About Town: October 2013

Dear Writers: I’ve been mourning the demise of my 40s. But I’m coming out of mourning right now to celebrate turning 50 on Halloween! I’ll be celebrating all through October and hope you join me, as there’s lots to do!

Good-bye 49; Hello 50!

Good-bye 49; Hello 50!

1) Get new reading glasses, cuz damn, the type on this page keeps getting smaller. Continue reading

Patriots & Politics: July 2013 Open Mic

Dobbie Reese Norris

Dobbie Reese Norris woos the crowd at Open Mic at Village Books.

Dear Writers:    

July was a hot month! I’m talking about more than the weather. If you were at July’s Open Mic at Village Books in beautiful Fairhaven WA, then you know of what I speak. If you missed it, my condolences, and here’s the recap:

Harvey Schwartz

Harvey Schwartz

Masterful poet Harvey Schwartz launched this night with an account of adventurous life in a 1960s commune. Part an examination of trust and part examination of the art of hitchhiking, this tale was a wonderful trip back to the Woodstock era.

Angela Belcaster came next with an excerpt from her gorgeous story “Mindcraft,” forthcoming in Tampa Review, and a perceptive study of a younger brother who experiences the world differently than many of us. Nicely done, Angela!

Dobbie Reese Norris joined our group—welcome, Dobbie!—and shared his mesmerizing poems, including “Water Closet Intimates,” “The King Has Clothes,” which he wrote after crossing Bellingham Bay, and also “B-Flat Blues.”

Vince Landi came to read “Saguaro,” a short story on its way to becoming a play and likely to be another “serial” of our open mic, Vince told us. Great, because I’m already hooked. Plus he brought visuals of the different type of cacti on view in this story. Continue reading

About Town ~ Sweet September 2013

Dear Writers,

Saturday I was wowed by the first annual Books & Brews event at Bellingham’s Boundary Bay hosted by Chanticleer Book Reviews and Whatcom Writers and Publishers.

It’s always so fun when writers get together and prove we have verbal skills to match our fast typing speed.

Congratulations to the event organizers on a well-executed, highly enjoyable celebration of some wonderful books and the regional talent behind them. Shannon Laws, author of Madrona Grove, Jennifer Bullis (Impossible Lessons), Pam Beason (the Summer Westin mystery series), Selah Tay-Song (Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern), Abbe Rolnick (Color of Lies; she has an upcoming reading; see below), and Bernadette Pajer, author of the Professor Bradshaw mystery series, and many others graced the event.

A Field Guide to Geezers by Rae Ellen Lee

A Field Guide to Geezers by Rae Ellen Lee

Props as well to Rae Ellen Lee on the publication of the hilarious must-read A Field Guide to Geezers: An Illustrated Look at a Curious Branch of Hominids.

Alex Kuo with former pupil Sherman Alexie

Alex Kuo with former pupil Sherman Alexie

Check out the newly released My Private China by American Book Award winning author Alex Kuo. For more than 70 years Dr. Kuo has traveled back and forth between America and China. This collection of letters and essays, including the poignant “Bitter Melons,” Beijing Dissidents at the Washington Mall,” and “Who Owns the English Language?” offer insight into China past and present with the unique wit and wisdom unique to this amazing writer. Read a review by Claire HuiBonHoa.

SWEET SEPTEMBER: There is no need to sit at home for the next couple weeks! You’re excused if you just figured out the next plot point of your future award-winning novel, otherwise take a break from your masterpiece and check out some sweet events where you can mingle and meet comrade writers: Continue reading