Friday, August 31, 2018

Fall Nature Journaling Workshops

After a little summer break from teaching, I've got a great lineup of workshops coming up this fall, ranging from an hour to a whole weekend. There's something for everyone in the lineup. If you find yourself in Maine this autum, I hope you'll join me for a workshop!

Next Saturday, September 8, I'll be the visiting artist for an Explorations in Art: Sea Kayaking and Nature Journaling adventure out of Castine, Maine. (I know the course description says Cloe Chunn will be teaching, but I'm pinch-hitting, after something else came up for her.)

The first weekend in October, I'll be teaching a three-day Nature Journaling Workshop at Little Lyford Lodge in the Moosehead region.

And the following weekend, I'm leading a one-hour (free!) nature journaling walk at Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary in Lewiston, Maine for the Stanton Bird Club. There's nothing on their website yet, but the walk will take place on Sunday October 14 from 1-2 p.m.

Monday, August 27, 2018

July 2018 Reads

A roundup of books I read over the last month.

June 2018 Reads
May 2018 Reads
January 2018 Reads

Once again most of another month has gone by and I'm just now getting around to writing about last month's books. I guess we just accept this as the way things go. I'm surprised, looking at this stack, to not see any nonfiction! I almost always have a nonfiction book going, and I did have one I dipped into a bit in July, but did not finish that month (and in fact have still not finished). So I guess it was a true summer reading month, and that's a-okay with me.

Craft/Inspiration. I like to have a writing craft or inspiration book going, though I don't always manage to. I think this one—The Virginia Woolf Writers' Workshop—I actually mostly (or entirely?) read in June, but I forgot to include it in that list (which makes July even more of a beach book month). It's a book I picked up from one of our visiting facutly or speakers when I was in grad school and I enjoyed it very much, and I even did many (though not all) of the writing prompts (which means I definitely read this in June, when the kids were still in school). It made me want to read more Virginia Woolf essays, though I haven't been able to find any during my used bookstore forays. I also bought lavender ink for my fountain pen, to channel a little VW energy into my writing.

Fiction. Last month I continued my Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters streak with three more used bookstore finds: Houses of Stone, Silhouette in Scarlet, and Into the Darkness. So much time has gone by that I don't remember too many details of any of these, except that Into the Darkness inspired me to read one of the books you'll see on the August list, when I finally get around to that, and Silhouette in Scarlet stars Vicky Bliss, one of EP's more fun and funny heroines.

I also picked up a piece of literary ficiton I've had on my shelves for some time: The Good Mother by Sue Miller. When I first started reading, I loved how Miller luxuriated in every little detail of a scene, but halfway through I got a little bored with all the damn details and wanted something to happen already (you sense from the beginning that something terrible is going to happen, but you don't know when or what or how terrible). I also resented that the main character, who was almost wholly defined by marriage and motherhood, reinvents herself after divorce by getting involved with another man—as if the only way women can be whole is in relation to men (and/or children). The pace did pick up toward the end, but honestly, I'm a lot happier with mysteries/thrillers with a fast pace and a guaranteed happy ending. I know, unenlightened.

Read-Aloud. The twins and I continued our Amelia Peobody journey with Lord of the Silent last month. I truly hope their English teacher this year makes them read books (which was not the case with last year's teacher). I love reading to them and I love that they love these books and I think they get a lot out of the experience, but I think I've also enabled them to be lazy readers. At their age I probably read 100 books over summer vacation. I don't think either of them has read more than a few pages.
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