The first time I met Don Rearden I was fidgeting, sitting at a brown desk inside a University of Alaska Anchorage classroom. I was nervous because it was my first class of my freshman year in college. Like many people walking college hallways, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. That was until I got to know my quirky English professor, who saw something in my writing, and maybe something in me, that I had never seen before. The confidence and encouragement he gave me is why I still write to this day.
When Rearden’s book "The Raven's Gift" was published I suddenly felt like I, too, could one day write books. Writers, who were some sort of mystical creature to me, seemed much more real.
Now, all Alaska residents have the chance to meet the Alaska-born author at a reading, Friday, in Anchorage. He’ll give a presentation to kick off The Great Alaska Book Fair at Alaska Pacific University.
The uniquely Alaska book fair will bring in writers from across the state, including some from right here at the Alaska Dispatch. Craig Medred's book, "Graveyard of Dreams," focuses on the dreams of back- of-the-pack Iditarod mushers that can be crushed by the rugged 1,000-mile course. Loren Holmes, Alaska Dispatch photographer and multimedia editor, will also have a book on display. "The Places We've Gone," highlights some of Holmes's best work in Alaska.
If you’re feeling crafty this weekend, head to Talkeetna and learn how to make an antler hen basket. Talkeetna has unique Alaska crafting classes on a regular basis.
And prideful Alaskan's don't really need a day to celebrate the 49th state, but since everything from bacon to hermits get a day to celebrate it seems only fair that Alaska gets one too. Sitka kicks off a week of Alaska Day celebrations starting Friday.