Sunday, June 30, 2013

A change of venue

Sometimes things change. Not the rate at which I post things on Hannanigans - no that is stuck at a pretty disappointing 2 to 5 times per eon it seems. But what is changing lately? Pretty much everything else. Here is what happened in my life recently:

1. I got into grad school. 
2. As I began to write for my first school deadlines, I experienced a small emotional aneurysm about trying to work and succeed in grad school. Lots of well balanced people do it all the time, but I'm not sure I fall into that category. 
3. I left my job. 
4. I bought a new backpack and a Spanish phrasebook. 

I say I left my job because quit sounds too harsh. And I'm really hoping that when I am back in Homer, and fishing season, writing conferences and travel plans are behind me, the good people at Alaska Media will take me back as a freelancer. So, I will say I left, because leaving allows room for returning. Unlike quitting, which only leaves room for packing a sad box of desk items. Which I can't do, because I don't have a desk. I could pack up the pens and pencils and laptop from my kitchen counter at home and put them in the back seat of the car for a while, but I'd just have to bring it all back inside eventually anyway. 

So why did I have to leave? 
Because, this particular academic pursuit, which falls under the very practical and confidence-boosting "terminal degree" category, is my idea of heaven. An entire existence based upon reading, writing, and the philosophical exploration that surrounds them. And so, I have decided to dedicate as much brain power as possible to do just that. Which means not being a full-time reporter. For now. JUST for now. (So why can't I turn off the Google news alerts? Or stop sending the editor Fish and Game announcements?)

And why did I buy a new backpack and a Spanish phrasebook?
Because, I've had a deal with myself for the last year and a half that the next time I was between jobs I would travel to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago.

I'll be starting in Southern France, in St. Jean Pied de Port. 
It's a multi-route pilgrimage more than 1,000 years old that traverses parts of France and all of Spain in its course to Santiago. The oldest route, the Camino Frances, passes through villages and countryside. While these days the path often follows established roads, it covers the same ground countless others have taken over the centuries to reach the cathedral where the bones of St. James are said to rest. Some walk it for spiritual exploration, some for exercise, some for a different sort of vacation — the reasons are endless I'm sure. Pending a fruitful fishing season, I'm going to walk, read and write for two months. Embracing the terrifying but magical world of technology, an iPad and copious wifi connections will help me meet grad school deadlines without lugging books around with me. 

I'm hoping that my newfound dedication to the many different kinds of writing will inspire me to be a more frequent updater of Hannanigans upon my return to Alaska. Nothing brings me more joy than trying to be funny. But until then, I plan to update the Internets on the meaningless details of my life via a different blog — The Leeward Camino. You can find it at I decided to use a different blog since the writing will at least START on the separate and specific subject of traveling the Camino de Santiago. I also can't guarantee that it will all be funny. So I thought I better separate it. There certainly COULD be Hannanigans posts in the next several months, but there will be more of the other.