What: Pam Houston discusses “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country”

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Paulina Springs Books, 252 W. Hood Ave., Sisters

Cost: Free

Contact: paulinasprings.com or 541-549-0866

What: Pam Houston discusses “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country”

When: 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sunriver Books & Music, 57100 Beaver Drive, Suite 25-C

Cost: Free, registration requested

Contact: sunriverbooks.com or 541-593-2525

What: Generative Writing Workshop with Pam Houston

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Bend Art Center, 550 SW Industrial Way, Bend

Cost: $125, registration required

Contact: bendartcenter.org or 541-330-8759

What: Pam Houston reads from “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country”

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Where: Bend Art Center, 550 SW Industrial Way, Bend

Cost: $10 suggested donation

Contact: bendartcenter.org or 541-330-8759

Writer Pam Houston is well known for her peripatetic lifestyle. She divides her time among her beloved ranch nestled high in the Rocky Mountains near Colorado, teaching English and creative writing at the University of California, Davis, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and conducting writing conferences around the U.S. and internationally through her nonprofit, Writing By Writers. Houston also travels extensively to satisfy her own wanderlust and inquisitive nature.

But Houston takes a more introspective journey in her new memoir, “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country.” In the book, she explores how her ties to nature and the home she created for herself on her 120-acre homestead have helped her overcome childhood abuse she suffered at the hands of her parents.

Following the form of a seasonal almanac, “Deep Creek” chronicles the New Jersey transplant’s life on the ranch — from caring for her menagerie of Irish wolfhounds, donkeys, chickens and shaggy Icelandic sheep, to surviving blizzards and massive wildfires, and dealing with the inevitable cycles of birth and death. Houston’s vignettes craft a vivid and affectionate portrait of her life and surroundings. Above all, it is an optimistic treatise on our relationship with the land.

Houston will discuss “Deep Creek” and lead a writing workshop during several upcoming events in Sisters, Sunriver and Bend.

After living on the ranch near the small town of Creede, Colorado, for 26 years, no one is more surprised than Houston herself that she has settled happily in one place for so long. She cherishes the time she spends there, despite it being squeezed in among the many obligations that pull her away.

“I’m a traveler, and I love to go, so it’s much stranger that I bought this ranch, than that I get up and go,” Houston said. “I do love it there, and I hate being away, but my natural state is movement. So the ranch has taught me to be still.”

Houston came to this understanding following the 2012 release of her last novel, “Contents May Have Shifted,” when her editor asked her to think about a book-length adventure she could write.

“I spent a couple of months thinking about it,” Houston said. “Then I was driving home after a quarter of teaching at U.C. Davis with my dogs in the car, and I thought, ‘Well s--t, that’s my book-length adventure — the fact that I bought the ranch. Everything else would just be Pam doing what she does: something crazy or taking another trip to Patagonia or Mongolia.’ The ranch was a new experience and a learning experience for me.”

Houston has published two previous novels and four collections of essays and short stories including “Cowboys Are My Weakness,” which won the Western States Book Award in 1993. Her work often blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction and between the traditional concept of a novel versus a short story collection. But despite having written semi-autobiographical work before, Houston still experienced a learning curve when working on “Deep Creek.”

Determined not to rely on her old tricks when writing this novel, Houston made a conscious effort to stick to the facts as best she could within the limits of memory.

“I think I was still learning how to write a memoir as I was doing it,” she said. “I tend to love quick changes of landscape and scene. But this book is about sitting still, and I was terrified I would bore everyone to tears. When writing fiction, even 98 percent autobiographical fiction, the action is vertical. If you were to graph it, it would look like an EKG. But for this memoir, it was more like water spreading out across a field with a much more horizontal spread and getting into all the holes and cracks in the ground. There’s more saturation and it’s more thorough. It pushes on the same bruise repeatedly. I think I’m probably more naked on the page than I’ve ever been.”

However, when Houston turned in the initial manuscript, her editor didn’t think the story matched Houston’s original proposal. The author was shocked because she felt it was exactly the novel she had proposed. She thought the disconnect was probably due to her New York-based editor’s romantic idea of how people live in the country, so she had to find a way to bridge that gap.

It took another two years before Houston was able to make the story cohere in a way her editor liked. At the same time, she wanted to stay true to her own vision.

The agent recommended Houston face her childhood trauma head on in her writing for the first time. Both Houston’s parents were alcoholics. Her mother was emotionally abusive and her father physically and sexually abused her. Houston incorporated those childhood recollections into a story that was otherwise a meditation on the beauty, power, danger and importance of nature and the wild places and creatures around her. In doing so, she came to the realization that the land she cared for had also tended her. She finally accepted that while she and the earth are damaged, both are deserving of love.

“I’m grateful for how many times I went back in and re-imagined the shape of it,” Houston said. “I like the shape it turned out.”

Houston recently signed paperwork to establish a land trust to permanently preserve the agricultural status of her land. In the meantime, she continues her hectic schedule of teaching, traveling and speaking engagements. She also mentors recent graduates and aspiring writers, with some of them working at the ranch in exchange for room and board and time to focus on their craft.

“I really enjoy mentoring these young women and men,” Houston said. “It’s exactly my sweet spot. I don’t have children, and I probably would have sucked with diapers, but a 24-year-old, I can mentor. That’s my mothering talent.”

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