Peaks Island Press

News on Peaks Island Authors

Hayman to Participate in Literary Barn Raising for Cynthia Thayer

“Maine has an unusually strong, tightly-woven writing community, and when tragedy happens to one of us, it impacts us all.”

(writer Shonna Milliken Humphrey in Portland Press Herald)

Darthia Farm prior to the fire

When novelist Cynthia Thayer lost nearly one hundred farm animals (among them draft horses, calves, pigs, and sheep) to a devastating barn fire on the early morning of May 7th, injuring herself in an attempt to save them, Maine’s literary community collectively gasped. Cynthia is not only a beloved member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance community, but her Darthia Farm operates organically and participates in the Community Supported Agriculture program. Peaks Island author James Hayman joins dozens of other authors who will band together for what they’re calling a literary barn raising this Friday, June 1st from 5-8 pm at Longfellow Books in Portland.

In a Maine Crime Writers essay, Jim shared how he befriended Cynthia:

I initially met Cynthia when she came down to Peaks Island to conduct a writing workshop at the island branch of Portland Public Library.  When I was introduced to her, I told her that I was hard at work on my first fiction.
“How much have you written?” she asked.
“One hundred and fifty pages,” I replied.

James Hayman

“Would you like me to read it and give you my opinion?”
“I’d be thrilled,” I said, surprised by her generosity.
“I have to warn you,” she said, “I’m not your mother.  If I think it’s dreadful, I won’t spare your feelings.”
I told her I wouldn’t want it any other way. I emailed her the manuscript that night and she called me back less than twenty-four hours later.
“I have to tell you,” she said, “You kept me up all night.  I think the book’s terrific.” Once again, I was thrilled. These were the first words from anyone whose literary judgment I respected that made me think that maybe, just maybe I might really become a novelist. She then offered a number of suggestions on how to improve the manuscript.  In each case, she was right. Her suggestions did improve it.

From there, Jim explains, Cynthia became a good friend and mentor. He’s pleased to join the legion of friends and colleagues who are raising funds to help rebuild the barn and acquire new livestock. You can learn more about Cynthia’s writing here and either attend the book-signing event at Longfellow Books or donate to the Darthia Farm Fund.

Literary Barn Raising, June 1, 2012

About these ads

1 Comment»

[…] Among Laima’s former students who wrote their first books while enrolled in her workshops are James Hayman, author of The Cutting and George Rosol, author of This Island Life. The writing class will meet […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 162 other followers

%d bloggers like this: