Tag Archives: fall

In person

Look who came to visit! After years of FB messaging, sharing online reading, exchanging chapter reviews and comments about sewing, Deb Lacativa and I met in person. It felt as though we’d known each other for decades.

Deb was in town to deliver the key note speech at a writers’ conference in Salem. Her talk was what you’d expect: at once earthy, humorous, and inspirational. I was proud to be her plus-one.

During her visit, I made a bland chili, an alright chicken and potato dish, and an okay spinach salad. Why is it, sometimes, that my renditions of tried and true dishes disappoint when I have guests?

Oh well.

It rained one day but that was okay. Deb joined my class that morning and wrote along with us. That was fun. She also blew everyone away by reading a portion of her manuscript.

Regarding my own draft: conversations at the conference about word count have me all fired up. Today, I printed out a list of chapters and highlighted those that I either love or deem essential. That left about half as dross. Half! I’m eager to see a leaner, more narrative version.

The world is rather rusty and yellow right now. Still quite a lot of raking to do.

The collapsed vegetation offers the rough beauties of decay.

A faux tree made of road ribbons!

And hello

More than usual going on. A beloved friend visiting. Being out and about with her — MFA and JFK Library. Then a dinner party. K with a mole that needed not just removal but excising. Meeting with estate planner same day as surgery. Crafting a query letter for novel. Sending it out once. Teaching a class (yeah!).

Purchased a nifty mini-light box. Hope to have time to really use soon.

It’s been very windy and warm but tonight the temps are supposed to drop: time to bring the last of the plants in. I’ll be tied up for most of the next week but will post some pictures anyway, here and on Instagram.

Fairy day at Tower Hill

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is only 45 minutes from here out by Worcester, but somehow today was my first visit. It was so worth it! There happened to be a fairy hut-making workshop this morning which meant we were enchanted by charming little structures everywhere we looked.


We encountered a few fairies as well.

The woods had a yellow cast to them that was also somewhat magical. The wonder of it reminded me that the Japanese have a word for this:

Shinrinyoku” (“forest bathing”) is to go deep into the woods where everything is silent and peaceful for a relaxation.

While looking that word up, I discovered this one — “Komorebi”. It means sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.


There was also a wonderful outdoor art installation: THE WILD RUMPUS, A Stickwork Sculpture by Patrick Dougherty (better pix at garden’s website, linked above).

Finn had a good time once he settled down. Fortunately, we only saw one other dog.


I chatted up two women winding red lights on the branches of one of the trees near the visitor center (how like me — er, not!) and learned that Tower Hill does it up for Christmas. I plan to go back before another 25 years pass — maybe even in 2017!

Once back at the manse, perhaps inspired by the thought of that Garden done up for the holiday, I finished a Santa hat for one of my little critters. I’ll show you her tomorrow. She’s really quite special.

PS before the light faded too much I made my own fairy hut with whatever materials I could grab from nearby.

Pumpkin, dog, and holly

door-pumpkin-deemallonThere’s been a bumper crop of black walnuts this year. Thumping down, littering the garden and lawn. Rolling, feeding the squirrels, getting squashed by cars. There are dozens in that big tub and I have two boxes of soy milk to pre-treat swatches of cotton and linen, but not sure I’ll get to it. IMG_1423There’s been the bed bug situation, for one thing. I think we are on the other side of it, but my sister’s entire apartment has to be unpacked. I head up there today.

And there’s been a fair amount of writing. I did a kind of official page count yesterday and was thrilled to discover that even if I eliminate HALF of what’s there because it’s weak or stupid or doesn’t fit, I still have a novel-sized amount of pages. Not necessarily a novel, mind, but I am feeling excited about paring down and shaping it up. 
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Meanwhile, I am not yet ready for the slide into winter.  The good news — new curtains on the back wall of glass. For YEARS, I have hated how much of a fishbowl our family room becomes at night this time of year, but not anymore!!!

Stay tuned for the final Charleston heart. They’re all here now so I have to begin. I woke up this morning with the edges on my mind.

P.S. Do you see Finn staring out of both doors?

‘Let the Breath’

IMG_5583Today it pours. I am altering clothes for my sister. Picking out a background for a quilt nearly done. Finished “Gone Girl” earlier — felt a little guilty, but such a good day for reading! Am fighting a cold with Zicam and salt water gargling. I think I’m beating it back, but honestly — don’t have a lot of energy.
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It is hard to believe that I photographed this bee — drunk on pollen and probably asleep — less than a month ago. Now we move on to rust and dried catalpa pods and maple leaves absolutely everywhere.
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Let the Breath Take You Deeper

Let the Breath Take You Deeper

A refrain from another part of my life.