By Karl Zabinski
InkSpot Staff Writer
“What am I going to do now? What in God’s name am I going to do?” thought Jason Rasmussen, as he struggled to find shelter in the northern Minnesota wilderness. Rasmussen’s survival story, retold by Cary J. Griffith in his book Lost In the Wild, riveted the audience as Griffith recounted his writing about the adventure at the 27th annual Minnesota Writer Program on the evening of February 13.
Griffith is the author of several survival adventure books, including the titles of Opening Goliath: Danger and Discovery in Caving, and his latest publication, the mystery/survival thriller Wolves.
Griffith grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and cited his childhood adventures in the outdoors as inspiration for his love of the wilderness. As a junior in college, Griffith fell in love with writing through reading Hemingway’s short story Big Two-Hearted River, and decided to begin writing himself.
As a result of his writing, Griffith has been the receiver of several awards and prestigious recognition. Griffith’s Opening Goliath won him the 2010 Minnesota Book Award, and his latest book, Wolves, is currently a finalist for the 2014 Minnesota Book Award. In addition to these awards, Lost In the Wild was read by and chosen for a documentary by renowned survivalist Bear Grylls.
While managing the tasks of being a father of three and a full-time employee, Griffith finds time to satisfy his need to write by devoting two hours every morning to writing literature. “It takes ten thousand hours of practice to become an expert…I passed that amount well over a decade ago,” said Griffith, to the humor of the audience.
Nearly one hundred persons were present for the event on Thursday. In attendance were a wide variety of people, including students in the college’s English program, book clubs, student government, faculty, and outdoors enthusiasts.
One retired couple told the Ink Spot that they had been interested in attending because Griffith’s books had been used in a book club they were involved in. “After hearing [Griffith] tonight, I want to read the rest of the book,” the woman said.