The Challenge of Being Succinct

Saddle Meadows, photo copyright Liza Ketchum

Saddle Meadows, Vermont, [photo copyright Liza Ketchum]

Like many writers, I enjoy playing around with writing in many genres. During the years when I’ve written fiction and non-fiction for young readers, I’ve always had a strong interest in the natural world. I took two semesters of field ecology in grad school, when it was a new field, and was so inspired that I considered becoming an ecologist myself. That was my Road Not Taken.  Instead, I’ve written about nature, the environment, climate change, and gardening in poetry, magazine articles, and essays. Often, these shorter articles require me to stay within a strict word count. I enjoy the challenge of being succinct, so when the Vermont Land Trust asked Vermont writers to describe their favorite natural place in the state—in 150 words or less—I jumped in.  Here’s the result, in “My Vermont: Saddle Meadows.”

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