Anita Shreve in Kennebunk

I had the great good luck to find out about Anita Shreve‘s talk at RiverTree Center for the Arts last evening in time to actually go. What a good thing that my husband, unlike me, actually reads the newspaper we buy every Thursday.

2016Shreve2I have had the opportunity to hear her talk once before, years ago, but this is the first time since I published my own book, so I was especially interested in hearing about her process.
I wasn’t disappointed. She talked about how inspiration for her novels comes together from different areas of her life and then explodes into an idea in her mind. It was fascinating to hear exactly how she turned this into The Weight of Water, perhaps her favorite of her own books. Many of you may know that this book also became a movie, and she told us about how exciting that was for her (even if they did change the ending!).

The experience of The Pilot’s Wife being an Oprah pick (and which also was made into a movie) was also discussed. Anita is very honest in giving her thoughts and feelings about her books and her writing and I’m certain this is just one thing that makes her such a wonderful writer.

But my favorite thing she talked about was how, at various times throughout her writing career, she has worried, “What would my kids think if they read this?” How validating for me to hear that I am in such good writer-ly company! My own book would have been published years ago if I hadn’t had that self-sabotaging thought.

No more worrying about what other people, family included, might think about my writing. I am taking Anita’s advice. I am writing for myself.
Thanks, Anita.

NOTE: Anita Shreve has written (I believe) at least 18 books. Her new book, The Stars are Fire, will be available in April, 2017. I can’t wait!

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BOOK REVIEW: A Couple by Peter Raymond UPDATED

There are so many wonderful books that have come into my life as a result of my book, One Brave Thing.

a couple

This book, a couple by Peter Raymond, I discovered at the Kennebunk Community Market. I brought it home and stood it up on my kitchen table. I then began emptying my car of all the flotsam and jetsam from my author table at the market (note to self: streamline this author table deconstruction process already).

My daughter came in and right away she made a bee-line for the book. “What’s this?” she said, and then plopped herself down in a chair and began reading it. “It’s a picture book,” I said.

“It’s a nice book,” she said.

I stopped what I was doing and sat down to read it with her.
There is a picture that includes the word “GRACE“, which is ‘my one word’ this year. That got my attention right away. It felt like a sign that I was supposed to be reading this book, at this time, with my daughter. Next, I saw a picture of a heron. Hello? I have been seeing the heron everywhere lately. When you see a symbol of any kind repeatedly, that means there is a message there for you.

I’ll stop there, because I don’t want to tell you the entire book before you get to read it yourself! Come to the Kennebunk Community Market and get your own copy!

UPDATE: Peter’s work is also available at his online shop here:

Dancing keeps you young

I went to a local concert last weekend with my daughter, part of the Wells Harbor Concert Series. Every Saturday evening in the summer, rain or shine, there is a free concert (rain venue is the junior high school).

Party Starters

The band for the second concert of the season was a new one for us, The Party Starters.  They were SO MUCH FUN! One thing they did which I’d never seen before was they asked everyone in the room to form a circle, join hands, and sing “I’m Proud to be an American”, followed by The Pledge of Allegiance. They then asked us each to hug the person next to us. I know, right? Hug a stranger?

But we did.

This is a family friendly event! And did I mention, FREE? There will also be a food truck there this year every week, I believe, which is a new and welcome addition to the festivities. There is often a table with baked goods being sold by local teenagers raising money for something important. So buy their stuff.

On good weather days, the show is at the Wells Harbor Pavillion. If you are local, come this Saturday! The Bel Airs will be playing. Bring your dancing shoes!  Lots of people will be dancing…why not you?

If you’re not local, check out your own town website and see what free events are being hosted in your own town!


SPOTLIGHT ON: Nonesuch Books, Biddeford ME

There is a great book store in Biddeford: Nonesuch Books. They have books for sale, of course, both new and used. They also have a lot of interesting magazines along the left side wall of the store, complete with strategically placed chairs, to aid and abet your magazine perusal.


What you might not know is how many other cool things they sell.

  1. Some of the best little greeting cards I’ve ever seen; I buy them in lots.
  2. Himalayan Salt Lamps! At a very good price!
  3. Lots of wind chimes and prisms!
  4. Engraved stones…I found one with myoneword for 2016 on it! Grace!
  5. Tarot card decks! As if you can ever have enough of those…
  6. Stonewall Kitchen products!
  7. Candles!
  8. Chocolate!

This and that at nonesuch

And of course, the best thing they sell is my book, One Brave Thing! I stopped by last night and they still have 2 copies left.

Nonesuch my book

Just sayin’.

Selling my books at the Kennebunk Community Market

Today was my debut at the Kennenbunk Community Market at The Waterhouse Center. I picked a good day to start: high 50’s (Hello, July? It’s me, Karen. Where are you? I miss you!), with rain and wind. And just like at the Saco River Farmers Market, I had to ask a fellow vendor to help me get my tablet open (thanks, Peter!). {Note to self: really do practice doing this before the next market!!!}

photo credit: Patti Austin

Me with my book, ONE BRAVE THING, at the Kennebunk Community Market, photo taken by my friend, Patti Austin

Freezing cold, rain, wind…I know, right? Great weather for books.

Fortunately, this market is covered.

Also, you can pull your car right up to the center to unload your stuff, and then go park and come back. There are bathrooms. II heard a rumor that usually there is a food truck that has great sandwiches right next door, which I will have to investigate next week because, sadly, it was absent today.

But I am going again next week! I want to see what it’s like when the weather is more, you know…conducive. When it’s not freezing cold with driving rain.

(Is that wrong?)

My friend Patti stopped by and took this wonderful picture of me (above) today. My friend Jane stopped by to bring me a much-needed third cup of coffee. I made some new friends today, too! I had some great conversations with the people who stopped by my table. I got a couple of ideas of new spins on the marriage topic to write about.

I made some reminder notes for things to bring next time, just like I did at my last book sale in Saco, but this time, I’m going to actually read them before I go again.

Learning from others

I went to the Kennebunk Community Market a few weeks ago, and I saw another author selling her books. Hello? Great idea! She was very Kimberly Suekind and answered all of my (zillions of) questions about how she got started and such.

I loved how she set up her table, how visually appealing it was, and spent several minutes admiring it. I am always looking for ideas for how to arrange my books and paraphernalia, and I take my inspiration where I find it.

This is Kimberly Sue McLaughlin, author of Come Running When I Call. I know this book is about a girl and her horse (because I talked with the author and read the cover!) but I haven’t yet read it myself. It is on my list! I love reading books by local authors, especially those that I’ve met.

You’ll know when I’ve finished reading it because I will post a review of the book right here on my blog.

You don’t have to wait for that though! You can come down to the Kennebunk Community Market on Saturday morning and buy your own copy, signed for you by the author! While you are there, stop by my table, where I will be selling and signing my book, One Brave Thing!

P.S. I will have chocolate.🙂



Cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen: A Sensational Supper with Jane St Pierre

My daughter and I went to a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School.  We’ve been there before, and it’s always a treat. This was the first class taught by Jane St Pierre that we’ve been to, but hopefully not the last. She is a wonderful teacher, warm and funny, but most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about. In addition to treating us to her delicious original recipes, she shares lots of cooking tips and tricks, and also welcomes them from the audience.

How do I know? Because I offered one! I got a little jam for my trouble.

The only challenging aspect of attending classes here is the seating. The seats are high aluminum (I think) chairs that are hard to pull up to the tables and very cold on bare legs. Leave the flip-flops at home; it’s work to keep them on when sitting on the tall chair.  You can request handicapped seating, which will get you regular size chairs that are lower to the floor, hence easier to get in and out of  (but still that cold aluminum).  Also, the front row fills up early. We got there almost an hour ahead of time and the front row was already taken.

Coffee, tea, and water were free. Wine and beer were available by the glass, but cost extra.

Our class cost $60, and was three courses, and the recipes for all were given to us in a handout.

I loved everything she made.

Bottom line: Go, at least once. They are so much fun!

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