Good and Hard Place

Balmy days move into our wedge of Vermont. The leaves are turning colors in scattered spots — some gold, a glimmer of red — but nothing threatening, nothing ominous yet.

Live in Vermont as long as I have (a few eons, perhaps, it feels like some days), and you know winter isn’t far in the offing. But for now, the days and nights when we sleep with the windows open, the air is redolent with sweetness.

If there’s one thing we’ve collectively learned from the pandemic, I suppose it would be that the Here and Now matters immensely. We soak up sweetness, knowing tomorrow may bring an unknown kind of hardness.

Thank you to all who came out last night, in-person, to the Hardwick Town House. The Town House has had so much history, and last night’s audience of listeners in masks — well, that’s the history we’re participating in these days.

I’m now on a mostly virtual book tour. If you can stop in at all, please do.

Finally — I mentioned last night that the original working title for Unstitched was A Good and Hard Place. There’s plenty of hard things in my book, but it’s full of the goodness of life, too. Here’s hoping you have a taste of goodness today, too.

And, a thank you to Literary North for running a short original piece.


Pub date for Unstitched arrives Tuesday. The lovely Galaxy Bookshop and the equally terrific Jeudevine Memorial Library (both in Hardwick) are hosting a reading Tuesday (9.14.2021) at the Hardwick Town House.

If you’re in town and interested in coming out, please do.

I’ll also be chatting virtually with the fantastic poet Kerrin McCadden this Thursday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m., in an evening hosted by Phoenix Books. No charge, of course, for these events.

How much our world has changed since those days when I walked downtown and spent Tuesday evenings in the Galaxy, listening to writers and drinking cider. I hope you’re all well….

Short excerpt…

Like many others, I arrived [in Vermont] as a transplant. As a child and into my twenties, I moved frequently, from deserty New Mexico to New Hampshire’s red-brick mill cities to mountainous western Washington. Gradually, I became smitten with this tight-knit town. I joined the five-member school board and chaperoned walks into the wetlands. Our world was stitched together by carving jack-o’- lanterns, giggling at sleepovers, voting yay or nay on town and school budgets at community meetings, and baking surprise birthday cakes for friends. When I discovered the library had been broken into after hours, what remained was a lingering residue not only of cigarette smoke but also of fear. I began to wonder if maybe this world wasn’t so fine.”