The Story About The Story
People ask me, did this story really happen? Yes. It all happened. Just, not to me. Here’s the story’s story. In the early 1990s there was a quirky little magazine that published out of Alaska. It was called AlaskaMen and it featured photos and blurbs about single men in Alaska – there were many – who were looking for love. The magazine was bought by single women in the other 49 states who were also looking for love. There were many of those too. This was before on-line dating and the magazine’s circulation exploded after it was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. I freelanced for AlaskaMen during their brief heyday. They paid well, left me a great deal of creative latitude, and I met a lot of quirky people. (Note many uses of the word quirky.) Their stories were intriguing and heartfelt and sometimes outlandish and the tales demanded to be written but I couldn’t write about real people. I didn’t want to hurt feelings or reputations or invite lawsuits for slander. So this isn’t a memoir. It’s those experiences, the ones that happened to other people, and I invented a protagonist to experience them. That’s Annalee.
And people also ask, will I write a sequel? No. This was a vehicle for some material and I used it all up. Some leaked out in my short story, “False Memory.” It captured first prize for creative nonfiction in New Millennium Writers in 2018 and you can read it here under Short Stories. But now the Alaska well has run dry and I’m on to other projects.
Lies and Love in Alaska
To stop the meddling of her matchmaker friends, divorcee Annalee fakes an affair with an Alaskan bush pilot whose profile she has seen in a magazine about bachelors in that rugged environment. The plan backfires when he appears in her small California town and lures her to his remote cabin with stories about the magnetic pull of the Last Frontier and the promise of lasting love. In ways she never imagined, she finds herself falling for both the pilot and Alaska in spite of the bears, blizzards, peculiar neighbors, pyromaniac ex-girlfriend, stack of love letters hidden in a pantry and evident truth to what they say about single men in Alaska: the odds are good, but the goods are odd. Before Annalee can sever her ties in California and move north, a shocking telephone call from an unknown woman rocks her world and catapults her into a whole new way of life.
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