Oh, Ashland!

A soft October sun brightened the colors as I rolled into Ashland yesterday afternoon for my reading and signing at Bloomsbury Books. After dropping some books off at the store I had time to take a walk and let the festive Ashland charm wrap around me. I strolled down Main Street and over to Lithia Park, stopping by a pond to breathe in the calming beauty.

ashland-parkBack up Main Street I began to read menus at the many restaurants along the way, confident that any one of them would offer exquisite fare. Even a quick, light dinner had a gourmet touch. Along the street the flags never let you forget the town’s Shakespearean reputation, and music from stringed instruments drifted on the air. It’s no wonder the place drew me a couple of decades ago to live there for a while. So I returned with some sense of a homecoming for this second book signing at Bloomsbury’s. I went there a couple of years ago to present my pioneer ancestor’s story A Place of Her Own.

ashland-book-displayThe staff at Bloomsbury set up a nice display with both books this time. They hold readings upstairs in the store loft, a pleasant spot–the author’s garret, I guess. A good group came up. I read from the opening pages of historical novel The Shifting Winds, my featured book at this event, and the audience clearly appreciated the reading. We had an excellent discussion. So rewarding to find such enthusiasm. And several bought both books.

Afterward I had a long drive home in the dark, but a feeling of satisfaction went with me.


On to Ashland

Next stop on my journey to present my book The Shifting Winds is the lovely Bloomsbury Books in the southwestern Oregon town of Ashland, known for its elegant Shakespearean theater productions and other theatrical offerings. I’ll be there tomorrow evening, Monday, October 10, at 7 pm. That’s Bloomsbury’s in the photo below.

627-ashland-outside-bloomsbury-2I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s visit to Coos Bay at the Coos Bay Public Library for a book presentation and signing. My thanks to Ellen Thompson, Assistant Library Director, for inviting me and making all the arrangements. A very literary audience offered such a gratifying response. Many had already read my first book, A Place of Her Own, and expressed how much they enjoyed it. After my talk and reading with a slide show, we had a lively Q&A session. Many attendees had kinds words for me, but one heartfelt comment brought tears to my eyes when a woman thanked me for bringing history to life. It’s what I try so hard to do, and her affirmation touched me.

Tomorrow night will be a more traditional reading and signing. I’ll say a just few words and give a reading, then take questions before signing books.

I lived in Ashland about twenty years ago and had a wonderful gig there doing play reviews for the Sneak Preview, an Ashland monthly newspaper. What fun! My job meant attending all sorts of plays, including one fantastic dinner theater production, and of course writing reviews.

Bloomsbury Books was my go-to bookstore when I lived there. One thing about living in a lot of places, as I have, I’m a local author in many locales.

If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by. As I recall, my last event at Bloomsbury’s had a lively Q&A too.


Bloomsbury Event Rescheduled

627.ashland outside bloomsburyJust a note to let you know my book signing and reading event at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland has been rescheduled and will now be held on Monday, October 10 from 7 to 8 pm. I previously announced it in “News Briefs” as a September event, but realized it was the same night as the first Presidential Debate. Since that might affect attendance we moved the event ahead to the October date.

It’s always a pleasure to visit Ashland where I used to live back in the 90s. And Bloomsbury Books is a lovely store. Looking forward to it.


Enjoying Ashland Charm

627.ashland outside bloomsburyMy cousin Carolyn Compton rode down to Ashland with me yesterday for my reading and signing at Bloomsbury Books, right on Ashland’s charming Main Street. Carolyn taught school in Ashland for many years and welcomed the chance to revisit old haunts. I lived there for a short time in the late 90’s.

Now Carolyn lives just across the river from me on Pleasant Plain on the farm where our fathers grew up. As first cousins Carolyn and I share the same relationship with Martha, and she has been a staunch supporter of my work in writing and marketing the book about our brave ancestress.

We arrived in Ashland early enough in the afternoon to wander Main Street for a while, although the 90 plus temperature encouraged us to dip into a cool restaurant before too long. We enjoyed Italian food and ambled back to the bookstore in time for the event.

630.reading ashland bloomsburyA lovely group of people came, a small but enthusiastic gathering. I read a couple of short segments from A Place of Her Own, then sensing those had gone fairly quickly I asked folks if they would like to hear another short segment or chat a bit. A question from the audience sparked a lively chat, and then they asked for more reading. I added an excerpt from the “Oregon Trail” chapter describing the harrowing descent down Laurel Hill on the west side of the Cascade Mountains and received a hearty round of applause–always a pleasure for an author to hear.

Carolyn and I were delighted to see friends from our days in Ashland, Stephanie Bartlett and Mel Ginsberg. Stephanie had helped me with my books when I lived there. I remember a workshop she gave, which provided clues to better writing that I still think about today. And she offered me some particular advice on my book set in Minoan Crete that has seen many reincarnations over time, a book I hope is about ready for print under the current working title, Beyond the Waning Moon. So great to see Stephanie after some sixteen years or so.

An enjoyable day. Thank you, Carolyn, for navigating our way on streets I’d forgotten, for taking the reading picture, for helping carry stuff and setting up a table and pouring wine, but most of all for your good company.