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Archive for February, 2011

I’ve got a few odds and ends to catch up on.

First of all, I’ve had a handful of stories published over on the Matador Network in the past couple weeks: an introduction to a serious local ultra race — The Yukon Arctic Ultra: The World’s Toughest Race? — and two stories about my Alaskan beer adventures. Check out The Beer Frontier: Binge Drinking in Alaska and the accompanying Guide to Beer Drinking in Alaska.

Next up, a photo from my time at Slaven’s Roadhouse.

On my first night, we had 7 mushers and more than 75 dogs pass through, in addition to the 8 volunteers, the race judge and the veterinarian already camped out there. As you can imagine, the result was an awful lot of parkas, mittens, dog booties and other wet winter gear hanging up above the wood stove:

It’s been a busy few weeks, with nearly 5000 new kilometers added to the odometer in my Jeep, and as always I’ve come back from my latest trip to Alaska with more ideas than I know what to do with. I think I’m ready to settle down for awhile and do some serious reading, pitching and writing.

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I arrived home in Whitehorse last night after a successful trip into Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve — I was a volunteer at Slaven’s Roadhouse, a remote dog drop location on the Yukon Quest trail. Photos and more coming soon, in the meantime I’ll just note that using an outhouse at -50 (a new experience for me) wasn’t nearly as painful as I’d expected.

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It’s funny: I went years without hearing about DFW, and now, in the weeks since I finally started reading his work, I see his name everywhere.

Wallace comes up in that Jon Krakauer interview I posted last week (apparently Krakauer tried and failed to read “Infinite Jest” at Everest Base Camp) and in this Financial Times piece about the art of writing a great sentence.

Best of all, just after I started reading Consider the Lobster I came across a long, previously unpublished interview with Wallace, which appeared on Slate’s Scocca blog in several parts. It focuses on his nonfiction writing, and it’s a really great read.

David Foster Wallace on Nonfiction, 1998:
Part 1: “I’m Not a Journalist and I Don’t Pretend To Be One”
Part 2: “My Big Problem With Magazines Is That They Tend To Have Word Lengths”
Part 3: “There’s Going To Be the Occasional Bit of Embellishment”
Part 4: “I Will Slice Open My Head For You”
Part 5: “It’s Not Very Good for Me When People Treat Me Like a Big Shot”

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