When folks ask me where I’m from — pretty common in New York, which is a very transient city — I say Vermont. Now, I only spent three full years of high school and all four summer breaks from college in the Green Mountain State, but I claim it anyway. There’s more of Vermont in me than any of the other places I’ve lived.
So when I get to return, such as this past weekend to visit my mom, I get a little blissed out. And this time, Vermont laid out a bit of a welcome mat. The picture here is of the Local Authors shelf at the Bennington Bookshop, where I bought many a book in my youth. Even though I’m not technically local anymore, you can see both The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis there on the second shelf. And that brought me joy.
There are also copies in the SF/F section, and all my books there are now signed. As further incentive, my 10-year-old daughter signed the photo credit she received in the back for taking my headshot. Rare collectables, y’all. So if you’re in the Bennington area, stop by and support a great local bookseller!
Bennington gave me my start as a pro writer; I interned at The Bennington Banner, the local daily. And below is a picture of the Silk Road covered bridge outside town. It’s an awesome bridge, dating to 1840. Twenty-four years ago, I took almost this exact photo for the paper. Now, I was never a great 35mm photographer, and it was in B/W film on top of that. It took a good hour of developing to get a usable image for the paper. The photo below happened in one click with my iPhone 5s, and came out fantastic:
If I were in the darkroom (or Photoshop, I suppose), I’d dodge in a bit more of the other side of the bridge, but really, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this came out, especially when I remembered just how stubborn my first attempt was more than two decades ago.
So there’s my bit of Vermont. Enjoy your moment of zen.