Gregor Rare Books – Interview

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David Gregor – Author, Rare Bookshop Owner, and Musician

Today Tom and I trekked out into some wild western Washington winter weather to interview David Gregor — musician, author, and proprietor of Gregor Rare Booksand what a day it was!

A little backstory here… Shortly after Tom and I recorded and posted the first few WOWI episodes, Tom forwarded an e-mail he had received from the owner of Gregor Rare Books. These were introduced with how Tom knows David, and that he has a cozy and unique shop located in Langley on First Street. This baffled me — I used to live at the south end of the island and would typically romp through Langley twice a week — and yet I had no idea where this “Gregor bookshop” was! I looked it up on GoogleMaps and sure-enough there it was!

I believe unbeknownst to David, his e-mails couldn’t have reached Tom and myself any better. In short, he said that he liked what we had started doing with the show and if there was anything he could do to help support it to let him know. Well THANKS — that’s a fast way to get on our radar! Why — we appreciate that sort of reception and because most of the year Tom and I need to find indoor places to record our shows. Anyway, a few more e-mails went back & forth and I easily formed the opinion that this Gregor was a nice guy!

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Oh yes — it is a cozy space fill with rare magic!

Entering David’s shop you see shelves, books, display cases, a guitar and amp — normal bookstore stuff, right? Until you look closer at his offerings…. Major books, major authors, valuable copies, signed copies, books that David has expertly assessed for their condition. Yeah, when you realize that you’re looking at a Hemingway tome worth more than your checking account, you take notice! These are the books that David has a passion to bring to his customers.

Tom and I got to spend the better part of an hour with David today. To say that he is a pleasant and fascinating gentleman would be putting it lightly. He is an accomplished blues musician and composer. He has five book titles to his own name. He is the owner of a bookshop that caters to customers with particular tastes, whom he connects with rare books both in his store and online. David talked with us about travel, music, his writing, his writing process, the Whidbey writing community, the books he deals in, the customers he meets — I wanted this WOWI session to never end!

But alas, all good things must come to a close, and now you too may enjoy this interview with David Gregor — along with visiting his shop “Gregor Rare Books”, located at 220 1st Street in Langley, WA.

Gregor Rare Books on Facebook          Gregor Rare Books on ABE

On a personal note, the adventure with my mic stand … Goes On!

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I’m ba-ack….

As you will recall, I previously wrote how my mic stand has been confused for being a fishing rod on Whidbey Island as I made my way to & from recording WOWI sessions. This of course is an improvement over the time a scared North Seattle resident called the police on me for walking around with a “rifle*” as I made my way into a church to practice my Highland bagpipes.
(*of course, also my mic stand)

I took one of the Island Transit buses today — far more efficient than my truck and requires hardly more time. Upon reaching the bus stop to make my way one, one of the other riders asked if I had been taking some photos today. “Uhh, huh?!?” He pointed at my mic stand. I clarified that I’d been recording a podcast and that it was a mic stand — then joked that it shoots SM-58 microphones.

So whats the mic-stand-confusion tally….

I start to think Tom and I need to pose a photo for WOWI where we’re fishing off of the Coupeville warf using my two telescoping tripod mic sands as fishing rods — along with my third stand holding my Zoom’s H2n recording unit.

Best ~ Don


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 10 – David Gregor, Gregor Rare Books

Interview with PJ Beaven

This past weekend Tom and I had the absolute joy of interviewing an author-friend of ours –PJ Beaven!

PJ has a most remarkable collection of creative ideas an insights combining health, fitness, and conservation. But where do these come from?!?

As a former zookeeper, PJ saw that she and her peers could take better care of the animals by taking better care of themselves. She took to making fitness a fun and enriching game, and connected healthy habits to conservation. This has turned into a number of PJ’s books, videos, and presentations … like the one Tom and I participated in just before recording WOWI podcast #9.

Prior to the recording session, PJ presented her ZooFit approach at the Langley Library on south Whidbey Island. Tom and I got to sit in as PJ shared her ideas on how to make simple shifts in your life that have an impact on the environment and species we share this planet with. She believe that each person can — not necessarily be perfect but — take on at least the things in our lives that we can to have the best impact on the world.

PJ’s presentation style is down-to-earth, fun, and engaging. She rolled right from the library and brought that same attitude directly to the interview Tom and I held with her at The Commons Cafe & Books. Talking with PJ was an absolute ball, and I know you’re going to enjoy our latest podcast!

… uh, when we get it posted soon. (Done.)

~ Don

PJ can be found online at …

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 9 – Pattie Beaven, Zoo Fit

Restarting Recording in 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Yeah, I’m the sort of character who says it well into January — call it a Scottish thing.

As you will recall from the last blog-post “Interviews Around New Years” Tom and I have made various arrangements toward our next two interviews. One being with Meg, owner of of Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, WA, and the other with Pattie Beaven — author of “The Zoofit Safari” and other inventive workout books.

Neither of these have happened … yet. So what’s up?

A hiccup happened in our meeting with Meg (<– a little alliteration there for ya 😉 ) — something came up and the schedule didn’t work out. Now that it’s the new year, I plan to get things set back up with Meg.
(Look for Meg’s Kingfisher Bookstore on Facebook and Twitter)

As for Pattie … Today is 06Jan2020 and our WOWI meeting date has been 18Jan2020 — the same day that Pattie will be presenting her new book “The Zoofit Safari” between 10 & 11AM at the Whidbey Island Langley Library — “Eat Clean, Live Green, and Train Positive” (<– click for more event information). I was concerned that I was going to need a schedule change, going out of town to do some SCUBA diving work …. yes, in winter … yes, in cold water. That’s not a sure thing yet, so we haven’t changed the date yet. I predict that interviewing Pattie will be WOWI Episode 9.
(Find Pattie at her website EarthConservant.com, books on Amazon, EarthFit on Twitter)

We’ll update you as things come 😀
Don

PS — HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Interviews Around New Years

Our next two interviews are scheduled — and I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am about these!!!

As you will recall from WOWI Episode 7, Tom and I recorded in the future basement floor space of Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, WA. Next week Tom and I will be interviewing Meg — the owner of this cozy book-nook! The first time I met Meg I was impressed to no end — she is a bundle of good energy and has a wealth of all-things-book knowledge. Tom and I are looking forward to talking with her about … well, everything … how she curates her store, her plans to expand, how she engages local authors and readers, and how it is that she makes going into her store Absolutely FUN!
Kingfisher on Facebook and Twitter

Mid-January Tom and I look to spend some WOWI time with Pattie Beaven. With more than 20 years experience as a zookeeper, she brings an interesting approach to fitness. This has lead her to write “Zoo Fit” and a collection of other impressive books. I have had the pleasure of meeting her only a handful of times myself and I can say — when it comes to Pattie be prepared for a unique individual! We will be catching Pattie in conjunction with presenting her new book “The Zoofit Safari” between 10 & 11AM at the Whidbey Island Langley Library — “Eat Clean, Live Green, and Train Positive” (<– click for more event information).
Pattie’s website EarthConservant.com, books on Amazon, EarthFit on Twitter

Enjoy! ~ Don

‘Final’ Interview with Dan Pedersen

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If you see this man, say “Hey, great books!”

This Wednesday Tom and I will be interviewing south Whidbey author and blogger, Dan Pedersen!

Dan is a former Pacific northwest journalist and magazine manager.  When he broke away from city life and joined us here on Whidbey Island he made the personal discovery of writing — and having fun with it!  He started with the topics of nature and rural living and evolved to writing mysteries.

Dan has an impressive list of titles to his name.  Six of these focus on his Whidbey Island detective character, Shane Lindstrom … who occasionally leaves the island to further fight crime!

Our podcast with Dan should be posted by the end of this week — watch for it!

Find Dan at …

His blog, Amazon, and on Goodreads

Enjoy his books …

 

Seeing Into The Past …

This could have the title or subtitle of …

The Rifle, The Fishing Rod, and The Mic Stand

… but I digress.

I called this post “Seeing Into The Past” because it’s an addendum to my previous post, “Seeing Into The Future …“.  Something I meant to include in that last post is what happened on the way to the session.

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Coupeville library

Often enough, parking can be a pest in Coupeville.  The historic area — where Tom and I were — is not all that large, so the trick for many of us is to use the library parking lot.  I hopped out of my truck and started walking across the parking lot.  Under my arm I had some DVDs to drop off at the library, one of my mic stands, and a lunch-box sized utility case I use for my portable recording gear.

giphyNot but a moment later a fellow called across the parking lot to me.  “Did-ya catch anything?”  I quickly cycled through the list of things I might have caught but couldn’t come up with anything.  I gave back a confused “… What?”, hoping to find out his intention.  “Did-ya catch any FISH?”  Then my mind went to “… When and where would I have caught any fish?!?” — quickly followed by “When was the last time I went fishing???”  And then it occurred to me what was going on.  I held up my tripod boom-mic horizontally and clarified to the man, “Microphone stand.”

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Various rifles taken off the streets by the Seattle Police Department

Now that all was right in the world, I moved on to the library doors where I ran into Tom.  Later that day he was scheduled to present one of his various engaging topics, speaking on how Whidbey Island is changing from a financial perspective — he had just loaded in.

We said our hellos and started walking toward Meg’s Kingerfisher Bookstore to record the podcast.  Along the way I began telling him about the fishing-pole / mic-stand confusion that had just taken place in the parking long.  We shared a chuckle around this and then I told Tom some of my mic-stand-confusion history.

home_security_targetsI commonly say that I half-grew-up on Whidbey Island.  This is the truncated way of expressing that I grew up in what used to be part of north Seattle; my family frequently visited my grandparents, and I was here so often I understood this as my other home*.  My last four abodes before moving full-time to Whidbey were apartments in Shoreline.  I play Highland bagpipes, and practicing my instrument in apartments in America tends to be IMPOSSIBLE!  My strategy was to check with local churches to see if I might use their space when it was otherwise unoccupied — in exchange I offered to perform for certain church services.  Two churches took me up on this and the relationship proved to be mutually beneficial.  In other words, I got practice space and they got a guy who called the cops on a few thieves.  Lovely, huh?  It’s one of myriad things do not miss about living in Seattle.
(*Beyond that I’m not getting into the proprietary thing that exists here on the island about whos-who and whats-what with how long you have/n’t lived on the island and blah-blah-blah — I could be from far worse places, and let’s leave it at that.)

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Full semi-automatic tripod mic stand

The recording equipment I use for making WOWI is gear I gathered for my existence as a musician.  One day, as I was walking to a church I used right on the Seattle / Shoreline city lines, I was stopped by a cop.  I was en route to the church with my pipe case and recording gear when he parked in their driveway and came toward me.  The long & short of it is that apparently some concerned citizen called the police about someone fitting my description walking around with a rifle.  Suffice to say, I think my mic stand is pretty decent quality but I am yet to learn what caliber it is.

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“And this … this is my BOOM STAND!!!

In the Seattle-area apparently mic-stand = rifle.

On Whidbey Island … mic-stand = fishing pole.

Eh… I can live with that!


Tom’s author page on Amazon

Don’s author page on Amazon

Seeing Into The Future …

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The main floor of Kingfisher — the steps to the basement are behind the red velvet rope …

This past Monday afternoon Tom and I previewed the future expanded floor space at Kingerfisher Bookstore.  Proprietor and all-around-awesome-lady, Meg, gave us permission to record our first indoor-off-season at-a-business podcast in the basement of her historic building in Coupeville, WA.

The upcoming additional space is going to double the display space for Meg and Kingfisher — and as a fellow book-lover I couldn’t be more EXCITED!  Meg also has vision of using this space for author readings.  There is a giant door that opens to the cove on the back wall of the basement, and Meg has even imagined these readings to include audience members listening in on the bows of their boats.

So why were Tom and I spending time in the basement?  To record the latest podcast, of course!

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Available on Amazon and Smashwords

This past Monday Tom and I returned to our roots — just as with our first two WOWI episodes it was a discussion between Tom and myself.  Our focus was around my experiences now being one year into being a self-published author.  I’ve learned much — largely based on Tom’s knowledgeable coaching — and this is a topic that could easily supply a number of episodes …. which might explain why this turned out to be our longest recording to date (oops).  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as long had I been operating on a full night’s sleep and didn’t keep repeating myself …

Looking further into the future … it appears that Tom and I will be interviewing author and blogger Dan Pedersen.  With a new book soon to be released, talking with Dan promises to be interesting indeed!  Location TBA, recording on November 20th.

~ Don

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 7 – Don Scoby Bake Your Own Darn Good Cookies – first anniversary