26 Comments
Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

Thank you! I love this so much on a morning I’m reflecting on the importance of play, wonder, delight, spontaneity to balance out a life that is so heavy and too often intense with grief and with the work I choose to do. I’m so glad you’ve had this lovely time. I too love the Merlin app and the deer! Yesterday I called in the dolphins at sunset, and they came! They always captivate me. Savoring the moments of our last week in our winter getaway.

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I’m so glad you got some time away in nature. It always resets me. Thank you for mentioning the craft books by Greywolf press. I’m looking forward to reading them. ❤️

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Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

Certainly, for DEER life. Having deer visit is like having spirits sort of waft gently in and out of your day. I have had the experience, and I always felt a little special, or perhaps chosen by something in that moment. I live in the PNW and spring creeps in so slowly I feel like I might go mad before the sun warms the soil. So what I am particularly looking forward to is True Spring (yes, caps) and my blooming garden. Long days are on that list too. And all the birds that trapeze through my yard and fill the air with song. This too means I am alive and living. I am looking forward to your next pep-talk. The lesson plan is the best! - April

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Maggie, There's so much delight in this piece. Thank you for bringing a smile on a Monday morning. I'm new to writing poetry and hadn't discovered the Graywolf craft series—I'm already excited to dig in. And I've now downloaded the Merlin app! This weekend, the forest was full of birdsong. After a long, gray winter, I felt such joy and hope just listening to their song. I'm presently reading Make Peace with Your Mind by Mark Coleman. Though I have good awareness around my inner critic, this book is teaching me how to bring kindness into the mix. Hope the magic continues to find you this week!

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Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

The Merlin App is SUCH a game changer! I've learned so much from it. For example, 8 times out of 10 the mystery bird I'm hearing is a cardinal, lol. But it's truly so so great.

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I just finished Kelly Link's new novel The Book of Love over the weekend, and it's delicious. A coming of age novel in some ways, and definitely a fantasy novel, but very much written for adults.

I should eschew all television because it's a time suck that doesn't provide much in the way of benefit, though maybe escape is a reasonable need to seek fulfillment for, ultimately. I've dropped all my other escapist habits over the years, so tv is what's left. In any case, my tv escapes of late have been Madam Secretary (Yes, I saw the Good Bones ep. So good!), The Magicians, the newest live-action Avatar on Netflix, and (weirdly) Maine Cabin Masters. I just like imagining that someday I'll have a low-tech camp to escape to regularly. That seems a healthy escapism.

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Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

I celebrated my first creative writing publication by going to the city, enjoying the view and the sunset from the edge of Lake Michigan, eating at a vegan restaurant with a friend, and seeing Aimee Mann in a small theater where every seat is a good one. I'll be riding those waves into this week! Like others, I'm happy to know about the Greywolf press series--I've already got two on order. I'm currently reading Lyz Lenz's new book--such a great blend of memoir + sociology.

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Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

What a "deer" gem you have landed in my lap right before I was going to do teaching prep. Now I feel inspired!

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Mar 4·edited Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

Thanks for consistently bringing us joys, Maggie.

I just finished ‘Postcards’, Annie Proulx’s first novel, and damn…so much to say, and I won’t try here. I’ll say: she can write a freaking sentence! The story itself is masterfully crafted and interwoven, but the moments of poetry are what made me sit up and gesture like I was in a Baptist church service. This, and the sense of familial disintegration in mid-late 20th century America in the face of industrialization/corporate consolidation. It brought to mind Maile Meloy’s ‘Liars and Saints’ which I read a couple months ago, similarly tracking the tragedies of a family as the 20th century progressed. I’m going full lit crit over here, don’t mind me…

I’m visiting a dear friend in Southern California right now, so in addition to Annie Proulx I’m in love with the flowers growing every-freaking-where. It’ll be a couple months until we get some flowers popping off in Montana so I’m basking. Here and there an Anna’s hummingbird flits by.

Again, thanks for all you do Maggie!

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The Merlin app is the only reason I don't throw my phone into the river. Have you tried Seek by iNaturalist? It's my favorite app for plant recognition!

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Mar 4Liked by Maggie Smith

Ah, wonderful. I adore the Merlin app. And the Carolina wren is one of my favorite little creatures — I was taught that its call is saying, “Teakettle, teakettle, teakettle!”

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