Are there things you try to practice daily to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

Started more than 20 years ago…replaced incandescent Luba with eventually led… solar security lights electric lawnmowers and now fully electric yard tools…finally solar on the roof that even on bad solar days generates 2 to 3 times what we use and we sell the rest back to the grid….eventually an electric truck

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What’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten?

A plate of fresh fried clams and hot. Dripping butter lobster and on the outdoor deck at Shaw’s wharf new village Maine ..fresh sea air and swarming seagulls

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If you were forced to wear one outfit over and over again, what would it be?

I pretty much gave up formality yet years ago … so jeans are the outfit… no forcing no weighty thought process …wear em till they’re dirty put on another pair



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A lesson from Robert Frost

Not to get all Robert Frosty, but we’ve been at this crossroads before

And taken one turn or the other

That seem to  circle back seeking light through a dim trail blocked  by near misses, misunderstandings,

anger, blame, tears,  emptiness that comes from disappointment.

 So we determined march on, scrape away our steps, throw up the shield and craft

the plastic face that hides the shimmer of taste and desire and the woe of

kisses never completed, lips never touched, hands and moist fingers distant,

words incomplete, hollow breath, left standing in a growing distance, a rising sky, shrinking inside the shell, a voice too small to crack the rising silence.

Forgetting we strewed the path with flowers and empty tea cups, buds wrapped in newspapers delivered secretly, Caribbean beaches, the light of you, all the stuff  that never balances the words not said the touches missed, a stumbling walk that fills your eyes with sadness because it all should have been better, deeper, thrilling, burning, joy screaming, not silent and cold on a path that finds a dark  end.

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How do you waste the most time every day?

Define waste…are we all type As turning every moment into progress, every action into a win…maybe that’s the waste…how about seeking old friends and lovers making peace sitting in the yard birdwatching avoiding mowing the lawn watching old tv shows…the future comes whether we march into it or not….enter at your own pace and not someone else’s

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How do you want to retire?

We leave jobs but our skills are used in different ways…. Retirement is an ad campaign…there is always work to be done

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Nagler 6: Internet tag

In the Frank Nagler Mystery work-in-progress, NAGLER’S SECRET, a

woman with changing hair color and a hidden past has been flitting at the edges of the story. In this scene with reporter Jimmy Dawson, she begins her slide into the center of the mystery.

The multi-award-winning Frank Nagler Mysteries are: THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY, A GAME CALLED DEAD, THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, THE RED HAND  and DRAGONY RISING. Available in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

A reviewer’s note: The author is an exceptional writer – inventive with words, fresh with his storyline, and in presenting a variety of characters to love and hate. I find myself bored easily with most of the new books erupting daily, but Michael Stephen Daigle knows what he is doing and is up to the task. His stories capture me, entertain and challenge me, and leave me wanting just one more of his books each time I finish one.

The Nagler Mysteries are available at Book & Puppet, Downtown Easton, Pa.

The scene:

Jimmy Dawson slipped into the diner booth opposite  Nancy Pollard.

It was the perfect spot, tiny, quiet, off the main road near a pigeon-filled wreck of a train depot, the kind of place the locals would fill on a weekend morning.

But this was Wednesday.

Waylon Jennings leaked from the kitchen, barely cutting the weighed silence. Nancy had taken the side of the booth facing the door.

The teen-age server with big hair and bigger earrings perched in a window seat spinning her phone aps with disinterest.

“How’d you know it was me?” Nancy asked. She’d changed her hair.

Her voice was gravel after rain, sandpaper rubbed smooth, a hint of a road not taken.

“I followed the links from my news site to your webpage,” Dawson said. “The internet seems to be a random place, but every piece of it leaves fingerprints.”

She brushed a red bang off her forehead. Her hair used to be blonde, although Dawson had seen a photo from twenty years ago when it was black. Hard to say what her natural color was. Or what her name was. Or exactly why he was tracking her, even though she had a history.

“You don’t know that.”

“Actually I do. I’d post an item I knew would attract your attention and sure enough, it would be on your webpage in less than a day. What I didn’t know is why you’d fall for such obvious tricks.  Started a couple years ago. You just popped up, so I tagged you. Curiosity. You couldn’t resist. Anything about Frank Nagler got you clicking.”

“Why’d you start following me?”
          “Because you got away with your father’s murder.”

Her face didn’t change. Her eyes didn’t retract and her shoulders didn’t flinch.

“So it’s true,” Dawson said.

Her lips barely formed a smile; the corners turned up and she showed the lower edge of her upper teeth. In any other situation, after any other question, Dawson thought it would have been seductive. It was, he decided, evil.

He leaned in.

“You wanna tell me about it?”

She leaned in as well and she rested her folded arms on the table.

Her face was inches from Dawson’s, her dark eyes burrowing into his; he knew he could not move back.

“No.” Her lips barely moved.

“I will find out.”

“You might.”

“I might already know.”

“Then why are you here? Post it on your little website.”

“Because there’s more.”

She leaned back.

“Aw, Dawson. There’s nothing to it or anything  else you think you might know.”

“You’re wrong if you think you know what I know.”

“What is this, truth or dare? Come on, Dawson.  You don’t scare me.”

“Is that a threat, Nancy? Really?”

“Do you want to follow that rabbit hole?”

“Been down worse.”

“What do you think I’m going to tell you?” Her head twitched.

Dawson felt the turn. He offered a half grin.

“You’re  not going to tell me anything. You’re gonna confirm something.”

Nancy Pollard laughed, one loud guffaw, “Ha!” and leaned back smiling.

The teen-aged server looked up and then back at her phone.

An acid reply. “Confirm what?”

“Nagler’s secret.”

Her face collapsed, her eyes narrowed, their darkness burning.

“In exchange for what?”

“Keeping you out of jail.”

“You can’t do  that.”

“Why, are you worried about it?”

She offered a scoffing laugh as she slipped out of the booth.

“You never find it.”

She was three strides away when Dawson said, “How do you know I haven’t found it already?”

He wondered if the wide crack in the floor tile caused her slight stumble.

Nancy flashed open her black Lexus SUV and spit gravel as she drove off.

Dawson pushed out of the booth and fished a twenty out of his pocket.

“You’re phone’s old,”  the girl said. “But I got some good shots.”

Dawson  exchanged the twenty for his phone.

Dragony: Dragony Rising: A Frank Nagler Novel – Book 5: 9781944653231: Daigle, Michael Stephen: Books

Dragony Rising: A Frank Nagler Novel – Book 5 by Michael Stephen Daigle, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (

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How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Not hard…you simply ask this question…do I really need to read a story about how experts say I should clean my patio furniture? Soap and water has worked forever

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What jobs have you had?

First job I had was at age 7 picking blueberries in Maine…I also led a strike by pre-teens because they wanted us to rake spots that had already been raked….later restaurants factories the newspapers for four decades….now write books


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Stand with the theater kids as they stand up to censors

Cheers to some  Fort Wayne, Indiana high school thespians who defied religious censors and the local school board, which banned the play, by performing it on their own outside the  school.

The play featured roles  of interchangeable sexuality and clearly expressed the world view of these kids which features tolerance, diversity and equality.

They found community support and even some professional help to stage the play.

And the world did not stop spinning.

Not news, but never ending.

In the mid-1980s I was working at the  Waterville, Maine Sentinel when in the nearby  town of Skowhegan this scenario of an outraged minority Christian community trying to censor a play was performed.

The falls at Skowhegan, Maine

But unlike the Fort Wayne school board, the Skowhegan Board of Education approved the performance after a marathon board meeting that attracted nearly 600 visitors.

It was a dramatic night of community and a fun night of newspapering in the pre-Internet, pre-cell phone, pre-computer days of the business.

Skowhegan is a mill town that has been a business and community center for about three centuries. It is perched at the modern intersection of U.S. Routes 201 and 2 along the Kennebec River.

Benedict Arnold had to drag his heavy bateau over the tall Skowhegan falls on his way north to  Quebec City, Canada where he was defeated in an epic Revolutionary War battle.

It was also the home of U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith whose 1950 Declaration of Conscious pulled the first piece out of the Zenga tower of lies and conspiracies built by Sen. Joe McCarthy.

The play in question was called “When the Lord Come to Sand Mountain” by Romulus Linney. It was a companion to another short play about the lives and tall tales told by Appalachian Mountain folks.

In the play Jesus and Saint Peter are travelling the mountains on sort of a fact-finding mission.

Jesus engages a man in a contest of tall tales, each one stretching the truth evermore.

The last tale Jesus tells is about a carpenter named Joseph and is a parable that sounds suspiciously like the Golden Rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

The “why” of  the play was to show Jesus seeking the story of his father and how that story offered The Lord the strength and knowledge to continue his mission of salvation.

The fundamentalists objected to the play because it was not exactly  Biblical and contained many innuendoes and double-entendres that suggested that there was a lot of “be-getting” going on in those hills, in other words, folks being folks.

So the climax of the debate took place at the school theater and offered about 80 people the chance to speak for 3 minutes.

Yeah, they started early.

The newspaper side of this begins here.

Our reporter Marie Howard was on the scene at the high school. Our only communication devise was a pay phone in the lobby.

The Sentinel at the time published four local editions.

The first went to northwest towns and the second went to Skowhegan.

We were prepared to send the first edition out with a story that said the vote as still being taken.

But we had to have the vote for the Skowhegan edition.

As was the practice, we wrote the story from the bottom, with background in a file and Marie’s life from the scene reporting added about every 20 minutes.

We had to have the decision by 11:15 p.m. to make deadline for the second edition.

About 10:50 p.m. she calls.

This is it, we thought.

No. They were taking a break for 5 or 6 minutes.

The conversation went something like this:

Marie: They’re taking a break.

Me:  They can’t. Don’t they know we’re on deadline? Get back in there and tell Betsy (the school board president) to get that meeting started again.

Marie: Laughing.

In the end, the board unanimously approved the performance. Betsy told the church folks that they had made a valid point, but that their right to hold that  opinion was no greater than the right of the students  to perform the play, and the right of the school district to support free speech.

She basically said, if ya don’t like the play, don’t go watch it.

This tale ends with the Skowhegan kids performing the play at  a statewide theater competition.

That was not unusual. Skowhegan had a reputation for challenging, innovative

productions that won many awards.

What was interesting about that night was the pre-performance conversation at dinner. The air in the restaurant buzzed with talk of the Skowhegan play and the fight to perform it.

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