Summers in Alaska

Photo by Errin Casano on Pexels.com

I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.

Slow Summer

The summers in Tucson are always slower due to the extreme heat.  Many businesses close and take a vacation because there are not enough customers coming in to bother with staying open.  With an entertainment industry still small but growing, this makes my line of work difficult.  We have many plans for the Fall and things look good for the coming season in Tucson but, for now, times are hard.  This has not stopped me from pursuing creative endeavors.  To put it simply, I can’t be stopped.  I’ll give you a little glimpse of what I’ve been up to the last couple months.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I sent out some short fiction to be published in online magazines.  I submitted about four stories to four different magazines and e-zines.  Two have been rejected while the remaining two are still under review for another month.  I will continue submitting to different places until at least one is published.  This is all part of the master plan and I am always nefariously plotting.  (insert evil laugh)  The final goal is to get a traditional book publication, be it a novel or collection of short fiction.

At the end of May, myself and a few others were voted onto the Board of Directors for the Tucson Fringe Festival.  This has been a new and exciting experience and I am looking forward to working the festival in January.  Fun fact: World Fringe Day is July 11 and it is the first ever celebration of the 70 years of fringe.  That is one reason why I’m excited to be apart of this.  The point of fringe is to help people who can’t normally get their foot in the door at more traditional venues.  It kind of makes me feel I’ve been on the fringe my whole life.

Finally, I want to mention my company, VaudVil, and our Patreon Page.  This is a great way for you or you or anyone to participate, at least a little, in the creative process.  By donating a little money, as little as $1, you can support VaudVil and be included in our future endeavors.  The more you donate, the more you get access to, including how to videos for the publishing industry or how to pitch your movie or TV show ideas.  All it takes is a small amount of money and you can even help during our events if you want.  Check out Patreon and tell me what you think.