I now have a column based on Alaska For Real published in the Alaskan journal Capital City Weekly, and a memoir coming out in spring 2020 ~ Tara Neilson
My family of seven moved to Alaska when I was six. We dragged our floathouse from community to community until we settled at an abandoned, burnt down fish cannery with no immediate neighbors. We homeschooled for the first few years, then were skiffed to school in the nearest community. When it blew, we did our lessons by C.B. radio. This was in the Eighties.
I finished high school in Ketchikan, which was quite an experience for a bush kid. I worked for a while at the Ketchikan Daily News before heading back into the bush where I became a freelance writer with my writing appearing in ALASKA, NORTHWEST BOAT AND TRAVEL, WRITER’S DIGEST and dozens of other publications. During the summer months I traveled to various SE Alaskan towns to get seasonal work, including working as cook on a guide boat, and assistant at an art gallery, hostess of a Bed & Breakfast, fish packager at a bush lodge, commercial fisherwoman, school caretaker, wilderness nanny, roofer….pretty much whatever came up.
In 2000, I began work on building my floathouse home from the logs up. Possibly my proudest moment was when my first ever in-door flush toilet arrived. I was thirty-three. I have been to other states and Canada but can”t imagine living anywhere else.