21º Below Zero


I’m naturally a sweater knitter — not a sock creator like my sister. Likewise, I’m inclined to the lengthiness of novels, but more and more I admire the uses of brevity. Such as…

January 2.

Kittens, yarn. Piles of work. Stacks of library books. Friends on the calendar. Winter, Vermont-wise, has barely commenced.

When the winter chrysanthemums go,
there’s nothing to write about
but radishes.

— Matsuo Bashō


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


  1. It was -21F here in Western Mass 2 nights ago. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but this is first comment. LOVE the kitties!

  2. Hi Pam, I know your area somewhat, as I lived in Brattleboro for a number of years, and my sister lived in Western Mass at the same time. This morning was a balmy 10ºF. I’m sure you’re enjoying the same warm spell. Thanks for reading! (We love the kitties, too!)

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