In Glaciers, the debut novel by Alexis M. Smith, published in 2012 by Tin House Books, Isabel repairs damaged books at the library, specializing in preservation and conservation. “She loves the smell of old things.” She collects postcards. She likes to … Continue reading
This gallery contains 9 photos.
In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard wrote, I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we … Continue reading
For the last two weeks I’ve been an artist in residence at Ragdale in Lake Forest, Illinois. If you haven’t applied, apply now. The most wonderful people are here to make sure your work comes first and that you don’t … Continue reading
In Paul Auster’s latest, Winter Journal, written in the second person, he lists his 21 permanent addresses–or, acknowledging the inadequacy of the adjective, his stopping places. Enclosures, habitations, the small rooms and large rooms that have sheltered your body from the … Continue reading
I arrived on a Saturday in the rain and clouds and rough seas, loving every minute of it. On Tuesday, about 7:50 pm, I was lying on the sofa reading when I noticed something was different. It was the sun–I … Continue reading
So the first week of June, I finally crossed the threshold of one of the little cottages in the photo at the top of the blog. Primrose, or #22, would be my writing cottage for six days. I know as … Continue reading
I left my house in Columbus, Georgia at 5:15 am and arrived at the Days’ Cottages at 12:15–7 hours door to door. I flew into Boston, a rented convertible waiting for me, but the forecast was for wind, rain, and … Continue reading
For the last three weeks, I’ve been traveling…
A friend of mine from long ago and far away drove thirty miles into Chicago, so we could visit, and so she could show me Ragdale, thirty miles outside of Chicago and a passion of hers. Grounds, buildings, rooms with … Continue reading
This post is made possible by two friends: Jodi Paloni took these photos of the Days’ Cottages this winter, and Darrelyn Saloom recently taught me how to insert a slideshow into a blog post. Many thanks.
I was just reading over the upcoming November 1 How We Spend Our Days post by Mari Strachan (which is wonderful).
In her post, Mari recites the names of some Welsh towns, each one of which sounds magical. Her list reminded me of a list I had jotted down in June on my way to Vermont.
Is it just my love of the northeast that transforms the names of these towns into music? Or is it the fact that the names are unfamiliar to me–in the sense that I’m not usually driving by these towns?
Yesterday, I was driving from Columbus to Birmingham. I passed signs for Opelika, Auburn, Alexander City, Sylacauga, Pelham. I didn’t make any notes.
Perhaps I’m being unfair to the Alabama towns not to list them vertically.
I have this thing for the ocean. But in a pinch, a pond, a creek, a river will do.
The Winooski River flows through Montpelier, Vermont. From the balcony of the old Victorian, we could actually see the river.
And when I was out running, I discovered the cool bridge below:
Seven days the first week of April–spring break–in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, in a house right on the beach–days I can’t seem to stop thinking or writing about.
Seeing, hearing, smelling, living the ocean–I just felt great. Each moment was wider than normal. Each day had a rhythm and an arc.
I’ve never been one to appreciate or mark the beginning of the day. I’m not much in the morning. But at the end of each one of these, I paused to watch the sun disappear into the o c e a n.
It’s so quiet now, without the waves pounding in the background. The first week in April we had our own wonderful steps to the beach. I went to the grocery before I left, and after I arrived on Friday, the first, I did not set foot in a car until we pulled out of the driveway Friday, the eighth, to come home. I wish I could say I woke with the sun, but I slept late, I walked, I read, read, read… All activities interrupted by a few steps to the ship-size deck for hefty doses of sea air. I wrote, wrote, wrote…with the door open and the sound and view of the ocean. And after it was dark, just for fun, I downloaded the series Damages and watched in solo-size on my iPhone. I ate more pizza than I would have thought possible because it was the only place that delivered. Even pizza for breakfast one day. When I write, the hours turn to minutes and before I know it, the day is done. But one day, Sunday I think, I just read all day–different books. With a midday walk down the beach. And the day felt l u x u r i o u s l y long.