This photo has nothing directly to do with the link I am posting to The Stonecoast Review, but it does reflect my state of mind. I’ve got a big smile on my face because I’ve made it through a demanding month of packets for my Masters Program, three to be exact, as I ramp up for the Stonecoast July residency. Currently I am reading Mary Kean’s Liar’sClub for annotation and listening to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for a workshop on Historic Fiction and writing several hours a day.
What is it like in a low residency MFA program? Click on the link below to find out and while you are at it, you can read my little piece of flash fiction. I’d also like to give a little shout out to the editors of Stonecoast Review who have worked so hard to make certain that all blind submissions (unmarked so that the reader is not prejudiced by information about the writers’ past credits, geographic location, or educational background) are read multiple times and pieces are thoughtfully selected and edited. Hard work and all done on a volunteer basis.
I’ve been away from the computer for several weeks. Just back from China with my husband Peter celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. This photo shows me standing by the Yangtze River. Catching up on publishing news after my return, I can share that my short story “Keep Me Posted” is now online in the April issue of the Scarlet Leaf Review. Here is the link. If you have comments, please share them on the magazine website. Thank you!
I’m switching this blog up a bit. Several years ago when I started blogging, my objective as an editor of a local Annapolis area magazine was to promote events around Anne Arundel County. Thus I named my blog “Write On Annapolis”. While I’m still doing some marketing and freelance magazine work, part of my day is devoted to writing fiction.
I’ve also been writing a poetry, which I’ve also been posting here, as well as still writing memoir.. What I find difficult to do is to promote my own writing. I’m very good at promoting causes, organizations and businesses, but when it comes to promoting my creative work I often run out of steam. So I’m going to try to use this blog to share my writing accomplishments and pursuits with the world and I will start by posting a link to my short story published in Scarlet Leaf Review (a work of fiction) entitled “Trying to Be Normal”. I’d also like to share that another short piece of mine was recently published in the first issue of Fire Pit a literary magazine published by Eight-Stone Press. It is entitled “The Real Thing.” If you’ve followed my previous career as an antiques dealer, you’ll find it enlightening.
I hope to share more publishing successes as I continue to write short stories and will be embarking on another National Novel Writing Month adventure starting November lst. Thank you for reading. Without readers, where would writers be?
The sun was in my eyes, so there is a bit of a squint but I am wearing a Nano T-shirt in honor of the upcoming National Novel Writing Month. This photo was taken by my husband Peter on the Corn Hill Beach in Truro, Cape Cod, my most favorite place to write.
This past weekend we celebrated Diane FIen Kelly’s birthday. She would have been turning 57. So her dear friend Jean Melton lit 57 candles and put them all around her house and threw a big party where we ate, and drank, told stories and jokes, and reconnected with old friends. It was the kind of party that Diane would have liked. I could almost hear her laughing.
The following day was the dedication of a bench, purchased by our book club in Diane’s honor and memory, positioned on the trail by the USNA stadium trail by her home. Diane loved to be outside walking on a trail, and her last year on earth she made of point of truly savoring every precious moments, moments that included her two children Brendan and Lauren and her dog Stuart, a rescue from Hurricane Katrina.
Book clubs come in all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of procedures and traditions for choosing books, organizing discussions, and providing food and libations. While some years Diane was busy with her work, training teachers in the field of special education teaching deaf and blind children, when present at a book club gathering her enthusiasm for our selection (even if she didn’t read the entire book) and for the food being served was always heartfelt. She was the one who kept asking us to keep a record of the food being served with our selections for a future cookbook. Diane’s big heart and positive approach to just about everything she did was inspiring. She was the kind of person who was always looking out for the “little guy” and the person who when faced with adversity always managed to see the situation in a positive way.
Last week we were asked by her college friends for suggestions of the books which were Diane’s favorites and while initially I thought of her puzzling over Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills , it was Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards which tells the story of the impact of a doctor’s decision to give away his infant daughter at birth because she has Downs Syndrome, that I remember being one of Diane’s favorite books. The doctor in the story assumes his wife will be satisfied raising the daughter’s healthy twin brother and thinking her daughter died at birth, but he’s wrong. Meanwhile his former nurse raises the baby girl as her own in another city and as the years pass memories are not forgotten. That’s all I’m going to say because I certainly do not want to spoil the plot for those who haven’t read the book.
So in closing, if you are walking along the trail around the USNA stadium and want to take a moment to stop and think about your day or listen to the birds and feel the breeze rustle through the trees (There are a few small ones nearby) have a seat. Read the plaque and think of Diane!
Thank you to Eileen Leahy and the Department of Recreation of Park for helping to organize the bench installation.
There are many wonderful book clubs in our fair city but the book club I belong to is the best (Not that I’ve belonged to any others) But I do believe we serve the best dinners, have the best conversations, and choose the best books. Oh yes and we do have a great time.
Each year we pick a theme and then each hostess picks her book which she tries to associate with the theme, or not. Our theme is “water”. Our book for this month is Anita Shreve’s “The Weight of Water”. Set on a sailboat docked near an island off the coast of New Hampshire it utilizes the parallel timeline of an historic event to highlight the life choices and challenges of a present day character, a photographer who unfortunately is more in touch with the past than the present. It’s a page turner.
On a lighter note, an earlier selection was “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. What was life like for the British residents of the Channel Islands occupied by Germany during the second World War? The story is told through the colorful correspondence of a journalist communicating with her colleagues, friends, and members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. While a potato peel pie may not be delicious, but the in’s and outs of the characters’ lives make for some delicious reading. Enjoy your summer.