Summer Vacation … Extended

by | Oct 6, 2023

More trips in September!

This one to see my oldest daughter, Claire, and Cary, her fiancé, and their new home in Minneapolis near Lake Harriet, for those of you who know the city. I am obsessed with Minneapolis: its lakes, its weather, its independent bookstores and its neighborhoods full of old homes. Also some great hiking not too far away…This visit we went to a place called the Interstate State Park (!). Just across the river (see below) is Wisconsin!

(Photos from left, Claire and Ben with downtown Minneapolis in the background/At Interstate State Park/Cary, Claire and Ben in their home)

Then a very successful (ie no bad weather or other surprises) trip on our sailboat to Cape Lookout. This is a perfect time of year to cruise, as long as you avoid hurricanes and tropical storms.

Our boat, a Tartan 37. Wild Rumpus refers to “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak.
Us crossing the dunes to get to the Atlantic Ocean. I’m no photographer, but you get the idea!

And finally a regatta on our Flying Scot. It’s an annual event that moves around, this year it was at the Birmingham Sailing Club. Turnout was outstanding, with almost 40 boats and a gorgeous Harvest Moon.

Currently Obsessed With

Kate DiCamillo

Read an outstanding profile of her in The New Yorker (September 18 issue).  I especially appreciated her explanation of write what scares you (which I never completely understood until now). Also her self-deprecating description of her early writing days. I’ve now checked out every one of her books that I could find at our local library.

Writing Things Down & Setting Reminders on my Phone

Lately, I have missed meetings, double scheduled trips and commitments, and generally felt overwhelmed and confused. When I catch myself thinking, “I’ll remember that” I try to stop and write it down. In multiple places. Anyone else feel my pain?!

Longleaf Pines and Their Needles

I live in a pine forest. Happily many of the pines are longleaf pines, which are not so common anymore. You might be able to tell the difference. The longleaf is in the foreground and a loblolly is in the background … I love raking up the needles, so gorgeously auburn colored, and spreading them in my gardens. It’s a lovely effect…

Writing Tip

In that New Yorker piece, DeCamillo says, “Whenever people ask me if my books are autobiographical, I always try to explain they’re emotionally true, that I’m drawing on things I’ve felt and experienced.”  

Take a piece of your writing and look for the emotional truth of it. How can you use the feelings you have experienced to evoke those same feelings in your characters, and, thus, your readers?

Book News

My fellow author/friend Mary Scott and I will be signing our books on October 14 at the New Bern Mumfest, an annual event near us that includes helicopters, festival food and, you guessed it! Mums. Lots of mums! We will be at the local bookstore, The Next Chapter Books and Art at 320 S. Front St. Come see us!

Alexandra the Great book cover

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