My last post spoke of new beginnings in our literary lives and I’m clinging to that spirit with this piece on New Year inspiration. Since many of the online resources on Peaks Island Press’ Maine Author Resources page had evaporated into cyberspace, I have freshened it up. So feed your muse and meander through resources listed there, for example, the Literary Map of Maine.
Consider how one of the many pinpoints on the Maine map features a four-foot tall porcupine:
Janwillem Van de Wetering (1931-2008)And if you drive the Sorry road often enough, you will see Hugh Pine too.
He still wears his red hat, and he still walks upright, so chances are you
won’t know he is a porcupine and not a little old man with white whiskers
and a long coat.
This 1st title in a series of children’s early readers stars Hugh Pine, a four-foot
tall porcupine, a lovable old codger, and a sage of Sorry Bay. Hugh has many
amusing adventures while looking for the meaning of life. The Dutch born
author was world famous for his adult mystery thrillers and lived in Surry, Maine.
Doesn’t that inspire you to either read more about Hugh Pine, create your own character, or drive to Surry, Maine? By the way, Surry’s municipal website provides a helpful tip on how to deter bears from your backyard during their mating season by hanging peanut butter-smeared tinfoil on your electric fence. Really. I don’t think I could make that up.
“There’s a malevolence to a Maine winter, too, the lethal edge of bitter cold and icy water. Go down in the snow on a sub-zero night–injured, drunk, disoriented–and there’s a good chance you won’t get up. Go down in a snowstorm and there’s a good chance you won’t be found, not before April.”
The WordPress.com 2013 annual report for this blog showed that over 5,000 readers visited Peaks Island Press this year.
These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.
- 1 Eleanor Morse: Coming Home to Writing July 2010
- 2 White Dog Fell from the Sky: Eleanor Morse January 2013
- 3 Love from “the Rock”: Peaks Island Reading and Silent Auction to Benefit Longfellow Books February 2013
- 4 Peaks Island author, educator, and scholar Laima Vince offers Creative Writing Workshop June 2013
- 5 Twain Braden: The Complete Guide to Sailing & Seamanship May 2013
Peaks Island Press readers came from 66 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States and Canada with The United Kingdom not far behind. May your 2014 be full of many fine words, whether you are reading them or writing them!
Every year, the changing island weather prompts me to write, like a patient writing instructor prodding its lazy student. To get my attention, the island lobs cranberry-orange sunsets at me and tempts me with the sound of clattering trees or rolling beach cobbles. And then I ache to write, usually. This fall, I dared to remain sullen and shunned my keyboard.
One morning, the island retaliated by tossing a surf-worn, sandy book at my feet as I walked along the beach below my home. I was as surprised to see a book floating in the surf as I would have been to stumble across a baby seal sitting on the sand. Picking the book up, I recognized the black moleskin cover that protects beloved journals. Sea-soaked, the cover had warped wildly, but the pages clung stubbornly to the binding.
I felt guilty at the prospect of touching a writer’s private possession and yet shouldn’t I rescue it from the waves and try to identify its owner? Prying the journal open carefully, I peered at blurred handwriting. The disintegrating pages spoke of an old man wearing snakeskin boots, walking alongside the author as osprey soared overhead. But the “In case of loss return to:” line remained empty. There was no way to know how far it had floated before it washed up at my feet like a literary message in the bottle. Unsure of what to do, I carried it home to dry it out.
The salty pages are wavy and brittle now. The well-traveled moleskin journal could be considered flotsam worthy of the trash. Yet, saving it reminds me to keep writing.
Of course, if the journal belongs to you, please let me know.