My latest essay is up with Headspace: Stitch by Stitch. It's about my long love affair with knitting as both creative endeavor and mental distraction and a sweater that took me forever to finish as I was knitting it for my daughter as my husband was dying.
I'm thrilled to announce that the lovely book, MAINE knits, is now available for preorder. The book is a compilation of knitting patterns inspired by the sea, farms, and wilds of Maine, as well as essays by Maine writers, including one of mine. It is a beautiful publication filled with heart and soul and lovely projects. If you love Maine and love to knit, this is the book for you! Preorders will arrive in January 2017 (and if you want to order it as a gift, you can have a card sent indicating the book's January arrival!). Order your copy here!
While this has nothing to do with my writing work, after years of making handmade cards (with hand-carved stamps, dried flowers, etc), I am finally selling some of them through one of my local farms (just down the road!), 47 Daisies. This collection is a variety of Gulf of Maine marine life (horseshoe crab, rock weed, moon snail, starfish, and mussels) in different combinations and colors. They were a lot of fun to make and make great (and affordable - just $10 for a pack of five cards with envelopes) gift for your Maine/marine life/handmade item loving family or friends. You can purchase the cards (as well as other beautiful items made by local artisans) here. They also ship nationwide!
Today would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. In honor of that (and because my daughter had a random in-service day off of school today), we drove to the western mountains of Maine to Smalls Falls, a beautiful area near Saddleback Mountain, where her father and I got married. Smalls Falls has waterfalls, some light hiking trails, and a picnic area. The day was warm and sunny and beautiful - just like the day Steve and I got married. We had a picnic lunch together and then spent a while wandering around. We connected with another mom and her 9-year-old son and explored with them for a while. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream and bought pumpkins from a roadside stand.
When I got home, I learned that one of my essays had been published a little ahead of schedule. Not only was this an essay about dating and finding love again after my husband's death, but the inspiration that started the essay in my brain was the coincidence that my boyfriend's birthday is the day after my husband's death anniversary. And now, uncannily, it had come into the world on what would have been my 10th wedding anniversary.
Without further ado: On Finding Love Again as a Single Mom
Two years ago this September, Zoe and I attended Camp Ray of Hope for the first time. CROH is a camping weekend for grieving families and individuals. It's a safe and wonderful place to talk about your grief openly with others, and it made a huge impact on Zoe and I. Here's a little essay about our experience, published today in the Bangor Daily News.
My family was exceedingly lucky when innumerable friends, family members, and community organizations came to our aid during some of our most difficult days while Steve was dying. This essay, up today at the Bangor Daily News, explores the support we received and how I am trying to raise Zoe to understand the importance of giving back.
When Steve and I were newlyweds and in our early twenties, we made the somewhat unwise decision to adopt a boisterous and socially inept pupster named Gabbie. Fast forward almost nine years and we all lived through so much together as a family and Gabbie was by my side while Steve was dying. Now, quite uncannily, Gabbie is dying from a spinal tumor. My latest essay, When Cancer Comes for Those You Love, is up on The Establishment today, and explores this complicated experience.
Very pleased to have another essay published with Brain, Child: Alive and Breathing and Happy explores the challenges of embodying what doesn't meet the eye and rolling with the actions and words of others when you fall outside the "normal," nuclear family.
Happy to have a poem, Home, up on Literary Mama today. It's about the different ways we see the world and the experience of my daughter helping me scatter my husband's ashes on White Head Island in the Bay of Fundy two summers ago.
My prose poem, "Snow," is the first installment of Entropy's "On Weather" series, and is up today. I wrote this poem over the course of two winters, when Steve's death was looming but not yet certain, and things were challenging but not yet nearing the end. Meditations on the natural world (and even just my own backyard) frequently show up in my journals and writing and are a source of exploration for me.
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives and writes on a little piece of land in Maine.