by Barb, writing probably her last blog post from her front porch in Boothbay Harbor for this year
Today is Labor Day, and even in this, Maine’s warmest summer on record, there’s a nip in the air in the evenings that tells us fall is just around the corner.
The ingrained years, not just of my own schooling, but also packing up and going home so my kids could start school, are telling me it’s time for clean notebooks, new pens, and renewed vows that THIS is the year I’m not going to get behind in my work. (As if…)
The summer was a wonderful one. The weather in Maine was exceptional, and even our drought meant many sunny days for tourists who could boat and beach and buy to their hearts’ content. Our little town was crowded this year, as was much of the Maine coast, and whether that was because of our dazzling weather and many attractions, or because people were afraid to vacation in Europe, or in big cities generally, we do not know. We are happy you thought of us, and happy to take your cash–or Visa, or Mastercard.
Our summer began with a wedding and a graduation continued from there. We made good on our vow to do more touristy things, and enjoyed a photography cruise, Pemaquid Light and Fort William Henry, a visit to Monhegan Island, an oyster-tasting cruise on the Damariscotta River, a visit to an ice house museum (more on this on a later blog post in the fall), a week with family at the Jersey shore, and just last Tuesday, a day in Portland, a city we kind of, sort of know, with old friends, acting like tourists. (The photos on this blog are from that day, all taken by Bill Carito.) We had lots of house guests this year, and we loved it.
I handed in book 5 in the Maine Clambake Mystery series in May, and though I spent the summer reviewing copy edits and then galleys for two books, and writing a synopsis for book 6, I had a short and much needed break from writing new words every day. I updated my website and actually got to the end of my to-do list. That is, my to-do list of business-y things, not my to-do list of physical things that need to be done around both our houses, which I barely touched. But none-the-less, the bottom of the to-do list, which had on it things that had been moldering for months and months, felt great.
What’s up for the fall?
Well, I’m back to generating new words for Maine Clambake Mystery #6, Stowed Away, coming December, 2017. And I’m launching two new books, Eggnog Murder, a holiday collection of three novellas by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and me, coming October 25, and Iced Under, coming December 27.
We’re leaving Maine this week, a little early, because we’re going to Bouchercon in New Orleans.
If you’re there, I’ll be appearing on the panel SMALL PLOT OF LAND, small town mysteries, THURSDAY, 3:00PM-3:50PM in room Mardi Gras ABC, with signing immediately after. Also at the Kensington Librarian luncheon, and I’m attending the Sisters in Crime class Writing Our Differences–Doing Diversity Right with Keynote speaker Walter Mosley on Wednesday.
Also–this. Since the conference is big, and it can be hard to find one another, a few of us are making a point to get together on Friday. The location is TBD, but it will be near the Marriott. All are welcome.
The rest of the fall will be busy. In addition to finishing the first draft of Stowed Away, here’s the line up.
Friday, September 30, through Saturday, October 1, 2016
I’ll be appearing with a host of other Maine mystery authors, including many of the Maine Crime Writers, at Murder by the Book
Jesup Memorial Library
34 Mount Desert Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Saturday, October 8, 2016, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
I’ll appear with a host of other mystery writers, including Laura Lippman, Stephen Carter, Susan Elia McNeal, Liz Mugavero, and Lucy Burdette at Mysterium: The Mystery Novel Conference. (Registration required.) I’ll be teaching a course in Revising Your Mystery and moderating the cozy mystery panel.
Usdan University Center
45 Wyllis Ave
Middletown CT, 06459
October 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm
I’ll be appearing with Maine authors Kate Flora and Lea Wait in “Death and Desserts.”
South Berwick Public Library
27 Young Street
South Berwick, Maine 03908
Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm
I’ll be speaking and signing with author Lea Wait at
Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookshop and Cafe
158 Main Street
Damariscotta, ME 04543
Friday, November 11, through Sunday, November 13, 2016
I’ll be at the New England Crime Bake (Registration Required)
25 Allied Drive
Dedham, MA 02026
Would love to see you at any of these!
Readers: How about you? Any big plans for the fall?