TEN TASTY FISH

Living a few miles inland from the Atlantic, I’ve learned a few things when it comes to fresh fish. Just be sure to stock up on lemons and melted butter and maybe a few spices and fresh parsley.

  1. Cod. Once available in unbelievable quantities, it’s become scarcer and costlier. Still, it’s classic – especially as scrod.
  2. Haddock. Makes a great sandwich or flaky fish ’n’ chips.
  3. Monkfish. Like lobster tail.
  4. Dayboat dogfish shark. It’s a favorite in England for fish and chips. A different texture than haddock. Nothing like a little variety, right?
  5. Trout. You don’t have to be near an ocean.
  6. Salmon. Now we’re talking.
  7. Striper, so I’ve heard. This one’s purely for sport fishermen and their friends and family. Or the cormorants and osprey and bald eagles that follow them upriver.
  8. Flounder. We have some good species at hand.
  9. Dabs or American Plaice. Now we’re into a cooperative program to protect the local marine resources through more responsible practices. These less popular but more populous alternatives make for fine fresh eating.
  10. Hake, flounder, pollock, or king whiting. Ditto, ditto, ditto, and, yes, ditto. Depending on the week they come in.

For details on some of these, check out the New Hampshire Community Seafood site. The cooperative’s introduced us to some delicious but largely unknown species that are abundant in our own waters, and it’s devoted to sustainable community.

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When it comes to fish and shellfish, what are your favorites? Any special way of preparing them, too?

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Continuing the poetry parade, see what’s new at THISTLE/FLINCH.

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TEN MORE FAVORITE FLOWERS

Well, I’ve been mentioning some of my favorite flowers in seasonal lists. My wife has really opened my eyes to the range before us. And that means we have enough others to generate a list of their own.

  1. Flax or cornflower. The intense blue.
  2. Echinacea.
  3. Tulips. Memories of Camden, Maine.
  4. Coreopsis. Calendula.
  5. Sunflowers.
  6. Bee balm.
  7. Tithonium. Its intense color is a magnet for pollen-seekers.
  8. Sweet woodruff.
  9. Strawberry blossoms.
  10. Day lilies. Trout lilies.

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What would you add to the list?

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Day lilies behind our asparagus bed.

REGARDING ANCIENT HISTORY SOME OF THE LIVING MAY REMEMBER

Carmichael’s, the restaurant her family owns in my new novel, has me looking more closely at others.

What happened to the hippies? (That is: Where did they go?)

That question seeded my newest novel, What’s Left. The book, to be candid, has grown into something much bigger, and I hope more relevant to more readers. It’s about what’s happened to Cassia, born a decade after the hippies faded into, well, wherever.

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LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION!

In the (still a dream) movie version of my new novel, What’s Left, who would you like to see play Cassia’s grandfather Stavros?

A large Queen Anne-style house with a distinctive witch’s hat tower something like this is the headquarters for Cassia’s extended family in my new novel, What’s Left. If only this one were pink, like hers.

TEN FAVORITE PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES

Admittedly, I’m a pretty sedentary guy. I spent my career in an office. And a writer spends hour after hour at a keyboard or researching or reading. So here’s what I do when I’m in full-body motion. And remember, “favorite” here is all relative.

  1. Swimming a half-mile a day, usually in Dover’s indoor pool.
  2. Hiking and walking.
  3. Cross-country skiing.
  4. Folk dancing. New England contras and squares, Greek, and English country, especially.
  5. Singing in a choir. I’ve mentioned the Revels Singers how many times now?
  6. Stacking firewood … there’s an art to keeping it from collapsing.
  7. Shoveling snow … just don’t tell anyone it can be pleasurable in short doses.
  8. Mowing the lawn … love my battery-powered Ryobi.
  9. Collecting seaweed for the garden … yes, it’s a pain, as well. Some things are mixed blessings.
  10. Pushing a wheelbarrow. Usually, there’s an additional chore involved, like trimming the hedges or moving compost.

I hope to get bicycling back on the list. I loved it as a kid.

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What keeps you in shape? More or less?

Continuing the poetry parade, see what’s new at THISTLE/FLINCH.

TEN HOT HISPANIC MUSICIANS

According to one amiga and her buds:

  1. Dulce Marcia.
  2. Jencarlos Canela.
  3. Rolando Polo, pop-opera tenor.
  4. Moneda Dura.
  5. Balvin.
  6. Willy Chirino.
  7. Shakira. (And here I’m trying to keep this to performers new to the rest of us. So be it.)
  8. Manolito Simonet.
  9. Gilberto Santa Rosa.
  10. Myriam Herandez.

Admittedly, this list is biased in a Cuban direction. But it’s a start.

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Digame más. I’m all ears. Any other world music talent we should know about?

A whimsical fence. Warren, Maine.

Of course, this is totally unrelated to the theme. Just another thing on my mind.

TEN FAVORITE LIFEGUARDS

We’ve tried to keep them from getting bored as we swim laps. They’ve done the same. Come to think of it, I doubt that I’ve ever used any of these names in my fiction.

  1. Tynisha.
  2. Caleb.
  3. Hannah.
  4. Nate.
  5. Emilee.
  6. Lexi.
  7. Jess.
  8. Moriah.
  9. Matty.
  10. Alec (plus Alex, as a team).

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Dustin Hoffman’s moonlighting job in Stranger Than Fiction almost made the list, but real life wins out on this one. Come to think of it, these could all be movie stars.

Well, how’s that for a prompt? Who do you know who’d you cast in a movie? Turn into a big celebrity, if you could?

Wisps of morning fog on the Damariscotta River, Maine. Tall masted clipper ships built just upstream once passed by here on their way to long trips on the oceans.

Of course, this is totally unrelated to the theme. Just another thing on my mind.