Writers on Writing

It’s bitterly cold here today, but the day is clear and the sky and the ocean are the same crystalline blue. Downy white clouds mimic the breaking whitecaps below and from my office window I see an eagle soaring and white gulls swooping overhead. Descriptions are often one of the hardest concepts for writers to master, and those of us who teach writing are always urging students to “show, don’t tell.” I’m reminded of a favorite quote from Chekhov: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Summer Vacation in New England

Despite the ongoing frigid weather here in New England, it’s not too soon to make plans for summer vacation. My new book, Backroads & Byways of New England, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and will be in bookstores later this spring. You’ll find plenty of insider tips for traveling to the less-well-known corners of the six-state area. I’ll be writing about some of these places in future blogs, but meanwhile, continue to think spring–not just on the calendar, but outside as well!

Coming events…..

It may be gray and cloudy, with more snow forecast for this evening, but the birds know that spring really is here. From my office window I’ve watched an industrious crow flying back and forth most of the day with small twigs in her beak, obviously making a nest in the old oak tree. And when I walk in the early morning, the bird chatter gets louder every day. On our little island we have an amazing number of birds, including pileated woodpeckers, warblers, and lots of cardinals and jays to add color to the birdfeeders. Bird lovers may want to take in some upcoming events in Maine:

May 20-22 Fifth Annual Wings, Waves & Woods Festival in Deer Isle — Info: deerisle.com/calendar-of-events

May 27-30 Eighth Annual DownEast Spring Birding Festival in Cobscook Bay–Info: downeastbirdfest.org

June 2-5 Thirteenth Annual Acadia Birding Festival on Mt. Desert — Info: acadiabirdingfestival.com

Another spring; another snowstorm!

It’s the first full day of spring here in Maine and snowing hard as I write this. That’s not unusual here where the weather is known for being, shall we say, whimsical, especially when the seasons are changing. But there are signs of spring: robins are returning, crocuses and snowdrops are poking through the snow, and the first of the seasonal restaurants are opening.  Before it changed hands a couple of years ago, our little community store used to boast a sign reading, “If you’re not here in the winter, you don’t deserve to be here in the summer.” That’s harsh! But for those of us who soldier on through Maine’s tough winters, there is a certain pride in having made it through another one. And there’s no doubt that a difficult winter makes spring that much sweeter.