neighbor Ann asked me to post her letter:

Dear Editor,

Hot button political squabbles and maneuvering are more earnest and enduring than local community, neighborly caring, love of the land, and connections to local historical values.

I’ve noticed a lot of letters in The Citizen with multitudes of negative reasons for not having industrial wind turbines or for placing stringent requirements on them. Our house straddles the border of Greenwood and Bethel so we get to make vital consequential decisions on these important issues in both towns. But! when in the bedroom closet (a corner of which is in Greenwood), do I think one way? And when I’m in the living room, (Bethel) do I think another way? Absolutely not. I’m adamantly faithful in my ideological hubris no matter where I stand.

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chapter 27, literary lessons, quotations from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

“Now I must either bundle it back in to my tin kitchen to mold, pay for printing it myself, or chop it up to suit purchasers and get what I can for it. Fame is a very good thing to have in the house, but cash is more convenient, so I wish to take the sense of the meeting on this important subject,” said Jo, calling a family council.

where Little Women was written, 1941 image (wiki)

“Don’t spoil your book, my girl, for there is more in it than you know, and the idea is well worked out. Let it wait and ripen,” was her father’s advice, and he practiced what he preached, having waited patiently thirty years for fruit of his own to ripen, and being in no haste to gather it even now when it was sweet and mellow.

“It seems to me that Jo will profit more by taking the trial than by waiting,” said Mrs. March. “Criticism is the best test of such work, for it will show her both unsuspected merits and faults, and help her to do better next time. We are too partial, but the praise and blame of outsiders will prove useful, even if she gets but little money.”

“Yes,” said Jo, knitting her brows, “that’s just it. I’ve been fussing over the thing so long, I really don’t know whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. It will be a great help to have cool, impartial persons take a look at it, and tell me what they think of it.”


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Maine car-lovers rejoice!

Got a glimpse of a report—so, the headline really—about Maine being among the most car-friendly states in the Union. I was surprised. This is not normally what we think of here in Maine. Would you think Maine, with an estimated population of 1,331,479 and an area of 35,385 square miles could hold its own in a group where surely—what’s the name of that hectic state? —SoCal, with a population of 22,680,010, and an area of 56,512.35 sq. mi. is likely car-lover number one?

Still cruising the web for facts on it all, I got to thinking of goodies coming for us Maine car-lovers, including pavement.

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editing the editor

A warm day was promised, so I went out early to water the transplants. I didn’t notice while watering, but the no-seeums were out in force and biting me all over (wasn’t wearing much). Noseeums are so small that sometimes you miss them. Then the itching begins. In a way they’re like a metaphor for an internal irritation, surfacing after the initial unconscious encounter. That’s the only connection with Maine this post will have, so we might even consider it off-topic.

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Before we moved here, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith had been the “longest serving Republican woman in the Senate.”  She was “placed in nomination” at the republican national convention, the first for a woman.  Today Senator Susan Collins would tie the longest serving record on finishing her current term. She is declining to support or vote for Donald Trump. She has said she may go the write-in route.

Margaret Chase Smith was another senator who stood for what she believed–during the trying times of the McCarthy era, in which the House Un-American Activities Committee was engaging in un-American activities.

Note that the emblem bearers have never been attired in suits and ties.  Even today they would not wear their jeans with t-shirts and ties; or opaque goggles showing fantastic images over their eyes while plying their trades.

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new contract

MMII Exper_cover 7784704_cover

the mock cover we made for self-publication had the book not been accepted by wipf & stock


Dear Editor,

“Mr. _______, hoping to have the files for you in three weeks’ time if not sooner.  Many thanks!”

Here’s my initial pitch, which I recycled for this second book’s proposal.

“Maine memoir and creative nonfiction describe the Maine Metaphor series. In Maine Metaphor the emphasis is not personal, as it is in Carolyn Weber’s Surprised by Oxford; but natural and cultural as in The Maine Woods (Thoreau), Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard), or Dakota by Kathleen Norris.  In Maine Metaphor the reader is immersed in Maine, the region, and an experience of a newcomer relishing the natural adventure. Five books in the sequence, Maine Metaphor is divided geographically (4) and seasonally (1), and composed over the course of 25 years.”

Once a book is accepted, Wipf & Stock’s materials submission process includes a mock interview.  I’m not sure of its purpose, except perhaps to get you in practice.  I plan to ask them to post it (this time) to the book page so I can link it here.  A sample question/answer of my own devising for the new book (Experience in the Western Mountains):


  1. “How were you able to go to school and live while writing?

“My spouse supported our family as you’ll see in the book—not so I could write but so I could eat! He had his own struggles earning in this part of Maine. He is retired now, so the income is fixed, but it’s still difficult for others making a living here.”

I’d like to see something like this on the cover because it is Maine mountainous.  And I’ve a concern that the photo on these covers be quintessential Maine.

Grateful for this news.

Dear Editor,

rough draft, still working out its tone

rough draft, still working out its tone

I’ve written to the editor before about state driving laws being just and needing no refinement. Now, can the elected stewards, our representatives, get together to scout an infrastructure plan for safe biking in districts, towns, and state?  There may be many working on proposals, but all such proposals would have to be worked out with dedicated fundraising monies, preferably from bicyclists, from grants, and matching funds then codified in law. If stewards who  bike get together to form a coalition, in the House and in local governments, it might happen.

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