Friday, June 01, 2012

The Inner Workings of Writers

I posted here about Cumberland County resident Harry Thurston winning the Dartmouth Non-Fiction Book Award for his book about the north Atlantic. Well, right as we speak (I'm easily interrupted), I'm listening to the tape of our recent conversation and making up notes to be this week's profile. This is the indulgence of my "In Conversation With..." column: I get to interview writers and artists. Why not take advantage of this man's good nature -- I knew it because I'd had dinner with him a few years ago before a fundraiser for the Pugwash library -- and get to know this eco-journalist better?
Harry is a lovely man, more so because he gifted me with his latest collection of poetry, Ova Aves, about wild bird eggs. My favourite part of the interview was learning how he could be a poet and a journalist at the same time. I wasn't surprised to learn that his poems are written by hand in small black notebooks.
Besides The Atlantic Coast, Harry has another award-winning book, A Place Between the Tides, about living along the salt marsh. Harry lives in Tidnish Bridge, outside of Amherst. 
Watch for our conversation in next week's issue, June 6.

Here's a quote from Harry I've come across halfway through our interview, about writing and what to write. He's says he discovered this along the way. 
"The things that you care about the most are the things you write best about."

And now that I've flipped the calendar to the new months, I realize my next Field Notes column is June 13. I suppose I must write something on the topic of fathers since that day falls on the 17th. Now that I've dropped that intention into the percolating part of my creative brain, I wonder what will drip out?
I've been trying to create an outline for a personal essay on trees and my father and my husband, and how they are all connected. Perhaps I could create the first 500 words of that essay in my column.
Okay, trees, inspire me.

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