me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Ridin' on The Vermonter

On my way to a gig at Odyssesy Books in South Hadley, MA. In the past I've done this trip by car, but I'm less enamored of driving than I used to be and I love trains. Already it's my lucky day, because I had this train in my head as the 11:43, but being the belt-and-suspenders type I am I got to the station at 11:25, which is ridiculously early for an 11:43 when you already have a ticket. It is not, however, early for the 11:33, which this train actually is. It was boarding when I got there. If I'd been a little later I'd have been scrooed.

Gorgeous sunny day, out through Queens, then the Bronx, Westchester and up to New Haven. Sun sparkling off various bodies of water, some pastoral, some industrial. Ducks busily making a living, and in one inlet lined with shacks and ramshackle docks, a dozen gliding swans. Why is it that swans, not matter how hard they're working feeding and raising young, always look languid, while ducks, even if they're just swimming along, generally seem harried?

In NYC we're just past peak foliage; as the trains moves north it gets later and later, leafwise. Still, lots of glowing gold remaining, and the occasional scarlet burwst of maple or sumac. Lots of dramatically bare trees, too, casting long black shadows on fields and water.

Great blue heron! Rising and circling from close by. I guess he doesn't like the rumbling of trains.

Next day

That was Thurs, this is Fri. Gig last night went well. Odyssey Books is always fun -- independent bookstore, owner well-read and a fan of mine -- what could be bad? Audience asked good questions, including one or two I'd never heard before, which I love.

Spent the night with really good friends who live in the area; sometimes don't get to see them from one year's end to the next except when I do these gigs, so it's another incentive. One of them works in Springfield, so he drove me down this morning. I had about an hour and a half before train time, so strolled around town -- always love a chance to see a new-to-me place -- then found a Roumanian internet café where I had some lemon-ginger tea and checked a little email.

Now on train, another glorious sunshiny day, passing through wetlands, woods, back ends of towns. Eating bread and cheese my friends provided, checking out the scenery. Trees showing more color again as we go south. Just passed a pond with a black-and-white mallard halfbreed sitting in the middle of it, and farther on, and shop with rusty farm implements in front and a sign on the wall that said "ANTI." The "QUES" was lying on the ground.

I want to give a big and heartfelt holler to the amazing friends without whom this touring stuff would be way not fun. In San Jose, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Philadelphia, up here in MA, friends -- some writers, but mostly not and thus not public figures, so I'm not mentioning names in case it would embarrass anyone to be splashed all over the web -- have put me up and put up with me, dined with me and gone places to look at stuff, have made this whole thing fun and not work. I'm blown away by you guys' generosity with your time, homes, and effort. I don't know what got into you, but I'm glad it did. Thanks!!

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