When I last wrote, we were poised at the edge of summer. Now, the fields are covered with early snow and I’ve just come in from a ski. The kitchen smells of fir boughs – they’re piled on the floor shedding ice and needles, waiting to be made into wreaths. Smoke rises from the chimney in tissuey strands, tethering the house to the winter sky. The blue evening falls swiftly.
Kenneth Grahame, in “The Wind in the Willows”, speaks of summer: “What a play it had been….when grey was gold and colour was born and sprang out of the earth once more.” My gardens made their astounding journey from seedling to harvest.
Perennials and wildflowers blazed, so brief and glorious.
And in the midst of the spring and summer months, I packed my suitcase countless times, travelling to readings, workshops and festivals in Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Sackville, New York City, Halifax, Shelburne, Antigonish, and Charlottetown.
Shelburne, Nova Scotia
The Great Blue Heron Writer’s Workshop
Moncton High School, The Northrup Frye Literary Festival
On-stage at “Evening Side”, the Peter Gzowski Literacy Evening at the Capitol Theatre.
After 40 years of gardening, we put up a greenhouse. Finally, red tomatoes and peppers!
I began to ponder how to provide more of our protein. Here is the result of a large patch of Yellow Eye Beans, Jacob Cattle Beans, and Kidney Beans. I also grew the lovely Littlefield’s Special Dry Bush Beans from seeds given to me by a fan at a reading in Toronto.
Fall came with its brisk air, brilliant leaves, and quiescent gardens.
And, in the season of literary prizes and awards, a great honour, the Lieutenant-Governors Award for High Achievement in English Literary Arts. It was awarded at Old Government House by His Honour Graydon Nicholas. He’s on the right: behind me is Peter, my husband, and on the left are Jake, my son, and daughter-in-law Sara.
The Sea Captain’s Wife finishes its first year in Canada with a gorgeous paperback, now available in bookstores everywhere.
And it will come out in the US on February 22, 2011. I’ll be touring the New England states. I love the cover!
Now I am looking forward to a quiet winter, during which time I will den up in my studio room over the kitchen, researching my next novel.
May you all have moments of mystery –
With best wishes,