The Future of Writing On Whidbey Island

Have you seen this man?

Yes — sad but true — founding host Tom Trimbath has departed from Writing On Whidbey Island.  He helped start something great, and he will be missed — first and foremost by me — and I look forward to seeing what develops for him as he continues his writing and publishing journey!

However, you might be asking yourself …
What is the future of WOWI?

And I might reply … that I don’t have a whole lot of time to go into that right now — but … as the saying goesThe Show Must Go On!

Tom has handed Writing On Whidbey Island over to me.  With this, I see an opportunity to bring some new elements to the show — many of which are things Tom and I have wanted to do, but just haven’t had the time to develop.  I intend to have guest hosts  join me to discuss writing topics and to interview individuals from our island writing community.  The suggestion has been given to include unique intro and outro music to the show — something I was already looking into!  In time, I plan to move the audio to a podcast platform so that more people may become aware of and benefit from WOWI.  How about WOWI merch — stickers, T-shirts, etc?  I hope to also create and maintain a few social media profiles — probably Twitter and Facebook.

And the future of WOWI will happen … In The Future!

Hello, my name is Don, I’ll be your Highland bagpiper for today.

As you’ve heard in our earlier podcasts — this is the beginning of my annual seasonal work — otherwise known as my Busy Season.  Typically, Tom has done most of the heavy-lifting behind the scenes at this time of the year.  Right now, I am unable to juggle work and rolling from 50% production of the podcast to 100% management — so I need to take a little break!

My plan is to resume Writing On Whidbey Island later this year — probably around Fall.  Meanwhile, I intend to work on my plans above and begin to put these new show elements into place.

Please enjoy the past episodes in the meantime, and I look forward to you rejoining WOWI in the coming months.

~ Don

Tom’s Farewell to WOWI

Nearly four years ago, Tom and I took action on a somewhat thought out semi-crazy idea.  We met at a park in Coupeville, WA, and hiked down a winding dirt path to the beach below.  We sat down on some rocks, and I fired up my recording unit.  What followed — in addition to the sounds of waves, seagulls, and local jets — was our first two Writing On Whidbey Island podcast episodes.
(Episodes One & Two)

Tom Don bagpipe presentation Scotland speaking
Playing Scottish smallpipes before Tom presented his book “Walking, Thinking, Drinking Across Scotland”.

Our recording sessions have taken us all over our beloved island, and we’ve had the pleasure of spending time with several magnificent people from our local writing community.  During this time our show has grown in meaning and listeners — even gaining recognition beyond the greater literary community here on the island.

A little over a week ago, Tom and I met at the Coupeville Library for a special show — moreover, one that was bittersweet for me.  For personal reasons, Tom announced his departure from Writing On Whidbey Island — chiefly, it’s because he’s a busy guy!

authorIt was great to spend time with Tom, discussing our earlier episodes, what the show has developed into and contributed to the community, and getting to talk about the future of Writing On Whidbey Island.  I couldn’t have started this podcast without Tom, and as a founding member of WOWI he has set the show on its unique path.  With any luck, Tom will rejoin the show as a future guest with one of his next book releases.

Tom, my friend, Thank You and Good Journeys!

~ Don

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 45 – Tom Trimbath, – Author, WOWI co-founder emeritus


Amazon Author Page (non-fiction and sci-fi)

Blurb (for photo essays)

Lulu (books for fundraisers)



Sarah Sanborn – Author, Waking Winter

Note about the episode. Sarah’s pronouns are they/them/theirs. There are a few slip ups during the episode, so please mentally insert the proper pronouns where needed. Thanks!

Island grown, born and raised. Finished their first novel at 15. Published a children’s book, with many more stories shared and stored, unpublicized. Sarah Sanborn (they/them) isn’t stopping; and is just getting started. They are a fantasy/sci-fi writer and photographer, which is why their interview involved dragons, zombies, and gargoyles.

Island residents may also recognize Sarah when working outdoors at Venture Out, a local nursery. Use some common sense, though. Asking them for an autograph is probably best when their hands aren’t holding a forty-pound potted plant.

Sarah’s most recent book is Waking Winter, which has a whimsical cover of a small human (gnome to be specific) softly poking a big dragon with a stick. This may be March, but this children’s book will be back in shopping style in a few months. These years do come around again.

Many members of the Whidbey writing community came here from elsewhere. Because Sarah is from here, the idea of a writing community is a natural environment. That’s an interesting perspective on finding support on and off the island, including online.

If you want a shorter introduction to some non-children’s work, click over to Instagram where several of Sarah’s poems are posted.

And, if you just want to be introduced to what they have to say, listen to the interview that includes steampunk, zombies, gargoyles, and of course, dragons.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 44 – Sarah Sanborn – Author, Waking Winter


Sarah Sanborn on Instagram

Sarah Sanborn on Facebook

Waking Winter on Amazon

Anna Cosper – Illustrator, Book Designer, Frolicker

Have you been frolicking enough? We started this interview with a question from her website. Anna Cosper helped produce and publish the most recent edition of a familiar Whidbey favorite, Hometown Heroes*. That’s enough of an accomplishment, as well as a great introduction to dozens of the island’s heroes. But she also is a book illustrator, who sells commissioned illustrations and paintings; a book formatter, a frequently requested skill; and a fan of artistic expression in the literary arts, but also in dance, and puppetry. A very Whidbey resume.

She took a long route to get to Whidbey Island, including the Netherlands, Myanmar, Thailand, and Botswana. Those stories alone could probably be enough for hours of presentations and talks. She even did a puppetry tour down the West Coast of the US –  by bicycle. Add that to the list of topics she can talk about from personal experience.

We didn’t talk about all of that; but much of it. Most of the hour-ish conversation was about balancing personal art projects with helping others with theirs (for a fee, as appropriate). She understands that every artist, every author, has choices to make because she has had to make those choices, too.

We also talked about Whidbey’s art community and how uncommon it is, and how that can be appealing enough to draw some people here to live, or work, or simply to visit.

Set aside a bit more than an hour to hear laughter, know that blushing was involved, and listen in as we touch of the rise of AI and its influence on the arts.

Oh yeah, and frolicking – that was the first thing she answered. (To be alerted about the release of her series of cards and other frolicking products sign up at And, remember, at its core, everything is memoir. Sounds like a good bumper sticker.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 42 – Anna Cosper – Illustrator, Book Designer, Frolicker


Book websites: * 
professional web site –

Instagram – @annamakesbooks

* 100% of all proceeds go to either the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, WAIF animal shelter, or Island Senior Resources.

Luke Kruger-Howard – Graphic Novelist And Ambassador For Cartooning

Graphic novelist. There’s a term that can be mis-understood. Is that a novelist who is graphic? No. Luke Kruger-Howard is a graphic novelist from the cartoonist side of things. He considers himself an ambassador for cartooning. Cartooning stretches from doodles to Dilbert to the other end of the spectrum like anime and Maus. There’s a lot out there.

Luke talked about realities of being printed in the New Yorker, and what to do when their response is a rejection letter. Some of his work is single-panel, but much of it is longer form, hence, graphic novelist. He’s also modern enough that he doesn’t limit himself to the boundaries of a page. Hello, infinite scrolling online. Regardless he continues to have “a romantic relationship with the printed page.”

Creating the art is one thing, actually many things; but he also taught cartooning and book-making at the Center for Cartoon Studies. His move to Whidbey now means he gets to teach things like potty-training to two small humans, a temporary gig. While he is here he is interested in getting involved in art-making classes for kids. Hello, Whidbey’s schools and art organizations.

Throw in some philosophical work regarding the impact of money on creativity – and this description will fall short of the breadth and depth of Luke in this one hour conversation. Imagine if we talked for two.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 43 – Luke Kruger-Howard, graphic novelist and ambassador for cartooning


Luke’s long-form comics andsothen

Luke’s GoesBooks (including philosophical considerations on art and finance)

Luke on Instagram

An informal, unofficial blog and podcast about writing and writers on Whidbey Island