One of the biggest blessings I have as an author is in visiting the places where I set the books. Sitka is one of those places I would gladly go on writing about, if I found the right stories to tell.
Jim and I taught a mini writer's conference while there and the turn out was so great. The people who attended were a blend of young and older, men and women, native and transplants, but all had a passion for writing.
As Jim and I shared with each other after the conference, we realized once more how God works through us even in little "chance" encounters. We were blessed to meet new people and hear their stories, know their thoughts and see tiny pictures of their dreams. Some will no doubt go on to see their dreams born, while others will give up somewhere along the way.
Sometimes I feel like giving up. The goal seems too big. The road too long. It's easy to look at the big picture and say, "There's no way I can endure this or overcome that."
But God never leaves us to bear it alone. I'm one of those who firmly believes that God's puts in our hearts the desires and dreams that He has for us. Sometimes we corrupt those dreams. Sometimes we ignore them, but when we are seeking the Lord and striving to do His will--it's amazing how those desires and dreams come together to bring Him glory.
So in Sitka, AK there aren't that many roads, but the main north-south road has about 7 miles of road each way and 500 ft. before the end of said road - you get the above sign.
Didn't mean to skip my blog today - in fact, I had fully intended to share additional Sitka stuff. However, I hit the road with a friend and spent the day driving to Seattle. So please forgive the lack of information, but now I'm at the end of the road and thought I'd at least tell you why I was absent.
So I'll leave you with a couple of Sitka shots and hopefully will share some Seattle/Bremerton shots next week.
Oh we're having a wonderful time in Sitka, AK. The weather has been a variety of misty and overcast, rainy and moody, and sunny. We've been so blessed by the setting and the people.
It's the height of tourist season for Sitka and so most days there are one or more cruise ships in the harbor. It's been fun to play native and watch the visitors scurrying around trying to beat the clock.
I spoke on the radio last Saturday and met Sarah. She is the director of the Kettleson Library here in Sitka. She's an awesome lady to be sure. Sunday night, Sarah had me speak at the Library. It is such a beautiful library and as you can see the scenery thru the window is incredible.
The audience was comprised of some wonderful women readers who chatted with me and bought books. We had a very nice time.
Tonight Jim and I will be teaching new writers. Tomorrow we'll wrap it up with a few more workshops and hopefully answer all their questions. There's a nice number signed up to attend, so we should have a lot of fun. Jim and I definitely have a passion for new authors.
Tonight they tell us we may see the Northern Lights! I sure hope so. I've seen them before, but something that great is worth seeing over and over.
We'll be here until Sunday and then head home. Thanks for all the prayers.
We're on our way to Sitka, AK today. I'm very excited about this trip. I'm doing a radio program tomorrow, then Sunday I'm speaking in the evening at the library in Sitka.
My Song of Alaska series is set in Sitka, so the place is near and dear to my heart. I've very much enjoyed setting a series in this location. The three book series spans the time period between 1870 and 1906 - a time that was so amazing and interesting in Alaska's history.
The native influences of the Tlingit (pronounced Kling-ket)people contributes rich cultural flavoring even today. The town name is derived from the Tlingit word "Shee Atika" in Tlingit meaning "people on the outside of Shee. "Shee" was the Tlingit name of Baranof Island. It was named for Alexander Baranov and that brings us to the Russian influence.
The Russians had a large settlement here. Alexander Baranov came as the chief manager for the Russian American Co and built Fort Redoubt St. Michael. Later as the town was deemed the capitol and administrative headquarters for Russian America the name of the town was changed to New Archangel and eventually back to the Americanized Sitka.
Of course, today the influences blend with those of Americans and the little town bustles with tourists every summer as various cruise ships stop in the harbor for visits. My first venture to Sitka was on one of those very ships, and since then we've made numerous trips back to collect research. It's an amazing island and makes for a nice get-away. Flying up from Seattle is fairly painless and often nonstop, so I encourage you to consider a little trip north.
Of course, it is a small town - not that flashy, but so very rich in history. The local history museum offers some wonderful exhibits and the Sheldon Jackson collection at the Sheldon Jackson museum is not to be missed.
I'd appreciate traveling prayers. We will be in Sitka until the 15th - in fact, Jim and I are teaching a mini writer's retreat in Sitka on the 13th and 14th. Should be great fun.