Single Parenting: Life is messy.

Thanks to Black Girl in Maine I read an article about Instagram Moms. I blog, Tweet, and Facebook so I don’t have a lot of time to put into Instagram but after seeing the beautiful images in the article I took a quick look around my little house and laughed. Okay, I guffawed. Branding your family? Let’s get real, I thought.

Since the divorce, I have had my kids basically every other week (which has been a tremendous change and emotionally seismic shift after being an all the time Navy mom with an often detached  or deployed spouse.) When the kids are to arrive I do a thorough cleaning. Toilets get scrubbed, I make my bed, laundry is done, even if it languishes unfolded and the boys have to scavenge for underwear.

When they are not here, I try not to hold myself hostage to my good-girl proclivities. There’s no one to impress anyway and my writing is the most important thing. The mail stacks up along with the TBR (To Be Read) pile. Right now I’m starting a new writing project so my resource books and notes, journals and plotting tools litter my tiny desk. I eat in front of the TV at night and binge on House of Cards while tweeting and checking in on Facebook friends to relax .

So to all the Instagram Moms this is how one Single Writer Mom lives.


More photos: The Lobster Ride!



On Sunday last… I rode in the Maine Bike Coalition Lobster Ride. The event allows riders to choose their poison: 15, 30, 50, or 100 miles. (I’m up to 30 although my husband would have much preferred 50 or 100.)  The entry fees go to help lobby for improved bike infrastructure in Maine, and to build a positive relationship between bikers and car drivers. You might be surprised by how anti-bike some people can be.


I did not ride this.



Or any of these wonderful vintage bikes from the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum.

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Here’s me with my modern, light weight carbon fiber FELT bike.



Which rides like a dream so that I could ham it up with the Lobster Queen at the end of  30 miles!

The Photo Journalism Continues- Monhegan Island

Yesterday, I posted some pictures of my journey to NYC in hopes that I’d make up for the huge lag in written posts that I’ve made this summer. Today, I’m taking you on a virtual tour of Monhegan Island and Midcoast Maine.

I bid on the ferry ride and stay at the “Trailing Yew” inn through the Maine Women’s Lobby auction. MWL is doing amazing things to support women and families in Maine and I thank them!

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First stop: Mt. Batte in Camden. Think… Down to the Sea With Mr. McGee.

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My cairn from the rocky mountain top at the end of a lovely hike. My husband and I were pleased to find wild blueberries nestled amongst the rocks and nibbled just like SAl. Or were they tremendous mouthfuls like Little Bear?!?

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In Rockland… a fabulous dinner at FOG Bar and Cafe. BBQ Tofu topped with tempura pickle strips on a bed of cilantro pesto cauliflower.


Followed by breakfast at the Atlantic Baking Company…

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On the ferry to Monhegan from Port Clyde.

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The view from our room at The Trailing Yew. Fabulous food, a great group of artist visitors, and oil lamps. So fun!

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The island was all abloom with flowers– the air full of sea roses and balsam scent. These climbing roses caught my eye.

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Me on “Pebble Beach.” The “pebbles” were more like boulders or as we said, dinosaur eggs.

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So majestic and magical! We hiked the trails all around the island and let me tell you… it was some strenuous hiking.

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A wonderful sunset on a VERY hot day. Good-by Monhegan. We’ll be back!

Summer Blog-lag and A photographic apology

It has been a busy summer of trips both expected and unexpected. My constant travels have taken me away from social media which is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it feels great to be unplugged and to have relief from the constant stream of information. I’ve made some progress on my WIP, caught up on some reading, and had some wonderful family time.

On the other hand, I feel guilty not to be contributing to said constant stream. “My blog readers will go elsewhere for pithy observations, book reviews, and industry buzz.” C’est la vie. 

If you need time-wasting excuses, I’ll be posting pictures from my recent adventures over the next few days. Enjoy! Then go read, write, draw, and enjoy the summer outside unplugged.

Trip One: To NYC

I went to NYC to be with my brother who has been quite ill. Happily, he is making steady if slow progress towards healing. I did take one morning to visit THE A,B,C’S OF IT: WHY CHILDREN’S BOOKS MATTER, a free exhibit at the NY Public Library. If you get a chance, please visit. Fabulous artifacts (primers from the 1600’s) and great history of children’s books and how they’ve changed to meet the educational philosophy of the times.



Who doesn’t love the iconic NYPublic Library Lions?






So happy to see my friend Michelle Knudsen’s  fabulous book, Library Lion, in the display case!





New Yorkers! You are so lucky to have this amazing temple to the book!


Winnie-the-Pooh and friends took a journey from their usual spot in the children’s room to be in the A, B, C’s exhibit!



The wonderful Wanda Gag. (Rhymes with fog.) I’d never seen her picture and was struck with the thought that perhaps Kirsten Cappy of Curious City Books is Wanda Gag reincarnated.



Original sketches for Alice in Wonderland!



Striking fold-out book about the tsunami in Southeast Asia.




Original artwork of Mainer, Ashley Bryan. See video below for more….


This is a carefully constructed column created from banned books.



A closer look at a tiny section of the stack.


The plaque underneath the column.



Good-bye lions… good-bye library!

Tomorrow, midcoast Maine and Monhegan Island.


Ashley Bryan video:

Vacation Post

I’ve been on the Gulf Coast of Florida for almost a week now. The kids have done a lot of fishing with Grandpa in the back coves and mangroves. I’ve been for a few long walks and yoga classes (shout out to the fabulous yogis at Joyful Yoga in Estero!). We’ve all luxuriated in a hot tub. Nothing to complain about at all – except… it has been awfully humid here. When we woke this morning, I walked out onto our sea view balcony (bliss) and there were huge puddles in the parking lot. Whatever rain fell, it was big enough to push out the humid air and leave dry cool breezes behind. The sky looked as if someone had sprayed it with Windex and polished it until it sparkled blue. The sea, which had been rolling and choppy was calm with gentle waves lapping at the sand.


What am I watching on vacation?

  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Frankenweenie
  • Aloha Fluffy

What am I reading on vacation?

  • BALL DON’T LIE, Matt de la Peña. Absolutely fabulous. Don’t miss it.
  • I’m rereading Lisa Jahn-Clough’s upcoming release NOTHING BUT BLUE. (I’m writing the discussion questions for it and I’m more in love with the main character the second time around.)
  • Next up, WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. Hilarious trailer for the book here:


Home Again Friday: Puerto Rico in Pictures and Poems

The last little piggie may have cried, “wee-wee” all the way home, but on our way home from Rincón, Puerto Rico my boys and I just cried. After an amazing week of surf, sand, sun, snorkel, and scuba, the last thing we wanted was to come back to the bare winter of Maine. There are no palm trees in Maine. More important, in Maine, we don’t have the attentive care of my parents who lavished us with food and fun.

Today, a slide show and two intimate-moment-Mama poems.

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Our Son
by Anna J. Boll

gentle eyes,
easy smile,
gorilla arms,
fuzz on upper lip

in him
i see you,
frozen in photos,
boy to man

he catches me
shakes his head,
a crazy mother,
full of pride

by Anna J. Boll

House lights twinkle
on dark island hills.
like maracas,
shakes palm fronds,
and chills the air

Long ago,
I wrapped two hands
around my big belly.
I wrap a blanket
around us both.

Coqui peep,
roosters crow,
dogs bark,
we wait.

We expect
and orange
to tint the clouds.

But the light
The sky
No show stopping

Just you,
and me,
and a moment