I meant to keep up with posting on my blog when a new column came out, but I've gotten a little behind so you're going to get two at once. The column before last was all about the kind of reading material I've been using to help me get in the mood for writing my memoir Raised in Ruins. Some of the books are, as you'd suspect, ones I read during the time period I'm writing about, like those in the picture below.
But, as it turned out, the books that really inspired me were the ones that reflected my experience of growing up in post-apocalyptic ruins, as the photos below show.
On the left my little brothers Robin and Chris (and the cat, Creosote Bill) are playing next to the burned stumps of the pilings that upheld the cannery and its pier. They're playing with the salt-eaten remains of machinery from another, long gone era. In the center photo, my sister Megan is playing with the dishes that we unearthed from what had once been the cook shack for the cannery. On the right my sister and I play with our baby dolls on the rusty ruins. (This photo was used in the next column, as well. More on that below.)
Here's the link for this column: http://juneauempire.com/capitalcityweekly/ccw-columns/2018-07-05/alaska-real-lessons-learned-end-world
My next column came about when my editor, Clara Miller, told me that she would be quitting. In the same email she told me that her mother, Judy Miller was a fan of my column because it reminded her so strongly of her own childhood. I asked for Judy's email address and my correspondence with her resulted in another column:
I probably should have done this a long time ago, but I just realized I should have a category for people to go to that will lead them to my column. I'll put up brief posts that summarize what the column is about and put a link at the bottom.
What gave me the idea was my recent trip to Juneau. Everywhere I went I came across the paper that my column appears in, Capital City Weekly. It was at the hotel, the jet airlines, floatplane airlines, a sporting goods store, and on the ferry itself. At one point, I came across one issue open to my column. It was an odd experience that I'm still hashing over.
My most recent column "Casting the Panhandle" was about a major television production company that's been working to put together a "documentary series" (as opposed to a schlock-filled, scripted reality TV show) that focuses on people living subsistence lifestyles in Southeast Alaska. My oldest brother Jamie was someone the multiple award-wining producer came out by floatplane to possibly recruit.
You can read all about it at: http://juneauempire.com/capitalcityweekly/ccw-columns/2018-06-20/alaska-real-casting-panhandle
For all of my columns: http://juneauempire.com/tara-neilson
Tara Neilson (ADOW)