Happy summer:) I hope you’re thinking about being lazy.
And picking berries of all kinds.
In the spirit of summer here’s a snippet of a poem by Billy Collins, called Fishing on the Susquehanna in July:
In case you’re looking for a children’s book, consider those by my friend Lisa Papp. She’s both a writer and illustrator. Her most recent book, Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, is the 2017 Children’s Choice Book of the Year and has been translated into 22 languages. It’s also incredibly adorable and sweet.
I’m still working on my second novel.
Which brings to mind the book on writing by Anne Lamott called Bird by Bird. In the book, she tells the story of her little brother as a child having to do this book report on birds. He doesn’t know how to start and puts it off too long and their dad (also a writer) finally tells him, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. You’ve got to write it bird by bird.’ And so I think this to myself — Bird by Bird, Word by Word — when I glimpse into the far, blank distance that is novel writing.
Since any piece of finished writing is worth celebrating, I’m especially pleased to be able to say that beginning on July 1, my first creative non-fiction piece, The Poker Player, will be published in Pithead Chapel. It’s the best thing I’ve written to date. I hope you’ll check it out when July rolls around:)
Robert Papp, husband of the above mentioned Lisa, is an award-winning artist too. You may know his long running Cook’s Illustrated Covers, like this one.
He enjoys painting life’s simpler things too. Check out his masterful artwork here.
The Papps live in Quaktertown, Pennsylvania and so I must also mention my recent visit to Steve Tobin’s studio, also in Quakertown. The scope of his work is what’s most impressive. Much of his art draws inspiration from nature. His sculptures have been described as “monuments to the meeting of science and art.” Here he is with some of his large works:
Even his junkpile is beautiful:
One a final note: my grandmother, Catherine Makin, passed away earlier this month. She loved her family and flowers. This picture was taken by my Aunt Lu and is a testament to my grandparents 75 years of marriage.
May we all have many sunsets with those we love.
Until next time,