Still Water Bending

by Wendy Mitman Clarke

Still Water Bending

 

Author Wendy MitmanClarke

 

Author Wendy Mitman Clarke's Still Water Bending is a deeply moving story about a woman’s journey from a childhood, which resulted in a hardened heart, to experiencing that heart finally broken open. She finds that Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again” is not necessarily accurate – though the pain of such a journey is real and powerful. To take it requires true courage, and that courage is explored in this novel. (Author Wendy Mitman Clarke photo right. Photo credit Tamzin B. Smith)

_________________________

Buy the book on Amazon

_________________________

 

 

 

Praise for the Book

Still Water Bending is a deeply moving story about a woman’s journey from a childhood, which resulted in a hardened heart, to experiencing that heart finally broken open. She finds that Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again” is not necessarily accurate – though the pain of such a journey is real and powerful. To take it requires true courage, and that courage is explored in this novel. Heartbreak encourages one to put iron gates in front of one’s emotions. Lily, the main character, learned how to do this from her father. After 18 years of incommunicado separation, she is suddenly called back to him because he needs to be taken care of following a stroke. Set in the rural beauty of tidewater Chesapeake and laid out against a metaphor-rich back drop of a waterman’s life, this story embraces its characters and its reader in a lush landscape of water, sky and the human heart. Ancestral callings help break the fearful heart wide open. Lily must learn again what her friend Mary Virginia teaches—that love is “ a two way street…You want love to come to you, you got to open the door to it and then send it right on back out, double time.” Easier said than done, of course. This book is about that difficult journey. It is a novel filled with tenderness, truth-telling and wisdom. It is a powerful, life affirming, “must read.”

-Michael Glaser, Maryland Poet Laureate 2004-2009

......................................................................................

Still Water Bending, Wendy Mitman Clarke’s evocative, moving novel, explores a Chesapeake and a waterman’s family in the midst of great change. Jines Arley Evans and his adult daughter Lily Rae struggle to reconnect while navigating eddies of memory, tradition, and old hurts against a gorgeously detailed Chesapeake Bay. It’s both an honest, nuanced family portrait and a ravishing love letter to the Chesapeake’s working maritime communities—a worthy addition to the Chesapeake canon alongside writers like Horton, Tilghman, and Voight.

-Kate Livie, Author, Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay’s Foundation and Future

......................................................................................

Both well-wrought and true… I loved every bit of it! Still Water Bending takes you deep into the heart of the Chesapeake, into the lives of the watermen and their families and their powerful attachments to the land, the sea, and each other. Beautifully written and emotionally rich, this is a novel to read and read again.

-Barbara Esstman - Author The Other Anna, Night Ride Home, and A More Perfect Union

......................................................................................

Aye, God, Wendy Mitman Clark knows boats and the Bay, its rhythms, its accents, its soul. She is a beautiful writer and this is a beautiful book, with compelling characters and a deep sense of place that is as enchanting and enduring as a Chesapeake sunrise.

-Eugene L. Meyer, journalist and author of Chesapeake Country is a member of the board of the Washington Independent Review of Books, and a former Washington Post reporter and editor.

......................................................................................

Still Water Bending portrays a vanishing way of life as the watermen…struggle to maintain their independence and their dignity against an influx of moneyed 'come heres' who do not understand or respect the water or the land. It is also the story of two proud and stubborn people, father and daughter, who…are struggling to come to terms with belonging and isolation, with loss and forgiveness, with dependence and choice, and with defiance and acceptance. They are trying to exert some control in a world where change comes whether we are ready for it or not. Written in the lyrical language of Bay fishing and boatbuilding, Still Water Bending explores with authenticity and sensitivity how people and communities adapt to the turbulence of life flowing around them.

-Beth Leonard VP at Boat US, author of Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas, The Voyager's Handbook, and Following Seas: Sailing the Globe, Sounding a Life


About the Author

Wendy Mitman Clarke reported and wrote for The Associated Press in New England before returning to the Chesapeake Bay, where she grew up sailing with her family. She was Mid-Atlantic Bureau Chief for Soundings in Annapolis then Executive Editor for Chesapeake Bay Magazine where for many years she has chronicled the Bay, its history, its people and its environmental issues. Her first book, Window on the Chesapeake, The Bay, Its People and Places (Howell Press and The Mariners’ Museum, 2002) is a collection of essays.

After years spent sailing the Chesapeake with their young children on 34-foot Luna, she and her husband moved the family onto 45-foot Osprey, and from 2008 to 2012 they sailed throughout the U.S. East Coast, Bahamas, Central America, and western Caribbean. During their travels while also homeschooling the children, she wrote an awardwinning monthly column (“Osprey’s Flight,”) for Cruising World magazine.

Her work has won numerous awards, including several from the Society of Professional Journalists, MD, and Boating Writers International, the Monk Farnum Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary, and an Emmert Memorial Award for “The Water and Walter Coles,” which inspired Still Water Bending. Her poetry, which won the Pat Nielsen Poetry Award, has appeared in Blackbird, Rattle, and the Delmarva Review and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

In addition to being director of media relations at Washington College in Chestertown, MD she is a contributing editor at Cruising World and a regular contributor to Smithsonian.com. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, Preservation, and National Parks magazines, in addition to many marine and boating publications. She lives with her family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.