Two new articles on the writing craft

April 9, 2017 § Leave a comment

100_2020.JPG“As a species, we’re ruled and dominated by our over-developed hominid imaginations. Setting is what propels us into the dream of story, because its lucidity — its sensory concreteness — activates our imaginations on a subconscious level, irresistibly, without our knowledge or permission.” — from “Research Notes: A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing,” an illustrated meditation on place and the writing process at Necessary Fiction 

“We read novels and stories for distraction, for entertainment, yet the best fiction also gives us something life itself cannot: direct exposure to the internal life of another human being. It is this unique backstage access that makes good fiction more immersive and emotionally gripping than any other narrative medium.” — from “What Are Writers For? A Fiction Writer’s Perspective,” at GrubWrites.

 

Vermont Public Radio Interview

April 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

tim-weed-fishing-courtesy-julia-jensen“What I was trying to do was first of all just to tell a good story.”

Really enjoyed my recent conversation with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb! We discussed writing, fly fishing, avalanches, the Grateful Dead, and other topics related to my newly released short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing.

 Here’s a link to the podcast and transcript of the interview. Have a listen if you’re curious: the whole thing is just under seven minutes long. And here’s a link to the collection, which can be purchased at Amazon, B & N, or by request from your favorite local bookstore!

Advance praise & early reviews: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER & FLY FISHING

February 17, 2017 § 4 Comments

51bkcjkdvplDeeply honored by these early reactions to my forthcoming short fiction collection, which launches officially on April 7, 2017. Excerpts linked to full reviews:

“From the mountain lakes of the Colorado Rockies to cobbled streets of Spain, this fascinating collection of short stories by Vermont-based writer Tim Weed (Will Poole’s Island) never disappoints. The stories are more about choices than they are about fly fishing or murder, but time and again Weed’s vivid characters in these thirteen tales of dark adventure are forced to confront a vision of themselves—or others—that’s not quite as positive as they’d hoped . . . A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing is a collection you’ll be happy to get lost in.” Julie Reiff (full review at Ploughshares). 

“Tim Weed’s A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is a fiction collection of the first order. I found myself parceling out the stories to make them last. These are stories that will live a long time both on the page and in your heart.” —Joseph Monninger, author of The World as We Know It.

“In his first short story collection, novelist Tim Weed shows his stunningly impressive range—transporting readers from the heights of the Andes and the depths of the Amazon to the backstreets of Rome and Granada. Many of Weed’s stories have a hint of the mysterious, even the supernatural, but they are all grounded in sharply-rendered material worlds so fresh one feels one might step directly into the literary photographs he has created and stroll around for a while. A top-notch debut, not to be missed.”—Jacob Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House (full review at Goodreads)

“Each story is a jewel, cracking open what matters most: love, family, and our big beautiful planet.” —Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most

“A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing is more than a collection of adventure stories. It is a significant and moving collection of ideas, snapshots, and visions that leave a lasting impression . . . Never predictable, this collection is a must for travelers, adventure seekers, and anyone who cares to examine the depth of [Weed’s] varied and flawed characters.” —Ron Samul (full review at We Are the Curriculum)

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the April 7, 2017 release on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the email newsletter. No need to wait though! Pre-order the collection at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Back to Havana at a momentous time

November 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

fidelThis morning we have the news that Fidel Castro has passed out of this world. Whatever you think of his policies there can be no question that he was one of the most colorful and important world-historical figures of the 20th century. I’m heading to Havana in a few days, traveling with a small group put together by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. One of the things I’ll be doing is giving an illustrated lecture about the history of the Cuban Revolution. I’m sure we’ll be talking quite a lot about Fidel, both with among my fellow travelers and with Cubans. It will be a very interesting time to be there.

img_9704Historical moment aside, I’m extremely happy to be heading back to the island of Cuba. It’s been several months, and it will be great to check in with old friends, breathe the tropical air, reconnect with the familiar sights and smells and sounds. And yes, it will be be a welcome relief to make a quick escape from social media and the constant reminders of our new electoral reality. In this context, nine packed and fascinating days away sound pretty good. We’ll be in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, with highlights including Hemingway’s house at Finca Vigía, world-class traditional music everywhere but especially on the steps in the main square of Trinidad, a few special paladares, and visits to certain unspoiled regions on and near the southern coast.

img_7832Particularly looking forward to visiting the old sugar central of Soledad (near Cienfuegos), the site of some fascinating research I’ve been doing on Edwin Atkins, a Bostonian sugar planter who was the largest foreign property owner during the war of 1895-98 and an influential adviser to both the Cleveland and the McKinley administrations. Atkins’ old mansion still stands, and I’ve played a small role in the process of a local initiative to restore and conserve the house and to create a new museum.

If you’re looking for ways to get to Cuba yourself during what may prove to be the short-lived window of the recent relaxation of U.S.-Cuba relations, don’t hesitate to send me a note. Happy to share my experience and reach out to essential contacts, or at least point you in the right direction. ¡Viva Cuba!

 

Cuba Writers Program!

May 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_8878Very excited to be heading down to Havana for the first annual Cuba Writers Program, which I’m launching in partnership with two astoundingly talented writing colleagues, Alden Jones and Ann Hood. If you’re feeling a bit of “FOMO,” never fear! We’ll be offering it again next year.

IMG_8934And if you want to explore the idea of setting up your own trip to Cuba, either independently or in a preexisting program, don’t hesitate to send me a note. I’m happy to point you in the right direction and/or help you to make the soup-to-nuts arrangements. There’s never been a better time to go to Cuba!

New: Customized Independent Trips to Cuba

March 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

CURRENTLY BOOKING TRIPS FOR WINTER ’21 AND BEYOND  – Hey everybody, recent changes in US law now make it possible for individuals to travel to Cuba without signing on with a tour group. This is an exciting development because it can now be done more affordably than ever, at your own pace, and according to your own interests. You DO need to make arrangements in advance, however—and in order to avoid falling into the well-grooved touristic route it’s a very good idea to seek expert advice. And, well, that’s where I come in!

IMG_0277If you’ve been meaning to get to Cuba, but don’t like the idea of being on a tour group and/or don’t want to spend a fortune doing it, click here to read all about letting me help you up a customized independent trip.

New article out on current situation in Cuba

December 28, 2015 § 1 Comment

IMG_7060If you’re wondering what the situation is on the ground in Cuba right now, in the aftermath of the Obama Cuba policy shift, here’s my take, published recently in Cuba Journal. It’s based on frequent first hand observations since 1999, and especially on the four trips I took to the island in 2015.

If anyone is interested in going, by the way, it’s easier than ever to do so legally as a US citizen, though there are still a number of hoops you have to jump through. Send me a note and I can either help you set up a trip or point you in the right direction.

If you’re interested in traveling to Cuba independently or with a small group, read this first. 

New Short Fiction out in Saranac Review

September 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

100_2020Hey everyone, very pleased to announce the publication of my story, “The Dragon of Conchagua,” in the latest issue of Saranac Review.

In the story, a troubled former Peace Corps volunteer returns to Ecuador to climb a high-altitude volcano, where he is plagued by disturbingly vivid memories. This is a subject that has been haunting me for a long time, since the early nineties, in fact, when I was doing quite a bit of work in Ecuador and exploring the evocative páramo in the “Avenida de los Volcanes” near Quito. Its interesting how long actual experiences have to gestate before they can emerge as fiction—although the truth is that this story, like most of my published stories, has gone through literally dozens of drafts, often over a period of many years. 

307962563An earlier version was shortlisted for the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, but this is the first time it’s been released to the world at large. I’m especially thrilled about this one because Saranac Review is a well-regarded, well-put-together literary journal, and this issue looks particularly good. You can order the paperback or PDF copy of the journal here

Northern Spain by Rail with National Geographic

September 15, 2015 § 3 Comments

franciscogoya_the_parasolWhat a privilege it is to be heading back to Spain, the country that I’ve long considered my home away from home. This is a special trip, too, my first time on National Geographic’s fascinating Northern Spain by Private Rail. We’ll be starting in Santiago de Compostela and making our way across the northern breadth of the Iberian peninsula to San Sebastián, all aboard the extremely well appointed Transcantábrico Gran Lujo.

EH 6672P Ernest Hemingway with Ilya Ehrenburg and Gustav Regler during the Spanish Civil War, not dated, circa 1937. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Of course we’ll be stopping quite a bit along the way, to explore Romanesque chapels, mountain villages, and prehistoric cave art.  I’ll be giving a series of lectures focusing on Spanish history, the life and times of Francisco de Goya, and Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, and of course I’m hoping to be able to get a bit of good writing done too. All in all, much to look forward to!

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to see photos from the experience!

Hemingway talk at the Brattleboro Museum

August 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Thrilled to be giving this talk at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, next Thursday, September 3, at 7pm. If you’re in the neighborhood, I’d love to see you there!

Ernest_Hemingway_and_Others_with_Marlin_July,_1934_-_NARA_-_192675The Expatriate Novelist: Hemingway in Spain and Cuba

“Drawing upon his extensive experience in Spain and Cuba, novelist and travel guide Tim Weed gives a vividly illustrated talk on author Ernest Hemingway’s life in the two countries he loved most, with particular reference to the influence of place and culture on Hemingway’s fiction. This talk will be of interest to writers, travelers, Hemingway readers, and anyone interested in learning more about BMAC’s upcoming ARTravel programs in Spain and Cuba. Admission is free.”

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