A minor inconvenience of raging wind and floods

 John Clark posting a day late because of a monster storm that has left some 400,000 Mainers (myself included) without power and/or internet. The Kennebec River has crested at 30 feet above flood stage and wing gusts as high as 93 miles an hour hit coastal areas. We have two trees uprooted in our back yard there are two more huge pines down in our neighbor's back yard and I've been making pilgrimages every four hours or so to wait up to an hour in lines to get gas for our generator. But we all know there ain't no such thing as climate change. But I digress.


I’m Looking back at 2023 and forward at 2024. What sticks out? Would that every person take time to consider such a question. Herewith are some thoughts.

1-I’ve begun to envision life as the space inside a cylinder with time being a giant metaphorical piston, compressing what remains into an ever smaller space. At twenty, forty and sixty, that space seemed limitless. At seventy-five, not so much.

2-Along with item one, comes the question of what do I want to happen with my written work? I really like writing, editing sometimes, and promotion very little. I understand this isn’t a very successful formula for most writers, but it is what it is.

3-I’ve written a lot of books, but only three have been published. Two are anthologies of short stories, one for young adults, the other for fans of horror and mystery. The third, The Wizard of Simonton Pond was NOT ready to meet the world, but it took years for that realization to hit home. Revision of it, along with four others in the series, are among my 2024 intentions.

4-I’m trying something new as of last month. I’m serializing a techno-thriller Afternoon Break, on Substack without charging because I want it out in the world. It it’s well received, I’ll try more of my writing, but put it behind a paywall.

5-I like reading, particularly YA and science fiction. I read between 200-300 books a year (240 thus far in 2023) and review every one I finish. I believe doing so is my way of thanking other authors for all their hard work. Most books I borrow through Maine’s terrific library system. If I learn of a book that hasn’t been purchased by a Maine library, I buy it, read it, and give it to my local library so it can be enjoyed by other people in the state. I often share reviews of those books on MELIBS-L our statewide library listserv that has more than 1600 subscribers.

6-Related to 5, is my being committed to continuing this reading/reviewing/writing balance for 2024. Reading on days when my own personal creativity is at an ebb, helps not only to recharge, but to find a new world to visit for several hours. I tend to ‘see’ what I read as a continuing movie in my head as I read.

7-I thoroughly enjoyed selling books at library events, craft fairs, and the just completed biggest author event ever in the state (https://www.facebook.com/groups/bangorauthors) sharing a Saturday with 100 other authors and poets. I’m already looking forward to doing a lot more of those in 2024. I don’t sell a lot at each one, but make new connections and have a lot of fun chatting with both buyers and other authors.

8-Looking back on 2023, I am reminded of how important a good sense of humor and a desire to perform acts of kindness can be. I’m carrying both into 2024. Kindness is not only a renewable resource, but can be done often and simply. I take satisfaction in returning a discarded grocery cart, opening a door for whoever is behind me, or smiling at a stranger.

I hope something here is useful to those reading this. May you look back with satisfaction, and forward with hope.



  1. I love the metaphor in #1. And I have to know more about the Substack!

  2. Love the wide range of thoughts! And hugs on the monster storm!


Post a Comment