The way back

Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA

Yesterday, I took my 13 year old daughter to Plymouth for a history visit. The plan to see Plimoth Plantation was mentally scrapped at the halfway point of our 75 minute drive south. After all, we’d been there only a year before and on the same exact day. I know this because I was standing

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All the news is too much news

A few days ago I realized it was all getting to be too much. News that is. Actually, to be more specific, news commentary. News I can handle. I follow current political events with major newspapers (both local and national) as well as general business, human interest, education and housing, etc. Local newspapers enrage me

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School, revisited

When struggling for things to write about, there’s a topic that’s been off limits. I promised myself when the kids were younger and this site was new that I wouldn’t use their private lives as public content. Here and there I’ve shared some things, but most of the time I’ve kept the details of of

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A life in 640 words

This past weekend I wrote my brother’s obituary. An obituary that he never would have wanted, but that we needed. This follows the personal tribute I wrote, which was more about what he meant to my life . Writing is always hard. But writing the summary of someone’s life, particularly when you are dealing with

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A little sister’s tribute to her big brother

How do you capture the love you have for someone in words? Really convey what that person has meant to you and your life in all its form and complexities? Our family is not the traditional family. Somehow over the years we managed to let it fall apart, let the bonds that connected us wither

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Newest feature: Local podcast grows, an interview and download at a time

I just realized it’s been four months since I’ve written a feature. Finally over the hump! Phew. And here she is. I heard a quote on the radio the other day that really resonated with me and properly sums up my writing experience: “I hate to write, but I love having written.” Thank you to

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A certain view

Without fail, each time we spend more than a day in another place, I have the desire to move there. The highlight reel: I’ve opined about living in Pacifica and Monterey; Ipswich, Chatham, and Gloucester; Boulder and Nederland; Philadelphia, New York City, and Seattle. But Maine. That’s where I really sink my teeth in. Trulia

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Printed, matted, and framed

I hadn’t stopped to think how big 12″x18″ would really be when I placed a printing order last week for two of my photographs. Now that they are matted and framed, however, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that they’ve taken up the entire gallery wall outside of my studio. There are probably upwards of 45,000 digital images on my computer.

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Studio 301: An Introduction

In retrospect, it was probably for the best that my laptop’s WiFi connection didn’t work for most of the time I was at the studio on my first day. The absence of Twitter forced me out of my new hidey hole and I slowly discovered the environment of the third floor. First stop was the women’s bathroom where I admired

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All politics is local

When I moved back to Massachusetts nearly five years ago, I discovered volunteerism. I was 42 and had somehow made it that far in life without anyone ever asking me to be directly involved in a cause or an organization. I don’t know what that says about me, but I think that sometimes it’s best not to ruminate

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A writing studio

Last week I signed the lease on a 285 square foot art studio on the third floor of a refurbished mill building in Lowell. I move into my new writing space on April 1. Perhaps the joke is on me. The idea of renting a studio for writing came out of nowhere. One day I remembered the building from

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The City of Spindles

Sometimes when you live near history, you take it for granted. I was reminded of that during February vacation when I took the kids to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell. Growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of the various mills in the state and the company towns that formed around them. It’s also hard to

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A night in Salem

Other than a handful of news and feature articles and the occasional freelance job, my writing production has flatlined. There are a few things rattling around the inside of my head–an essay here, a short story there–but nothing that makes me want to carve out some time to write for hours. The inspiration just hasn’t

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Dance like nobody’s watching at Carlisle’s Friday Night Live

by Karina Coombs Brother and sister act at last month’s FNL. (Photo by Parissa Khayami) [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] If you are in middle school and looking for a fun Friday night, Carlisle’s hottest club is FNL. Located in the gym and exercise room at the Carlisle Public School (CPS), and

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Why I write for the Mosquito

by Karina Coombs [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] It’s not often that you get a chance to  reinvent yourself and when it happens in your mid-40s, and you thought those chances had all but passed, you take it. Newly arrived in Carlisle, I first met the Mosquito’s General Manager Susan Emmons

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Nature and technology meet at Gleason’s newest art show

by Karina Coombs   A series of ceramic scrolls from Bedford artist Carol Rissman. Rissman makes each tile from white or red clay before imprinting or stamping them with natural found objects. Pieces are then fired and stained. Tiles are selected individually for each scroll and mounted on a wooden backing. (Photo by Karina Coombs)

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A grand adventure with The Brass Sisters, before they come to Carlisle

Copyright 2016 Andy Ryan

by Karina Coombs “I dedicated my waist to the first cookbook. I dedicated my hips to the second cookbook and I added a chin from Baking with the Brass Sisters,” says Marilynn Brass of her newest cookbook co-authored with sister, Sheila Brass. The Brass Sisters, as they are known, are the authors of three acclaimed cookbooks

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Women Who Will

I stayed up as long as I could this morning, but in the end I made myself go to sleep knowing what we would all learn eventually and trying to figure out a way to explain this to my daughters. They went to sleep thinking they would wake up to a bold new day: the

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