I sat confused, distraught, and angry, staring at TV channels that rarely advertise a restaurant, hotel, nightclub, store, or activity east of Riverhead.

We returned to the tangle of place called home in 1994 — me, my husband, and our young daughters. I was afraid of it, terrified of myself in it, loved it the way you love food you think you’re not supposed to eat and fear will make you sick.

I am nauseatingly self-deprecating by nature. It is a crutch if not a character flaw, but let me take a moment to be serious and brag a little: Despite big setbacks, all three of my self-published books have made money, and continue to.

For nearly two years, starting with the breakup of my marriage, I regularly ventured during the fishing season to a secluded beach along an eastern Long Island bay known for holding good-size striped bass in its shallows.

Just a reminder, since the popular news is dominated by terrorism, murders, and the politics of bathroom rights, that global warming continues apace.

Writing is a grueling job that is never done. I wake up to it and go to sleep with it. One character or another pokes me in the ribs and causes me to toss and turn. The antagonist, with thesaurus in hand, whispers in my ear during REM, “Psst! Wake up! You’ve got to change the wording in chapter seven, third line down.”

Or not really worry, but maybe to think about if you can’t get to sleep some night. That’s how the question came up in the first place. My friend, who apparently often can’t get to sleep, asked me on the beach if I ever considered what would happen if the earth stopped spinning even for just a second. He thought everybody would fly off into space.

It’s been only a month since I returned from Dallas, where I, like thousands of other tourists, had visited many of its well-known attractions, including the Fairmont Dallas Hotel with its famous Venetian Room, centered in the largest arts district in the country, the 560-foot Reunion Tower, and the Sixth Floor Museum.

In the mid-1980s, East Hampton’s summer and year-round weekend population was growing rapidly. The demand for water views in particular was enormous, and the seemingly endless construction of new homes along the shoreline caused wastewater and other pollutants to run off into the bays. The contaminants made their way into clam and scallop beds; at...

In the beginning the happy couple are busy. Furnishing the house, bringing up the kids, working to pay the bills. So busy are they with the everyday stuff of life they barely see the anniversaries piling up . . . paper, diamond, silver. Gold even. With all this life going on, many couples have never had time to really know each other and, boom, it...

It was spring along the East End beaches of Long Island. The striped bass moved along the rolling surf, driven to follow all the baitfish before them as they had when no humans were around to remember. They were followed by the gannets and the ospreys diving from above, feasting on the baitfish pushed to the roiling surface by the bass and...

I live in a house surrounded by nature. It is for all the world like a tree cottage on the ground. Every view from inside is a window to the life of trees. There are oaks, of course, since we live in a place out here full of oaks, with Oak Lane and Wooded Oak a nod to the canopies that shade us on hot summer days. There are also cedars and pines...

On May 16, 1946, 70 years ago to the day I write this, I was in a Quonset hut in Camp Beale, Calif., sitting beside the desk of a graying sergeant who’d lost both his legs above the knees fighting the Japanese on one of those way-out-there Pacific islands. Typewriter keys whacked a form in the roller. He was processing my Army discharge.