Amy Gulick With Salmon In The Trees

What do you know about the natural cycle of salmon? What do you know about finding funding for storytelling? Amy Gulick is an islander who has stories to tell about salmon and about how she approached her mix of advocacy, community, and funding.

Amy had won enough awards for her photography and writing that the list would probably be longer than this post. She’s a writer, yes. She’s a photographer, obviously. But she identifies as a storyteller who has been telling stories in words and images since she was a child. Children tell stories. It isn’t until we’re adults that we apply labels like writer or photographer.

Her two main books are Salmon in the Trees and The Salmon Way. Not a surprise, she knows a lot about salmon, but has also witnessed how salmon return to their spawning grounds, but also their carcasses return nutrients to the plants and animals along those streams. She’s also witnessed the impact salmon have on communities, families, people.

Storytelling is an art. Storytelling for advocacy is a finer example of it because there are consequences to the story. Advocates advocate, so the telling of a story can hopefully encourage action directly, or at least awareness that can indirectly lead to action.

Her process may be useful, too, because there are many reasons and many topics for advocacy. Got something you want to advocate for? Listen in, and at hear from someone who can tell stories so well that it makes for an engaging interview.

In the words of co-host Don Scoby, learn how to; “Tell Your Own Damn Stories”.


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 38 – Amy Gulick- storyteller in words and images


Links:

Sarah McCarthy-Allen Mixing Fantasy And Physics

Take one genre; there will be enough to talk about. Take a second genre and the same thing is true. Take two genres that are opposing, like fiction and non-fiction, then sometimes keep them separate and sometimes overlap them and the matrix of possibilities becomes multi-dimensional. So goes, or went, our conversation with Sarah McCarthy and Sarah Allen as we talked about her career steering through fiction titles and non-fiction titles, respectively. At least she kept the same first name for both.

Sarah has a degree in physics (impressive), has studied cognitive psychology (which would seem to help with characters), and now tutors physics students. And then on the fictional side of life;

“Fantasy novels are basically goal-oriented extended camping trips and magic is just alternate-reality physics, so this worked out well”

Good luck guessing which is what with titles like, Newton’s Laws: A Fairy Tale (approachable non-fiction) and The Eidolons of Myrefall (fiction for sure.) And in both cases, check out her cover designs.

She not only is working in more than one genre, but also has a tendency to work in, or on, series as a soloist and in collaborations. 

Successful authors frequently are required to make the leap from introvert as a writer to extrovert as a business person. Sarah has managed to not so much leap as stretch from her introverted base to successfully conduct marketing and sales campaigns by using a few online tools very well. Her efficiency may also explain her productivity because a quick count of her titles suggests a publication rate of about one book per year, with hints that she may be able to do more.

And she’s not stopping. There are other series to write, and with each series it sounds like she is tutoring herself in how to become a career author.

Listen in. By the way, this podcast was recorded in a park with kids running around, parents on smartphones, and a gracious groundskeeper who saw our recording rig then steered away until we were done. Whidbey Island, a place where even landscapers support writers and authors.


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 37 – Sarah McCarthy/Allen – author of non-fiction and fiction, tutor of science


Links:

Melanie Bacon From National Lampoon To Sherlock’s Sister

Let’s see, topics included: National Lampoon (with a connection to Garrison Keillor), a dragon, the sister of Sherlock Holmes, a relative of Jack the Ripper, Sarah Susanka, Mary (yes, that one), casino mysteries, and a book temporarily titled Adultery And Other Alternatives To Suicide. One hour wasn’t enough for our interview with Melanie Bacon, but the company offering the free online conference call was heartless and cut us off at an hour. (But, hey, it was free.)

Interviews are easy when the interviewee is a comedian, as well as a story teller. Melanie has also had a fascinating journey in her career and in finding a place on Whidbey. From one of her bios; 

A few of the many trades she worked at but failed to master were cage cashier, employee relations manager, and legal affairs investigator at a large Minnesota Indian gaming casino. She has also been a farmwife, a signmaker, owned a bookstore and second-hand shop, chaired a city planning commission, and was once the international compensation manager for a Fortune 500 corporation.

She has written several novels. Her current series is called The Detectorist. Book 1 is titled Dragon Ripper, which is an intriguing title. Book 2 in the series is done, but not published, yet. Considering her low-key, minimalist, surprisingly successful market approach to the first book (aka not over-working it), she may not need to do much this time, either. Of course, we fellow writers could help spread the word; which is the case for all of us.

The interview lasted an hour, but went by quickly. Laughter helps make that happen.

Listen in and enjoy, and stay tuned for when her next book gets published. There might be a line at the store when that happens.

Oh yeah, and if you can handle flashbacks, check out the links below. One is a hand-built web site from 1999 that we jokingly called, The Last of the HTMLs.


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 36 – Melanie Bacon – author, bookstore owner, graduate of National Lampoon, and more


links

Joe Menth Does More Than Hit Print

Don’t judge a book by its cover, except people do. Joe Menth has helped many of Whidbey’s writers by helping them fix their covers, polish the graphics inside, produce posters and cards and plenty of other marketing materials. Joe’s shop, Feather and Fox which is owned and operated by him and his wife, is in Langley, but if you follow local writers or local artists you’ve probably seen his work.

Writing On Whidbey Island is about the writing community, which previous episodes have shown to be about the support network that wraps around the writers. Librarians, booksellers, editors, publishers, etc. add to the unofficial community that already includes hundreds of writers, poets, and screenwriters. Some writers can do it all, but many of us call for help because we don’t have those skills, or are already so busy that hiring a professional for an hour can save a day’s (or a week’s) effort.

Joe talked with the two of us in a conversation that had to wander around what he does and what he’s asked to do because his skills are so varied. His skills are so varied that sometimes he has to be reminded of them. (Personal note: He’s helped me with at least ten books, so far. Insides, outsides, and marketing besides are demonstrations of more than hitting print.)

Welcome back to a virtual call because, as the pandemic has proved, sometimes the only way to get three busy schedules to align is by having everyone phone it in. Hopefully, you find the episode more engaging than that.


Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 35 – Joe Menth of Feather and Fox – fine art printer, graphics expert, creativity enabler


Link: Feather and Fox Print, Co. FeatherAndFoxPrintCo.com

Popular Posts 2021

Welcome to the ten most popular posts, the posts that received the most traffic in 2021.

Let’s see, those ten represent: kids writing books, kids reading books, surfing and more, new books, rare books, libraries, poets, family stories, and the first post that introduced this site. Any trend? Yes. The Whidbey Island writing community is varied in age, from writing to reading to selling to collecting, from short to long forms, in fiction and non-fiction. Hard to get bored and easy to get inspired when part of such a community. Thanks for doing what you do, even if it is simply listening in.

Popular Posts 2020

Welcome to the ten most popular posts, the posts that received the most traffic in 2020.

That’s a nice mix. Authors, librarians, booksellers, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, editing, and rare books. That diversity is one of the reasons the Whidbey Island writing community is broad and deep, able to support the members of the informal, unofficial, highly creative community. Personally, it is nice to see people returning to episode 1, to better understand our intent. And remember, a grade school class got the most traffic by a large margin. Forget the MBA. Maybe tune into 5th graders, instead.

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)

 

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 8 – Dan Pedersen, Final Impulse

Do you know Dan Pedersen from his Saturday morning blog, his extensive library of recently written books, or as the guy who goes for walks with Duncan (his dog who is also the cover model for one of the books)? Dan was nice enough to invite us to his house for his interview. Duncan was there, too. You can hear his toenails clicking around the room at the start – before he wondered off to some favorite spot to sleep until we were done.

Dan is the author of several books, and their arc is a study in the progression of a career from professional journalist, to blogger, to writer-for-hire of a non-fiction nature book, to traditional self-publishing in non-fiction, and now to modern self-publishing a somewhat accidental mystery series based on Whidbey Island. His list of productions is enough to cover a table, and represents several perspectives on how, why, and what to write. He also discusses what not to write, which can counter the conventional wisdom of everything being material.

It isn’t always about the money. Blogging is gratifying. Novel writing is fun and an escape. Yet, the mechanics and economics matter there, too, because time is precious and irreplaceable. He describes how he writes, how he advertises, and how he sells – with a bit of a commentary on dealing with publishers, printers, and whatever Amazon has become. Self-publishing provides control, which also requires working every aspect from cover design, page numbering, and how to store a few thousand copies – or paying nothing and only buying what is immediately needed.

Listen in as a gracious man displays a sense of humor as we tried to capture as much of his insights as we could in less than an hour.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 8 – Dan Pedersen, Final Impulse

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 scary-black 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

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 6 – Maribeth Crandell, Hiking Close to Home

Listen to songbirds, turkeys, a few cars, and a babbling stream as the background to our interview with Maribeth Crandell, author of Hiking Close to Home, a hiking guide for dozens of trails on Whidbey Island. Our setting was the Outdoor Classroom in the Maxwelton Valley, a facility provided by the Whidbey Watershed Stewards, as well as one of the trails mentioned in her book.

Maribeth’s hiking and writing history includes Flip Flop, her story of traveling the Appalachian Trail. Such epic hikes are engaging, but she also recognized the benefit of hiking closer to home, especially when the mountains are inhospitable. She noticed the simple fact that no one had written a book that covered dozens of trails on Whidbey Island, including the ones that accommodate (or at least attempt to accommodate) wheelchairs and such. Over 120 pages and six months later, she and Jack Hartt completed the book, ordered up a few hundred copies, began the rounds of presentations and signings, and now have to order more books.

As with most authors, she also has a day job, working for Island Transit, a free bus service that deserves a book, too. Rather than separate the hiking and the day job, she’s found ways to incorporate the two, including bus-related hikes, and conducting bus tours to various trails. Her experience is a good one for writers and authors to witness how book projects can be inspired, and can inspire other projects. Just don’t be surprised if we’re distracted by sounds from the woods, or digressions about whales and squirrels. Bring your binoculars – to the hikes, not the podcast.

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 6 – Maribeth Crandell, Hiking Close to Home