About a year and a half ago, I met a woman by the name of Ruth at a writer’s conference who was putting together a compilation of people’s experiences with life in Del Norte county. I asked her if I, as a very recent transplant, could contribute a piece, and she graciously agreed. I sat down and hammered out a first draft covering everything I’d learned in the preceding months and we began the process of editing and revising the thing until it was readable. Over the course of the process, I learned a few things about Ruth Rhodes: She’s a great editor, has a genuine love for this wonderful place, and she’s a great person who’s fun to work with.
The compilation, titled Come to the Edge: Arrival and Survival in Del Norte County, is a collection of forty-one different viewpoints of what it’s like to live up here. One of them is mine. Maybe it’s an ego thing, but I think that’s kinda cool.
Here’s the blurb from Amazon:
At the top of California, on the edge of the sea, miles of narrow highway curve through redwood forests, separating Del Norte County from the rest of the country. Residents of this remote area have given up the world of shopping malls, high speed internet, specialized medicine, and mainstream culture for wild rivers, lush forests, and undeveloped beaches.Privacy, space, and startling scenery come at a price: limited job opportunities, poor educational outcomes, and high rates of drug abuse and teen pregnancy. The trade-offs are worth it—for some—but not for others. In their own words, a diverse array of Del Norters share their lives and illustrate both the beauty and challenge of living in this unique area.Whether tied to the land through tribal alliance, family connections, work or love, each writer’s experience in Come to the Edge is unique and revealing. There is something familiar about each story, too. No matter where you live, these memoirs reveal that place matters. We are shaped by the land, even as we rise to shape it ourselves.
If you’d like to pick up a copy, you can do so at Amazon.