Kate Flora here, sitting for the third rainy day in an icy cold house, thinking about summer in Maine. While I hate the term “bucket list,” each summer I find myself making lists of things that I don’t want to miss. You guys are responsible for adding a lot of events and places to that list. So here are some of the things that I am planning to do this summer.
Fly fishing. I grew up with the old dig the worms, put them in a tobacco can, ride my bike up the road to the brook, and stick a work on a hook kind of fishing. But spending weeks interviewing wardens about the importance of protected ponds has left me with a yen to try my hand at catching one of those gorgeous, rare lake trout.
Art openings. Two summers ago, I trekked up to Rockland for one of the monthly summer art nights, srolling the streets of my misspent youth, in a town that’s now gone upscale, it was wonderful to go from gallery to gallery, drinking wine, meeting people, and looking at all the wonderful art that’s being shown. Last summer, it was a trip to The Stable Gallery. This summer, there has to be a lot more of that.
Drink Moxie. Swim in Mackerel Cove. What about the rest of you?
Barb Ross: This year one thing I’m very excited about is Books in Boothbay: Maine’s Summer Book Fair on July 14, noon to 3 pm. For one thing Gerry Boyle, Lea Wait, Vicki Doudera, Kate Flora, James Hayman, and Julia Spencer-Fleming will be there (have I missed anyone?) and we Maine Crime Writers seldom get to see each other in the flesh. For another, it’s in my hometown. For a third it’s the first time I’ve been invited as an author. And for a fourth, the list of authors is amazing.
Two other things on the list this summer are to spend more time in Portland and Bath. They’re kind of like “drive through” places for us on our way to Boothbay, yet whenever we spend time in either place, we end up saying, “Ya know, we should come here more.” So that’s what we’re determined to do.
Kaitlyn Dunnett: Kaitlyn the old stick-in-the-mud here. I have a book coming out July 31 and another August 7, one manuscript due Sept. 1 and another right after Thanksgiving. I’ll be spending most of the summer in my office at the pc or on the screen porch, scribbling on a printout or proofreading on my iPad. Good thing I really like my job!!
I do have a couple of resolutions though. I hope to use the summer cookout season to reconnect with non-writer friends and family. Invite folks over, fire up the grill, throw on a few hamburgers and hot dogs: what could be simpler? Of course it doesn’t always work smoothly, what with everyone’s crazy schedules, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. I have a tendency to become a hermit when I’m writing and since I write all the time, this can be a problem.
I’m also going to make time to walk in my own woods and fields. I don’t do enough of that. This requires lots of bug spray to ward of ticks, mosquitoes and black flies, but it’s worth it. My favorite place in the world is my own back yard and I don’t get out and enjoy it often enough. We have a stream running along our property line and some wonderful glacial-deposit boulders in among the trees. And it’s quiet away from the road. There are occasional moose and deer, plus plenty of smaller critters. Of course there was that rampaging three-legged black bear in the area a few weeks ago, but a farmer shot him just before he raided the pigpen, so I hope I don’t have to worry about that.
Then again, maybe I’ll just stay on the porch and write by hand. It’s still Maine in the summer and our house is in as pretty a setting as any summer camp.
Lea Wait: I’m relieved and very happy to say that my “next year’s mystery” (Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding) is now officially out of my hands (and those of my editor) and on its way to the art department, so I’m free to think about … my next book! I’ve decided to write another mystery, set in Maine (where else?) that’s a little different from anything I’ve done before, and I’m very excited about it. So – that’s tops on my list for the summer. I’m hoping to host two or more of my grandchildren for a while, but that isn’t certain yet. I docent when needed at the Old Jail (built in 1811) in Wiscasset.
But I definitely want to get out of my study more and just enjoy Maine. Walk, sit on the porch, and maybe even get my rowboat back in the river and do some rowing. I’ve never been kayaking, and would love to try that, too. The woman who taught me to row, on her cove off the New Meadows River in West Bath, left her land to the Audubon Society, and sometime this summer I want to spend an afternoon there, reliving some memories.
I’ll be at that fun book festival in Boothbay with the gang, as Barbara mentioned, and will also be
making a trip to Ellsworth, Maine, to speak with Kate Flora, Sarah Graves, and Katherine Hall Page at the library there July 26, and then going to Meredith, New Hampshire, to speak at their library August 9, and doing an antique show in Damariscotta August 29. So — with starting a new book, too — and visiting the Farmers’ Markets in local towns and supporting my husband, Bob, at the Stable Gallery — I don’t plan to be at all bored!
Paul Doiron: Write.
Gerry Boyle: Make a few appearances at Maine libraries (the whole schedule is at gerryboyle.com with the upcoming stops in the column at left). Work on two different books, one a collaboration. And when I’m not doing those two related things, I hope to be out on the water. Life–and the lovely Maine summer–are too short to miss any opportunity to enjoy them. Seize the Maine summer! (Anyone know how to say “Maine summer” in Latin?
Kate, you haven’t lived until you have spent a couple hours moving slowly down a Maine river with a fly rod, especially on a sunny July day. There’s a stretch from the old dam at the end of Chain of Ponds back to Rt. 27 in Coburn Gore that’s a particular favorite. The wildlife and flowers you’ll see are a total bonus.
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