The End

I recently published my first edited book,  Labor of Love: A Literary Mama Staff Anthology ,  with  Small Harbor Publishing . It's an anthology of writing from  Literary Mama  staff over the past 20 years. It's a beautiful collection and I am proud of the writers and proud to share the book.  It seems a fitting moment, as I pondered sharing about the book here on the blog, to reflect on my life as a blogger, and acknowledge that it is time to officially end this blog.   I started blogging in about 2007, when my baby was learning to toddle, when I was learning how to be a mother and stepmother, when I was just starting to see my way as a writer. I needed it back then. I craved it. I had a variety of blog iterations--family, art, creativity, writing things I delved into. There's a freedom in blogging, a casualness, an easy familiarity that's lacking (for me anyway) in other kinds of writing. I loved blogging and the words came pouring out.  Over the years since then, some

Nature Girl

In my recently revived obsession with the Appalachian Trail, I picked up Nature Girl, by Jane Kelley from the library.  It's meant for kids ages 9-12 or so, and perhaps it's just the AT part of the story that captivates me, but I have to admit I really liked it. 

It's the story of a 6th grade girl, Megan, who is NOT a nature girl.  She is the complete opposite, despite the fact that her parents are old school hippies trying to make her eat tofu and revere ART.  After a series of bad situations at their summer vacation home in Vermont, Megan and her little dog, lost in the woods, stumble upon the AT.  In rebellion she decides to start hiking, with hopes of making it to Mt Greylock, Massachusetts, and reuniting with her best friend.

It is a pretty predictable story, but somehow you can overlook that as you follow Megan and Arp through the real and basic challenges of what it would be like to enter the Woods and truly experience it for the first time.  The fears, the bugs, the lack of food and water, and the complete misjudgement of how long it takes to walk somewhere. Megan is of course, disheartened by the difficulty of her undertaking, but refuses to quit, even hides from the search parties, to prove her worth and ability to her family and friends. 

In all it's simplicity, it is a pretty compelling read.  You keep going to find out how this girl changes, what she learns, and the transformation she undergoes in her week long hike.  Which is, in all things AT, the essence of the experience.  This book captures this truth so clearly it made me cry.  Megan becomes the Nature Girl she never dreamed she could be, simply because she opened up to the possibility the Woods offered her.  The AT is like that, it changes people, even fictional ones.