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Monday, October 26, 2015


Down the street from me, there’s a Halloween display featuring spider webs and grave stones.  It’s cute and it makes me smile, but I also shake my head because I don’t find graveyards scary at all. They’re pretty, they’re peaceful, and in some cases they remind of those we love who are gone.  Our town has three cemeteries, and I prefer one in particular because of the way it's situated overlooking a waterway we call Little Harbor.  On a foggy day last week, I went there with a specific plan to stand at the shore there to take a picture of a dock that juts out into the water from and adjoining property. I’ve photographed it before, and this time, I was hoping to get it with a background of fall color. Just as I arrived, the sun broke through though, and there was a powerboat tied up to the dock which would have ruined the shot anyway.

 Here's what I found instead.


Monday, October 19, 2015

My Autumn Harvest

Although I post a lot of photos on my blog, I’m not really a photographer, or a trained one, anyway. In my mind the real photographers appear here  and here, and a lot of them post here. 

 I just take advantage of the scenery around me, and try to record it, click, click, click.  Between digital cameras and cell phones, we’re all photographers these days.  I download my pictures to the computer, tweak them a little using Picasa, and voila.   

So anyway, Yankee Magazine, which I’ve read forever, holds an annual photography contest.  This year, it's called My New England and no, I'm not submitting a photo.  But the instructions have me looking around with a different eye, trying to see what makes my area special.  Fall color is late this year, and here by the shore, we don’t get much of it anyway.  But still, there’s a softness to the light as the earth slows down, gets ready for its big sleep.  Pumpkins appear on porches, the sun sets earlier leaving swaths of pink across the horizon. Farmers markets finish their seasons.  Cottages sit deserted on empty beaches. 

Last week I went out with Yankee's instructions in mind, and tried to capture some of it. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wading through Molasses - IWSG October 2015

This is my October contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers' Support Group.  There’s a lot going on with IWSG this month.  To read other participants, click here.  Also, The IWSG Anthology Contest is open until November 1. For details, click here.  Last but not least, be sure to check in with this month's co-hosts:

Stephanie Faris     

I'm going to be dead honest.  Writing has felt like slogging through cold syrup for me lately and I have to force myself to sit down.  If I get 200 words written, it’s a victory.  If I get 500 words, I’m ecstatic. Monday blog posts roll around and I don’t know what to write.  Even as I type this post, I’m trying to formulate words, something inspiring, something to help those who read it.  But I don’t have anything.  No caveats, not even a platitude.  Pretty much dead air.

To give myself a jumping off point, I opened Stephen King’s, On Writing, and read a descriptive paragraph about his childhood tonsillitis. Didn’t help.  I paged through Writingdown the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.  That book delivered creative prompts back when I was a unemployed, newbie writer scribbling from my seat in a downtown bakery.  It didn’t work with this.  Next, I glanced through Write to be Published, by Nicola Morgan, and Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas. All these books stirred me at one time or another, but for the moment, it all seemed like a lot of bla, bla, bla. 

Finally, I opened Walking in this World, by Julia Cameron, and found this quote by Publilius Syrus. 

“It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.” 

It reminded me.  The path is long, and sometimes it does feel like slurping barefoot through a mud bog.  But, success is about wanting excellence bad enough to take the time required to cultivate it.

I might be a hundred by the time I get there, but God help me.  I'll keep slogging.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Storm Chasing

The potential of wind-driven rain led us to formulate a backup plan to a scheduled trip to Maine for apple picking this weekend. When Saturday dawned with a gale blowing sideways off the ocean, we cancelled that too. So, rather than a Saturday lunch in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, we puttered at home, changing over closets, cleaning up the basement.   

Sunday, the rain stopped. I swept up five, five-gallon buckets-worth of acorns from the patio and collected a pile of fallen branches to use for kindling. Wind from the outskirts of Hurricane Joaquin, far out at sea, but destined to affect us to some degree Monday, will necessitate a repeat of these activities soon.  

By mid-afternoon, cleanup was over and I got out with the camera.  Made it all worth it somehow.

Since writing this post, I've learned of all the damaging flooding down south.  Wishing all of you in the storm areas safety...and fast receding waters.