Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Klukwan School Winter Play 2011

I've been up late, several nights in a row, writing and organizing plans for a holiday-time production with the kids of Klukwan School. We're knitting a sweet tableau of two Tlingit legends, adding some contemporary scenes of Alaskan village youth on a weekend winter hike, and stirring in the bright nuggets from a younger children's classic, Warton's Christmas Eve Adventure by Russell E. Erickson. This little chapter book kept several generations of 'out the highway' kids at Mosquito Lake School entertained around Christmas and delighted the cluster of 39 Mile kids right through two, or so, years ago.
How the stories intersect and become a single telling will require magical realism, puppets and the brilliance of kids. These ingredients we've got. The suspension of disbelief, this time of year, comes somewhat naturally for all of us in the hinterlands.
The largest stumbling block has been getting everyone to school. Some of the students live in town, 21 miles away. With one of the more spectacular Snovembers on history, 11 feet in four weeks, and a bus that's been broken down on either side of Thanksgiving, the kids are hard pressed to have enough in-house classmates to pull off a production. But, we're sure having fun trying. The kids are writing the overlying story and fabricating puppets to tell the interior tales.
So, though I have a terrible reputation for not following up on the stories I share here, I'll make every effort to capture highlights of our progress. I can truthfully say, it's  rich getting back to writing
Here's to holiday fal-da-ral!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Over-easy? Not so.

The screams were unidentifiable but had an effect that could raise old souls

from endless sleep. I rose quickly, pulled on my pants in the near light, and

stumbled out into driving rain and a gale force wind. Tree chicken,

turned banshee, lay crumpled, a flurry of feathers and noise

pinned beneath Red Tail, using his agile body, trying his best to behead her,

put a stop to her piercing war whoops. Up he swooped, distracted, disgruntled and hungry.

My one-eyed warrior-ess heals near the stove.

Hawk will try another day.