Tag Archives: village books

Great Village Books Events This Week

I have to share the successes of two local writers. My pal and fellow memoirist Jolene Hanson will be reading from her memoir tonight at our beloved local book store, Village Books, as part of the class she took at Western Washington University called Memories to Memoirs, taught by the celebrated Laura Kalpakian. Readings begin at 6 so please come sit by me. Way to go Jolene!

Also, the multi-talented Mike McQuaide, author of 75 Classic Rides: Washington, The Best Road Biking Routes and several other titles will be interviewed on our own local radio show and podcast the Chuckanut Radio Hour this coming Thursday, May 24, at 7 PM at the Leopold. Mike and I collaborated a couple of years ago on an article in Entertainment News NW on Youth Improv courses at my favorite Upfront Theatre (I wrote an article and Mike took the photos). Please come by to congratulate Mike after watching his live interview and/or listen to show.

“On Bicycles” by Amy Walker

Check out Bellingham Village Books reading of Amy Walker’s On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life. I can’t attend so please let me know if you do, I’d love a report.

Bicycling has changed my life. When I was a kid, my bike rides were my solace, taking me “far” from home, connecting me with friends over the summer, building my confidence as a solo explorer of my own township. In college my bicycle was transportation and saved me hundreds of dollars per year on parking passes. In my 30’s, my bicycle was gave me the motivation to start a non-profit car share, to enable others to give up a car and take the bus and bike instead. When my twins were born, riding my bicycle with them in the trailer or on tag-alongs made me feel like a warrior, capable and strong. Now, my bicycle is rehab from knee surgery and part of the exercise I can just squeeze into my busy writer-mom life. I’m still dreaming of overnight bike camping trips with my family, and perhaps someday even more ambitious trips like those taken by my gal pal Laural Ringler and her family, from Bellingham to Mexico and in European cities, as she shares  on her Family Adventuring blog and in regular features in Adventures NW.

Bicycles have influenced my life more than any car ever could and I’ve loved each of them like a friend. If bicycles haven’t yet changed your life for the better, consider giving them a test ride. They’re so much more than transportation and exercise.

“Easy to Love…” is Finally Here!

I’m so proud to announce the official release of the anthology that my essay, Finding My Way, appears in, Easy to Love But Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista of DRT Press, and now available in paperback and Kindle. I’m proud to be part of a collection of essays by so many dedicated and wonderful parents who go the extra mile for their children, as well as a few world renowned parenting experts.

I hope to do a reading at Village Books in April and will post that info here first. As always, I also continue to post at the blog, Easy to Love, that accompanies the book, which is meant to support parents of children who need more. Thank you to all my friends, family, and supporters!

IVF Murder Mystery!

I just ran across the book, A Perilous Conception, by Pacific Northwest author Larry Karp. This murder mystery set in 1976 about an obstetrician’s quest to be the first to master in vitro fertilization is fiction. But the author’s 25 years of real life experience in perinatal medicine and medical genetics promises to inform this story with the true urgency of the time. Dr. Karp served as Medical Director of the Reproductive Genetics Lab at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center and delivered the first baby in the Pacific Northwest conceived through in vitro fertilization.

The saying is, “write what you know,” and so I’m expecting this book to be full of real nitty-gritty of the fertility field at the time.

Dr. Karp will appear at the wonderful Village Books in Bellingham on January 28.

Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies

Millions of people suffer from some form of gluten-intolerance or wheat allergy. Significantly changing our diet, especially during the holiday season, can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

My local friend and naturopathic physician, Dr. Jean McFadden Layton, of the Layton Health Clinic, has hosted a blog, Gluten-Free Doctor, since 2006 and her new book, Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies, will be released next week. Dr. Layton will celebrate the launch of her book at Village Books on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 PM.

She specializes in Celiac Disease and gluten- and wheat-intolerance and has taught gluten-free cooking classes and moderated support groups for both adults and children. We are so lucky to have her knowledge and experience so close to home.

Dr. Layton will share the highlights of her new book, answer questions, and sign your copy. I’m giving it as a gift to all my gluten-free friends!

Way to go Dr. Jean!

The Fabulous Susie Bright

Last week at Village Books I had the pleasure of meeting the notorious Susie Bright, famous for her sex-positive parenting, activism in the feminist movement, and long-time editor of Best American Erotica series from 1993-2008.

Susie was in town reading from her new memoir, Big Sex Little Death, from Seal Press and she did not disappoint. She read two hilarious passages about her early days writing for a radical high school newspaper and later for the first lesbian erotica magazine called On Our Backs. Listening to her reading made me want to go through my entire book and incorporate more humor because Susie’s unique voice made each vignette irresistible.

I must admit that when I attended, I was just going to listen to and meet another memoirist, but I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I was in the presence of a celebrity who paved the way for lesbian activism and who, in our lifetime, has drastically changed the way people think about sexuality and intimacy.

Susie mentioned that she had children, so I asked her if she ever felt judged by fellow parents because she writes so candidly about her sexuality. She admitted that there had been a few parents of her children’s friends who would not speak with her or allow their children to visit her home, but for the most part, she raised her children in progressive west coast communities. Then she recommended I read one of her previous books, Mommy’s Little Girl: Susie Bright on Sex, Motherhood, Pornography, and Cherry Pie. I can’t wait to get to hear her take on how your sex life influences your children’s future sex life.

While there I purchased two copies of Susie’s Love and Lust: A Sex Journal for my 20-ish nieces. The journal is prompted but also allows for free writing with writing prompts like “Write three sexual confessions about yourself. Make two of them true and one of them a lie.” When I stayed after to ask Susie to sign them, she said that she also had a blog for the journal where you can anonymously post your personal entry. I haven’t figured that out yet, but if anyone knows, please post it here in the comments section.

I was also pleased to discover that Susie has an offering for writers as well: How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica. I’ve not yet tried this type of writing, but you never know!

If you get the chance to meet, see, or read the fabulous Susie Bright, jump. It promises to be a wild ride.

“How to be a Sister” by Eileen Garvin

I had the pleasure of meeting Seattle author Eileen Garvin at her reading and book signing for her memoir, How to be a Sister: A Love Story with a Twist of Autism, at Village Books in Bellingham, WA last weekend. Her book addresses her life growing up the youngest of five with a slightly older sister who suffers with severe autism. Eileen talks about how her relationship with her sister changed over the years and how they were able to forge a new connection as adults after Eileen went away to college for several years.

Eileen was a pleasure to meet and I enjoyed talking with her about how her recent successes with publicity for the book. As the economy has struggled, in general, publishers have cut back their promotion budgets and are expecting authors to do more and more of their own publicity to sell books. Eileen said that her initial sales when her book first came out last year were not what she’d hoped for but, more recently her book has been selling well partially because it was picked up by Target stores.  

I also listened to her recent interview with Rosie O’Donnell on her radio show. It’s a great listen worth checking out. Eileen talks about a section of the book that she also read last week, where she and her sister Margaret and her mother struggled through what most people would consider a fancy dinner in Seattle. I won’t spoil the story, but you must listen to the hilarity yourself.

Check out Eileen’s book in Target stores or on-line. Her memoir is full of wisdom and humor and is worth the read.