[from “The Eyak Interpreter,” a Kate Shugak short story
So here we are in Anchorage, staying at Dad’s townhouse on Westchester Lagoon. Kate and Mutt are out for a walk on the Coastal Trail . There’s nothing on television and I don’t want to go anywhere until I don’t drool when I talk. Disgusting, so I’m sitting here writing a post for my twenty-seven blog followers (Bobby, you better not read this one over Park Air like you did the one about counting caribou with Ruthe Bauman. She didn’t speak to me for a week).
We’d be on a plane back to the Park right now if the weather hadn’t socked in behind us. Van texted me that it’s blowing snow and fog and Mrs. Doogan strung a rope from the front door to the bullrail so everyone could feel their way to their vehicles. I checked the NWS website and the forecast is for more of the same for the next day and maybe two.
I’d still rather be there than here. Too many people in Anchorage, going too fast in too many cars. So would Kate, and Mutt. We’ve been weathered in in Anchorage before and they both get antsy and cranky and snappish. Mutt I can understand, but Kate doesn’t want to go to movies or shopping or out to eat, she just keeps looking east, trying to get a bead on what’s coming next out of the Gulf, and if it’s flyable.
Okay, a few minutes later, they’re back and Kate got a call (she actually answered her cell phone!) and we’re going to go see somebody. Later…
Bobby says, “Too late, kid.”
Ruthe says, “I’m still not speaking to you.”
Van says, “Miss you, babe.”
Katya says, “johnny bring me a unclmilton moon form toyzrus”
Katya says, “mom says please”
Mrs. Doogan says, “Good narrative flow, Johnny, except for the rather scattershot effect in the second paragraph. Topic sentences aren’t mandatory in journal form, but you do want the reader to be able to follow the thread of the story. For the same reason, you should resist the parenthetical phrase, too. For a moment there in the fourth paragraph I thought you were in Anchorage with Ruthe, not Kate.”
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.