Vicki Doudera here, marveling at the new things you can learn when you least expect it.
Take the recent Olympics Opening Ceremony. Had you ever heard of the country Comoros? Not me. Turns out that this archipelago island nation is in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. It’s neighbors – Tanzania, Madagascar, and the Seychelles – are well known, but Comoros has stayed under the radar. For me, anyway.
Of course, my seventeen-year-old daughter knew all about Comoros. Knew the capital (Moroni) and its location. Knew the three official languages: Comorian, Arabic, and French. Was I upset that I had somehow missed some important geography lesson? Only a little. Mostly I’m in awe of all the things I don’t even know that I don’t know.
Take a sport called night squidding. While it is not yet part of the Olympics, it is apparently something my fellow Mainers are doing on these sultry summer evenings. One of those Mainers is my aforementioned seventeen-year-old, who was out last night with three girlfriends searching for this elusive many-legged creature. That’s right – they were fishing for Loligo pealei — Longfin squid – or, to give a more continental flavor to it all — calamari.
I suppose I should have guessed that we had squid in our midst (there’s my daughter holding one that she caught) but truthfully, it’s never crossed my mind. Anytime I’m in our chilly waters, all I’m thinking about is how quickly I can get out. Swimming in Penobscot Bay, even on the hottest of days, is a supremely numbing sensation. We’re not basking in some bathtub-warm temperatures here. Instead of Nirvana, think Novocain.
Along with new countries and new creatures (remember that I just became a chicken owner too!) I’m having to stretch as a writer. The first draft of a short story is spread before me, and it has been a novel experience to work on what for me is a new form. I feel like I’m still figuring it out, and far from being frustrating, it’s invigorating. I do believe I’ll get it – although I can’t even define what the “it” is yet.
Have you pushed a boundary this summer? If so, what have you done?
Join me and Kate Flora tonight (as well as fellow NE Sisters in Crime author Janis Bolster) and tell us all about it. We’ll be at the Camden Public Library at 6:30 to talk mysteries, and we’d love to have you there!