Peaks Island Press

News on Peaks Island Authors

Book Launch for Island Author Beth Rand’s “ABC Gulls”

savethedatebethrandDon’t miss the book launch for Beth Rand’s first children’s book, ABC Gulls (Islandport Press) on April 6, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Arabica on Commercial Street in Portland. All are invited, so bring your friends and family.

Beth described her path to publishing ABC Gulls in a Peaks Island Press article recently. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet.

Please come by boat, car, bike, or spaceship— like one of her seagulls— and congratulate the new author/illustrator yourself on her debut.

abcseagulls2cover

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

Beth Rand’s “ABC Gulls”

bethrandBeth Rand didn’t plan on writing a children’s book from her Peaks Island, Maine home, but she couldn’t be happier that Islandport Press is publishing her “ABC Gulls” in hardcover.

abcseagulls2coverVisiting Beth on a bitterly cold day, we looked out over Whitehead Passage to Cushing Island and she described her surprising path toward becoming a children’s book author and illustrator,

I was just teaching myself how to use a computer program for drawing. I picked a seagull as a fun character to draw. Then I wanted to focus more and draw one seagull for each letter of the alphabet. All of a sudden, I had drawn from A to Z and had the beginning of an alphabet book.

d-dogThis rollicking and colorful alphabet book introduces more than 26 seagulls, each named for a Maine Island. Beth imagined a mini-adventure for each letter of the alphabet and let alliteration drive the story.

Then I realized the pun in the name “ABC gulls.” To my surprise, no one had taken this as a book title.

After composing the children’s book, Beth decided to approach Islandport Press in Yarmouth,

It was a cold day in March last year, just like this one, and I submitted the book with the pages all laid out. This is not how you’re supposed to do it and I figured I would never hear back from them. But, they called just a few days later. I was surprised.

r-roofA quick glance through an advance copy reveals Beth’s connections to the island; the “D” page features a seagull riding a dog who looks remarkably like Beth’s schnauzer, Charlie (although the book dedication assures us that Charlie would rather chase seagulls), and the “R” page reveals the classic rooflines of Peaks Island cottages. And since lobstermen do live on Peaks Island, who could resist having the “L” page feature Maine’s most iconic seafood?

l-lobster

“ABC Gulls” will be available by April 1, 2017. Stay tuned for information about a Portland, Maine book launch.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Reading from a Memoir about the Uterus and the American Dream: Mira Ptacin

My daughter is an only child, not because I chose this, but because I lost the three pregnancies that followed her blessed birth.

That’s a sentence that I have never committed to paper; I probably never would have, except that I attended Mira Ptacin‘s reading from her memoir at Portland’s newest independent bookstore, Print. Mira read from Pour Your Soul (Soho Press), an account of the discovery that her unborn child would not survive outside of the womb, and the decision that she and her husband, Andrew, made to terminate the pregnancy.

miraptacin2When has it ever been “safe” or easy, socially, for women to discuss their body experiences involving conception, pregnancy, and birth? True, things are better now as bookshelves groan with literature celebrating, and promising tips on navigating, pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. But the ice remains thin under the topics of failed pregnancies or unviable pregnancies that are terminated. Certainly, the current political climate does not make the issue any easier to discuss.

miraptacinreading1Into this void, Mira Ptacin wades with an emotional bravery that sets a high standard for all other writers. At the reading, fellow island author Anne Sibley O’Brien asked about this willingness to bare herself to the reader; Mira responded,

This is just who I am. I had to write this. I had to publish it to move on and create closure. This is behind me now, and it feels like a long time ago. But so many women have reached out to me with their stories. These stories deserve telling.

miraptacinreadingpanoThank you, Mira, for sharing and for encouraging all those who meet you and read your work. I look forward to the next book, a historical fiction in the works!pooryoursoul

I’ll leave you with an apt quote from Stephen King:

“For me, there have been times when the act of writing has been an act of faith, a spit in the eye of despair. Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”

Be well and keep writing.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

 

Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Top Peaks Island Press Clicks in 2016

If you are cozied up to a fire, sipping coffee, wine, or hot chocolate, you might like to peruse the top clicks on Peaks Island Press of 2016, in case you missed them! Wishing you lots of reading and writing in the New Year.

 

  1. My Affair with Henry and the Photo Shoot that Followed
  2. Mira Ptacin: 3 Tips for Busy Mothers Who Write
  3. Making the Bed One More Time: From an Official Empty Nester

Enjoy!

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

 

A Poem for Post-Holiday Doldrums

Like the musician who slumps after a concert, I tend to feel small and drained after Christmas, as though all the love poured into cooking and wrapping (while working) deflates me. Shouldn’t all the festivities create the opposite effect? 

I wrote this poem to capture the feeling of the post-holiday doldrums. Perhaps it’s familiar to you, too?

Backseat Boredom

It all feels backseat now
gone the hair-whipping rush
windshield-pressing anticipation
of every day
replaced with the monotone drone
of tires wearing thin 
on roads already mapped.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

Making the Bed One More Time: From an Official Empty Nester

When your eighteen year old daughter moves into her college dorm and you make her bed one last time, is this “not letting go?” I can tell you that I did this yesterday; I moved my daughter from Maine to Santa Barbara and bravely accompanied her into her freshman dorm room. 

And I made her bed.

Our spirits had been buoyed by our masterful transport of all of her trash-bagged possessions out of the car, down the narrow dorm hallways, and into the tiny room that was designed as a double but pressed into service for three.

Confession: I had envisioned this moment since before she was born. When I was still pregnant with my daughter, I sewed a fleece crib blanket–one layer of a wintry deep blue and one of a blue and white snowflake pattern. Trimmed in light blue satin, of course. This color scheme revealed not only my dislike for the color pink, in general, but my feminist aversion to compulsory-pink-for-girls, in particular.

More importantly, at the same time in 1997, I sewed an identical blanket of X-long twin size for her use when she graduated to a ‘big girls’ bed’ and also when she went to college. Naturally, parents of teens have already guessed that my daughter’s taste in bedding has diverged from the snowflake fleece of childhood beds. In short, it didn’t make the cut in the category of what fit into the car. Armed as I am, more recently, with competence in accepting my young adult daughter’s independence, this did not offend me. 

But the college bed, the making of that bed, this remained important to me, symbolic, a moment of life passage for us both.

For how many thousands and thousands of nights do we shepherd them to their room, tuck them in, read to them, kiss them goodnight, and snuggle with them in the nest of what becomes the quintessential “empty nest?” Or, when they finally hold these rituals back from the teenage door threshold, how many more nights do we simply say “goodnight” and “I love you?”

Did she appreciate my assistance as we wrestled with zipping the bed bug barrier around that damn XL twin mattress? Absolutely. We kept exploding with laughter as the unwieldy fabric foiled our façade that this was easy on any level. 

The loving and the relationship don’t stop with that move into college, by any means. Our young adult adult children still need our support in navigating the vagaries of university bureaucracy, online banking, and bicycle thieves, to name only a few. Nonetheless, making that bed for her, one more time, marked a moment as significant in my life as hers, one tangled with pride, love, and anxiety. 

From over 3,000 miles away, goodnight my dear one and sleep well.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

Lobstermen and Russian Spy Satellites: “Hauling Through” Book Event

haulingthroughcoverIf you’re within striking distance of Peaks Island, Maine, then you should aim for the Peaks Island Branch Library’s book event with Peter Bridgford, author of Hauling Through, on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the MacVane Community Room.

After graduating from Bowdoin College, “Bridge” worked several commercial fishing boats, including on a processing ship in the Aleutians, a Maine lobsterboat, and on a longliner on the Grand Banks. As Captain of his own charter boat, he knows a thing or two about fishing and so it’s not surprising that he has chosen a fishing community for the setting of his newly published book, “Hauling Through.”

bridgfordreadingKestrel Cove, a tight-knit community of hardworking and hardheaded characters, provides the setting for Hauling Through. Bridge is quick to say, “My mother and my wife both implore me to take every opportunity to say that Hauling Through is not an autobiographic work!” What makes this lobsterfishing town unique?: the residents’ earnest belief that a Russian satellite cruises overhead every night to spy on them.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that Jamie Kurtz, an underachieving graduate from a nearby private college, is closely watched and talked about when he gets a job on a lobsterboat. The synopsis promises that as he’s gradually accepted as one of Kestrel Cove’s own, he not only finds true love, but feels a belonging to something bigger than himself. Ultimately, he’s faced with the most difficult decision of his life – to stay or to go.

Things to do: Attend the Peaks Island Branch Library’s book event with Peter Bridgford, author of Hauling Through, on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the MacVane Community Room.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press 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.

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