It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. Last fall, I sold my house in Vermont, got married, and carted 51 boxes of books, 2 cats, and way too much junk to Maine where I’ve been stunned by the beauty of winter on this chilly rocky coast. I’ve trudged the snowy shoreline in muck boots and shivered in a house that could fit 2 of my other houses inside, drinking tea and longing for my woodstove, a heat like no other. I’ve unpacked boxes, stocked bookshelves, hung paintings. We are still finding our way around the mid-coast, the many gems here, and the vibrant and quite literary city of Portland. Popping into bookstores and joining Maine writing groups on Facebook has been my solace for leaving my literary and arts community (Brattleboro Literary Festival, Gateless Writers, River Gallery School) in Vermont behind.
On the writing front, I’ve been at it, slow and steady, as the saying goes. And there’s been more than a little good news recently.
On May Day, I learned that my short story collection currently titled, They Could Live With Themselves, was one of three runners-up for the 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction. It is quite an honor to have the recognition of my work, six years in the making, noted by editors of an independent press who work diligently to put forth quality books, artfully produced, and to support writers of short fiction and poetry, forms that tend to fly under the publishing radar. Thanks, Kevin M. Watson, for believing in the work I so cherish.
Also in May, I had a story from the collection published by Connotation Press, again, a wonderful group of editors here––Ken Robidoux, Meg Tuite, and Karen Stefano to name a few––and I share that space with some old friends from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Rich Farrell and Dorothy Bendel. Being part of the spirited work they do at Connotation Press is a treat: art for the sake of our souls, art for the sake of salvaging a slippery society.
“The Air of Joy”––what I like to call my “reverse-love” story was sparked by an actual conversation I had awhile back, an argument of sorts, with my now husband. Three lines of odd real-life dialog and I was off and running. It was quite fun to try and get into the head of a fifty-something man who is a doer, but more, a quiet thinker, who can’t always find the words to express himself, but who knows what he feels. Things worked out differently for Bob and I than for Addison and Ruby, but as long as everyone has said what they needed to say, I’m happy. And besides, fiction is not real life. Right?
If you have a half hour to read my story, I’d love to hear what you think.
Have a wonderful spring! Enjoy the flowers and the birds and store up some green memories for the ephemeral nature of this ever-changing land. And, be well, my friends!