Category Archives: News

High Summer in Maine

The end of July and the beginning of August is a very sweet time in Maine, and this year, with its warm days and cool nights, has been even sweeter than usual. It feels like an old-fashioned Maine summer, a welcome relief from the past few years where it has been blisteringly hot during July and August.

Clif and I have been soaking up this fine weather. On Friday, our friends Alice and Joel came over for drinks and appetizers on the patio. There were bike rides on Saturday and Sunday. We still don’t go far, but we figure it is better to go eight miles a ride rather than no miles a ride, and we feel as though we are gaining strength.

On Sunday, our friends Dawna and Jim invited us and another couple over for dinner. Dawna and Jim have a lovely home by the Upper Narrows Pond, which truly is large enough to pass as a lake. The Upper Narrows is no farm pond.

The food was terrific.

As was the view.

The company and conversation were, of course, superb.

I wish I could bottle these days and release them during the drear days of late February and March, when everything seems to be gray drizzle and hard, dirty snow.

Away with those thoughts! August, buzzing August, is just around the corner, and Clif and I intend to squeeze every bit of delight that we can out of this lovely month.

Why, on a recent ride down a back road, I even came up with a haiku in honor of this best time of year.

Queen Anne’s lace in bloom
White ducks waddling on green grass
High summer in Maine

Welcome, welcome, high summer!

Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!

For this year’s Maine International Film Festival (MIFF), the chickadee, Maine’s plucky state bird—plentiful but never common, as my friend Barbara observed—is being used on programs, T-shirts, and other material related to the festival.

This giant chickadee is in the park by the Opera House in Waterville, where many of the movies will be shown.

Our own ChickaDee is coming from New York today, and I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to post next week as we are looking forward to a fun and busy week of movies and even a play—Othello–slipped in.

As we Mainers like to say, it will be some week.

And, as a sad side note…the great director Jonathan Demme, who was a good and generous friend of the Maine International Film Festival, died this spring. This year’s MIFF is dedicated to him, and there will be several of his movies featured at the festival. One of them, Stop Making Sense, is my favorite. It’s a wild, rollicking documentary of The Talking Heads, the fabulous new-wave group that was popular in the 1980s.

Same as it ever was. So long, Jonathan Demme, and thanks for all the movies.

 

 

 

Maya and the Book of Everything at the Chapel Hill Library in North Carolina

Yesterday, I received a wonderful email from my daughter Shannon, who lives in North Carolina. She had put in a request for the Chapel Hill Library to carry my YA fantasy novel, Maya and the Book of Everything. And, by gum, they have! So now Maya and the Book of Everything is in a library in North Carolina.

Requesting that a library carry a book is a wonderful way to promote writers and to help spread the word about their books. (Some of you have also done this for Maya, and I thank you very much.)

Readers, if your library has Maya and the Book of Everything, be sure to let me know. After all, even though there is plenty of adventure and fantasy in my book, there are also some serious issues: the importance of libraries for spreading knowledge and the notion that facts do matter.

Perhaps in today’s world, that last notion seems a little quaint, but it is my belief that facts have always mattered and always will.

Maya and the Book of Everything at the Hartland Public Library

On Thursday, May 11 I’ll be going to the Hartland Public Library to give my presentation Threads of Realism in Fantasy: Maya, Maine, and the Franco-American Connection. It starts at 6 p.m., and I’m so looking forward to going to this library. After all, the Hartland Library is featured in Maya and the Book of Everything. So in a way, I’ll be going to one of my sources.

Please come if you can!