Alaska writer, speaker, humorist, activist Barbara Brown Barbara Brown
4071 MacInnes Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-5129
(907) 563-2712
In Print
Out Loud
At Your Service
About Barbara Brown
Home Page

You can also find Barbara at these sites:

"Hold this Thought"

About "Hold this Thought"

The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007

Storytime in the Garden

Alaska Botanical Garden Storytime

In Print
Stories, columns, and articles

Cover of Best Women's Travel Writing

"10,000 Miles, 24 Water Parks, 10 Stitches to the Head, and 3 Bathing Suits Later"
appears in Best Women's Travel Writing 2007

Travelers' Tales, publisher of excellent travel books and narratives, has included one of my stories of the "National Waterpark Tour" in The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007, edited by Lucy McCauley.   I'm in there with Barbara Kingsolver!

This particular story takes place in Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Florida, the site of the 10 stitches to the head. The book subtitled it "A mother-daughter tale of shared obsession." So what's so obsessive about traveling the U.S. for 2 1/2 months via waterpark? We had adventures all along the way....

A Box

a favorite column from the Anchorage Daily News

I love boxes. I love a good, clean box with a snug-fitting lid. A box just the right size for whatever contents. In order to manage that, though, you have to have an inventory of boxes. A variety of sizes, depths, and weights. You also need a warehouse, or at least a lot of room, and you need to share this room with another box-lover.

Barbara, in her play "A Little Bit Pregnant"

Lie on the floor and look up at all the glass
The arts come alive

The production is so good, I start to cry. Eventually, I'm snorting and sobbing. I am a choking mass of tears, blubbering and hiccupping, trying not to attract attention. My husband doesn't know what to do. "Should we leave? Do you want to go home?" I wouldn't leave that theater if he dragged me out. I came to that performance to be moved, and something in it – The director? The actor? – took a story and breathed such life and death and love into it that I lost the space between me and the story. Something all new breathed in me, and I was different.

The Adventures of a Poll Worker

Doing Democracy on Election Day
Anchorage Daily News, 8/27/06

Serving as a poll worker on election day is a capital letter kind of event: Democracy, Participation, Public Service. It's also the Real Story, a 2-by-4-to-the-head kind of social studies lesson.

I wanted to do my bit to Support Democracy, to create the Model Voting Precinct where Citizens would come together to exercise their rights and responsibilities. By 6:50 a.m., seven of those citizens were at the door, eager to vote.

Barbara with her husband, Tim

"Marriage Moments"
a favorite column from the Anchorage Daily News

Click here to read the column (full-text)

Well, we’re still married, thank heavens.
If there were traffic signals for Marriage Moments, the yellow caution light would have switched abruptly to STOP. Marriage Moments divide the happily married from the “Can This Marriage Be Saved” stories. Marriage Moments depend on everyone realizing just how much they love their partners and how fair and calm they can be – if they just count to ten.

BizBee Logo

The 2008 BizBee for Literacy
a wild, wonderful, word-filled night

Click here to read the details (full-text)

This year’s BizBee, the 18th annual corporate spelling bee for the Alaska Literacy Program, broke all sorts of records: Most number of rounds before the winner was decided. Most number of daunting words from other languages. Most number of raffle tickets sold. It was a great day for literacy and a pile of fun besides.


Barbara Brown, holding the Torah

Becoming Bat Mitzvah ... after 40 years
Anchorage Daily News, July 4, 2005

Download this Essay -- with More Photos

Why, in June of 2005, did 16 adult Jewish women in Anchorage subject themselves to the process of becoming Bat Mitzvah? To months and months of learning Hebrew, learning Torah, learning chanting? To nervous stomachs, sweaty palms and quivering voices? To disruption in our lives, work and home?

                           We wanted to read Torah.




"Rising to the Occasion: Are heroic actions a choice?"
The on-stage/on-air conversations with Keira Lestina and Tom Lee

In 2003, Keira Lestina was the first on the scene of a motor vehicle accident on the Seward Highway. Both vehicles burst into flames, the motor home on its side. From inside, Keira could hear a child screaming.

When Tom Lee was 14, the Viet Cong killed his parents. He proceeded to lead his seven younger siblings out of Laos, across the Mekong River, and into Thailand, a journey of more than 150 miles. All the while, he faced choices that meant they would all live or die.
This article includes excerpts of my separate conversations with them in the spring of 2006.





This site created at Alaska Writers Homestead

Unless otherwise noted, all material is copyrighted 2006 Barbara Brown, all rights reserved.
AlaskaWriter illustrations and site design copyright 2003, 2004
Sonya Senkowsky and AlaskaWriter. All rights reserved.