Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mushing Magic

Apparently 43 million folks tuned into last Sunday night’s Academy Awards.

But I know 69 men and women who were a little too busy to care about who won the award for best original screenplay…

They were driving all night through moose alley, after all.

Yep, I’m talking about those wild and crazy mushers who are still out there hightailing it on the Iditarod trail as you read this.

Did you know that racing in the Iditarod could help your book win a Newbery Honor?

Here are the facts:

In 1983, writer Gary Paulsen completed the 1,150-mile sled dog race. Sure, he placed 41st out of 54 finishers, but heck, he finished! His official time was 17 days, 12 hours, 38 minutes, and 38 seconds.

Then in 1985, he wrote Dogsong.

Yes, I am talking about the Newbery Honor book Dogsong.

Two years later his book Hatchet was published.

Ahem, that’s the Newbery Honor book Hatchet.

And two years after that, Paulsen released The Winter Room.

Do I even have to spell it out?

Okay, okay, it was a Newbery Honor book, too.


I think not.

Meanwhile, I have never raced the Iditarod…

Nor have I received a Newbery Honor Award.

I’m just a writer/psychologist — you do the math.

But I think it’s a pretty good bet that there are just 1,150 snowy miles between me and that silver medal.

PROMPT: Even if you’re not ready to hit the trail, you can have an Iditarod adventure today! Check out the current standings, then poke around the blogs and trail stories here — you’re sure to find a tale (or tail) worth writing about. Mush on! Newbery, here we come!

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