Peaks Island Press

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What islanders love more than books: a book sale

Library on Peaks Island

Library on Peaks Island

The Friends of the Peaks Island Branch library will throw one of the island’s most beloved literary traditions, the annual book sale extravaganza this Saturday, July 19th from 8 AM to 2 PM. So come and get your retail therapy, guilt free.

Loaded down with treasures at the annual book sale

Loaded down with treasures at the annual book sale

But wait! This is also your opportunity to make room on your crowded bookshelves for those new reads. Drop-off your books to donate them to the sale on Friday, July 18th from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Community Room.

Through Peaks Island Press, Patricia Erikson offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of a vibrant, literary community perched on Peaks Island, two miles off the coast of the beautiful and award-winning city of Portland, Maine. If you haven’t already, you may subscribe in the upper right corner at http://www.peaksislandpress.com.

Book drop-off for Peaks Island Book Sale

Friday, July 18 – 10:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Peaks Island Branch
Audience: Adults, Teens, Kids & Families, Seniors
Too many books?? Bring your book donations to the library during the day Friday in preparation for our annual Friends of the Peaks Island Library Book Sale on Saturday.

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/book-drop-peaks-island-book-sale/#sthash.dOy5dF1a.dpufCommunity Room.

Friends of the Peaks Island Library Book Sale

Saturday, July 19 – 8:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Peaks Island Branch
Audience: Adults, Teens, Kids & Families, Seniors
Pick up some new summer reads and support your island library!! Book sale to be held in the Community Room.

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/friends-peaks-island-library-book-sale/#sthash.PnoPNjnh.dpuf

Sea-soaked and salty: a literary message in the bottle

Every year, the changing island weather prompts me to write, like a patient writing instructor prodding its lazy student. To get my attention, the island lobs cranberry-orange sunsets at me and tempts me with the sound of clattering trees or rolling beach cobbles. And then I ache to write, usually. This fall, I dared to remain sullen and shunned my keyboard.

One morning, the island retaliated by tossing a surf-worn, sandy book at my feet as I walked along the beach below my home. I was as surprised to see a book floating in the surf as I would have been to stumble across a baby seal sitting on the sand. Picking the book up, I recognized the black moleskin cover that protects beloved journals. Sea-soaked, the cover had warped wildly, but the pages clung stubbornly to the binding.

I felt guilty at the prospect of touching a writer’s private possession and yet shouldn’t I rescue it from the waves and try to identify its owner? Prying the journal open carefully, I peered at blurred handwriting. The disintegrating pages spoke of an old man wearing snakeskin boots, walking alongside the author as osprey soared overhead. But the “In case of loss return to:” line remained empty. There was no way to know how far it had floated before it washed up at my feet like a literary message in the bottle. Unsure of what to do, I carried it home to dry it out.

The salty pages are wavy and brittle now. The well-traveled moleskin journal could be considered flotsam worthy of the trash. Yet, saving it reminds me to keep writing.

Of course, if the journal belongs to you, please let me know.

Scott Nash takes Blue Jay the Pirate to South China, Maine

Blue Jay the Pirate

Blue Jay the Pirate, Scott Nash

Scott Nash is preparing for the next book event with his usual genius. Nash’s rendition of a Blue Willow transferware plate – with his protagonist of The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate at the center – took my breath away. The daughter of an antiques fanatic, I grew up surrounded by things like Blue Willow plates, pewter tankards, and spinning wheels. The detailed setting and character of these plates, inspired by 18th century Chinese ceramics, is a perfect choice for getting us to think about ships, pirates, and South China, Maine, of course!

The South China Public Library, the oldest continuously operating library in Maine, is hosting this author-illustrator whose interactive talks are always a big hit. Here are the details:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10:30-11:30 AM

South China Public Library, South China, Maine

According to the National Park Service, "The Blue Willow pattern was introduced in England by the Spode factory in the late 1790s. During the 18th century Europe was fascinated by all things Chinese and especially their beautifully hand-painted china with scenes of Chinese landscapes. The Blue Willow pattern is not an exact copy of a Chinese pattern but rather based on several traditional Chinese designs."

According to the National Park Service, “The Blue Willow pattern was introduced in England by the Spode factory in the late 1790s. During the 18th century Europe was fascinated by all things Chinese and especially their beautifully hand-painted china with scenes of Chinese landscapes. The Blue Willow pattern is not an exact copy of a Chinese pattern but rather based on several traditional Chinese designs.”

Pages of Peaks: Calling all Peaks Island authors

Poster for Color & Pages of Peaks event

Poster for Color & Pages of Peaks event

Peaks Island authors are invited to participate in a popular, annual event at the beautiful, historic Trefethen-Evergreen Improvement Association (TEIA) on Diamond Passage, an event formerly known as the Color of Peaks Art Show and fundraiser for camperships. This year the event has expanded to include books and has become the “Color & Pages of Peaks Artist & Author” Show from July 12th to 13th.

The Show will commence with a wine-and-cheese opening reception on Friday evening, July 12th from 6-8:00 PM; bring an appetizer to share and come prepared to enjoy music by Heather Thompson and Sam Saltonstall. The show continues the next day on Saturday, July 13th from 8 AM to 2 PM.

Authors are asked to pre-register for this book exhibit, to drop off their books by July 11th, and to pick up their books by 3 PM on the 13th. Co-organizers Friends of Peaks Island Library and Friends of TEIA will charge a 10% commission on all book sales. For more information or to secure a registration form, authors should please contact Kathryn Moxhay at kmoxhay@earthlink.net.

If you’re an island author, you know it never hurts to network in marketing your books. If you’re a literary tourist, then you won’t want to miss seeing Peaks Island as an inspiration for countless authors. For the past 8 years, this has been one of the best feel-good events of the summer and the one with the best view, so don’t miss it!

Sailing at TEIA (courtesy of http://teiaclub.org)

Sailing at TEIA (courtesy of http://teiaclub.org)

How do I get to Peaks Island?

Who is Patricia Erikson? – I’m an author, educator, and consultant who lives on Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Maine and blogs at Peaks Island Press to keep up with the many writers whose talent and joie de vivre make this island community an amazing place. I’m also a history geek who blogs at Heritage in Maine.

Peaks Island author, educator, and scholar Laima Vince offers Creative Writing Workshop

Laima

Laima Vince on a Peaks Island ferry

Those of you who are subscribed readers of Peaks Island Press have read previously about Peaks Island author, educator, and scholar Laima Vince when I featured one of her many books, The Ghost in Hannah’s Parlor. Given how often Laima’s speaking engagements and international scholarship draw her away, globetrotting, it’s a rare opportunity for islanders – current and aspiring – when she offers a Creative Writing Workshop. Now is your chance.

For those of you who have dreamed of writing a memoir, a novel, or a poem, Laima’s workshop series is designed for those who have written a few pages, but just don’t know how to take the writing further. “By working with structured Creative Writing exercises, they will learn how to access the unconscious mind and mine the psyche for narratives, images, metaphors. My students will learn how to shape and develop ideas and how to follow through with their writing,” Laima said.

Laima is the author of three books of literary nonfiction: Lenin’s Head on a Platter, The Snake in the Vodka Bottle, and Journey into the Backwaters of the Heart, and a novel, This is Not My Sky, in addition to other books. She has twice been awarded a Fulbright in Creative Writing and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in Literature. Laima earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and is now working on completing a second MFA in Nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire. Laima taught Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine for ten years and for five years was the faculty director of the Stonecoast Summer Writers’ Conference. Among Laima’s former students who wrote their first books while enrolled in her workshops are James Hayman, author of The Cutting and George Rosol, author of This Island Life.
The writing class will meet four Saturday afternoons in June, from 4 to 7 pm (June 8, 15, 22, 29).
The fee for four weeks is $100. Classes will meet at 37 Sterling Street. Please contact Laima Vince Sruoginis at Laimavince@gmail.com or call 329-6449 to sign up.

How do I get to Peaks Island?

Who is Patricia Erikson? – I’m an author, educator, and consultant who lives on Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Maine and blogs at Peaks Island Press to keep up with the many writers whose talent and joie de vivre make this island community an amazing place. I’m also a history geek who blogs at Heritage in Maine.

Love from “the Rock”: Peaks Island Reading and Silent Auction to Benefit Longfellow Books

Fans and humidifiers dry out Longfellow Books. MPBN photo.

Fans and humidifiers dry out Longfellow Books. MPBN photo.

On Sunday, March 10th, the Peaks Island community of authors, readers, and unabashed bibliophiles will gather to raise funds to benefit their beloved, award-winning independent bookstore, Longfellow Books. As most people know, “Nemo, the Blizzard of 2013″ delivered a destructive blow to the Longfellow Square-based bookstore, requiring it to close temporarily and undergo considerable repairs from damage incurred by severe flooding. Approximately half of the stock was damaged, and insurance will only partially cover the losses – you’re not surprised, I know.

Well, islanders aren’t afraid of rising waters and they’re prone to band together to make important things happen. Author Eleanor Morse is organizing a reading and silent auction to benefit Longfellow Books. Here is how you can get involved.

Eleanor Morse, at her reading at Longfellow Books

Eleanor Morse, at her recent reading at Longfellow Books

Love from the Rock

Brackett Memorial United Church

Sunday March 10th, 2:00 p.m.

  • 2.00: Children’s book (ages 8 and up) readings begin–including authors Jamie Hogan, Scott Nash and Annie O’Brien;
  • 2.30: Silent auction browsing and bidding.
  • 2.45: Adult fiction reading from authors Nicole d’Entremont, James Hayman, and Eleanor Morse
  • Coffee, tea, amazing baked goods, books for sale.

Longfellow Books is one of the last remaining indie bookstores in the Portland area. It’s
more than a store–it’s a place for people to gather, to browse, to attend readings and
events, to be a thinking and feeling human being. WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO?

Donations of services for the silent auction (help-your-neighbor/brighten March). For instance:

  • a drawing lesson
  • magician tricks for children’s birthday party
  • juggling lessons
  • dump run
  • clean the refrigerator
  • shoot pictures for an hour
  • walk the dog/feed the cat
  • interior design color consultation
  • birthday cake/pie
  • teach dance moves

What else?–let your mind roam free! Please email Rhonda Berg at brhonda1@maine.rr.com or Eleanor Morse at eleanor.morse@gmail.com to set up your donation.

Donations of baked goods for the afternoon of March 10th. Coffee will be provided, and juice for kids. If you can bring a plate of goodies, please bring it to the Fellowship Hall of the Brackett Church by 1.45 on March 10th.

Celebrate the Publication of White Dog Fell From the Sky at Longfellow Books

ImagePreviously, I have written about Eleanor Morse and her award-winning novel, The Unexpected Forest. Since that time, Eleanor has written her third novel, White Dog Fell from the Sky, whose publication by Viking she celebrates next Friday, January 11th.

Advance Praise for White Dog Fell From the Sky from Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week” calls it “Brutal and beautiful . . . Morse’s unflinching portrayals of extremes of loyalty and cruelty make for an especially memorable novel.”

Portland’s beloved Indie bookstore, Longfellow Books, will host a wonderful evening of Zambabwean music, beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by Eleanor reading from her book at 7 p.m.

Interested in learning more about Eleanor and her newest novel, White Dog Fell from the Sky? Read my interview with Eleanor here.

-Patricia Erikson is a Peaks Island-based writer and educator who blogs about the literary community on Peaks Island at Peaks Island Press.

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