(Photo republished with permission)
Sanislo Elementary librarian Craig Seasholes is excited about a big gift for the young readers with whom he works – those boxes are part of a donation of nonfiction books worth $6,000! They’re courtesy of the Seattle Public Library/Paul G. Allen Family Foundation collaboration and Sanislo parents are invited to stop in the library during conference week next week for a closer look. Find out more on this Sanislo webpage.
(WSB photo: Cookbook editors Joan & Joey arranging stacks at LHM on Friday)
Get ‘em while they’re hot! Copies of “Apron Strings,” a brand-new local cookbook, are officially on sale. This weekend, you can buy it during regular hours at the Log House Museum (noon-4 pm Saturdays, Sundays, and Thursdays and Fridays) – or maybe you’ll be at the LHM for the volunteer orientation today (11 am-1 pm) and get yours then – or, look for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market tomorrow. And get busy making recipes like this one:
Here’s the SWSHS announcement about “Apron Strings”:
Just in time for Thanksgiving meal planning and the search for a unique holiday gift, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is releasing a new, home-grown cookbook.
“Apron Strings: Recipes and Recollections from the Duwamish Peninsula” is a 180-page paperback with 114 recipes from 49 local residents. Stories accompany many of the recipes, and the book is laced with 16 photos from the historical society’s archive.
Editors of the cookbook are three longtime members of the historical society: Dayle Banks, Joey Richesson (former board secretary) and Joan Stover (former board treasurer). The cover features a colorful, quilted vintage apron from Merrilee Hagen, past president of the historical society.
“Apron Strings,” priced at $25, is on sale at the historical society’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum. It also will have its public debut from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at a table at the West Seattle Farmers Market in The Junction.
Net proceeds will go to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Three years in the making, “Apron Strings” is “no ordinary cookbook,” the editors write in the book’s preface. “It is a collection of recipes that reflect the history and culture of Duwamish Peninsula families and friends. … Entwined with the details for sifting, stirring, baking and frying are the stories of the people and circumstances surrounding the dishes, the family traditions of meals and snacks, and the community history of food that is uniquely West Seattle, White Center and beyond.”
Tomorrow opens the book on the first chapter of West Seattle’s newest literary series – WordsWest.
7 pm Wednesday (September 17th) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), you’re invited to “An Evening with Karen Finneyfrock and Elissa Washuta.” The WordsWest curators – West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw – describe the series as “a monthly invitation to hear world-class writers from near and far, and to join and nurture the West Seattle literary community.” They plan to present events every third Wednesday “that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level.” The events will include a local-business rep reading a favorite poem – starting with Pegasus Book Exchange. Read about Wednesday’s featured writers on the WordsWest website.
Tomorrow night is the next edition of “Words, Writers & West Seattle,” 5-7 p.m. Friday (September 5th) at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle
Historical Society. Featured author this time is Molly Ringle, whose work includes the young-adult fantasy novel “Persephone’s Orchard.”
The event is free; 10 percent of any purchase you make during it will benefit SWSHS. More info is on the official flyer.
P.S. Your next chance to find out about volunteering with SWSHS is coming up on Saturday at SWSHS’s Log House Museum, 61st/Stevens. Says SWSHS executive director Clay Eals, “Attendees will learn about how to turn desires and skills into meaningful tasks that will help preserve and promote the heritage of West Seattle and the greater Duwamish peninsula.” He’ll be leading a local-history primer, too.
West Seattle author Brenda Peterson not only lives near the water, she writes about it, and advocates for those who live in and near it. It’s at the heart of her new book, “The Drowning World,” which will be featured next Friday when she’s in the “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” series spotlight:
(Video by Mark Jaroslaw)
The monthly reading/autographing/author talk series presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society moves to a new time for the occasion – you’ll find Brenda Peterson at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village next Friday (June 6th), 5-7 pm.
P.S. The book she and fellow Seal Sitters founder Robin Lindsey wrote for kids, “Leopard and Silkie,” is up for the prestigious Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award, as announced earlier this month.
Congratulations to West Seattle author Emily Krieger, whose “Kids’ Myths Busted” has won Book of the Year for fifth/sixth graders in the Children’s Choice Book Awards, announced last night. We mentioned here a week and a half ago that her book was a finalist; WSB reader Ketty e-mailed us today to share this link with news of Emily’s win. (The second book in the series, by the way, has just been published.)
It’s increasingly clear that talented authors abound in West Seattle. We’ve found out about another one up for a national award: “Myths Busted!” is the first book by Admiral resident Emily Krieger, published by National Geographic Kids and already voted one of the top five favorite 5th/6th-grade books in America. Emily explains: “The winner is still being determined by votes, and anyone — kids and adults — can vote in as little as 30 seconds (here). No registration required! … If any of your readers would like to vote local, they have through May 12th. And while I appreciate any and all support for Myths Busted!, if anybody has a special fondness for the other nominees, I wouldn’t begrudge them. Being involved in kids’ reading and encouraging them to talk about books is the most important part.”
P.S. She says the second book in the “Myths Busted!” series will be out May 13th, along with a short-story collection called “Funny Fill-In: My Dinosaur Adventure,” and in addition to all that, she’s just finished writing the third and final “Myths Busted!” book.
There’s still time to go get literary with two local novelists and South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) instructors in this month’s edition of “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” – Mike Hickey and Arleen Williams are reading and signing their work at Barnes & Noble in Westwood Village, until 6 pm. The monthly series spotlighting local authors is co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Congratulations! West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s ‘Urban Bestiary’ chosen as finalist for major awardApril 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news | 5 Comments
Last year, we reported on Gatewood author Lyanda Lynn Haupt‘s tale of in-city wildlife – something experienced in West Seattle more than many other places! – “The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild.” This week, big news – “Urban Bestiary” is one of four finalists in the nonfiction category of the Orion Book Awards, which span North American work published in the preceding year and just this year separated nonfiction and fiction contenders. The winners will be announced next month.
Add another Little Free Library to the list of West Seattle’s LFLs! Joan shared the photo of this one that’s new this week at 4502 Glenn Way SW (map), explaining, “It has great finds of books: fiction, biographies, science, art, history and medical books and 2 children’s books!” The official LFL map has a dozen others in this area, some of which we’ve been honored to feature here.
Not only does West Seattle have excellent readers – see our previous story – but there’s a growing community of successful authors, too. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented series “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” has had a stellar monthly lineup going since last year, and tomorrow is the next chapter: Conrad Wesselhoeft at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village, 4-6 pm (Friday, March 7th). Along with his acclaimed “Adios, Nirvana,” Wesselhoeft has a new book due out next month, “Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly.”
Existential philosophy and Christian faith might not sound likely to intersect – but when it comes to Denmark’s renowned 19th-century thinker Søren Kierkegaard, they do. Few know this better than First Lutheran Church of West Seattle pastor Rev. Ron Marshall, who has just published “Kierkegaard for The Church,” and gave us a show-and-tell the other day:
The book would be helpful both “for the educated layperson and pastors,” Rev. Marshall says. This Monday, 9 am-1 pm, he’s hosting an “open conference” about it at his church north of The Junction, open to the public, focused on the book and some of what you can hear him discuss in our video – which concludes with a shorter clip below, elaborating on who the book is for and on the Monday forum (at which you can buy a signed copy of “Kierkegaard for the Church”:
Behind the pastor and author in our clips is the Kierkegaard statue you can see at First Lutheran, by Northwest artist Dr. Rita Marie Kepner, dedicated when the church celebrated the bicentennial of the philosopher/theologian last year (WSB coverage here). As Rev. Marshall mentioned, First Lutheran commemorates him in November every year. Drop in Monday for minutes or hours and check out the statue, the discussion, the book.
Though school is out this week, we suspect many young readers are in training as the Global Reading Challenge continues. We showed you Arbor Heights Elementary‘s winning team last week; today, we have a report from Concord International Elementary 4th-grade teacher Marina Pita:
My 4th Grade Dual Language Students (The Black Mythical Mustangs) won our school’s Global Reading Challenge and will advance to the Semi-Final at the Seattle Public Library on Wednesday, March 5th. Attached is a picture of the team with our principal Dr. Zavala, our Librarian Mindy Terr, and our local librarian Ms. B. Our whole 4th Grade Dual Language team (students included) will be at the library to cheer the team on for the Semi-Final!
Concord is in South Park but is part of the district’s West Seattle region. To be ready to compete in the GRC, students have to read 10 books – see this year’s list here. They get to choose their own often-whimsical team names. Other participating schools in West Seattle and the rest of the city are listed here; the city final is March 18th.
Speaking of schools: Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas win Global Reading Challenge at Arbor Heights ElementaryFebruary 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments
(Pre-competition: The Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas! Clockwise from lower left: Mackenzie; Brynn; Hydia; Sandy; Mila; Zack; Abdi)
It’s Global Reading Challenge time again! The Seattle Public Library/Seattle Public Schools citywide competition is in its on-campus rounds, and our parent correspondent at Arbor Heights Elementary – one of nine local elementaries listed as competing this year – shared the report and photo of how Wednesday afternoon’s on-campus competition went for AH’s teams:
It was a nail-biter!
Ten teams of 4th and 5th graders.
An afternoon of questions, teamwork, and answers.
Several rounds of questions, finally ending with a very rare 3-way tie: on to a lightning round!
Astoundingly, these three teams went a whopping SIX lightning rounds before one team finally emerged victorious: The Super Ultimate Nerdy Ninjas! They will go on to the semi-finals at the Central Library; from there, one team will advance to the City Final on March 18th.
Here’s the list of books that are being used this year. Along with Arbor Heights, Alki, Concord, Gatewood, Highland Park, Lafayette, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle are on the competition list. Your school on that list? Let us know how the GRC is going! – email@example.com – thank you.
Thanks to Suzy in Seaview for sharing the announcement and photo:
My husband built us a Little Free Library for our neighborhood! LFB #11151 can be found at 4818 SW Findlay Street.
The custom Little Free Library currently houses a variety of children’s books, magazines, and fiction and non-fiction for adults. We hope the neighborhood enjoys this new resource! Find out more about Little Free Libraries at littlefreelibrary.org.
We’ve featured more than a few other local LFLs – if you create one for YOUR neighborhood, consider sharing the news here too!
Unless you’re a first-time WSB visitor, you probably are well aware we report often on urban wildlife. Our penchant for the topic is one reason we’re excited that West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt is showcased in this Friday’s edition of the monthly “Words, Writers, West Seattle” series.
Tonight, series chair Dora-Faye Hendricks from the sponsoring Southwest Seattle Historical Society just e-mailed us with news of this clip featuring Haupt’s invitation to you:
Her newest book “The Urban Bestiary,” featured here last September, is in the spotlight. You might also know her for “Crow Planet,” which first gave us the chance to talk with her in 2009. Since then, her accomplishments have even included a talk in the prestigious TED x Rainier series.
Meet her 4-6 pm Friday (February 7th) at Barnes & Noble in Westwood Village.
Each “Little Free Library” that springs up is a little bit of magic all its own. But two brand-new ones in West Seattle have come to life with what Monika explains, sharing the news, was “a lovely bit of synchronicity”:
This past weekend, on the 4800 block of Rutan Place SW, two sets of neighbors, completely unaware of each others’ activities, assembled and installed Little Free Libraries on their respective properties. Once aware of this “duel,” they enjoyed a healthy and hearty competition on the way to the installation of their libraries.
Both LFLs are now up, stocked and ready for the neighbors!
Karen and Bob White (pictured far left and far right immediately above this line) host the LFL at 4812 Rutan Place SW, while John and Monika (top photo) host the one at 4802. Feel free to stop by and see two different styles of libraries.
You can build one from scratch or order one from the LFL site.
Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.
~ Carl Jung
Reading assignments are routine at school – but students don’t often get to meet the author in person. That’s what happened this morning in Paula Tortorice‘s Language Arts class at West Seattle High School, as West Seattle author Stephanie Guerra visited. Her recently released book “Billy the Kid Is Not Crazy” – set in West Seattle – was used for a class reading assignment, and she was invited to come talk with the students. They asked questions including what it takes to create characters and plot, and presented her with posters they had drawn, depicting a scene in the book. Guerra also made a hometown appearance back in October as leadoff author in the Words, Writers, West Seattle series.
Family Literacy Night at Roxhill Elementary: It’s not just about what you read, it’s about how you readJanuary 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off
Family Literacy Night tonight at Roxhill Elementary, and it was about more than books – it was also about reading, and how to make it more fun and inviting. What you see above are examples of what you can use to make a comfy place to read to and with children – blankets, stuffed animals, etc., made available tonight to Roxhill scholars and their families.
Among the families at the school tonight – dad Adolfo, mom Regna, third-grader José and kindergartener Francisco with, at right, Roxhill fifth-grade teacher Christopher Robert. The night’s lineup for all included a pizza dinner and a literacy skit, with visits to “literacy stations” inbetween. At one of them, families were presented with the books that, as Robert explained, are part of the Seattle Public Library collaboration with Roxhill and Sanislo. Roxhill is between librarians, so two teachers presented the books along with Nathalie Wargo, children’s librarian from High Point Branch Library.
If you have resolved to read more in 2014 – supporting West Seattle authors is one way to get into the spirit. You can meet one tomorrow with the next chapter in the “Words, Writers, West Seattle” series. The author in the spotlight this time is Robert Spector, whose featured book has a theme that’s close to our hearts and many around here – small local independent business:
Next up in the “Words, Writers & West Seattle” series is West Seattle author Robert Spector, speaking about his book, The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories from the Heart of America (Walker Books, 2009).
This FREE presentation will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at Barnes & Noble-Westwood Village. A question and answer opportunity as well as book signing will follow Spector’s presentation.
The Mom & Pop Store is a celebration of the history of small, independent retail and the story of how these shops thrive on attentive customer service and community support for local businesses. With the backdrop of the growing “buy local” movement across the country, Spector, who grew up working in his parent’s butcher shop, set out to discover the state, and the state of mind, of independent retailing in America.
On this “Cyber Monday,” remember you can still shop local even if you’re buying online. One way: Buy gifts created by West Seattleites. That includes local authors’ work! So today, a few notes from and about West Seattle writers:
NICOLE HARDY AT NEXT ‘WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE’: This Friday, 4-6 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, it’s the next edition of “Words, Writers, West Seattle,” co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Nicole Hardy is the featured author. Her memoir “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin” has drawn national attention. As explained in the announcement, the book “chronicles the extraordinary lengths Hardy went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life — flying across the country for dates with Mormon men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor church guidance could help Hardy prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she’d grown up believing.” Her “Words, Writers, West Seattle” appearance Friday is part of a continuing monthly series – scroll down this page on the SWSHS site to see who else is coming up.
‘TALES OF THE FOUNTAIN PEN’ AND … West Seattle author E. Lynn Hooghiemstra shares two notes – first, publication of her historical-fiction World War II novella “Tales from the Fountain Pen.” She says, “The book was inspired by stories from family members who went through WWII and the occupation of the Netherlands. Each story has been built around an element of truth.” She adds, “Though not written specifically for teens, they are finding the book of interest and I would like to take it into high schools to talk to teens about WWII from the perspective of those who had to live with the uncertainty during an occupation.” Also, Hooghiemstra has a story in a murder-mystery-science-fiction anthology “Moon Shot.”
‘SINCE I LAST SAW YOU’: West Seattle author Alice Ann Kuder has published an e-book that comes with its own soundtrack. “Since I Last Saw You” is a novel telling the story of Ali Berg, who, Kuder explains, loses her husband and child and “struggles to make sense of the loss, and her anger —and to find meaning in her own life again. Her search for answers takes her on a ten-month, cross-country road trip to reconnect with relatives, friends and mentors. She personally delivers a hand-written letter to each one, reminiscing and thanking them for the role they played in shaping her life.” Its settings include the Pacific Northwest as well as cross-country destinations. The soundtrack includes four original songs by another local Shari Kruse. You can find out more, and buy the book, via its own website, SinceILastSawYou.com.
SPEAKING OF COPING WITH GRIEF … Longtime West Seattleite Shirley Enebrad (now Honolulu-based) is out with “Six-Word Lessons on Coping with Grief; 100 Lessons to Help You and Your Loved Ones Deal with Loss,” described in the announcement as providing “practical lessons on coping with loss and overcoming grief. … Enebrad became a certified grief and loss counselor after her young son, Cory, died from cancer. That experience and how she coped, taught Enebrad how vital it is to acknowledge one’s grief, and inspired her to work with others who have been touched by loss.” She says, “I want people to know they are not alone. There is no time limit on grief, and most importantly, grieving is not a mental illness.” Enebrad told her son’s story in “Over the Rainbow Bridge: My Son’s Journey from Here to Heaven” in 2009. Both of her books are available via ShirleyEnebrad.com
IN THE MARKET? With the real-estate market continuing to sizzle, West Seattle author Jane Hodges reminded us recently that her book “Rent vs. Own?” is on the market. Could make an excellent gift for someone making the decision. Find out more about it – and Hodges’ other work – on her website.
WEST SEATTLE POET PUBLISHED IN UK MAGAZINE: Award-winning local poet Jason Kirk sends word that a new work of his has just been published in the UK arts journal Synaesthesia Magazine. He says, “The haiku — set into an original illustration by UK artist Leigh Padley — occupies a two-page spread (pp. 52-53) in the magazine’s November ‘Science & Numbers’ issue. The magazine — optimized for display on both desktop and mobile devices — is available to read online today.” Kirk is also the author of e-books “The Other Whites in South Africa” and “Reverb: Poems.”
Previous WSB coverage of local authors and literary events is archived here, newest to oldest.
The Little Free Library movement continues going strong in West Seattle (as well as beyond). We don’t have an official count, but we got word from Brian (with the photo) about this brand-new one on Wright Avenue near Lincoln Park: “We recently completed our LFL and received our official plaque. It’s been up for a few weeks and is already very popular.” Info about registering a LFL is here.
Two changes in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented series of first-Fridays author readings. It’s now titled “Words, Writers, & West Seattle,” and the readings will be at Barnes & Noble-Westwood Village. Times and dates are the same – 4-6 pm every first Friday through at least next June, starting this Friday, October 4th, with Stephanie Guerra. She and the other eight authors will appear on the same dates as previously announced – browse through the revised flyer to check out the lineup again:
Admission to the readings will be free; the authors’ books will be on sale, with 10 percent of sale proceeds benefiting SWSHS.
West Seattle books: ‘Daily connection’ with in-city wildlife inspires Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s ‘The Urban Bestiary’September 21, 2013 at 9:46 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 7 Comments
What an autumn for West Seattle authors! This week, Gatewood nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt‘s fourth book “The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild” hit the market – a topic very close to our hearts here at WSB, and to our pixels, since we publish photos of and stories about urban wildlife so often.
You might recall Lyanda’s 2009 book “Crow Planet,” or you might have read one or more of her previous books. With “The Urban Bestiary,” she goes wider, and wilder, into the world of who and what we encounter outside our homes (and sometimes inside, as happened while she was working on the book). Her publicist describes it as “a field guide of sorts infused with popular mythology, surprising facts, and anecdotes from her life … Lyanda discusses urban creatures — squirrels, rats, birds — as well as some more suburban dwellers, such as raccoons and coyotes.”
Announcing the then-impending book back in May, Lyanda wrote:
It is my passionate belief that daily connection with the natural, wild world matters. It makes us more creative, responsive, responsible, imaginative, wild, and happy inhabitants of our home communities. It also allows these communities – made up of humans and myriad other animals—to flourish. The Urban Bestiary is a song — a symphony, really — in support of this belief.
We asked her for a comment on the book’s West Seattle roots, aside from the fact she lives here and wrote it here; the WSB mention refers to a conversation she had with your editor here as part of her research:
Though this book has a national audience, it was born in West Seattle. I decided to write as much of this book as I could outdoors, and much of the work was done in my backyard in a neighborhood above Lincoln Park. Since I started work in autumn, this involved fires in a backyard fire bowl (which meant, alas, s’mores for lunch), hats, fingerless gloves, and even umbrellas. The Urban Bestiary was shaped by this unusual writing studio, and this gorgeous, unique place (where) we live.
Tracy Record at the West Seattle Blog helped me to flesh out my ideas about the relationship between social media and wildlife perceptions — thank you, WSB, for being a voice of calm and wisdom on these subjects!
I hope everyone will join me at my official book launch at Elliott Bay Book Company on Wednesday, September 25th at 7 pm. Bring everyone. There will be cake!
And urban-wildlife photos from an online contest she conducted; read more about the launch event on her website. If you haven’t been to Elliott Bay lately, remember that it is now on Capitol Hill, 1521 10th Avenue (map).
P.S. Looking way ahead, Lyanda is on the stellar lineup of local authors booked for the new “Words, Wine, & West Seattle” series of monthly readings to be presented by South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society; her appearance is set for February 7th, 2014 – details are in the official announcement.
Thanks to Scott for the tip on an event that wasn’t in our calendar – another West Seattleite who has just published a book is signing it tonight: Maria Federici Doyle. Nine years have now passed since the freeway incident that took her sight and almost took her life, when a piece of furniture that fell off a truck smashed through her windshield. She lives in West Seattle, and made news two years ago while working at The Bridge. Tonight at 7 pm, she is at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW; WSB sponsor), signing and selling copies of her book “Obstacles … Bring ‘Em,” according to the Feedback’s home page. There’s been at least one book written about her story, but this time, it’s first-person, in her own words, about not just surviving, but thriving.
West Seattle books: Christopher Boffoli’s ‘Big Appetites’ now published; signing at Click! this ThursdaySeptember 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments
It’s a big autumn for West Seattle writers/artists publishing books – and we are particularly proud of the one whose book officially went on sale today: Longtime WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, whose “tiny people in a world of big food” photographs and wry captions now comprise a book titled “Big Appetites.” The first published photo in the series – more than five years ago! – was the one atop this story Christopher wrote for WSB. Since then, the “Big Appetites” series have been showcased in galleries and publications from coast to coast and around the world. And in case you missed the CBS TV feature last weekend:
That’s just one of many stories about Christopher and the new book – and how he creates the photos; several WSB’ers also sent us the link to this NPR story. He’ll be signing “Big Appetites” right here in West Seattle on Thursday night: During the September edition of the West Seattle Art Walk, Christopher will be at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor). Before then – read about the photo series here – and, in his own words below, what Christopher told us about how this all began, and snowballed:
The original genesis of Big Appetites was in a lot of the media I watched as a child. The concept of scale juxtaposition – with tiny figures in a normal-sized world – seemed to be employed everywhere, in films like The Incredible Shrinking Woman and Honey I Shrunk to Kids, to TV shows like Dr. Shrinker and in endless commercials from the Keebler Elves to the Pillsbury Doughboy to the tiny Ralston Purina chuck wagon that would get chased into the kitchen by a dog. When I was a child I was an avid collector of Matchbox cars, I was constantly building scale models and I also loved electric race car sets and model railroading. In a more contemporary sense, an exhibit I saw at the Saatchi Gallery in London in December 2002 (by the Chapman Brothers) which used tiny figures in large dioramas reignited the idea. I was also inspired by a work called The Travelers by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz that used similar figures inside snow globes.
The first images I made in this series were done at the end of 2002 and in early 2003 when I still lived in New York City.
In early 2011, we mentioned the big buzz West Seattle writer Nicole Hardy was getting for an essay published by the New York Times – so big, an agent and book deal followed. Two and a half years later, that book has just gone on sale, and Hardy is preparing for appearances including its launch party and, next month, a hometown reading. Her book, officially released Tuesday, is titled “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin“; like her now-renowned essay, Hardy’s book is a first-person account of what it’s like to be a single Mormon woman without marriage and motherhood on the horizon, and without being particularly desperate to change that, despite the traditions, teachings, and pressures of her faith community.
In addition to her acclaimed writing, which includes two collections of poetry as well as her newly published memoir, you might know Hardy from her work at West Seattle restaurants Circa and Ma’ono. But right now, her writing is in the spotlight, with 2 months of readings ahead, and this Friday night, her official book-launch party is happening at Hugo House on Capitol Hill, 6:30 pm (details on the Hugo House website – and/or RSVP via Facebook). And she now has a West Seattle reading/signing in the works, too – Twilight Gallery in The Junction, which has been offering an increasing number of literary events lately, will host Hardy on Thursday, September 26th, at 7 pm.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: The author notes this morning in a comment below that her book is arriving TODAY at West Seattle’s only new-books outlet, Westwood Village Barnes & Noble.
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