I Hope You Are Writing

I hope this post finds you as well as can be under the present circumstances of pandemic, political and social unrest, and economic challenges. And despite all this, I hope you are writing.

Vermont Almanac

Cover Art of Vermont Almanac 1

I have been so engrossed in learning to hunt whitetail deer and drafting the story, Learning to Hunt, that I’ve not written much else, not here, and not on my blog. But my essay November appears in the inaugural edition of Vermont Almanac, a lovely anthology about all things Vermont that’s just been published, and I wanted to let you know.

Published by For the Land Publishing, the Almanac is organized by month and is filled with stories, information, illustrations and photography about life in Vermont, where we are connected to the land by weather, agriculture, forests, the rural economy, and each other. Vermont Almanac is especially about the people of this land: the farmers, loggers, conservationists, homesteaders, scientists, hunters, poets and writers “who are preserving and pioneering a rural way of life” according to a land ethic that “combines economic vitality with environmental stewardship and the values of rural life.”

For those of you writing placed-based stories, this is an essential resource, showing some of the different ways writers can find inspiration in a place, its people, and the synergy between them. I hope you will check it out.

And keep writing.

Deborah Lee Luskin

Deborah Lee Luskin lives, writes and hunts in southern Vermont. She blogs at Living in Place, and leads the Rosefire Writing Circles and the Rosefire Revision Circle for writers who want community and support. Learn more.

A Blog of My Own: Living in Place

photo credit: deborahleeluskin.com

Roefire Farm photo credit: deborahleeluskin.com

In Planning A Blog, I knew I was looking for a web designer who would help me build a new site, start a blog, link to social media, and develop enough skills to use and edit it all with confidence. Part of me hoped no such person would materialize, and I could stay in my somewhat uncomfortable but familiar state of technophobia, like the proverbial ostrich with her head in the sand.

I wrote the post to illustrate the steps leading up to launching a blog. And while I’ll deny believing in magic, I did hope an angel would knock on my door and say, “I’m here to help.” I never guessed the angel would be my neighbor.

But in the magic that is cyberspace – that vast galaxy of mysterious connections – a friend who read the post recommended Codewryter, a woman I knew vaguely, the way one knows everyone within a ten-mile radius when one lives in sparsely-populated country. I had no idea she was a web designer, let alone a kind, non-judgmental one who would help me reach my goals.

Some people might call this kismet; others, good luck. I’m currently working my way through The Artist’s Way, and Julia Cameron would call it synchronicity, which is what happens when one opens oneself to the good orderly direction of creative energy that powers the universe. By any name, I’m tremendously grateful.

For several years, now, I’ve had a plan to join Twitter, to rebrand my Facebook page, to become more usefully engaged in social media. As long as it was a plan, I could conveniently keep putting it off. But once I signed on with Codewryter, I had to own up.

At our first meeting, she helped me open a Twitter account. I’m still fuzzy about how to use it, but I’m there – and you can find me at @debluskin. (My full name is one character too long for a handle.) I’m in the process of making my personal Facebook page just that – personal. I’ll be changing my privacy settings by the end of the year and rebranding my professional page from Into The Wilderness to Deborah Lee Luskin. It turns out that such name changes take an Act of Facebook when you have more than two hundred followers, so I’m waiting for the Powers That Be to give me the okay. (I had to prove I was a real business with a copy of my electricity bill.)

Migration takes time, which I’m using to learn about different social media platforms, including which ones are right for

photo by deborahleeluskin.com

Writing Studio, Summer photo by deborahleeluskin.com

me, and how to manage them and still have time to write. Not incidentally, I’m learning that I’m not completely hopeless at navigating in this brave new world.

For readers under a certain age, technophobia may seem foreign and quaint. But to those of us who are Digital Immigrants and remember when the portable electric typewriter and push-button phones were cutting-edge innovations, learning how to navigate in the electronic age is as life-changing to me as it is was a hundred years ago for my grandparents to leave Europe by boat.

I’m glad my grandparents made that journey. And in that spirit of adventure, fear and survival, I’m heading out into new territory with a blog of my own: Living In Place.

I hope you’ll visit me there.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer


Deborah Lee Luskin lives and writes in Southern Vermont.