A year has passed since my last newsletter. So here are some pictures to make a sketch of the past months.
For me, the year begins with Solstice. On this darkest day, we have an evening feast with our neighbours, each family serving a different course. Ours was dessert, a matter of chocolate, candlelight and cookies.
Then a wicked winter came roaring down. Storm followed storm, with so much ice and heavy snow that trees snapped, barns collapsed, roofs caved in.
We had to shovel snow away from the kitchen window….
Yet, in – between the storms, there was brilliant sunshine – and days and days of cross-country skiing.
In February, The Sea Captain’s Wife came out in the U.S. It was named a Barnes and Noble Discovery Award Book. There were events in Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Hampton, Connecticut –
Mystic Seaport, Connecticut –
Belfast, Maine –
And we began planting the gardens.
Summer arrived. The air was sweet and sharp, redolent of wildflowers and balsam –
The Sea Captain’s Wife kept me busy all summer.
There were the Atlantic Book Awards in Halifax, where The Sea Captain’s Wife was short-listed for the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize –
And a trip to New York to visit my Penguin editor and publicist – we went to a “wine and cupcakes” bar in Greenwich Village…
I went to many book clubs. One was held in St. Martin’s, N.B., at the home of a (historical) sea captain’s wife.
The novel was long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC International Fiction Award.
And is being translated into French by Editions Perce-Neige.
At the end of summer, the gardens were lush and bee-laden.
And the vegetables were enormous after rain and heat.
I made a year’s worth of carrot/tomato sauce, with peppers, garlic and onions.
These potatoes grew in a pile of rotting hay, giving me ideas for an easier way to plant them next year!
We had our first crop of tomatoes from the new greenhouse.
And dried beans, which I put in a pillowcase for our granddaughters to jump on.
In early autumn, we camped on the cliffs of Grand Manan Island. This year, a hurricane was on its way up the coast – the trees bent before the wind, the surf made a vast roar.
And here’s a sea-view Azuba may have seen from the decks of Traveller!
Thanks to all the readers who wrote to me. I’ll be bearing down in 2012 to complete the first draft of a new novel, spending a month at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artist’s Colony.
To family, friends, and readers, may you have a lovely Solstice, Christmas, and New Year’s.
May we all find clarity of vision, energy, courage and compassion.
With warmest best wishes,
P.S.And may we all find energy, creativity and focus; like these coyotes, hunting mice in our meadow.