Writer’s Workshop – Fun? Maybe?

I’ve never been to a writing work shop
or a writer’s retreat before.
I did accidentally walk into one
while living on the coast in Rhode Island.
I was out for my normal afternoon walk.
I could hear the ocean, but I couldn’t see it.
The terrain had small twisted coastal trees
mixed with dune type plants and coastal tide
vegetation. I don’t know the names of these things.
But I can see them as clearly now as I did while
I walked among them. I reached the end of the
path and took a left to head back toward
the parking lot and walked directly into a writing
workshop. A writing coach was instructing the participants
to open themselves to nature and listen for the
sounds that stirred them and to write about these
sounds and feelings after having
accumulated enough stimulation.
I just look at a wall, or out my window, until
words find me. I don’t know if I’d fit in at a writing
workshop. I think I’d rather meet a bunch of
writers at a pub and drink beer. We could all
talk about the weather, or sex. Who am I kidding?
I don’t talk to strangers about sex. I’d rather talk
about the weather and listen to what they think.
Great storms bring with them a feeling of importance.
I’d like to know more about that.
I hope those writers in Rhode Island
found what they were looking for.

-M. Taggart

Life in New England

New England teases us with history, landscape, and weather then grips our imagination -M. Taggart

Mapio.net Turners Bridge.jpg
Gill/Turners Falls, MA. Travel North on the Connecticut River just a few miles and you’ll find you’re in New Hampshire on one side, and Vermont on the other. In the middle of the river, it’s up to you. (photo credit mapio.net)

 

UMASS campus
UMASS campus. Amherst, Massachusetts. I know a number of my friends have witnessed the wind that whips by the library in the winter. (photo credit google images/hercampus.com)
Portland ME Harbor (visitmaine)
Portland Harbor, Maine. Portland is quickly becoming a destination. It’s rustic New England docks are being mixed with Brew Pubs and diversity. Go there and possibly take a harbor cruise all the way to Nova Scotia. (photo credit google images/visitmaine) 

 

 

Green River Bridge Greenfield
Green River Bridge. Greenfield, MA. This covered bridge was all but destroyed by flooding during Hurricane Irene. This road is one of many leading to the hills of Western, MA. (photo credit google images/charlie kellogg)

 

Clydes's Cider Mill
Clyde’s Cider Mill located in Stonington, CT. Sept 1st brings the opening of the Cider Mill. Little known gem- just to the left and down toward the back entrance of the basement is a whiskey/cider distillery. They allow you to sample and purchase half and full gallons. A great hot toddy for September evenings on the porch in New England.  (photo credit/westerly sun)

 

Sandy
Misquamicut Beach Westerly, RI. Among the most southern portions of New England. It’s difficult to explain to people how Hurricane Sandy created the ocean to rise and swallow the beach front property. The ocean redeposited the sand dunes onto Atlantic Avenue. The hurricane literally changed the face of the beach.(photo credit Bill Van Siclen/ProvidenceJournal)

 

Appalachian Trail
100 mile wilderness, Appalachian Trail, Maine. So..you’d like to hike the 100 mile wilderness? This is truly Up-Maine and is strikingly beautiful- The Gateway to the North. A warning though is this: some who hike the 100 mile wilderness are never seen again. (photo credit youtube/will wood)

 

Thank you for reading and Cheers!

I invite you to learn about my self published book.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Or read the reviews via the amazon link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

About the author: When asked where he is from, Matt has replied, ‘I’m from mud.’ Matt grew up in the farmlands of Western, MA. He’s lived in numerous locations within New England. -Read on. It’s good for the brain.

A Pub Walk – New England Pubs

I enjoy pubs. I enjoy reading. I combined them and learned I am addicted to reading while at pubs. Listening to the drone of public speak, mixed with arguments or laughter, I’ve found a gem of solitude and happiness. I have even met great friends.

In New England we have a number of hidden pubs. When asked how to get to one of these gems, some might answer, ‘You can’t get there from here.’

First, The Book Mill. Seated on the bank of a river in Montague, MA. Before this converted mill housed a pub (The Lady Killigrew Cafe), my brother and I would walk this river and watch our father fish for trout. Get there early and grab a seat overlooking the river. Outside seating overlooking moving water stirs imagination. Go here. They have good beer and oddly enough good rice. There’s even a bookstore next door.

Outside Brew

bookmill1

 

Next up- The BridgeSide Grill, Sunderland, MA. Ah, Yes! I cannot write this without mentioning some good friends. I would embarrassingly stay at this cozy family friendly hide-away until closing time. At times I would help them vacuum. These were my bachelor days and the owner and staff were incredibly kind to me. They never kicked me out while I read and drank their beer and held up a seat for hours. In fact, I miss doing that to them. I lived close by. I walked there. And I would walk home. The BridgeSide Grille has a nook style bar and outside patio. I once was able to talk the owner’s son into selling a piece of art work he’d created. His painting was once hung on the wall of the bar. I really should give that back. When visiting BridgeSide be sure to also drive to the top of Mount Sugarloaf. BridgeSide Grille is located just on the over side of the bridge.

B Side Bridge

 

And moving on- Rhode Island has many pubs. One of which is The Twisted Vine in Westerly, RI.. Along with a great name, Pat and her employees were amazing to Megan during her pregnancy. The Twisted Vine has a NYC feel with the comfort of New England. Exposed Brick, properly lighted, with wood floors and a fire place- you cannot go wrong enjoying a drink here. Especially in the winter. Seat yourself in one of the high back leather chairs near the fireplace and enjoy a cocktail named after a famous author, such as my favorite, Ernest Hemingway. Just before Christmas I once walked into The Twisted Vine to find a Christmas party ongoing. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat left at the bar. Everyone was dressed very well. I was wearing a hoodie, blue jeans, and boots. I was even wearing my beat up Boston Red Sox hat. In my right hand was a book. I turned to leave. While walking toward the door, someone grabbed my elbow and said, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Pat, the owner, had observed me leaving. She wasn’t about to let me feel out of place. And it worked. She placed my butt in a seat and told me to enjoy and read. And I did.

I took the picture of The Twisted Vine’s floor just after Pat had them sanded and urethaned. Pat had seen me walking down the street and waved me in to have a look.

photo (58)

porter

And instead of my sub par photography I’ll post a picture that shows how gorgeous The Twisted Vine is.

Vine.JPG

Vine O

 

And lastly, simply because I’m running out of time to write, The Haversham. Also in Westerly, RI. Within The Haversham you’ll find a large sports pub. You literally can’t get there from one side of the road. You must first fight the Rhode Island road system before being able to enjoy one of the best sports pubs in the area. And when you do, ask for Shane. That man you will not forget. He may, or may not, be slightly crazy. Which I consider to be a word of wisdom and I’m flattered when I’m given the compliment.

It’s simple- if you want to watch a Patriots game and shout at the top of your lungs while drinking beer, this is where you need to be. You will have a rowdy good time. I’ve taken too many pictures of myself cheersing a new friend while at the Haversham. I’ve read numerous books and talked at length about authors, town happenings, and even politics and religion.

H Q

And slightly crazy Shane. The beach is just down the road.

Crazy S

I use the term ‘Pub’ loosely in this article. Each establishment I’ve written about has it’s own brand. I call them ‘Pubs’ because I hold that word close to my heart. To me, it’s an expression. A compliment. When I ask a friend if they’d like to go to a Pub it is because I would like to create a memory over a pint. I would like to charge forward and dive into a conversation that might never be forgotten. I want to cheers to them and to the moment and take a long pull just as Hemingway may have done.  And remember- Don’t ask permission to live your life. Live and be well doing it.

Thanks for reading. If interested in reading more you’ll find information on my self published short story via the link below.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Cheers.

 

New England – More Than a Region

New England bands culture with devotion. Where the four seasons are to be experienced and enjoyed, not endured. -M. Taggart

IMG_0044 (1)
Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush Senior’s estate overlooks the ocean. Kennebunkport is a beautiful sea side town. Visit the shops or brew pubs and enjoy the views.
Waiting
Watch Hill, Westerly RI. Fog helps to set the mood. The child will not see whom he is waiting for again.
Maine Snow
Shapleigh, Maine. A man climbs a snow bank during a snowstorm (2014). The region had been hit by several snow storms. People in Maine are known for enjoying all four seasons. Apparently night time snow bank climbing counts.
brimfield-tornado.jpg
Brimfield, MA. The 2011 tornado badly damaged this New England town. Visit Brimfield’s massive antique show.  You can view the tornado damage and help the town by having lunch or staying the night. Here’s where to find info http://www.brimfieldshow.com
Emily-Dickinson-Homestead.jpg
Amherst, MA. If you enjoy poetry, visit the Emily Dickinson house then visit downtown Amherst. It’s not a large town, but it’s just big enough to make an afternoon out of it. And if you’re researching colleges, there are five within minutes of one another.
Maple Syrup.jpg
Maple syrup lines, New Hampshire. (source: Flickr user glass_house)
Wine Country
Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.  Take a drive into the hills of Connecticut, you won’t be disappointed.
Lobster Maine
Perry Long’s Lobster Shack, Surry, Maine. Find more info here http://www.mainetravelmaven.com/my-favorite-maine-lobster-shacks/
block
Block Island, RI. Go here. Just, GO, Here. Take the quick ferry ride and find this beach.

New England consists of six states. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Click the link below if you’d like to read a short story which takes place in the valley-farmlands of Western MA.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Cheers! -M. Taggart

Creator of Smiles

We’ve just moved north. We’re in a town-house until our new home is built. Your grandmother Kathy and grandfather George visited while the builder sat at the kitchen table with your mother and I discussing building plans. You were comfortably sitting with your grandmother chewing your plastic flexible frog. You put the frog’s head in your mouth and chew the head as though it were a binky.

Smile. RI, roughly one month before moving.
Smile. RI, roughly one month before moving.

A great thing has happened. -We’ll be building our house on land that’s surrounded by Maine Forrest. Your back yard is an extension of hundreds of miles of trails. This is important. I have many great memories as a child while playing in a ravine tucked away in farmland. Now, you’ll have you’re own ravine on a much larger scale. As it should be. Parents should strive to give their children a better life than their own. All while remembering what humbled them, what developed them and what lead them to the moment of the birth of their children. I’ll not forget. We, your mother and I, along with your entire family, have many plans for you and we’ve much to show and teach you. It’ll all begin in your back yard.

Your back yard. Maine.
Your back yard. Maine.

You’ll be coming with us as we clear the land this spring. You’ll see the pouring of the foundation, the raising of the walls and you’ll be there as we all celebrate our first time opening the front door.

I’ve noticed an ability you’ve been given. Everyone who meets you wants to hold you. They hold you and smell the top of your head and nuzzle you with their noses. They smile. They all smile. Sometimes you wiggle and bend your way into gazing up at whomever holds you and you smile back. Your family is spread all through out New England. They travel to be with you.

You’ve just turned 7 months old. We consider you to be very sturdy. You roll over constantly. You sit up very well. You have large hands. You stand with help. You’re trying to crawl and I believe you’ll achieve this in two to three weeks. You come to attention when you hear classical music such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.

You vocalize when you see your two Maine Coon cats. And when in your jumper chair you hold your arms up when you wish to be held. This works well for you. Your first real food was avocado. You ate the entire portion.

Maine. Your first week in the town-house.
Maine. Your first week in the town-house.

When I raise my eyebrows, while wearing a grin, you smile. So, I walk around wearing a smile nearly all day. Thank you. I’m fortunate that my career is in technology. I’m able to not only work from our home office, but I’m also able to be with you every day. I no longer eat lunch alone. I brew my morning coffee knowing I’ll soon hear you waking. Which means I’ll soon be opening your bedroom door. Which means I’ll soon be hovering over your crib with my eyebrows raised.

I’m often told that we should put you in day care. Your mother and I think not. We think I’ll have you as long as I can. I view my time with you as a gift. The first piece of literature I read to you was Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and The Sea. I love to read and I had you to read it to. If I can better learn to balance my work, with life, than I believe I’ll be learning to become a better father. Putting you in day care has nothing to do with difficulty raising you, but rather with my own limitations as a parent and how I can further develop them. I write this so openly because I worry that our society too quickly passes on the opportunity to be with their children. That’ll not be me. You are my handsome companion whom helps me cherish moments. My little man. Just now you’re rolling around in the center of our king size bed with two pillows on either side of you. You roll to one and than the other. You have found the opening in the pillow case where the zipper connects the fabric. You’re talking to the zipper.

Moments after chewing on said zipper.
Moments after chewing on said zipper. (I flipped the pillow to hide the zipper.)

That’s it for now, Gavin. I see that you’ve decided the zipper ought to be chewed on and it’s clearly time to pick you up.

Cheers,

And remember- It is a gift to love. Your mother and I love you which clearly means you are the gift.

Me.

Just before moving, RI.
Just before moving, RI.

A Poem

Shivering our soul-
Our shadow keeps pace-
Again into the dark-

copyright -M. Taggart 2016

IMG_1481

(Photo taken by -M. Taggart. You’re welcome to use this photo as long as you give photo credit to my blog.) Watch Hill, Rhode Island. 2/11/16. -M. Taggart

I Love My Country

In the heat of many passions it’s possible to forget to remember what’s good. In all times there are wars and divides splitting peoples of every country. That does not make all peoples of each country bad people. And it’s my belief that people ought not hide their love for their country, nor their flag, for fear of the bad. I’m thankful for the ground I walk on and I hope others are as well. No matter where they call home.

You don't need permission to love your country. Photo credit google images.
You don’t need permission to love your country. Photo credit google images.
December 19, 2010. Connecticut River, Sunderland MA. A man decides where to launch into the icy water. It is his birthday and he chooses to celebrate with the river.
December 19, 2010.  Connecticut River, Sunderland MA.  A man decides where to launch. It’s his birthday and he chooses to celebrate with the river.  Notice the skull in the rock.
Icy steps leading in Wilcox park. Westerly, Rhode Island.
Icy steps in Wilcox park. Westerly, Rhode Island.  Always walk on.
Hunting in Northern Maine. The area is large. You best bring proper gear.
Hunting in Northern Maine. The area is large. You best bring proper gear.
Typical New England drive after a new snow fall. Hills of Connecticut.
Typical New England drive after new snow fall. Hills of Connecticut.
A couple takes a moment to enjoy a bottle of red while tucked away near the edge of Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.
A couple takes a moment to enjoy a bottle of red while tucked away near the edge  of the property at Jonathan Edwards Winery. North Stonington, CT.
The tree awaits a friend to sit at its base and read. Gill, MA. My home town.
The tree awaits a friend to sit at its base and read. Gill, MA. My home town.
Old concrete steps leading into a salt water inlet. Westerly, RI.
Old concrete steps leading into a salt water inlet. Westerly, RI.

There are only so many steps we will take. Find your country.  Enjoy it best you can.

You might also enjoy my self published short story found via the amazon link below.  Cheers.  -M. Taggart

It Hides Itself with Seasons – New England

It’s crisp with crunching leaves then humid with summer nights.  Its snow is deep and winters long with flowers growing wild in the spring.  It hides itself with seasons.  New England.  -M. Taggart

Shelburne Falls, MA, across from the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html
Shelburne Falls, MA.  Home of the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html
Westerly, RI. A well known path by locals.
Westerly, RI.  A well known path by locals.
Hills of CT- Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.
Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.
Montague, MA. Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father's favorite fishing holes.
Montague, MA.  Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father’s favorite fishing holes.
Rangeley, ME. You can't get there from here.
Rangeley, ME.  You can’t get there from here.
Somewhere near Greenville, ME. A bit of a hidden spot where George has taught me to fly fish.
Somewhere near Greenville, ME.  A bit of a hidden location where I was taught to fly fish.
Ninigret Park. Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.
Ninigret Park.   Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.
Gill, MA. My home town. Tom Brady once sent his Realtor to view the estate on settled on top of this hill.
Gill, MA.  My home town. Tom Brady once sent a contact to view the estate settled on top of this hill.
Block Island, RI. Where I accidentally fell in love.
Block Island, RI. Where I fell in love with a silhouette.

copyright M. Taggart.  Feel free to share this article by forwarding the link.

You can find my self published book via the amazon link below-