I last wrote after the busy, busy year of 2015, when my last novel, A Measure of Light, was published. Now it is August, 2017.
For awhile, in the dry summer, there were no night sounds. Now, after rain, the crickets are throbbing, there is a warm, moist wind, and the blueberries have plumped.
It’s the season of visitors, of birthdays and celebrations. My 94 year old mother Alison shows us how to live, how to embrace change. All the changes.
We have a new Arts and Culture Centre in Sussex, New Brunswick, called AX. There are open-mic reading nights, a children’s summer school, shows, musical events, and a new café, Knocks. I made a garden at AX and gave a writing workshop to kids.
Community, creativity and compassion seem ever-more important.
In the winter, my husband Peter and I drove our pop-up camper from New Brunswick to California.
We loved the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and southern California. It was the year of the super-bloom— flowers long-dormant, waiting for rain.
Contrasts in Death Valley: brilliant sun, and, a few hours later, a dust storm.
We concentrated on earth’s stunning beauty, staying at national parks like Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona, Zion National Park, in Utah, and White Sands National Park in New Mexico.
I had time to think, as we travelled; to leave space in my mind for a new novel to spin. Now, at the end of summer, I’m bearing down, half-way through a second draft. Meanwhile, the new chicks, Tillie and Bertha, have grown from this, in May:
To this, three months later:
I’ll be hosting our AX first-Thursday open mic reading night, “Choice Cuts”, on September 7, at 7 pm. 12 Maple Avenue, Sussex. Come if you like, and read something you’ve written, 5 minutes max! I will be reading at Tea and Tales, a READ Saint John fundraiser for literacy, on October 14, at Portland United Church, Saint John, NB, from 1-4 PM. On October 29, I’ll travel to Hudson, Quebec, for StoryFest, where I’ll read at St. Mary’s Hall at 2 PM. Check out my website, www.powning.com/beth for details.
Here is one more picture of our Canadian east coast forest. Last week’s solar eclipse, with its dimmed, lurid light, made me aware of the improbability of our existence, how we drift and spin, hapless—how deserts, waterfalls, wildflowers and chickens spin with us.
With best wishes,