BACK IN KANSAS – STORIES OF A HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

    All of us come bringing stories to this late-September Midwestern place of reunion (bring them everywhere, really). It’s just that many of mine are already jotted down, input, printed or published. This ends up being a gift―to me, and hopefully to others, as I listen to old and new friends, and often find a story that fits each tale.

– As a classmate’s wife talks about living in Florida, I hand her my way-too-late-trip-to-Disney World story, Room on the Planet

– A fellow grad I don’t quite remember has lived, like me, the sadness of their father’s struggle with Parkinsons― that’s what the above story is really about; I give them a copy…

– The lost-girl-in-LA story, Rent Asunder, goes to a California classmate…

– To a physician and then a friend lamenting their forgetfulness goes The Edible and the Beauteous and the Dead, about a man finding the gift in his gradual loss of words…

–  One classmate worked for NASA, and now writes science fiction―to him, some climate fiction, Water and Oil, or the reluctant robot story, At the Corner of Railroad and What Looks Like Amen

And of course as I listen to highlights, ponder the decades, and wonder at how the cliques and gaps and chasms have become as nothing (how all we are about here is finding common ground), now memory and inspiration fold into each other―it looks like there will be more stories to come ~

Hey, we’re all classmates in this strange school of life. If any of the above stories speak to you, email me at aschultz@mail.ubc.ca, and I’ll send you a copy. Or give me another topic that’s on your mind―there just might be an app, I mean, a real live story for that…  

 

 

 

Place of Departure

 

Schenectady, N.Y. to Walpole, Mass., Philadelphia to Chicago to Kansas City… As a child, I had no say, saw place as something that might not last, escaped into the unfailing world of books.

Finally, then choices ― Vermont for college, Italy like home rediscovered, and graduate school in British Columbia leading me at long last to a place to stay, a place to write about and to stand up for. Though I’m first and foremost a prose writer, it is in poems that I freeze-frame lake and log boom, new moon, clear-cut cedars, still-tall pines and the Friday night sidewalks of skid row Vancouver.

And yet, after decades, BC has quietly begun to serve also as the template for my novels and stories, providing an achingly beautiful place of departure for the ravaged world of my climate fiction. Even as we who live here simultaneously spoil and protect it, BC becomes ever more my platea, the open space that sustains me, from which I declaim the truths I have the honor of glimpsing in sea and fellow place keepers and wide wide sky…