June WordFest offers a variety of voices

The June event of WordFest on Zoom was held on Tuesday, June 8 (7:00-8:00 pm) and featured a Young Adult novel, a mystery set in an Amsterdam art gallery, and a poetic glimpse of Bhutan.

Janie Mulvaney is trapped between kid-and-teenage-hood. She is in between, sentenced to twelve for life. Troubles pounce on her from every direction. Her Highness, older sister Elizabeth, treats Janie like a peon. Mom and Dad refuse to let her get a cell phone. Uncle Alvin embarrasses her in front of her friends. Even Grandma, Janie’s best cheerleader, calls her Bumble Cheeks. To make matters worse, whenever Janie tries to do something right—such as earn money—things backfire and she ends up owing a doink-load. Luckily, Janie has a quirky sense of humor and wacky perspective to help her zigzag through this tween trap.  

In In BeTWEEN TROUBLE Janie pours out her heart hoping someone—anyone, even adults with a twelve-year-old inner child—will appreciate her graveyard-of-despair situation.    

Mary Stone’s non-fiction book, Run in the Path of Peace—the Secret of Being Content No Matter What, placed as a finalist in Oregon Christian Writers published book contest. Her short stories are included in the anthologies Love is A Flame by Bethany House and I Choose You by Oak Tara. When Mary retired from teaching and counseling at Lower Columbia College, she was awarded Faculty Emeritus. She currently teaches writing classes and is a keynote speaker at women’s retreats. Additionally, Mary writes a monthly devotional blog on her website: https://marystonewriter.com

  

Julia and several members of her dance group are dancing their way through several German cities along the Rhine River before ending the organized tour in Amsterdam. The relaxing vacation threatens to unravel when Julia finds herself enmeshed in a series of missing art from museums that she has visited. And one of the dancers disappears.

Carly, her charming sidekick sister, thinks Julia is looking for trouble when she uses her doctor-detective skills to try to solve the pair of problems which seem to be unrelated. Julia claims it just falls into her lap. Then Carly disappears.

PJ Peterson solved mysteries of the medical kind while she practiced medicine as an internist. Writing murder mysteries seemed like the logical thing to do while practicing retirement. Julia Fairchild, MD, is loosely based on a younger version of herself. The tendency to stumble onto murders is purely fictional, however.

www.pjpetersonauthor.com

Don Messerschmidt is an anthropologist, writer, tour guide, and development consultant focused on the Himalayas. He began his international career in 1963 as a Peace Corps volunteer on rural development in Nepal. After earning a PhD degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1973, he returned with his family to projects in Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan. Among his books are biographies of two Nepalese luminaries — Fr. Moran of Kathmandu (Pioneer Priest, Educator, and Ham Radio Voice of the Himalayas), and the award-winning Against the Current (The Life of Lain Singh Bangdel: Writer, Painter and Art Historian of Nepal). He has also edited regional magazines in Alaska and Nepal. www.EditWithUs.com.

Don will be reading several poems, capturing the beauty, mystery and majesty of the Himalayas.

WordFest is a monthly gathering of local writers and readers, celebrating the joy and magic of words, with public readings, discussions, and networking opportunities. In-person events were suspended in March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and monthly one-hour events on Zoom were launched in October.

The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account to participate, but one must register for the free, monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation by email.

Two very different mystery writers at May WordFest

May WordFest on Zoom was held on Tuesday, May 11, 7:00-8:00 pm. Watch the video below.

Ellie Alexander is the author of the Bakeshop Mystery series, set in Ashland, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and featuring artisan pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw, who runs her family bakeshop, Torte, and solves murder cases on the side.

Ellie’s “cozy mysteries” bring a light-hearted humor to the otherwise grim business of murder, reflected in her whimsical titles: Meet Your Baker, A Batter of Life and Death, and A Crime of Passion Fruit. All her books include recipes.

Ellie will discuss and read from her newest titles in the 15-book (and counting) series, Mocha, She Wrote and Chilled to the Cone.

Ellie Alexander is the pseudonym of Kate Dyer-Seeley, who also writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. With luck, we will have both Ellie and Kate with us at WordFest.

Rick E. George from White Salmon, Washington, writes a very different kind of mystery. Cooper’s Loot (The Wild Rose Press) is his latest novel, set in the Dark Divide wilderness between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams, and revolves around the northwest folklore of hijacker D.B. Cooper and the search for the money with which he parachuted from a Boeing 727 in 1971.

Rick’s career includes being a sportswriter, a wildland firefighter, and an educator. He is also the author of Vengeance Burns Hot, published by Unsolicited Press (2019).

WordFest is a monthly gathering of local writers and readers, celebrating the joy and magic of words, with public readings, discussions, and networking opportunities. In-person events were suspended in March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and monthly one-hour events on Zoom were launched in October.

The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account to participate, but one must register for the free, monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation by email.

April WordFest NW celebrates National Poetry Month

The WordFest event on Tuesday, April 13, 7:00-8:00 pm, highlighted local poets in recognition of National Poetry Month. Due to the continuing Covid pandemic, all WordFest NW events are available on Zoom only.

Astoria Poet Florence Sage lives and writes where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Her new poetry collection, The Man Who Whistled, The Woman Who Wished, tells the story of her mother and father, children of Polish immigrants to Canada, during World War II.

“My first-generation Polish-Canadian parents were the inspiration for these anecdotes and stories.  As I reflected and wrote, I came to love the two of them even more and to appreciate fully the lucky life they gave me in the 21 years I lived with them,” says Florence.

Her tender-hearted memoir shows the poetic nature of reminiscence, and how rich the memory can be when allowed to explore the past. 

“Reminiscing about life in your own family puts you in another time and place, a place that sometimes seems more real than your daily life,” she says. “I found my memories to be not just about my family, but about ‘us’ together.  It made me into someone who is both a figure in these stories and an observer with a current point of view.”

This is Florence’s second collection, following Nevertheless: Poems from the Gray Area. (2014.) Currently, the books are available at Paperback Galore in Longview, RiverSea Gallery, 1160 Commercial, Astoria, Time Enough Books in Ilwaco, or can be ordered from hipfish@charter.net.

The book has been selected for The Astorian‘s Coast Weekend book club on Zoom on June 2.

Joining Florence will be local poets Jan Bono from Long Beach, Charolette Conklin and Mary Lyons from Longview, Jim MacLeod from Kalama, Dayle Olson from Cathlamet, and Rick E. George from White Salmon, reading from their works and giving voice to life as they experience it in the Pacific Northwest.

WordFest is a monthly gathering of local writers and readers, celebrating the joy and magic of words, with public readings, discussions, and networking opportunities. In-person events were suspended in March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and monthly one-hour events on Zoom were launched in October.

The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account to participate, but one must register for the free, monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation by email.

March WordFest highlights northwest history

Both fictional and non-fictional historical events were featured at the WordFest on Zoom event on Tuesday, March 9, at 7:00 pm.

Michael Perry‘s excellent series on the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-06 that first ran in the Columbia River Reader has now been published in one volume, Dispatches from the Discovery Trail: A Layman’s Lewis and Clark.

Mike will read from the book and discuss his multi-year research, following in the tracks of the Corps of Discovery. Beautifully illustrated by the Pacific Northwest woodcut artist Debby Neely and edited by Hal Calbom, the book is available at the Columbia River Reader office or at www.crreader.com/crrpress.

Cathlamet resident Lilly Robbins Brock will read from the fourth book in her sweeping Intrepid Journey saga of the Bennett family. Twists of Fate opens as the nation (and the Bennett family) face the prospect of Civil War.

All Lilly’s books are available on Amazon or for a signed paperback copy,  contact: lillybrock62@gmail.com.

During the Open Mic period, Caleigh Maffett will read two poems, including one that will appear in this year’s Salal Review.

Caleigh recently graduated from Washington State University /Vancouver with a BA in English and Communications and a minor in Creative Writing. Her prose and poetry have been featured in LCC’s Salal Review and the WSU magazine.

The WordFest on Zoom events are free and open to the public. One doesn’t need to have a Zoom account to participate, but one must register for the free, monthly WordFest newsletter here to receive the Zoom invitation link by email.

For more information, go to www.alan-rose.com.

Join online book discussion of Alan’s new novel, Friday, February 12 at 1:00 pm.

Join us for a “virtual book club” to discuss Alan’s haunting novel about the AIDS epidemic, As If Death Summoned. The story explores how ongoing grief can erode a life, and also how finding one’s way through grief can rebuild, renew, and deepen life.

The Zoom event on Friday, February 12, at 1:00 pm. is free and open to the public. People on the WordFest newsletter email list will receive an invitation link Friday morning. People do not need a Zoom account to participate.

People not on the WordFest email list can subscribe here. (The monthly newsletter is free and one can unsubscribe at any time.)

Vikki J. Carter, host and producer of Authors of the Pacific Northwest podcast, will lead the conversation. Participants will have the opportunity to ask the author questions about the book and the true stories on which the novel is based. But the discussion will also explore how participants have experienced their own personal losses, and what helped–and didn’t help–them through life-shattering grief.

It is not necessary to have read the novel to participate.