Meet the Writers of the Ocean State

Discover the writers in your own backyard at the Warwick Public Library (Sandy Lane) on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

See books on all topics and genres. Buy a book and have it signed. Talk with the authors and ask questions.

The event features the following authors: Julien Ayotte, Brian Beneduce, Joshua Blum, Judith Boss, Adele M. Bourne, Ann Eckert Brown, Henry A.L. Brown, Paul F. Caranci, Russ Chevalier, David Christner, Jayne Conway, Mary Croft, Elda M. Dawber, Amy Deluca, Kathleen DiChiara, Vincent DiGiulio, Rich Feitelberg, Janet A. Hartman, Roberta Mudge Humble, Sam Kafrissen, Laura Kennedy, Alex Kimmell, Steven R. Krasner, Kerri Lanzieri, Sara Low, Dave Mann, Rachael McIntosh, Joann Mead, Kevin Mulhern, Yvette Nachmias-Baeu, Jenna O’del, Dawn Porter, Steven R. Porter, Ashley Richer, Rick Roberts, Gregory Rubano, Todd Ruffin, Theresa Schimmel, Jeanine Spikes, J. Michael Squatrito, Jr., Deborah L. Tillinghast, Ray Wolf, Brian Wu.

Drop in to explore Ocean State lit. This event is free and open to all.

This event is organized and sponsored by the Warwick Public Library. Wil Gregersen, Contact Phone Number: (401) 739-5440, x221 Contact Email: wilgregersen@gmail.com

Spotlight on Memoirs at December’s Lively Literati

LiteratiDecember2015The Lively Literati returns to The Elephant Room in Cranston’s Pawtuxet Village on Thursday, December 17th with authors Patricia Mitchell, Connie Rose Ciampanelli and Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast. The authors will be discussing memoir writing and sharing short excerpts from their most recent works. Following the presentation, audience members are invited to share their own short writing or poetry, on any topic, at our open mic. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Mark Perry #riauthors

halfleader-01
nov-30-mark

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Mark Perry

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.

Last week, an eight-year-old girl from San Diego put a spell on herself in the shower, to turn herself into a mermaid.  Why hasn’t it worked yet, and how much longer will it take, she asks?  Where does such a child turn when they are contemplating their life’s most compelling questions?  Well, that would be good old St. Nick, or course, because the allure of Santa Claus to a child makes them think and feel that he is all-knowing.

When I became ‘Post’ Mark, the North Pole Postman, the elf who works in Santa’s mail room, I guess I hadn’t thought I’d be confronted with such far-fetched questions.  I more or less expected kids to share some interesting stories, because we all know kids say the funniest things.

For example, Oliver from Australia has a dog named Shelby who he believes is friends with Santa’s reindeer because she doesn’t bark at them.  Timmy, in the state of Washington, isn’t sure if Santa will come to his house this year because he tripped and fell down.  When he fell, he knocked over the Christmas tree, and broke a few of the ornaments, and thinks Santa is mad at him now.

Working for a boss who is a metaphor means I am the one who has to address these issues all while keeping a straight face when a child or parent visits me at one of my live book-signing events, or logs on to my website to share them.

A message in Santa’s inbox the other day is from a nine-year-old girl in the U.K. who has a crush on a boy, and wants Santa to let the boy know, so he will notice her, but if he can’t do that, she understands.  She would just be fine with an iPad underneath the Christmas tree, instead.

While I truly enjoy having the world come to my door with these messages, and feel they are a gift to me, you can imagine this is challenging at times since a child doesn’t know or understand that I might be going into the fourteenth hour of my work day, and there were dozens, if not hundreds of kids that came before them.

Working for Santa is a very rewarding experience, but as kids are taught, and one might expect with being an elf, it requires long hours.  I often ask myself, “How much longer can I go on doing this job,” and then, Santa receives a message from Angela in Virginia stating that she will be leaving cookies for him when he comes to her house on Christmas eve, along with carrots for the reindeer, and something for ‘Post’ Mark too because she loved reading his book.  Wow!  What an honor.  I wonder what she’s going to leave me!

It’s almost December! Visit Post Mark and find out how to send a letter to Santa!

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Claremary Sweeney #riauthors

halfleader-01

nov-29-rosemary

 

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Claremary Sweeny

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.

I’m a late bloomer. Very late! At age 65, I wrote a story featuring a tabby kitten named ZuZu, born in a barn at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I liked it so much I wrote more stories set in the Berkshires and added in lots of farm animals and an extended family. ZuZu’s further adventures bring readers to many interesting and historic places. The Hancock Shaker Village, the Red Lion Inn, Chesterwood, the Berkshire Botanical Garden are some of those places that my husband Charley and I have visited many times and I wanted to share them with others.

A Berkshire Tale is comprised of ten tales following ZuZu and her friend Nick through the seasons of a year. It’s appropriate for children of all ages, even adult children like me. I wrote it so that adults could share the stories with a child. This motivated me to create a blog, Around ZuZu’s Barn, about the book and about  the importance of reading, storytelling and imagination in the life of a child. The blog evolved into a conversation with kindred spirits on many topics, with some of my photography interspersed. (I used my photographs to illustrate A Berkshire Tale.) 

IMG_7698I had been a teacher and administrator for over thirty years. I’m now retired, living with my husband Charley and our two cats, Roxie and ZuZu, in the woods of South County. People who read this invariably ask, “You have two cats? Well, what about the other cat? Why doesn’t she have a book about her?”  To appease my blog followers, I began to write posts of life seen through the eyes of Roxie, “The Other Cat.” People really love these vignettes and it appears there may actually be another book within these posts.

Another question I’m asked is, “Do you have a book set in RI?” I now can answer that I have one in the process of being published. It’s a small book in rhymed verse set in the Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park. The main character is a baby pitcher plant, Adonis,  who one morning decides to stop eating meat. This causes much consternation for his mother, Dee, her friends, and the other plants and creatures living around the carnivorous plant section of the gardens. And I’m currently working on a mystery set in South Kingstown, complete with black and white photos of settings in the book.

Although I’m a late bloomer, I am trying to catch up, so that by the time I’m 67, I’ll have more books under my belt. Please visit my blog and check out the photos and “The Other Cat” stories. You’ll also get to know a bit more about me and Charley and the ZuZu stories which I’m continuing in the future.

Claremary Sweeney is also on Facebook.

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Joshua Blum #riauthors

banner-01

nov-28-joshua

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Joshua Blum #riauthors

When I was twelve, I wanted nothing more than a Swiss Army knife. My father had one, and I used to marvel at all the tools that fit in the compact package. Years later, I still marvel at its attempt to “do it all.” But sometimes, a stand-alone knife or can opener just does the job better.

So when I told colleagues that, over the next year, I wouldn’t be working much, instead devoting the majority of my time to caring for our newborn daughter, deep down,

I wondered if I’d end “Swiss Army knifing” it. People had mostly supportive words. Of course, there were some puzzled looks and occasional sarcastic or condescending comments, but what I didn’t expect were the rare, wistful silences (generally left by men), followed by, “I wish I’d taken more time to do that.”

Time, that ephemeral commodity. Before the baby came along, I joked with my wife about what I’d do if I were a stay-at-home husband. I’d water the plants. I’d do aerobics in front of the TV like it were 1982. And I’d finally have time to write.

It wasn’t all jest. Even after the baby came and all evidence suggested otherwise, I still maintained the delusion that when the baby slept, I’d really, truly have time to write. And so it was – except those stretches of quiet lasted a total of forty to sixty minutes a day if I were lucky. Amid all the baby and home related tasks, writing was the last on the list. On the days I worked, I’d go in after my wife and I had done the baby handoff and finish in the wee hours of the morning, so zero writing got done those days. And when the baby woke up in the middle of the night, or at least by at five or six the next morning, I was reminded why my mother was always tired.

Single parents have now assumed epic status in my mind. I’m lucky that my wife takes over in the evening. But despite everything, I look forward to each new day. Seeing my daughter’s smile, her waddling, ataxic steps, and the first gleams of mischief in her eyes make up for the times poo plopped out of the diaper and landed on the floor instead of in the toilet. I understand why those men said they wished they could’ve had more time to watch their children grow. Because I wish for the same. No time is ever enough.

Those naps did eventually add up over a year. I coalesced some of these thoughts into a poem and reworked pictures from one of my novels to create a little book for my daughter, which I’ll give to her this Christmas. I’m sure one of the first things she’ll do is take a bite out of the pages. And I’d like nothing more than to be right there to see her do it.

Joshua Blum is the author of  The Thirteenth Hour, a fairy tale/fantasy novel. The book referenced above, Your Star Will Glow Forever, is a picture book about stars, hope, and the love parents have for their children. It will be officially available in the spring of 2016, though it will likely make a debut at the RI Expo this December. More information can be found here.