I Wore a Santa Hat!

FullSizeRenderI first stepped inside the Edgartown Library the day after Thanksgiving 1995. Wow! Twenty years ago! I was there to do research for my 4th novel, PLACES BY THE SEA, which later turned into one of my 6 (almost 7!) books that take place on this magical island.

Back then, I knew no one here. I stayed in an Inn across from the library on North Water Street. Each day, I spent hours in the library’s tiny research room, making notes at the round oak table under the big Boston fern. I did not have a laptop (not sure if they existed yet), but I had lots of pens and a few notebooks. After the third day, the librarians called me by name.

By late afternoon, I walked a block down the street to The Newes, the congenial pub at the Kelley House. I ate lunch by the fireplace, scribbling notes of characters, plots, and the charm of the Vineyard.

Over the years, I came and went from the library (and The Newes!) many times. When I spent the winter of 2010-11 here, I sat nearly every day at that round oak table. By then I wasn’t sure I could write a “Vineyard book” unless I was parked in my favorite spot.

Soon the big, new, beautiful library will open, and it will be magnificent, though a bit bittersweet. But in the meantime, there was the “Christmas in Edgartown” parade to tend to.

When Lisa Sherman, the Library Director, asked if I wanted to walk with them down Main Street alongside their “float” (actually, a decorated dump truck), handing out cards for “Fine-Free” days and tossing candy into the crowd, I jumped at the chance. After all, I owe them. I happily donned the Santa hat and, with every step on the parade route, I was reminded that without the library, I might not have had such a long and wonderful writing career.

I only hope that when they move to the new building, someone remembers to bring the big Boston fern.

Happy Holidays to all!


Not much to say today…a bit of a grey day, waiting for the snow!?!

I thought I’d give you one last look at a Halloween gingerbread “scarecrow” – this one is in front of Edgartown Books. It turn out these are being done by the kids at the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School, and they are popping up all over the island. Love this place.

And now for something completely different: in the interest of the impending winter (argh), I have decided to trim my blogging days to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I did not want to bore you – I mean, lovely as they are, how many library photos can you stand? Or pics of the crackling fireplace at The Newes?

Not to worry – iIf anything truly exciting arises, I promise to add an extra post in here or there. In the meantime, stay out of the nor’easter!

Top 10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day on the Vineyard

I have my own kind of Top 10 List. What to do when I’m bored. What to do when I’m happy. What to do when it’s sunny. Today’s selection is What to do when it’s raining, because it is absolutely pouring.
1. Go to the Edgartown Library!
2. Go to the movies.
3. Go to The Newes and sit by the fire with a bowl of soup.
4. Drive up island and look at the Gay Head Cliffs in the rain.
5. Go to the MV Museum.
6. Go to Chappy because it’s fun to be on the little ferry when the current is whipping this way and that.
7. Go to Vineyard Haven and watch the big ferry load and unload. (I admit it. I’m a little weird.)
8. Go to Chilmark and watch them make chocolates. (Then eat a bunch and get a massive sugar rush.)
9. Do laundry. (Bleccch. Can’t believe I said that.)
And the MOST fun thing to Do on a Rainy Day on the Vineyard
(you already guessed this from the picture):
Which is where I will be if you need me.

Question of the Day

The Old Whaling Church seemed packed to me. Turns out, though, they were 20 people short of a quorum.

Imagine, 20 people in an entire town. Probably the number of folks who were having dinner at The Newes. Or those who had huddled into the library for the Tuesday night movie. (Last night it was “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”)

I was ready though…along with about a dozen others who sat in the back, in the designated “Non-Voter” pews. I was eager for the proceedings to get underway. I wanted to see local government at work, to see if it really was as feisty and combative as I’d written in a scene in my PLACES BY THE SEA. (Can’t recall if Ben ever did get that variance for his museum. He really should have! He was one of my favorite guys, er, characters!)

But back to reality. Like I said, they were 20 folks short.  I considered asking my non-voting neighbors if we should register right then and there. Heck, then we could dash to The Newes and pull out a few others. It’s not as if anyone there would be watching the World Series.

Too late.

Someone banged a gavel. The Town Meeting was postponed until next week.

So my question is this: who the heck is going to climb up onto the banner across Main Street and change the date?

P.S. You’ll be glad to know I raced to the library and snuck in the back, only ten minutes late for the movie.