The Adirondack Museum has announced that the institution will receive into the museum’s collection the wilderness cabin Anne LaBastille, famous worldwide from her Woodswoman series of books, built and lived in, along with many of her personal effects.
An accompanying gift of $300,000 will support the costs of moving the cabin to the museum and incorporating it into a new exhibition, The Adirondack Experience, expected to open in 2017. The gifts were made by the Estate of LaBastille, an author, ecologist, environmental advocate, and former Adirondack Park Agency Commissioner, who passed away in 2011. » Continue Reading.
Among the foreign issues America has dealt with many times is hostage taking. Kidnappers claimed many reasons for the action, but it was frequently done to extort money in support of a cause. Extortion kidnappings have often involved seizing of American missionaries and threatening to kill them unless ransom was paid. More than a hundred years ago, there occurred what is referred to as “America’s First Modern Hostage Crisis,” which is actually the subtitle of a 2003 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Teresa Carpenter.
The Miss Stone Affair is the title, referring to Protestant missionary Ellen Maria Stone. A North Country man was a key player in her story, which riveted the nation for half a year.
Charles Monroe Dickinson was born in November 1842 in Lowville, New York (Lewis County). After high school, he worked for several winters as a schoolteacher at Haverstraw-on-Hudson, about 20 miles south of West Point. The money earned helped further his education at Fairfield Seminary and Lowville Academy. During this time, Charles also explored writing, particularly poetry. At the age of 19 he produced a poem, “The Children,” that constitutes his second great claim to fame. More on that later. » Continue Reading.
Writers, editors, publishers, and book lovers gathered at the Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake on Sunday to hear the announcements of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW’s) annual Adirondack Literary Award winners.
The Adirondack Literary Awards celebrate and acknowledge the books that were written by Adirondack authors or published in the region in the previous year.
All of the books submitted for consideration this year were on display, giving a visual sense of the scope of our Adirondack literary achievements, and many of the authors had signed copies of their books for sale.
This year a record 51 books were submitted, also, for the first time featured articles were accepted as a category. The winners are: » Continue Reading.
The company that my wife (Jill Jones) and I operate, Bloated Toe Enterprises, recently launched an extensive, time-consuming effort towards improving the lot of authors across the region. Note that there was no mention of “we.” Jill saw the need, had the know-how, planned the design, and wrote the programming code for our new venture, the North Country Authors website. There is no cost to anyone. Authors who supply basic information will be featured there, including photographs, biographies, books, news, and book-related events. The site will be kept up-to-date at all times.
The group North Country Authors was actually formed several years ago. Although we had a vision of where it should go, time was lacking. But after attending regional book events during the past decade, Jill recognized the need for organization. With that in mind, she went to work. The current configuration of NCA is easy to navigate and provides loads of information. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Center for Writing Literary Awards are a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part time) in the North Country. Submissions don’t have to be Adirondack-themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, send two copies for submission.
The organizers are looking for submissions of fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, memoir, edited collections and poetry. ACW judges will choose a winner from each category, and popular vote decides a People’s Choice Award at the ceremony in June at the Blue Mountain Center, which donates space and resources for the event. » Continue Reading.
Pendragon Theatre has always been one of my family’s favorite places to see a theatre performance in the Adirondack Park. In addition to an intimate theatre experience, there are always opportunities for children to gain professional theatre skills.
Pendragon hosts kids’ camps, live productions and internships throughout the year. Their latest event is bringing not just the stage alive for young adults, but hopefully their words as well. » Continue Reading.
Up on a Hill and Thereabouts: An Adirondack Childhood (SUNY Press, 2013) by Gloria Stubing Rist is a memoir of growing up in Chilson near Ticonderoga during the Great Depression. In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondacks was rich with nature and filled with human characters.
This memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. Rist served as Newcomb Central School’s school nurse for five years. Her father-in-law was Ernest Rist, a Newcomb politician in the 1920s through the 1950s. Following his death, New York State honored him by naming a previously unnamed peak after him, Rist Mountain in the southeast corner of the Marcy quadrangle. » Continue Reading.
The Answer: “Floppy disks, the appendix, cassette tapes, the Latin language, and wisdom teeth.”
The Correct Question: “What are things that are useless or obsolete?” If you see that question on Jeopardy some day in the not-too-distant future, Alex Trebek might be adding one more element to the answers: the copyright claim. In fact, considering the beating that individual copy rights have taken recently, there’s an argument to be made that private copy rights have already gone the way of the dinosaurs. And there’s no role for cloning in this narrative.
Most of us (“us” as in frequent computer users) love Google for one reason or another. In many cases, it’s a love-hate relationship: we love the speedy access to so much information, but we hate the lack of privacy. We love the research capabilities, but we hate the way they use our personal information for advertising. On and on it goes. » Continue Reading.
Many famous works of literature have Adirondack links, some of them surprising. The Adirondack Center for Writing has created an Adirondack Literary Map that shows where these passages are all set. The map includes everything from a Nancy Drew novel set in Lake Placid and “The Spy Who Loved Me” in Glens Falls to classics like “The Sweet Hereafter,” celebrating the intersection of writing and place within the Park.
When Sylvia Plath broke her leg skiing at Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake, she sent this telegram home to her family: “BRINGING FABULOUS FRACTURED FIBULA NO PAIN JUST TRICKY TO MANIPULATE WHILST CHARLESTONING.” Whether this was before or after she wrote scenes of “The Bell Jar” from the Adirondacks is up for debate. » Continue Reading.
Life takes so many strange turns, you never know what to expect. We’ve seen that often while operating our own business, but recent events were particularly unusual, to the extent that I’d like to share them with you. Three weeks ago, near the end of that long stretch of rain nearly every day, we battled flooding and incurred some damage that cost us more than a few dollars. And up to that point, I had worked all day almost every day since New Year’s. That level of tired can get to you after a while, but an unexpected turn of events soon re-energized me.
While things were still unsettled, we received a phone call from a media outfit. It appeared to perhaps be a survey about television, and maybe about our viewing habits. We’ve received similar calls in the past, and with all the “busy-ness” going on, we could have ignored this one. » Continue Reading.
Would you rather have a book on the New York Times Best Seller List, or a top seller in the Adirondack region?
If you’re an aspiring author, I know, I know … stupid question. But humor me, and before you answer, let me further define the question in this fashion: your book appearing on the New York Times list was produced, marketed, and sold by one of the world’s largest publishing companies. Your regional book, on the other hand, was self-published, which means it was funded, marketed, and sold by you.
I recently asked my partner that question, with the answer appearing obvious to both of us―but it isn’t. Actually, your reply depends on your goals: bragging rights for making the Times list, along with a semblance of fame and a profit; or regional popularity and a larger profit. » Continue Reading.
Buy local … it works! A month ago, I wrote about Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza suing the country’s six largest publishers over e-book issues, and the impact the outcome might have on regional booksellers. As one way of fighting back and helping small businesses (including those in the Adirondacks) survive against the behemoths, I urged consumers to buy local and support the stores in their communities. One comment generated by my story dismissed the idea: “Anyway, exhortations to buy local or buy paper books isn’t going to work, and is not the answer.”
Recent statistics suggest that just the opposite is proving true: it is part of the answer. Despite widespread claims in recent years that e-books would soon cause the demise of printed books, independent bookstores had a great year in 2012. And one of the contributing factors cited is the Buy Local movement. » Continue Reading.
There is still a week left to enter the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW) popular annual Adirondack Literary Awards. ACW is looking for submissions of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and photography published any time in 2012.
The ACW Literary Awards is a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part-time) in the North Country. Submission don’t have to be Adirondack- themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, just send in twocopies for consideration before March 8th. Attach a cover letter with complete contact information and the genre in which you will enter your submission. » Continue Reading.
The regional writing community lost a well-known member with the recent death of David Pitkin, 73, of Chestertown on February 13. I first communicated with David via email many years ago to obtain copies of his books for our online store. In person or by email, he came across as friendly, kind, and gracious. While I didn’t know him well personally and only met him a few times at book events, I did know him through his writings.
David was the most recognized ghost-story author in the Adirondack region. A native of Corinth in Saratoga County, he wrote his first book of ghost stories in 1998 following retirement from 36 years as a schoolteacher. The subject was ghosts of Saratoga County, which Pitkin called “America’s most haunted county.” The book was a success, leading to many more similar titles, the most recent of which was released just six months before his death. He also wrote a novel and was working on a sequel at his passing. » Continue Reading.
A few weeks ago, in a piece about old-time weather forecaster Billy Spinner, I mentioned insects on our sidewalk near Christmastime, which is certainly out of the ordinary in my life’s experience. In another piece in December, I mentioned the value of keeping a journal. The two subjects came together recently when I was pondering how the winters of my youth seem so different from those we are experiencing today. Of course, we can’t trust our memories, which again demonstrates the value of a journal.
Now don’t get all excited thinking that I’m trying to prove climate change or global warming. I do know that through my teen years (mainly the 1960s), little time was spent wondering if we would have a white Christmas each year. It was basically a given. » Continue Reading.
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