The best words I write come from my heart, but sometimes it’s hard to get there in the cacophony of life and business. So “Chazydays” is to remind me of the place where I first fell in love with books and writing. In a summer “camp” – the kind with a Victorian roof and big rooms for large gatherings – I spent summers lying in a chaise or on the lawn, book in front of me. Sure I swam, sure I explored. I berry-picked and climbed trees, encountered snakes and angry hornets. But the moments that meant that most had to do with books, into which I fell wholeheartedly. With night waves crashing and shutters banging in the wind, I read Burroughs’ Mars and Tarzan stories, Little Women, mysteries and classics. No one said “It’s bedtime” while I read late into the night, and no one looked over my shoulder to see what I was writing. I was left alone to visit worlds I had yet to understand. There is a place in everyone’s heart that calls them home. Chazy Lake, in the Dannemora mountains of upstate New York, is that peaceful kingdom for me. It’s a riprap world of childhood, nature, the sound and scents of hot oatmeal in the morning and blueberry muffins in the oven, the sight and warmth of a morning fire, the smells of fresh forest growth and, inside, baked goods and coffee. It’s that non-judgmental, joy-filled world we experience once or twice in our lives, if we’re lucky. Out of such an experience comes the writing muse I follow, the heart and soul of imagination. I go there in my mind because, like so much in life, it is gone from my present, now filling someone else’s life with peace and respite. I go there, too, for the pure feeling engendered by sunny days and stormy nights, family, friends and experience. Once again I’m young and free, filling my mind with fresh life and undefeated dreams. I will write here, in the spirit of that place and the people whom I loved as a child. I will seek the independence and the fresh look at life I had then. I’ll laugh, as we all did. I’ll live between past and future, loving books and writing, inspiration and friendship. Join me.