I spent too much of my youth studying. My studies took me to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Oxford Universities. I liked learning languages and reading great literature. All along, I was writing my own stories, too.
But a life of the mind was never really enough for me. I wasn't particularly good with my hands, but curiosity always got the better of me.
In the past few years, I've been doing a lot more writing than trades work, but I've never given up my interest in making things. My latest project is bringing an old cider press back to life. Old, as in, made around 1870, with a quartersawn oak frame and massive cast iron grinding and pressing mechanisms. It's been a challenge, both for the restoration woodworking involved, and also because there's metalworking, too. I don't know very much about metalworking. But I'm learning.
Most of the time, I live in Baltimore, but we also have a little farm in southcentral Pennsylvania, which we call Pencil Creek. We don't have an apple orchard yet, but we may someday.
I'd like to learn how to brew sparkling cider. Perhaps this year!
I've written about life up at the Creek in a series of weekly op-eds for the Perry County Times. Those columns are archived on my website, www.matthewolshan.com.
You can read about my fiction there, too.
I love hearing from readers. Please feel free to get in touch with me by email. Especially if you know how to do something strange and interesting. But even if you don't.