Victoria Ventris Shea and Shagoon!

You know how sometimes you can be completely wrapped up in your own little world, busy having an ‘off day’, when something grabs you and turns everything around?  Some amazing thing pops into your gnarled perspective that makes you do a one-eighty and say, “WOW!”?  Recently, I had one of these turn-around-WOW experiences with Victoria Ventris Shea and her debut book “Shagoon”.

This past Wednesday* Tom and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting with Whidbey author “Vickie” Shea.  She kindly invited us in to here delightful home for our April WOWI recording session. 
(*National Tartan Day)

^ ^ ^ Hey, HOLLYWOOD! ^ ^ ^

Vickie shared with us how the idea for her historical fiction book “Shagoon” came to life.  Taking place during the 18th century, her story travels between Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii.  Its focal point is Ana, a young (Native American) Tlingit girl, who crosses paths with Captain Vancouver aboard the Discovery, a Hawaiian queen and even a Russian leader as she searches for her Tlingit family.  Not only is this a book I’m looking forward to reading soon, it’s also a movie I’d like to see.

After this, Vickie went on to tell us about her next book,Brick, Lime and Moonshine”.  Taking place during Prohibition in The Inland Northwest, “Brick, Lime and Moonshine” looks at life from the ground level – focusing on the rural people of the period as they worked just to continue on.  Of course that’s not all – her book also recalls “…flapper fun, dance halls, drinking houses and serenades on Loon Lake.”

Now … here’s the “WOW”

In talking with Vickie, clearly she is humble about her writing.  Like most of us, she doesn’t like to brag when talking about her literary work.  However, both Tom and I noticed that when she discussed her stories that she holds a unique passion.  When we asked her directly about this, we could see the smile in her eyes! Meeting someone like Vickie can turn around your day, and surely her stories will take you away.  She loves writing, and I have no doubt that I will enjoy making the personal discovery of her work.

Enjoy! ~ Don


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 34 – Victoria Ventris Shea – historical fiction author, teacher


LINKS

WOWI 2021 Year End and Forward!

Tom and I recently decided to wrap up 2021 the same way we started WOWI — meeting together and talking about what’s up in writing as we know it! This may be our longest recording session yet — jam-packed with reflection and looking forward into 2022 and beyond.

Among other things, in this session we find out that Tom is working on a sci-fi novel with potential for being a series with sequels and spin-offs. He’s also bringing his book on tea to fruition — sure to be filled with local flavour!

As for me … I have 3 new recipe books nearly complete, publishing sometime in (Fall?) 2022. Just as soon as those are done, I already have 3 half-complete projects to move up from the back burner. Depending on how those go … I might publish 4 new titles in 2022. I’m also taking steps to become a professional audiobook narrator.

Enjoy! ~ Don

Honorable Mentions & Handy Weblinks From This Episode of WOWI


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 30 – WOWI 2021 Year End and Forward!

Tom’s InSpiris Audio Magazine Interview

Okay, here’s a blog post I’ve been putting off writing — not because I’ve lacked inspiration, but because I haven’t known where to start! This past June (2021), Tom met with Spencer Webster — novelist, storyteller, retired U.S. Navy Sailor, a guy with a million zillion creative ideas, and the host of InSpiris Audio Magazine. Tom was the interview subject of Spencer’s podcast — seeking to find what creativity is to other people.

I’ve listened to this episode twice and I have been impressed — possibly to the point of being overwhelmed (hence writing this post in July, not June). Let me take a crack at explaining why, along with telling you about their session …

I’ve known Tom for … well, I guess it’s been about seven years now. The first I made his company, he was presenting the topic of how to self-publish your book at the library in Langley, WA. He was knowledgeable, affable, and well humored. We continued to talk beyond this workshop, and eventually he guided me through publishing my first book. Together, we have had numerous conversations on an array of topics and laughed ourselves fairly well silly …. not so unlike we now do here on WOWI.

All that said, I think I know Tom pretty well. And yet … you know those times where you see a friend in a different environment, and you experience a whole new dimension … then afterward all you can say is “… Wow!”? Yeah, that’s this interview!

During the interview Tom talks about not only where inspiration comes from but also what inspiration is to him. He also speaks to where he applies creativity, often in places where others might not think creativity applies. Tom ranges from his former work as an engineer to personal experiences that lead to writing books; he richly quotes people and references books that I had no idea about, much less guessed Tom might have covered.

So … listen to this interview, which Spencer Webster of InSpiris Audio Magazine kindly allowed to be reposted here on WOWI … prepare to be blown away … and have your creative live better for it!

Best ~ Don

Pavel Soukenik – Tulip & Hound publishing

Have you hear of Tulip & Hound?  It’s a new and exciting publishing company here on Whidbey Island!  This past Tuesday afternoon Tom and I had the absolute pleasure of spending time (via e-meeting, because Corona) with owner and visionary Pavel Soukenik.

Pavel and his wife, Angela, have joined us here on Whidbey for a number of years — and Pavel himself has joined us here in The United States originally from the Czech Republic.  Given his background, Pavel supports translation from English into Czech — but what makes Tulip & Hound unique doesn’t stop there!

Tulip & Hound is a small and promising publishing company potentially filling a niche here on the island — there are no publishing company (or distributors for that matter).  Pavel’s books are traditionally printed here in the United States using print runs instead of print-on-demand. Books printed in volume through Tulip & Hound can then be offered at lower prices with better terms for both bookstores and authors.  Pavel also believes in giving back and is donating 10% of profits from all book sales to preservation of the environment.

The debut book being offered by Tulip & Hound is titled “Siren and the Serenade” by Angela Cummings.  She’s a Pacific Northwest author located right here on Whidbey — so local she’s Pavel’s wife.  This is convenient for Pavel because he never has a problem reaching his client.

I found our time with Pavel interesting and thought provoking — and I believe you will too when you listen to the podcast.  He is pleasant, has a great sense of humor, and all around … he’s just a neat guy!  It will be exciting to watch what happens for Tulip & Hound and his company continues to develop.  With any luck, it is my hope Tom and I can visit again with Pavel in a year or so to learn about everything that has transpired with Tulip & Hound!

Tulip & Hound’s website

Tulip & Hound on Twitter

Tom and Don interviewed by Pen To Print

PenToPrint.org

Accidents happen and sometimes they turn out as happy accidents! A few months ago I responded to a comment online from a delightful lady in England — Claire Buss. She was looking for people who produce podcasts — I didn’t think that what Tom and I offer with WOWI was quite her thing, but it never hurts to try … right? To my surprise Clair sent me a personal message soon after, asking that Tom and I each fill out a written interview for her site PenToPrint.org. We took to our trusty keyboards and — not so long story made even shorter — have been featured this month.

Check out PenToPrint.org and our interview … NOW!

William Boulanger — Private Detective Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author

Often when Tom and I book WOWI guests one of us knows the guest — and Tom knows just about everyone. For this session … it was my turn.

I know sci-fi & fantasy author William Boulanger through the veterans’ community here on Whidbey Island. Being a member of the SAMS (Scottish-American Military Society), a few years ago I got myself paired-up to march with the local VFW Hall in the annual City of Oak Harbor‘s 4th of July parade. They carried U.S. and military branch flags at the beginning of the parade and I play my Highland bagpipes. Apparently I presented myself as a decent guy because later they invited me to a Hall picnic and to play at a bell ringing ceremony. While at the picnic Will and I happened to start chatting — and it was one of those times where you meet someone and you instantly hit it off, talking about all sorts of things like boon companions…

Will and I talked about everything from electronic recording equipment, our veterans’ organizations, to kilts and kiltmaking. Eventually we fell upon the topic of our writing and I was soon able to tell that had to get him on WOWI! Here’s the thing … Will is a hugely bright guy and well humored, I wanted to hear what he had to say and I knew WOWI listeners would be equally interested.

This past weekend Tom and I had the pleasure of e-meeting with William — Tom in his spare bedroom, Will in his fancy guest shed, and I in the cab of my truck … you have to understand, it’s Whidbey Island. When it comes to writing and publishing our guest revealed that he works between traditional and self-publishing, writing short and full-length stories, working chiefly in the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. Will was amusing and engaging — and quickly blew Tom’s and my minds talking about how the traditional-publishing industry is affected by COVID-19 and slowed-down due to a lack of paper supply …. WHOA!

More than that, he has a private detective in a sci-fi setting that you’re going to want to know about… no, really!

William was an outstanding guest. I want to talk with him even more about his writing — with any luck …. we’ll get to have him on the show again.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 17 – William Boulanger, writer

LINKS

Homepage of William Boulanger

William Boulanger on Instagram and Facebook

Bill Baker’s Dozen Vol. 1: Fresh Baked on GoodReads

The Show Must Go ON!

200314_quarantineCONTRARY to my recent WOWI blog post saying that Tom and I may need to put a hold on the show, we’re devising an idea how we could go forward during the Cornonavirus quarantine!

This past Monday I rigged-up my gear and met Tom in a video chat — our intention being to record a 1-off WOWI episode — both to see how using this medium might work and to discuss how how being in quarantine affects writers.  Frankly, going into this … I didn’t expect much — and yet, what came out of it was an intriguing show running over an hour long!

“How do the adjustments we are making and disruptions we are dealing with make for opportunities, affect work and art later on, what is yet to come for the world of the day-job worker?”

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The “Yellow Jack” or “Lima” signal flag is flown on ships in harbor to indicate that a vessel is under quarantine.

On Wednesday I e-met with Tom again with two purposes in mind.  One was to test an improved set-up with my gear — which produced technological success.  The other was to further discuss continuing the show from QuarantineVille.  Our aim at this point is to try and host 1 to 2 guests each month over video chat — and we each have a few authors in mind to ask.

If you are Whidbey Island writer/author, editor, bookstore owner, graphic artist or illustrator, marketing guru — or whatever as long as your work is part of the publishing industry — and you think you’d be a fit for a WOWI episode … PLEASE CONTACT US!

We’ll talk with you soon! ~ Don

Did You Wash Your Hands EDIT

Modern Writing in QuarantineLife

It seems like it was only yesterday that I posted WOWI vs COVID-19.  In it I wrote that Tom and I were pausing to figure out how-maybe to record another episode in the days of physical and social distancing …. and then today we recorded Episode 13!

How did we do it?

Easy! … We agreed on a time and started a Google Hangout session while I ran my Zoom H2n in my office.  Yes, this was our first virtual WOWI session!

Recording today was kind of like this …

We each relaxed, sitting in the comfort of our own homes, talking one-on-one about writing right now from QuarantineVille.  Many of us are home and have the opportunity to work on our books — and for some of us (introverts), this is pretty normal.  How do the adjustments we are making and disruptions we are dealing with make for opportunities, affect work and art later on, what is yet to come for the world of the day-job worker?  All I can say is to listen to this episode, hopefully it will be as thought provoking and topical for you as it was for us.

After the session Tom and I threw some ideas around online — what these amount to…

  • We are going to look into how we might hold a ‘From Inspiration To Publication‘ how to self-publishing workshop — we’ve been wanting to present another, it looks like we might do this online & soon!  This may be a single episode or a short series.  We’ll update you online as this develops.
  • We should be recording our next session … soon after we hear back from our next guest.

All and all, I think today’s session worked out well — the method could use a little refinement, which will come over time, however this online-meet could lead to more episodes…

Keep your eyes and your ears here! ~ Don

…and here it is!

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 13 – Don and Tom Quarantine Interview

WOWI vs COVID-19

Hello — Don here, messaging you from QuarantineVille!  Yes, we are weeks … months(?) … into this Cornonavirus thing.  All of us are seeing some changes in our lives from this crazy deal.  For Tom and myself one of those is we’ve had to put the brakes on WOWI for the time being.  I’m here to tell you — we may be down for the moment, but we’re not out!

Tom and I are each juggling our personal lives with the adjustments; for the time being our schedules, and ‘social distancing’, have precluded us from recording the next WOWI episode.  We have done some brainstorming about how we might hold an interview under the current conditions ….

  • One idea has been to arrange a meeting time and location with an author … each person walking into the location from separate directions (kinda like that Clint Eastwood spaghetti western …. no, the other one), do the interview while keeping our distances, and then safely back out.  Dramatic and amusing!
  • Or, more simply a video-meeting or 3-way phone call.

None of it seems worth the bother right now, and for Tom and myself our priorities have us drawn (if not also quartered) elsewhere.

Our intention is to hold the next WOWI interview when folks can safely shake hands again, without threat of the viral-apocalypse or residential-gulag or whatever.  So please enjoy our current collection of episodes, and keep an eye here for updates.

Take care, Talk soon ~ Don

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The Good, The Bad, and The Dusty (1966)

 

Poet Daniel Edward Moore Interview

2a786495b824a8c6-danielmoore_91Recently I announced that Tom and I were set to meet with award-winning local poet and 3-time published author, Daniel Edward Moore, for our next WOWI session.  What neither of us knew then was that we were about to meet a fascinating gentleman who proved to be — frankly — a POWERHOUSE!

Daniel met us today at a delightful new shop in downtown Oak Harbor — Whidbey Made — which features a splendid array of local-only artisan goods and keepsakes.  If you haven’t dropped by yet, I’m tellin’ ya, GO NOW!  In the back of the Whidbey Made mercantile is a cozy space available to rent for small meetings and workshops.  It proved to be perfect for WOWI — I think partly due to proprietors, Catherine & Brian, seeing their shop in-part as highlighting all the local talent.  But I wonderfully digress . . . .
(Please follow @WhidbeyMade on Twitter)

Daniel shared his story of how he made his personal discovery of poetry — picking up a well-loved Sylvia Plath copy at a garage sale — and beginning to write.  His insights and experiences with developing his craft and submitting to national journals had Tom and myself chomping at the opportunity to ask more questions.  Easily this was a conversation that could have gone into ‘the wee hours’ — but, alas, Whidbey Made did need to close up!

045837a9a016e42c-boyscover11As said — Daniel was a powerhouse in conversation.  His passion about expression through the written word is clearly merely unabashed on a slow day — and you’ll hear this in the recording session.  He is also no-holds-barred when it comes to the poetry community on Whidbey Island.  For three years he and his wife, Laura, have managed the Oak Harbor Poetry Project, a group that both features established poets, supports upcoming poets with writing workshops, and holds an open mic.  Saturday (14Mar2020) Daniel will be giving a poetry reading from 7 to 830PM at Unity of Whidbey (free admission, refreshments and book signing at intermission). With a “Writing Poetry Inside Out Workshop” at the Freeland Library 29Apr2020 from 2 to 4PM . . . . Daniel is one to watch.
(Take a look at the Readings & Events page on his website — note that he’s already booked out into next year!)

Once our session concluded, Daniel kindly pulled out copies of his book “BOYS” (Nov2019), inscribed and signed them, and gave copies to Tom and myself.  He also gave a copy to Catherine, who apparently observed most of our recording from the doorway to the workshop room — our first WOWI audience member!

I have no doubt that you too will be impressed with Daniel Edward Moore and our latest WOWI podcast!

~ Don

Daniel Edward Moore at…

DanielEdwardMoore.com
WhidbeyNews-Times article 10Mar2020
Goodreads
Facebook
Amazon
Oak Harbor Poetry Project — “a wonderful open mic tribe!!”

Daniel Edward Moore is an award-winning poet whose works have appeared in some of the country’s most prestigious literary journals. Additionally he is the author of “Confessions of a Pentecostal Buddhist“, “BOYS“, and his latest book “Waxing the Dents” published 01Feb2020.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 12 – Daniel Edward Moore, poet