My beach friends and I have always stayed in touch by letter. Sometimes telephone, more recently texts and email, but mostly letters. There is something wonderful about stationary, about seeing familiar handwriting, about choosing just the right stamp, and about sometimes slipping in a surprise--a pressed flower, a fall leaf, a trickle of sand from the beach. I thought I'd share with you this exchange. The person to whom I'm writing is my age; we grew up together at Hubbard's Point. When you love the beach, children's stories, the simplest truths can come to mean even more as you get older.
Oh little girl. You were the baby among the original three cats, and somehow, in a blink, you became an old kitty. It took you a long time to warm up to me--to anyone. You were made for the outdoors, for alleyways and forests--but I kept you inside. Your spirit couldn't be contained. You would gaze through the window at the rising sun. You would stare at the moon. You had an inner life. You had angry eyes and a twitching tail.
Thank you to the "Hubbard's Point" Women's Club for hosting such a wonderful evening of warmth, books, and beach love. My lifelong love for this magical place grew even stronger tonight. I loved being able to celebrate THE BEAUTIFUL LOST with so many avid readers.
I'm happy to announce the video trailer for The Beautiful Lost is now live. (Directed and produced by Trevor Clark Thalin--who also directed the award-winning film Baby, based on the novel of the same title by Joe Monninger.)
Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered Luanne Rice, author of Secret Language of Sisters, has a book releasing in June of this year. But I never imagined she would actually send me an Advanced Readers Copy!! SO Y’ALL . . . I GOT MY FIRST ARC! This book is called The Beautiful Lost, and we’re partnering with Ms. Rice in a few weeks to give ONE OF YOU the chance to read it.
Linden Frederick is the most literary of artists. His paintings tell stories by inviting the viewer into a very focused and specific moment in time, engaging our imaginations. He often paints night scenes: dusk to dawn, changing light . He depicts houses, windows dark except one, making us wonder what is going on inside, drawing us into the family story.
Recently I walked down Lyme Street in the early evening. Spring is just beginning, and the first peepers had started to call from the Lieutenant River. The sky was spellbinding a shade of blue so dark and clear it made me look up for a long time, until the moon rose. Some of Old Lyme's graceful houses and galleries had their lights on, glowing warmly from within.
There is a feeling of holding on, of getting through, of balancing on a precipice. When you're lied to by someone in power, it's the same as being gaslighted in an abusive relationship. You're being told one thing, but you know it's wrong, you know it's false. To mix movie metaphors, it's also the Wizard of Oz telling us "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." But we have to pay attention.
The paperback of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS comes out on Tuesday, January 31. Jeryl Brunner interviewed me for Forbes, and I talk about the book, writing, and sisters. Here is the link. Jeryl is always so supportive and I love her stories on theater, the arts, books, and so many other topics. I first met her when she included me in her book MY CITY, MY NEW YORK.
The winter solstice feels pure and eternal. The beach is so quiet, not another soul around. No voices, just the sound of the waves, the wind in the reeds. There are buffleheads and mergansers in the pond and off the point, and a lone osprey circles the bay. Is he a juvenile as one birder friend of mine suggests? Was she left behind when the others left on their migration months earlier?
I spent Friday at Boston's Logan Airport celebrating Deconstructing Stigma, a project developed by McLean Hospital. It's an amazing exhibit, intended to start a conversation about mental illness and the stigma that often surrounds it. The walkway between Terminals B and C is lined with photos of people affected, including me--I've dealt with depression since I was a teenager. Although the images are larger-than-life, the stories told are human-sized: intimate and personal.
Every year, on the first of December, Christmas trees arrive in New York City. The same families come year-after-year and set up their stands on the same street corners. There is one on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea that inspired me to write SILVER BELLS.
Fall begins today. I am happy. My sister Maureen is sad. She feels melancholy when summer officially ends. I welcome the shorter days and cozier nights. She misses carefree sails, every evening after work, with her husband Olivier, out of Noank and back. I like apples.
When I was ten I joined a second family. Although I loved my own, one day after school I stumbled down a flight of stairs into the Whitneys' garden at 588 Lincoln Street, and fell in love with all of them. Mrs. Whitney was the most intrepid mother imaginable.
A week ago I was at the New York Public Library, doing a panel for the NYC Teen Author Festival. This was great and illuminating for me in so many ways. First, the NYPL. My favorite building in New York, a haven for readers and writers, its wide front steps facing Fifth Avenue and guarded by lions Patience and Fortitude.
Just in time for the publication of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS (Tuesday! February 23!) I have a brand new website. I thank Adrian Kinloch, my long-time web person, for creating this one, and the last one, and the one before that.