Where have I been? Getting the next issue of the Quarterly up on the web.
Why mention it here? Because, among other things, it has snippets from future novels. Some of them will not be out for years, but this is my writing blog so if you’re visiting here, you must be interested–right? Yes, they may change with edits and future development. But putting them up now helps keep me motivated. That’s a good thing for a writer.
BTW: the Quarterly has a new schedule–April, July, October, January, etc. Also, still working out the kinks with MailChimp. So have no fears, if you’re a subscriber you will get a notification and links to articles. That should be before April.
More news: The short story collection will be out soon–working on final edits and the cover design before uploading. It will be Kindle only for 90 days. Don’t have a handheld Kindle device? You can read it on your computer or mobile device with an app available at Amazon.
In the meantime, here’s a little something to read right now. It might have been included within the article on summer trips in the Quarterly but we didn’t put it there. So read it here to see why you might want to go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for relaxation and observing nature.
Sea birds do things that the land-based birds don’t. There are more varieties on Hatteras Island than you might expect. There are wetlands where a wading birds stop enroute to and from locations farther north or south. But just along the shore you’ll find the killdeers race-walking on the sand just after the retreat of a wave. A wave that washes fingernail-sized conical clams onto the beach. The clams burrow below the surface while the birds seek them out for a meal. As the surf comes in, the birds move farther ashore and then back as the wave subsides.
Pelicans fly in close formation, just above the surf fifty yards offshore. Barely flapping their wings, they glide using the lift effect above the water, speeding along at 25-30 knots. Their heads scan right and left, looking down through the water. One breaks formation at the sight of a fish, darting straight up like a fighter jet before plunging quickly below to catch the fish.
Gulls just a tad smaller than their Maine cousins and a little less loud in their maniacal laughs frequent the harbors. They sit atop breakwater posts, waiting for the next ferry. As a new pole sitter arrives, he or she gently kicks the last gull in line and takes its place. The displaced bird moves along to the next post and repeats the process until 10 or 15 posts later, the last sitting gull takes flight. When a ferry departs from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, 40 minutes away, gulls follow. They easily keep pace with the boat, flying 10-feet above and to the port or starboard. They keep a close watch for children–and adults, who might toss scraps of bread or other treats up in the air for them. If they tire of the flight, they will hitch a ride on an antenna or other protrusion from the ferry’s roof.
Back to the Quarterly. Here’s a list of what’s in the April 2017 Quarterly