Sunday, August 13, 2017

48-hour Seacoast Digital Fast Diary

I survived the 48-hour Seacoast Digital Fast. That means I went without my iPhone, my computers, the internet, and Netflix for an entire weekend!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Made plans around lunchtime to go to Pawtuckaway Saturday with Kate
And Clough State Park Sunday with Eugene

Made a list of things to get done over the weekend – a balance of play and being social and my time and cleaning and chores

Realized I would need a way to wake up without using the alarm on my cell phone.
I went to TJ Maxx and bought a battery operated clock.

I stopped by 3s Artspace around 5:30 pm to pick up my digital fast button and chatted with some very nice folks there.

Then I raced home to finish my online research before the clock struck 7 pm

I texted a friend my agenda for the weekend in case I got kidnapped so someone would have an idea of where I was:

Fri, Aug 4, 6:40 PM

“Gahhhhhhh going without my phone for 48 hours as of 7 pm for the digital fast participation in case I get kidnapped here’s where I’ll be this weekend:

Tonight: I just got home and I’m cleaning the house.

Saturday: I’ll be at 411 middle street for yoga 7:30-9:00 am in the garden then hiking trip (Carpooling with Kate) to Pawtuckaway State Park. Then figuring out what poems I’ll be reading on stage at Prescott Park this Thursday night.

Sunday: I’ll be at 7-8 am Yoga at Fort Foster in Kittery, ME then meeting friends 9-10:30 am for coffee (listed out address in full in Portsmouth) then picking up Eugene at noon in (listed his address in full) in Concord then we are off to Clough State Park (Pond Beach) in Weare, NH away from crowds here then I’ll be back in Portsmouth by 7 pm and spending two hours with email planning my Monday/work week.”

After 7 pm I made myself a salad for dinner and read. 

 Then I cleaned and mopped the bathroom I also mopped the kitchen and mudroom floors.

I put my cat in the dog carrier that our vet gave us so he wouldn’t walk on the mopped floors.

I realize at this point, I forgot to buy batteries for my new wind up alarm clock and I so I drove to Walmart in Newington and walked the aisles staring at Televisions for sale, iPhone accessories, Video Game systems. Finally, I purchased my batteries and left.

Prior to leaving for Walmart, I stood outside next to my car and talked to my next-door neighbor for a while who was coming home as I was going out at 10 pm at night.

Post Walmart, I flipped over the laundry from the washer to the dryer, took a shower, and read a story from half wild, then I picked out poems by Lydia Davis to read for Thursday.

-       Had to avoid my gym (PF) for my music was all on my iPhone and there were TVs everywhere
-       No cleaning music because I listen to Pandora on my MacBook and iPhone
-       No news sources
-       It’s odd to be in the bathroom without reading on the phone

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Slept in hit snooze on alarm was up until nearly 2 am reading Caroline Leavitt’s CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

Met Kate and Lori at Walmart Parking Lot to Carpool to Pawtuckaway
Hiking in the Rain

Home exhausted
Went back out for eggs, and cheese, tomato sauce 
Forgot to buy toothpaste

Completed one book a graphic novel LOVE ADDICT

-       Had to avoid my gym (PF) for my music was all on my iPhone and there were TVs everywhere
-       No cleaning music because I listen to Pandora on my MacBook and iPhone
-       No news sources
-       It’s odd to be in the bathroom without reading on the phone
-       Overslept yoga was up late reading
-       Couldn’t text neighbor to tell her about noises in neighborhood

Sunday, August 6

No Sunday news without the internet. Hmph. Eat breakfast staring at my food. 

The photo below is how a normal weekend breakfast at my house looks - it is not how it looked during the digital fast no Dunkin Donughts coffee and no laptop. Just my food. 

Go to Market Basket for ice for cooler and toothpaste

Have cleaned Livingroom and bedroom and swept and vacuumed early this morning

Have packed a cooler with snacks (gluten free bread & peanut butter, grapes) and seltzer waters plus cherry coke zero and ginger ale and Arizona ice ginseng green tea

Pick up Eugene from Concord and have him look at directions that I wrote down at lunchtime Friday in my moleskin plan book that I hadn’t used since April to get us to Clough State Park.

We parked and as we were getting our beach stuff out of the car Eugene picked up my wind-up alarm clock from the pocket behind the driver’s seat. Why is this in here he asked. I looked at him sheepishly, I couldn’t figure out how to turn the alarm off and didn’t want it going off this evening when I’m not home when it reaches the 6:30 mark again. He looked at the back of it the black on the black coding of alarm on/off and showed me how to control that. I felt a bit silly. I’ve become so reliant on smart phones that I didn’t completely trust the time the wind-up said and found myself walking to my phone and picking it up and putting it back down wanting to see if the time matched.

Anyways, we hiked down to the beach where we sat down and Eugene read a book while I people watched. It reminded me of a horror movie lake so calm, beautiful day, but with clouds, kids and adults picnicking and playing in the water, some guys having beers and playing corn hole behind us by the picnic tables where many folks were hanging out and chatting.

Finally bored of watching the same kids go to the water and back past me towards the port-a-potties I suggested a walk up to the dam. We hiked back to the parking lot and put our chairs and cooler back in the car. Then drove the other parking area on the opposite side of the park and hiked up the hill and over the dam. It wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped it would be but it was a beautiful day and I was determined to survive the digital fast.

We left around supper time and went to Pizzeria Uno for dinner salads and pizzas my meal GF and his not. Neither of us on our phones at the restaurant – something I was not used to – people were always on their phones – colleagues, me, friends, family – to be phoneless was liberating. I’m FREE I’m FREE I’m FREE.

I arrived back at my house around 6:30 pm and decided to take a hot bath I put my phone down near the tub on a towel on the floor. 7:01 pm I immediately opened my phone

EMAILS (personal): 27

Really no one would notice if I no longer was on social media, or didn’t have email, only texts which are my preferred method of communication. I don’t check voicemail I often don’t get a voicemail notification on my phone.

-       No news sources
-       How to turn off the wind-up alarm clock
-       Overslept yoga was up late reading
-       No camera to document our trip
-       No GPS for directions to park

Questions from the Organizer:
So, how was it?  It was absolutely liberating! Fantastic! Would do again!

Did you succeed? Yes, however, as I do not have a landline only my cell phone, I made one except. I could accept a call from my boyfriend Friday night when he got out of work around 11 pm and Saturday night when he got out of work around 10:30 pm – we talked for about 30 minutes each night. My reasoning was if I had a landline I would be able to make or receive phone calls.

Did you fail? No. I succeeded. I didn’t check my texts, social media, any applications on my phone, I didn’t use my camera on my phone I didn’t’ use my phone except accepting those 2 calls total. No, wait, 3 because I called my next door neighbor around 11 pm Saturday night Alexandra to tell her where the loud noises were coming from (not our street but about 5 houses away near Middle/Cabot street). I went out and explored on foot to see where as with the windows open reading the party music sounded like it was right here when it was down the street around the corner from us.

Was it life-changing? Yes!

Were you counting the minutes until you could check back in on the news/weather/social media/Game of Thrones/Red Sox/Trump/whatallofyourfriendsweredoingwithoutyou

No, I missed the alarm clock function, texts, and my camera. I don’t own a TV. I don’t have cable and I’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix so this was the perfect reset for me back into reading at night.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Open Mic on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 and Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM at RiverRun Bookstore

I'm pleased to announce the second and Third RiverRun After Hours Poetry nights of 2017, will feature: YOU! 
The event is free and open to all!

When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 and Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM at RiverRun Bookstore so mark your calendars and bring a poem to share!

RiverRun Bookstore, 142 Fleet Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 431-2100 

Our featured readers this month are all of you! Come share one of your favorite poems with us this evening! 

We are doing an ALL AGES open mic for this evening! 

This is open to ALL levels of poets, singers, rappers and comedians! 

ALL levels of talent welcome you can read original work or read someone else! Come have some fun and celebrate with us! You can SLAM, RAP, READ, SING, JOKE, ACT, whatever you want the only open mic RULE is one poem (or song, or piece), two pages (if written), two minutes or fewer to provide enough time for all those that wish to share! 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Passing of the Torch!

Thank you so much to Tom Holbrook and RiverRun Bookstore for asking me to host the RiverRun After Hours Poetry Series for the past year. It's been an absolutely amazing experience! Thank you to everyone who has come to feature and share in the open mic!

The series will be continuing with its enthusiastic and wonderful new host who was one of our January featured readers - Shane Morin!

Please welcome Shane and show him the same warmth and positive encouragement that you've all shown me!
Also, please note there will be no June, July, or August poetry series events.
Here is the schedule for this spring:
March 22, 2017, Open Mic 7-9 pm
Women's history month
April 26, 2017, featured readers: Mike Nelson, Alice B. Fogel, Andrew Fersch, and Ella followed by open Mike 7-9 pm
May 24, 2017 TBD 7-9 pm

RiverRun Bookstore, 142 Fleet Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 431-2100 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

I'm excited to announce the first RiverRun After Hours Poetry night of 2017, will feature: Cayden O'DeaShane Morin, and Todd Dowey
The event is free and open to all!

When: Wednesday, January, 25, 2017 at 7:00 PM at RiverRun Bookstore so mark your calendars and bring a poem to share for the second hour open mic!

RiverRun Bookstore, 142 Fleet Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 431-2100 

Cayden O'Dea is a student at UNH studying Women's Studies and Equine Science. He uses poetry as a way of self expression as well as a way to advocate for the transgender community. He writes and performs poetry to educate people through his own story. He was recently published in the book "Defining Yourself: Trans masculine Experience Through Poetry.

Shane Morin is a local chef, as well as a soul searcher. Coming from a upbringing of addiction, Shane has used poetry to come to terms with a broken childhood. A single father, he is self-taught in poetry and prose, and has recently completed his second chapbook.

Todd Dowey works as an auditor for Lark Hotels at their Portsmouth location The Hotel Portsmouth. Dowey shapes visual poems using spoken word methods under the alias Tad Winslow. Please visit ( to read samples and to find out more.

A few basics if you are new to the series: 

Starting at 7 pm we have three featured readers; each reads for twenty minutes.  We take a brief break, then, during which folks can meet the readers, and perhaps buy a poet's chap book for sale, bring cash as the chap books are sold directly by the poets not the bookstore. We start the Open Mic at 8 pm.

The second hour is the Open Mic.  In order to allow the maximum number of poets to read we have several simple community courtesy rules we ask each reader to follow: communal poetry etiquette, if you will.  And the primary one is: "one poem one page for two minutes."   

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Minute Holiday Gift Recommendations from Local Indie Booksellers!

Today is Friday, December 23, 2016. For some, this means they will begin their holiday shopping this evening when the crowds and lines are less busy and they are less likely to have the noise of screaming babies, and high pitched shrieks followed by laughter from teens surrounding them.

If you fall into this "last minute" shopper category and don't know what the heck to get for the book lover in your life here are some recommendations from our three independent bookstores found in downtown Portsmouth, NH.

Sheafe Street Books, 29 Sheafe Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 498-5202 
Hours today open until 7 PM 

Sheafe Street Books, Ken Kozick, recommends the beautiful new editions of these six sci-fi classics (Penguin Galaxy Series). These six collectible hardcover editions of masterworks of science fiction and fantasy, each features a series introduction by #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman: 

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
2. Dune by Frank Hebert 
3. Neuromancer by William Gibson 
4. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
5. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursala K. Le Guin
6. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein 

RiverRun Bookstore, 142 Fleet Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 431-2100 
Hours today open until 9 PM 

RiverRun Bookstore, Tom Holbrook, recommends the following new books:

1. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
2. Sheds by Howard Mansfield

Portsmouth Book and Bar, 40 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 427-9197 
Hours today open until Midnight 

Portsmouth Book and Bar, David Lovelace, recommends the following books:

1. The Name of War by Jill Leporte
2. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
3. The Stories of Vlademir Nabokov 

Parking is FREE in downtown Portsmouth, NH right now through the holidays! So grab yourself some coffee, hot chocolate, or tea and make sure to pop into each of our three amazing community bookstores and say hello to the owners & staff! Remember booksellers also love coffee and treats!