Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Northeast Kingdom

Yesterday, my husband and I spend a perfect day in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. It's the far north eastern section of Vermont, and it's as wild and beautiful as any place in the world, and its landscape and people exemplify what makes Vermont Vermont. It was coined the Northeast Kingdom almost 70 years ago by the then Governor George Aiken, who said something to the effect that the place was so special it ought to be its own kingdom.The phrase stuck.

It is wild and forested, and the people still predominantly live on small dairy farms that have been in their families for generations. The down side is that the winters are harsh, the summers are short and filled with bugs, and small farms are on the wane, which is why the Northeast Kingdom has Vermont's highest poverty rate. Even I, whose license plates are the right color, feel like an outsider there. I come from Vermont's most affluent county, educated and working in a well appointed school, my daughter takes ballet and piano lessons, and I can choose from an array of culturally diverse restaurants whenever I want to. The parts of the Northeast Kingdom I saw yesterday didn't even have a movie theater. On the other hand, we found plenty of good food, pleasant people, and what I was really looking for -- miles and miles of beautiful solitude.

This is from the Lewis Pond Overlook. You can see into New Hampshire and Canada from here on a clear day.

Lewis Pond

This is the famous author with her feet in Lewis Pond. I include this photo because two minutes later, I was dancing up and down freaking out and screaming because I saw that a bloodsucker had attached itself between the toes of my right foot. No, honestly, I calmly leaned down, plucked it off, looked at it wiggling in my fingers for a moment, and then placed it gently back into the water saying that unfortunately, I was not an appropriate warm-blooded host. (Okay, I'm a fiction writer, in case you hadn't noticed. The truth is probably  somewhere in between.)

More Lewis Pond

Moose Bog. The greenery is a floating mat of peat moss covering an old pond. When you walk on it, it ripples around you. The only open water left is in the middle.

The boardwalk across the bog

The trail to Moose Bog

Blueberries along the trail. Yes, I ate every one after taking the photo. The big one in front was REALLY good.

Black Spruce

A really cool shot on my way out

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just Humming Along

Quick update on another hot evening while I'm trying to think cool thoughts and remember what it's like here at forty below zero with a wind-driven snow.

Silent One is making me so proud -- it's still number one on the Prizm site after about three weeks, and yesterday I saw that it was number two on a site that distributes books that is somehow linked to Barnes and Noble, though I'm not sure how. This site is geared for adult books, so having Silent One sitting up there makes me do a little happy dance despite the heat. It's also getting nice reviews over on my Goodreads page -- follow the  link to the right to read them.

But what makes me the most proud, honestly, is the way my daughter is carrying it around with her everywhere, how my husband growls at me to go away, he's reading, how my mother whipped it out of her bag and showed it to her doctor, how my niece called me in the middle of the night to say she loved it, and how a friend got a bookstore to order it and told them to get stocked up -- I was the next big thing. That so makes it all worth it.

I love you, readers!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's HOT Outside

Vermonters aren't used to the heat. I mean, we're pretty much cold for nine months of the year, and spend the other three months saying, "Oh, is this how the rest of the world lives?" and looking around in disbelief. Then it starts to snow again and we get back to normal life. I heard somewhere that there are more swimming pools in Vermont than in Florida, compared to the population.

So to help everyone around here cool down, I made a video about water. It works best when viewed with a large glass of your favorite beverage served with extra ice.

The photos are from Lake Champlain, the New Hampshire White Mountains, the coast of Maine including Acadia National Park, and Prince Edward Island. The birds are an immature Great Black Backed Gull, two mature and one immature Tundra Swans, and several Common Eiders and Common Goldeneye.

And yes, there is a special appearance of the now famous Silent One Canoe!

Here is the link:

Click Here

Enjoy, and stay cool.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guest Blog -- Long and Short Reviews

Good morning!

Today I'm a guest blogger over a very interesting Young Adult review site called Long and Short Reviews. To pop over there and check it out Click Here.

If you're from there, popping over here to visit my blog, hello and welcome! Browse around, check out my two novels, view some of my photos, watch the book trailer for Silent One, Click Here, and make yourself at home. I love comments. Ask me anything about me, my writing, Vermont, birds, or anything else.

Thanks for coming by!