Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
I just about ran out of time to send an October newsletter... The first week of the month I took a day off from helping my husband, who was recovering from back surgery, to fly to Providence, RI, for the New England Independent Booksellers Association conference, where I signed copies of Tidal Flats and met lots of wonderful people who love books. The second week of October I spent in Ashville, NC, recording Tidal Flats at The Talking Book studios. Hard work but I bonded with the book in a whole new way. The third week, I was in California for the Writing by Writers Tomales Bay Workshop, where I was the Saturday afternoon guest reader along with Rebecca Makkai, who was teaching this year.
But yikes! I’m supposed to be writing about my days, not my weeks. I need to slow down.
Before I started my reading at Tomales Bay, I told the group of writers that I had attended my first writing conference in 1999. So, twenty years between attending the first one and reading at one. Whatever your dreams, keep going. Anything is possible.
These days I’m reading the novel Desperate Characters by Paula Fox, published back in 1970 and recommended by Instagram’s @booksnourish_caroleann. It’s about a marriage, and I love it. In this scene between the husband and wife, notice how the author slows the moment.
“I don’t want a drink,” she said irritably. He stood directly in front of her, blocking out the room. There was hesitancy in his look. He had heard her, hearing him, and he was sorry. She could see that, sorry herself now that she had spoken so meanly. For a second, they held each other’s gaze. “That button’s loose,” she said, touching his jacket. “I’ll get you something…” he said, but he didn’t move away. They had averted what was ordinary; they had felt briefly the force of something original, unknown, between them. Even as she tried to name it, it was dissolving, and he left her suddenly just as she had forgotten what she was trying to remember.

And I’m making time for music—listening to The Good Graces new Prose and Consciousness, which I reviewed on Amazon (my first music review!), and the Lumineers new III on repeat.
Me again. After ten plus years of featuring other writers in the How We Spend Our Days series, I finally wrote about one of my days. Here’s the opening. 
On Sunday, March 26, 1995, with child #4 almost two years old, I had a moment where no one needed me. I’ve always been a reader, and during the years my children were young, books were my lifeline. And so, at 38, I made my first attempt at creative writing.
Flash forward 24 years to a Tuesday morning in September of 2019 when I wake to an alarm in the dark, my husband, Cal, asleep beside me. I swing my feet to the floor where they land on Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, this book a result of Ross’s year-long practice of writing an essay a day on something delightful. Tidal Flats was officially published the day before. A day when delight was everywhere—the morning signing, the evening party, the friends, the book cake—but so was nervousness. [read more]
At this moment, you are on the outside and can look with some objectivity to that season of the year when time not only seems to speed up but also to wipe out everything in its path. How will you enjoy the days of November and December? How will you make them matter?
One December years ago, every day at 5:00 pm, I stopped ordering and wrapping and planning to take a slow walk on our street. I still remember watching lights come on in the houses. And breathing, I remember breathing. If you have other suggestions for not getting smashed by the giant holiday snowball, email me, and I will include in the November issue.
With this newsletter, I wish you some slow moments.
Let me know how you’re spending your October days. And feel free to share this email with others. Thanks for reading.
Peace out,

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Issue #5 October 2019
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Copyright © 2019 Cynthia Newberry Martin, All rights reserved.

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