hollywood, and I probably met every big star who did anything from 1994 to 2005, especially if they had a book to promote! A highlight? Setting up a book event with John McEnroe, who said he’d never hit one tennis ball in his Idaho home. I woke up at six a.m. and drove into Ketchum to the coffee shop, wrote on my laptop until time to open the bookstore at 9. This book, Wake Me Up, was completed in 2005, and it went through several rigorous edits, but I’m still not satisfied with its present state. I’m actually protective of this book because it is terribly personal even though a complete fiction and deals with bullying in Missoula, Montana during the contentious Election year of 2004 . . . One fine day I’ll take the leap and share this drawer novel with you . . .
Anyway, if you’re around Ketchum or Sun Valley, Idaho this coming Thursday, August 20th from 5:30-7:30pm, please stop by one of the author venues and listen to some literary talk. Here are the promotional posters. There is also killer cuisine offered at each place you may want to “crawl” to during this Lit Crawl. Have the best time, and say hi!