January 2015 Open Mic at Village Books
I hope everyone is having as much fun in this new year as we’ve been having at Open Mic Night at Village Books! Here’s what I know:
Jim Milstead shared the news that his book Collage is out! It is delightful to see a book of poetry out from such a beloved local writer. Fondly dubbed the “Bard of Bellingham,” on this night Sir Milstead treated us to a preview of the book’s poems. From Kafka’s coughing, a great playful piece, to more somber poems that get to the heart of the matter, Collage is a keeper! Jim will read from Collage on Sunday, April 19 @ 4 p.m. at Village Books in historical Fairhaven.
Our beloved Bard describes himself thus: “Born in Chicago. Moved to Fresno CA. Entered the Marine Corps, occupying northern China. Graduated from Fresno State College. Worked at the Linear Accelerator in Livermore Ca. Entered graduate school, spending 35 years as a biological control researcher at UC Berkeley. Moved to Bellingham in 1992. Now I write.”
Along came the wildly funny Harvey Schwartz, known for taking us on the road in his memoir-like wanderings. Tonight Harvey’s set included memories of a road trip to Los Angeles plus a screamingly funny and bold Super Bowl poem, written in tribute to the Seahawks, of course. Go Hawks!
The talented Angela Belcaster was on scene, bringing a pair of new pieces, including the beautifully reflective “Passport Photos” as well as “All of My Children Are First-Born,” celebrating a mother’s love for the arrival of each unique child.
Next was the delightful Victoria Doerper, who read “Willow,” a thoughtful essay relating the life of the garden to the life of a writer.
David Drummond launched his set with a poetical tale of a “laid-back” moon, and went on to let us in on the details of eating in the “Kitchen Korner,” yes, that’s two Ks!
Sam Bouic was up next, treating us to the original work of a talented tenth-grader before sharing her own wonderful words, including “Bad Book,” a wittily clever ode to a very naughty bedtime story.
Closing out the night by having us periodically holding our noses and laughing till our noses ran was Nancy Sherer with her true tale titled “Racoon in the Chimney,” recounting the household horrors (think maggots overtaking the carpet) that can occur from a tragic wrongful death inside the chimney.
What a fantastic way to start off the year! Thanks to all who came to read, listen, and smile.
♥♥♥The Sweet Stuff♥♥♥
♥ SpeakEasy 16: Join a fabulous lineup of young poets and their grown-up understudies at the upcoming SpeakEasy event at Mt. Baker Theatre on Sunday, April 12 @ 2 p.m. Produced by Lummi Island poet Luther Allen, this very special SpeakEasy event is designed to encourage kids to write and read poetry.
♥ Meet Sully the Salamander: If by some unlikely chance you read this blog but haven’t yet met Sully, the latest wonderful “doodle” from kid lit author/illustrator Mike Allegra, you can find Sully here! Sully will also make a special guest appearance in my poem at SpeakEasy 16, with a voice-over assist from the wonderful Kevin Murphy. And if you haven’t yet purchased a copy or ten of Mike Allegra’s charming tale for children, Sarah Gives Thanks, well, you can find that here!
♥ Dream of a City of Ruin: I attended my first online book launch, produced by Dreams of QaiMaj series author Selah J Tay-Song. All I can say is, wow! This elegant Facebook event featured a virtual champagne party, Q&A with book characters, and a new post every ten minutes announcing new characters and book elements. It was super fun but also super educational. If you’re considering hosting an online launch and want a stellar example, you can find the amazing text of Selah’s launch on Facebook here. And you can find the latest book in this marvelous series here!
Hosting on online book launch was “was way more fun than I expected,” says Selah. “I spent several hours preparing for a launch that lasted ninety minutes. The hardest and most fun part was searching for celebrity photos to mirror the images of the characters I had in my mind as I wrote the stories. I really liked doing a virtual launch as opposed to a physical event. I would have had to hire six actors who looked like characters in the book, and there’s no way that could have happened in the physical world!”
♥ MANUSCRIPT EDITING: I will be accepting new clients for individualized manuscript review and editing in 2015. See my Scope of Services.
Begging forgiveness from a few peeps around here who’ve sent me publishing news, I have more exciting titles by local writers to mention in future posts. So to be continued . . .
XO Laurel Leigh