When I write about home construction

Does life imitate art?  Not for me.  For me, it’s the other way around.  When life happens, I write about it.  For instance, after my husband and I built our house, I wrote about home construction in the Crosslyn Rise Trilogy.  When we began spending time in small New Hampshire towns, I wrote Lake News.  When my aunt developed Alzheimer’s disease, I wrote Shades of Grace.  When I felt overwhelmed by life’s demands, I wrote Escape.

I hear you!

The notes you send have a huge impact on me.  The most  obvious instance occurred in June, soon after Sweet Salt Air came out.  One reader said she thought the book started too slowly.  I promptly turned to my work-in-progress, reread the opening with a critical eye, then switched Chapters 1 and 2 so that the reader learns the opening plot twist sooner.  It wouldn’t have worked for Sweet Salt Air.  But it did work here.

Ever lost your cell phone?

Panic!  We’re talking cold turkey withdrawal and then some, because cell phones have become key to our lives.  When did that happen?  Most everyone over thirty remembers when land lines were the go-to phone connection.  When one of my sons decided to cancel his land line for cell-only status, I was worried.  What if the cell malfunctioned in an emergency?  What if it ran out of juice?  What if he lost it?

What does summer sound like?

Cute Chipmunk 2

Well, how appropriate.  We’re at the lake, and I’ve decided to blog about what I hear.  Cradling my laptop, I head through the kitchen porch toward the open deck when there’s a shout from inside.  “Don’t let the screen door slap!”  I won’t tell you whose voice it is lest I incriminate him, but suffice it to say that, after many years of resolving issues, I know how to handle the guy.

The how-to of collecting maple sap

Have you ever had pure maple syrup?  Once you have, the other never quite works for you again.  Pure maple syrup is deep in color, rich in taste, goes down slowwwww-ly, and lingers wherever it lands.  It is sweet without containing the kinds of processed sugars we’re told to avoid, which makes it a super treat.

I’m a native New Englander.  My first childhood memories of pure maple anything were of the little maple sugar candies that my parents brought back from vacations up north.  These came in a box of four or six and were shaped like pine cones, maple leaves, or trees.  Put one in your mouth, and it melts, just like that.  I have newer memories of maple products, but more on that in a sec.

Where does the dock go in winter?

We were at the lake last weekend, looking out our windows at the winterness of it all.  Winterness?  Try bleakness.  There isn’t much snow this year, and the lake hasn’t frozen thickly.  Local officials actually had to modify the rules for the annual ice fishing derby weekend, because the ice wasn’t thick enough to support the stores and restaurants, trucks and buses that occupy the frozen bay during this event.  Typically, the ice is 18” thick by now.

Lake news

We were at the lake this weekend, and it was amazing.  The foliage is past peak, but there were still a few brilliant shots.  The lake water is colder now, so you don’t get the mist rising as it did in September when the water was warmer than the air.  And the water is very still — I mean, it doesn’t move.  I’m always struck by that in fall.