Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Working for the Summer

It has been a rather cold and nasty spring here in Maryland after a long, cold and nasty winter and it has been hard to get motivated to do much beyond that which absolutely has to be done.  Still, I have been doing quite a bit of writing, focusing almost all of my attention on some new fiction.  There is the novel-in progress which is moving forward at a slow and steady pace, and now there are two novellas in draft about which I am very excited.  I will be reading from these new works during our annual summer hiatus in Maine.

And speaking of Maine, I made a couple of recent trips up there.  In late February and early March I spent a few days of my annual winter retreat with my good and longtime friends at the Tall Timber Lodge, in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.  I have been going there regularly for several years and I always enjoy the opportunity to revel in the sub-zero temperatures and the deep snows.  I also visited with other nearby friends before setting off to Mid-Coast Maine to visit more friends; to check out the lake cottage at True’s Point, in New Gloucester; and to explore some of my favorite summer haunts turned lonely and quiet at the height of the winter season.  And with a late winter storm moving through the Mid-Atlantic I had to postpone my return home for a couple of days  which permitted me some time in and around Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire with a side trip to Robert Frost’s farm at Derry and to some of my favorite literary sites down in Concord, Massachusetts.

I returned to Portland, Maine a couple of weeks ago to attend a conference and while I was there I sneaked off one more time to New Gloucester and the cottage on True’s Point.  It came through yet another rough winter and I was happy to see the lake ice free and everything seemed to be in order.   I am already chomping at the bit to be back at the lake for a summer of writing, reading, and enjoying a much needed and well deserved respite from Washington, DC’s hectic pace.  I also have several readings and lectures scheduled during our time in New England

So I am working for the summer and the return to Maine.  There is much to do around here before we head north at the end of June, including a quick trip to Chapel Hill over the upcoming holiday weekend to attend the annual gathering of the Thomas Wolfe Society.  I will be catching up with old friends and colleagues and chairing an interesting session of scholarly papers.  It will be nice to get back in the loop.

Summer is almost here.   I hope it will be worth the long wait.

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