From a Place Called Maine

 

photo(123)Yesterday, in honor of the first day of September, I drove up to Acadia National Park. It is still summer here in Maine. The leaves haven’t switched to their fall wardrobe yet. Temperatures are still balmy and warm weather is expected for Labor Day weekend.

As I came home last night, dizzy with wind, sun, and natural beauty, I thought of the last books I read in August. Is it only an accident that two of my favorites are from Maine’s authors?

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Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan

When you were a kid did you love the circus and the excitement it brought to town?

Were you filled with awe when you looked up at the sky?

In this middle grade science fiction novel the author blends these two irresistible ingredients to create a delightful and heartfelt novel of wonder.

Beatrix Ling or Trix, the main character, is an orphan who has never fit in her posh boarding school. A talented gymnast, she is offered the possibility to join an unusual circus and to make a new home…away from Earth.

Centered around the universal feelings of lost, friendship, and home, smartly plotted with good, bad people, and in between people, this is a highly original story.

Kids will root for Trix, surrounded by a diverse set of secondary and tertiary characters, aliens or from earth. They will also love the galactic setting that Deva Fagan describes with a mix of techie and funny details. An achievement for science fiction writers. As a writer I pay extra attention to dialogues, since they capture the essence of a character. Fagan excells at this aspect of the craft. Through the dialogues, filled with humor and corkiness, she depicts vivid characters and also unreels the story in a smart way.

It would be too bad to reveal more details. They would spoil this book that I recommend to the kid you know who doesn’t fit perfectly well, who dreams under a starry sky, who wonders what’s up there, and who loves the circus, too. It’s also a book for the kid in you.

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A Place Called Maine 24 Authors on the Maine Experience

Edited by Wesley McNair

Some people like a stocked pantry. It makes them feel safe. I feel safe when I have unread books near me. A few nights ago I realized with fear that I was finished reading the pile of books I had borrowed at the library. I started to look around, frantically searching our shelves until I finally found a book I bought several years ago. Exactly for this kind of situation.

A Place Called Maine is a collection of twenty-four stories, written by authors who have tight bonds with Maine. Most are full time residents but some are also part time residents, like me. Some were born and raised in Maine and have stayed there. Others have moved to Maine as adults.

Each story showcases Maine in a very distinct way, either through a relationship with a specific person, often a neighbor, or a specific place in Maine. But the ocean, the rivers and the lakes, the mountains, the trying weather, the seasons are the true characters of each story, tied to each other by a strong sense of place.

Because I’ve left France many years ago and lived on both coasts of the USA, in different locations, I have now a hard time, when asked, to tell where I am from. Only Maine, for some reasons that I also have a hard time to explain, gives me some kind of anchor.

When I read the twenty-four stories I noticed that the writers experienced this feeling, too.

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From my little Maine corner I wish you all a Happy Labor Day Weekend!

 

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Comments

  1. Sounds and looks like quite the place! welcome back, It’s been a while 🙂

  2. Bev Broughton says:

    Looks like paradise…our Town Hall group had our organizational meeting this week…have fond memories of collaborating with you!
    Much love,
    Bev

    • I do have fondly memories too, Bev! I will always treasure Town Hall and the organization. As for Maine, it is a place I really love. And I feel fortunate to enjoy it so much more now that my children are old enough to fly on their own. See you around.

  3. Nice to hear from you! Oddly, the trees ARE changing down here. Lack of rain? It certainly isn’t cold. Still in the 80s and 90s with high humidity. We get lots of clouds, but no rain, not since July. Strange that it isn’t changing up there!

    • Isn’t it funny! The summer has been gorgeous up there with very very humid days. it is an beautiful summer and I hope for a beautiful fall. It hasn’t rained much and I don’t know if it has or not an impact on the foliage. Are you going to Maine like you did last year?

  4. Have s great weekend Evelyne. I haven’t been to Maine for a long time butbivf been to Acadia and my daughter camped and hiked there last summer so I know of its beauty. It’s a wonderful state and these sound like great books.

    • Have a great Labor Day weekend, too, Dan. I never camped in Acadia but stayed once for two weeks. It was so nice! I’m sure your daughter had a great time there. Maine is a great state, I agree. I love the changing landscape and weather. Did you know that Maine has the greatest number of writers in the country, in comparison to the size? So it’s not only a geographically beautiful state but also a smart one!!! See you soon.

  5. Haven’t been back for years, but I grew up in Boston, with relatives in Maine. And I agree it’s a special place. Although, when I return with my ‘Italian’ kids to the beautiful New England coastline they give me a sad look and say it’s not as warm as the Mediterranean. : ) BTW. does the New England coastal architecture remind you of Brittany’s? When I first went to France’s westernmost coastline, I thought i could be in the Cape or on Maine’s coast. The story collection sounds intriguing… enjoy your holidays!

    • Ha! I’m sure that the Atlantic (at least in its northern part) is like a pool filled with ice cubes for your kids. The Pacific is even colder in California, though. And yes, it is probably because the cost reminds me of Normandy and Brittany that I love Maine much more than any other state in the US. The books will please you. The first one for your boys and the second for you. See you, Kimberly.

  6. Perfect Evelyn – Maine the way life should be. Wonderful shots that reminded me of home and that I miss terribly. Love the opening shot!

    • Thank you, Mary. It is a great state, right? I’m glad you love the opening shot. This is the only one I used among many I took with my iPhone. My husband took better shots. Or so I thought!

  7. cardamone5 says:

    Lovely, Evelyne. I will definitely try the second one. Thanks for the update, both books and on you.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  8. So nice to see you, Elizabeth. I have been very busy with lots of submissions for stories and other manuscripts, which explains my slower pace on my blog and also my sporadic visits to other blogs. The second book is great for anyone who writes memoirs, essays, personal narrative. I didn’t mention the names of the authors but a few are very well known. There is not Stephen King, though! See you soon. Take care.

  9. Behind the Story says:

    I’ve never been to Maine. It looks lovely. It reminds me a bit of Washington State. I don’t have any Labor Day plans, but we had a delightful trip to the San Juan Islands last week–hiking and whale watching.

    • It is in some ways similar to your state, Nicki. Minus big cities. I’ve never been to the San Juan islands but a good friend of mine just did and loved it. Thank you for stopping by, Nicki, and sorry for my more sporadic visits. I’m putting several writing pieces together for submissions. I’m sure you know what it means! 😊

  10. I was in Acadia just a few days before your visit! It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.My daughter and I spent a day driving, taking short hikes, and picnicking by Somes Sound, before we settled her in for her second year at the university in Orono.

    • What a nice random thing! I agree with you that Acadia is a very unique place. The combo of lake water, streams and ocean, meadows, mountains and even a beach is unique for a national park. Best to your daughter at the university. Mine are on their way soon, too. Thank you for your visit, Marianne.

  11. I hope you had a good holiday weekend Evelyne, these books sound so intriguing. I’ve always been fascinated by Maine even though I’ve never been there so perhaps it’s an imaginary anchor for me!

  12. Wish we could hike together in Acadia! Thanks for sharing your love of nature through your words and photos…and for the book suggestions too!

  13. wonderful Maine… nous avons visité Acadia National Park, of course… 🙂 and even Bangor(Stephen King used to live there!), Bar Harbor and its famous lobster… 🙂 splendid memories… lucky you! 🙂 mais notre Bretagne ressemble bcp à Maine: normal, c’est le même océan! 😉
    * * *
    amicales pensées ensoleillées et à+!

    • Le Maine est vraiment beau et c’est sa diversité que j’aime énormément. Bar Harbor hors saison c’est bien. 😊
      Quant à Steve King il a toujours sa maison de Bangor avec ses grilles décorées de gargouilles et autres personnages suffisamment noirs pour matcher son style littéraire. Bien sur il passe pas mal de temps dans sa maison de Sarasota aussi. Les homards? Il n’y a que dans le Maine que j’en mange. Comme je garde certains plats pour mes séjours en France. 😊

  14. Maine looks so beautiful – I hope to make it there one day.
    I also love books with a sense of place. It is interesting to see a place through different eyes. Circus Galacticus sounds like an exciting book!

    • Thank you, Claire. You would like Circus Galactictus. The author is a very nice and interesting young woman. I’ve been lucky to get to know her here. Since you love traveling you should definitely pay a visit to Maine sometime. 😊

  15. Evelyne, you sound incredibly happy, settled and at peace in Maine. Before long, you too will be known as one of those “Maine authors”.

    • I wish, Patricia! It would be an honor since the state has quite a few big names. I love it here and would stay forever if our little house was a four-season home. But maybe this is also why I love it so much. The time spent here is previous thus cherished. Thank you for stopping by, Patricia.

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