I'm Not Here

360 p.
October 2021



Written on Water

Characters and Mysteries from Maine’s Back of Beyond

Randy Spencer

Written On Water takes us to Grand Lake Stream, Maine, where very old ways of life have persisted and, against all odds, the velocity of modern life has not yet invaded its shores and lakes, pines and canoes, and most importantly, it’s citizens. 

The unlikely survival of such a place in the twenty-first century is remarkable, as is the oral history that has survived with it. Award-winning author and master Maine guide Randy Spencer shares this insightful collection of colorful oral histories, teeming with drama, mysteries, and laugh-out-loud moments about individuals you might consider eccentric.

In poignant and frequently hilarious prose, Spencer brings us “fish stories”—tales of the author’s experience guiding “sports” on fishing excursions—as well as stories about local residents, passed downs through generations.

The quirky, affable, and resourceful inhabitants of Grand Lake Stream are reminiscent of the characters in the beloved TV show Northern Exposure. Set in the far-flung reaches of rural Maine where fishing is sacred and the beauty of nature infuses every moment.

Written on Wateris magic; the magic of a place known down the bones, with tales told over and over until they’re burnished like gold. A place sunlight glints on the water as a silvery fish is drawn up from a vast lake of rural Maine. Spencer masterfully guides you through this strange and delightful place with understated emotional insight that will make you long to join him in “back of the beyond.”


Randy Spencer guides fishermen on the Canadian border waters of Downeast Maine. He has written and published two award-winning books.  His first, Where Cool Waters Flow: Four Seasons with a Master Maine Guide won the New England Outdoors 2010 Book of the Year award. His second, Wide and Deep: Tales and Recollections of a Master Maine Fishing Guide won the same award for 2015, as well as Best contemporary nonfiction of 2015 from the New England Society in the City of New York. In addition, Wide and Deep won National First Prize in Nonfiction from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Spencer has been named one of the Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine by Portland Magazine. Yankee Magazine included him as one of the 25 people you need to meet most. He has been the subject of features on CBS Sunday Morning, Boston Channel 5’s Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN2.

Randy, his wife Shelley, and their two English Springer Spaniels, divide their time between Grand Lake Stream and Holden, Maine.

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