Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Wren Cottage Live!

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

You can watch this episode on the PA Live! homepage at http://www.pahomepage.com/story/d/story/blog-of-the-week-wren-cottage-live-november-19th-2/41215/vureu3dB1E6aqg-iMuaG8A.

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is  Melissa Whalen Haertsch's Wren Cottage Live! (http://wrencottagelive.blogspot.com/).

Over the years that I've been blogging and co-administering NEPA Blogs, I've gotten to know a lot of people through their blogs, and have eventually met many of them in person at blogging events (or, occasionally, completely at random in shopping center parking lots.) Wren Cottage Live! is unusual in that I have known Melissa Whalen Haertsch for many years. In college she was one of the best writers I knew, and the fact that the shelves of bookstores are not filled with her works is one of the many major failures of the publishing industry in recent years. We lost touch over the years, occasionally meeting at friends' weddings, or funerals, or at college reunions. So I was glad to come across her blog some time ago, because it gave me the opportunity to once again read her writing - and to see where life has taken her.

The Melissa I knew was equally at home in the country and in the city, having spent time living in each. In her current incarnation she writes from her home base in Dimock, PA, an idyllic region of rolling farmland which has been the epicenter of the natural gas industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and all the controversy that surrounds it. Since July 2009 she has blogged at Wren Cottage Live! about the experience of making a home in such a place, with all its joys and sorrows, hard work and great pleasure. Dealing with troublesome geese, making bread in a hand-made oven, taking her dog for his final walk on the farm - all this from someone of tremendous literary prowess, with skills to make pens go limp in the hands of lesser writers.

Very few of us have had lives that compare closely to the full scope of the life of Melissa Whalen Haertsch. But her facility with words allows us to get a glimpse of a life that is not our own, that is totally foreign to the lives many of us lead - all through her blog, Wren Cottage Live!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at nepablogs@gmail.com!

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