A Hundred Silver Stars

September 2014

2014 Sept Beth Sept 2014 drfts

Welcome to my newsletter. That pile of drafts I’m staring at has now culminated in a new novel, A Measure of Light, the story of a 17th century woman named Mary Dyer. She is a real but mysterious person, who went from London to the wilds of the New World and met Anne Hutchinson on the narrow streets of Boston. The novel is in production, and will be published by Knopf Canada March, 2015. The pile is a bit taller, now….

Sept 2014 Ottawa 1 sept 2014 ottaw 2

My last newsletter left off just a year ago, when my beloved father died. I flew directly from his memorial service to Ottawa, where I served on the jury for the Governor General’s Literary Award. It was a fascinating, gruelling day, spent with two other authors, and we accomplished the difficult task of choosing five exceptional books from over two hundred submitted titles.


door:snow stars on ceiling

snow - newsletter

We had storm after storm. Nothing was to be seen out the windows – for days – but veils of icy snowflakes, glooming trees.


Sept 2014 bathroom

So we skiied: and replaced the bathroom. Plaster dust, and general chaos. I was awaiting the next edit, so I did the painting. The new bathroom was well-worth the effort.


Sept 2014sussex kids - newsletter

I participated in WISP, Writers in the School Program, and talked to high school students in Sussex, Saint John and Moncton. As you can see, they were excited and welcoming. These kids in Sussex were still in a glow over a surprise visit from Stephen King….


Sept 2014 beth and sonya Sept 2014 sonya reading

Sonya Malaborza translated The Sea Captain’s Wife for Editions Perce-Neige. Here we are at a Frye Festival sponsored event to launch the book. I read in English, then Sonya read the same passage en francais.You can find La femme du capitaine in bookstores and on-line.


Sept 2014 hampton house sept 2014 mark and ladies

Early spring…we travelled south to visit my guitarist brother, Mark Davis, and my mother Alison Davis. That’s my “other mother,” Leila Ostby. These two are in their nineties and give me faith in life’s possibilities. That is the house where I grew up. It is so old that every floorboard creaks, and the windows bear the ponty marks of hand-blown glass. My mother still lives there, surrounded by dairy farms.


Sept 2014 srping florest DSC_2359

Sept 2014 daffodils s[et 2014 biddy swingingSept 2014 tulips

Finally! After the town of Sussex was flooded, and our own little community was cut off from the outer world by swollen rivers, soft air arrived, along with peepers and fiddleheads. Our granddaughter is exultant on the swing, the poplars glow like candleflames and all those bulbs buried beneath the snow yield their wondrous, soft-petalled blooms.


Sept 2014 hibiscus Sept 2014 Bermuda beach

Sept 2014 bermuda18 Sept 2014 Bermuday

I spent many summers of my childhood in Bermuda at my grandmother’s house. So we go there again for my mother’s birthday. June is the time of flowers: Poinciana trees, hibiscus, oleander.


Sept 2014 summer gardens Sept 2014 nasturtiums

Sept 2014 orange lily Sept 2014 garden with fence

Summer is hard work and not quite as idyllic as it might look. We have lost our bats and most of our swallows, and now we know how many blackflies they must have eaten. I have to wear a bug suit to work in the gardens, a sign of changing times.


Sept 2014 St Andrews

Sept 2014 Sunset St Andrews

But there are no black flies by the sea. Peter and I and our two granddaughters spent a week in Seaside Cottages, St. Andrews. That’s a view from the window; sunset from the deck; and reading, which we did most of the time, when we weren’t riding our bikes.


Sept 2014 garden Sept 2014 "Home"

Here is our garden, now in the quiet time – not yet frosted, yet somehow still. And the next excitement for me is a new edition of my first book, which was originally published in 1996. Goose Lane Editions is bringing out a gorgeous new edition on October 7. It will make a lovely Christmas gift. With my photographs and text, it tells the story of how Peter and I found this valley, and, in slow increments, learned its truth.


Sept 2014 lawn chairs

I’ll keep you in touch with the progress of A Measure of Light as it nears publication. I’m on my way to Canmore to promote Home. I’ll be reading at Café Books on Thursday, October 30. I’ll be in Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John, too. All dates are on my website, www.powning.com/beth. I’d love you to join my Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/bethpowningauthor.

Autumn is poignant, as regret balances anticipation, and rest forges renewal. For me, it is my New Years, far more so than in January! May you find fresh starts, hope, and good companions.

Best wishes,