A few years ago my husband and I visited Alaska in the fall—and spent a few days in Homer. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a small city along the southern coast, on the Kenai Peninsula. We stayed in a condo at the end of Homer Spit. All the tourist places that line the spit were closing up shop for the season, and everyone just had this strange air of longing (but also relief that the bulk of the tourists would be gone until the next summer). One day we made a pit stop at one of the beaches along the spit during bore tide and found a bunch of… well, they looked like fire rings but super fancy ones ringed in feathers, rocks, driftwood, berries, straw, etc. A short story immediately started forming in my head.
And today, that short story has been launched into the world! “Shore to Sea” is published in the Autumn 2023 issue of The Colored Lens. If I were going to pitch this story to someone, I’d tell them it’s the a ghost story and a love story—Jeannie has to leave Homer with her aunt in the morning, and it’s her last night with love-of-her-life Emma; in finding a way to make the universe keep them together forever, something goes awry.
The only thing else I can tell you about the story is that in addition to the strange rings we saw on the beach that day (and the bore tide itself), another Homer Spit sight that makes an appearance in the story is the Seafarer’s Memorial toward the end of the spit, which is in itself really creepy. There’s a life-sized bronze seafarer statue in the middle of a dimly lit memorial, so if you drive past fairly quickly it looks like a random guy standing there, staring…not to mention that there are all these plaques along the inside of the memorial that list the names of the lost, their ships, and the date on which they died—and one of the plaques has been visibly wrenched off the wall with a great deal of force. That particular thing did NOT make it into the story, but in my head it’s all related.
I do hope you’ll check out the story—if you’d like to a buy a copy of the issue, here’s the link. In the meantime, here are a few visuals to go along with our trip to Homer and what inspired “From Shore to Sea.”