Sunday, July 20, 2014

Radio Interview

Being interviewed is not easy for me, but Dana Sheridan at Princeton University, put me at ease:


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I am still 
in the garden

in this riot
of color

and fragrance
and texture:

rock and lichen
and moss and petals
and leaves

each offsets 
the other

as in a story
the smooth softens the rough
the muted balances the bold
the fragile offsets the strong
humor tames the serious



Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Last week I met
bookbinder and book conservator
Alison Kuller
generous with her time
and studio

and now I am hooked
and want to know more
I'm taking a course
at Maine Media Workshops
in August.

A little more about Alison Kuller here.
More about Maine Media Workshops here.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Maine is Busting Out All Over

Four weeks ago
this was a leafless, bare, brown landscape
and now
what an explosion
of greenery
and flowery

so dense and lush
it knocks out
your eyeballs

you can't take it all in
at once

you have to focus
on small pieces

and even then
you can hardly believe
such bounty exists

so casually

so delicately

you could lie down here
and say
'ahhh. . .'


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Story Focus, II

In the last post, I tried to compare shaping a story to focusing a camera, beginning, say, close up to a person or place and then pulling back to show the context or wider setting.

You could also do the reverse, as above: there's a stone patio, a stone wall and dense trees beyond.  What sort of place is this? What might happen here? Then move in a little closer:

The wall is carefully crafted, hand-built, hmm . . . who built it? Why is it important?  And if you go closer:

Well, well, well . . . look what was there amid those stones all along. Is that critter the subject of the story or a sign of . . . what?

Guess you've got to write the story to find out . . .



Monday, May 26, 2014

Story Focus

Writing a story is like aiming a camera and focusing: do you want the wide landscape, the faraway shot, or the closeup? I often begin up real close, in the narrator's mind or with a close look at one or two characters in the midst of something . . . and then . . .

 . . . pull back . . .. . . to show where this takes place and who else is central to the story.

The focus usually moves in and out then, throughout the story: sometimes close in, sometimes further back.

Someone recently asked me how I choose which sort of focus to use, and the answer is that I simply follow how the scene is playing out (like a movie) in my head.  I don't feel as if I'm manipulating the 'camera'; I feel as if I'm following it, instinctively leaning in and pulling back.

Occasionally when I feel bogged down in the story, it is often because the focus is stuck--too close or too removed for too long--and a simple change of lens revives the movement.

Or something like that . . .

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Here in Maine
we're learning a lot about 4-H
and farm animals.

Jupiter (above)

4-H-ers take on the feeding, grooming and training of the animals.
They also muck out the stalls and learn about showmanship, breeding, diet and health care.

So much to love here.

So very much.


For more about 4-H, click here.