There are not many days that I don’t catch myself thinking about Vermont, the Green Mountain State, my former home of twenty-three years. My friends are enduring another long winter of sub-zero temperatures that ruin their cheerful dispositions. They too, have got the blues for the greens.
Eileen Brunetto, my dear friend and Vermont based author, recently invited me to tag along on a blog tour that her fellow Goddard College MFA classmate, Tamryn Spruill recently initiated. I’ve not yet met Tamryn but in accepting Eileen’s encouragement to participate in this tour, believe that a cosmic door has been opened, and that a personal interaction with Tamryn in the near future will likely occur. I’ll reserve my opinions and experiences with manifestation for another time. The purpose of this blog post is to answer the four questions that Tamryn is interested in having answered:
1) What are you working on?
Aside from my weekly blog posts, I’ve been writing new songs and re-working those that were recorded in 1996 with Full Moon Heart, a Vermont based acoustic quartet from the Mad River Valley. Picture Postcard Lullaby is the current working title for the collection of songs that I hope to record live at a few historic Sacramento locations for independent release in 2015.
2) How does your work differ from others’ in the same genre?
How my work differs from other writers or artists isn’t something I give much thought to because it makes me feel like I’m comparing myself to other artists. But for the sake of answering Tamryn’s question, I think that my work differs from others in the essence of the story, the authenticity in the sharing of an emotion.
3) Why do you write what you do?
I write in response to the emotions I feel in reaction to what I see, read, or have experienced.
4) How does your writing process work?
I take a walk with my dog along the American River every morning before I write or make art. There is something about physically moving through space that conjures up all sorts of ideas that I can then take back to my studio and translate into words or sketches. Other times, an idea presents itself and a song can be written in a span of 20 minutes. That is the most amazing process to experience, and I am so very grateful that I allow myself to be open enough to surrender to the muse.
CESA’s mission supports state and local leadership to promote the use of existing and emerging clean energy technologies. The Alliance’s analysis and studies are designed to accelerate clean energy deployment. They are a nationwide network of leaders at the state and local level working together to catalyze a low-carbon energy economy, and I feel privileged for having the opportunity to be in the presence of such good intended thought leaders. State policies and programs will determine the progress of renewable energy implementation and standards in America. Did you know that since 1998, $3.4 billion of state clean energy funds support has driven the construction of over 130,000 renewable energy projects representing a total investment of nearly $16 billion?
I’m interested to see these projects continue to succeed and expand in the coming years, and will continue to do my part in supporting the initiatives.
The painting I have been creating to give as a house-warming gift is nearing completion and will soon travel from my home studio in California to Charlie and Eileen’s new home in Hinesburg, Vermont.
Capturing the essence of a place can’t be done in just one painting, so I look forward to returning to create more studies.
A dear friend and former neighbro (yes, I said neighbro) reminded me today that Vermont’s maple sugaring season will soon be starting without me. I miss having an opportunity to barter a day of labor for the delicious magic that my friend and esteemed Sugarmaker Ken Hastings makes each year for Bread Loaf View Farm in Cornwall, Vermont. The hard work that is expended in tapping 30 acres of one of Vermont’s finest Sugarbush makes the end product taste all the sweeter.
Pure Vermont maple syrup it is one of the most healthy sweeteners you can find. Did you know that the Maple sap has higher counts of manganese, riboflavin, zinc, and magnesium than white cane sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup or honey?
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting a working sugar house during syrup production, you have an idea of the work and precision that is involved in the process. Sugar on Snow and Open House events occur typically in March to coincide with the peak of the season. It is an authentic and delectable taste of Vermont agricultural history that I am grateful to have experienced.