Sunday, December 30, 2007

Portland Literary Events

Wednesday, January 2
Kate Jacobs will read from The Friday Night Knitting Club. Before the reading there will be a “good old-fashioned stich ‘n’ bitch” hosted by Close Knit yarn shop of NE Portland.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

Wednesday, January 2
J.A. Jance with read from Hand of Evil
Where: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

Thursday, January 3
The Basil Hallward Gallery hosts the book release party for Autumn de Wilde’s Elliot Smith
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

Friday, January 4
Iron Kissed, Patricia Briggs’s third volume in her Mercy Thompson series
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

This week the Portland Fiction Project continues it’s “Relatively Forced Laughter” theme with “embarrass” inspired stories. Check out for some unabashedly good short fiction.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas from Indigo Editing!

(Wait, are we allowed to say "Christmas"? Screw it, we're saying it anyway. Take that you PC thugs!)

Indigo Editing is taking a few days off; our weary wrists could use the rest. But be sure to come back in the New Year for upcoming events, reviews on the latest books and general information on the literary scene in Portland and beyond.

Need a last minute Christmas gift, or an early one for President’s Day? Here are two great suggestions that are in no way connected to Indigo Editing or any of its employees.

The Ink-Filled Page 2007 Anthology. Stories and art galore, now 15% off! You can’t beat that deal! for more info.

A Camouflaged Fragrance of Decency, considered by many to be the best book of humorous short fiction to come out of the Pacific Northwest in the last three and a half months. for more info.

And don’t forget to check out the Portland Fiction Project ( as they begin their new "Relatively Forced Holiday Laughter" theme.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Tino Turtle

Tino Turtle Travels to London, England & Tino Turtle Travels to Paris, France by Carolyn L. Ahern, Illustrated by Neallia Burt Sullivan

Tino is happy with his life as a desert turtle, except for one thing—he wants to travel the world. And thanks to the magic of his Fairy God Turtle, he can, and kids can travel the world with him. In Carolyn L. Ahern’s series of pictures books featuring Tino the Turtle, kids can trek around the globe with the charming turtle, learning about different cultures, people, cities, and countries along the way. Famous landmarks and tourist sites are included in Tino’s travels, and tidbits of information about architecture, art, forms of government, language, and history are tucked in throughout the storyline. For example, when Tino travels to London, not only will readers learn about double-decker buses, the River Thames, and Big Ben, but they will also learn about the prime minister and see what exactly a Tudor style house looks like. In Tino Turtle Travels to Paris, France, French phrases are sprinkled throughout the text, and children can learn about such famous places as the Luxembourg Palace, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre.

The Tino Turtle series is a great way to teach children about other countries, but Tino also teaches readers about another important subject—friendship. In each country that Tino travels to, he makes friends with local children. He visits their classroom, visits their homes, and they show him the local sites. And when Tino returns home, his fondest memories are of the friends he has made.

The illustrations by Neallia Bart Sullivan truly help Tino, and the countries that he travels to, come alive. Drawn in a delightful cartoonish style, Tino is a cuddly reptile who always has a camera around his neck and a baseball cap on his head. The bright colors of the illustrations are attractive to the reader, and the detail given to each illustration will provide plenty to explore and discover on every page.

Each book is accompanied by an audio CD that includes a telling of the story and a special song written about Tino’s latest adventure. All in all, the Tino Turtle series will entertain and delight children to the very last page, all the while teaching them along the way.

Review by Katrina Hill, Indigo Editing, LLC
ISBN: England: 0979315808, France: 0979315816
Publisher: Tino Turtle Travels, LLC
Pub. Date: England: June, 2007, France: September 2007
Hardcover, $17.95 each

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Portland Literary Events

Wednesday, December 19
Derrick Jensen: Q&A with the author of Endgame and As the World Burns
Where: Disjecta, 230 E. Burnside St
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: $15 advance, $18 at the door
For more info:, 503-913-6884

Wednesday, December 19
Verse in Person: Poets read selections from their works
Where: Northwest Library, 2300 NW Thurman St.
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:, 503-988-5560

Friday, December 21
Attic Writers’ Workshop & Poetry Northwest: Holiday Happy hour celebrating the Attic and PoNo family and literary community
Where: The Blue Monk on Belmont, 3341 SE Belmont St
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free
For more info:, 503-595-0575

This week the Portland Fiction Project continues it’s “Things Both Flat and Round” theme with “ice” inspired stories. Check out for some chillingly-good short fiction.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writers Partying

The Writers' Dojo concludes its Season of Launching with a party Saturday, January 12. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes till whenever. Readings start at 8:00 p.m. Late night open mic and jam session to follow. If you have any questions, e-mail Writer types, editors, literary professionals, and their friends and families, too, are welcome. RSVP if you plan to attend.

Readers include these fabulous folk:

Chelsea Cain: Weekly columnist for the Oregonian and author of
several books, including the new bestseller Heartsick.
Kim Stafford: Poet, author, professor, musician, and director of the
William Stafford Studio.
Tom Spanbauer: Pulitzer-nominated author and the founder of Dangerous
Writing workshop.
Alison Clement: This year's winner of the Oregon Book Award for her
novel Twenty Questions.
James Bernard Frost: Journalist for Wired and others. His book The
Artichoke Trail won an award for travel journalism. World Leader
Pretend is his first novel.

Where is the Dojo?
7518 (and 7506) N. Chicago Ave., just over the St. Johns Bridge, one block from N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97203
There's plenty of free street parking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Release Spotlight: The thing about life is that one day you'll be dead

The thing about life is that one day you'll be dead by David Shields

This book is a memoir of sorts. David Shields talks about his life and at the same time talks about life in general; conception, birth, all the way through to—you guessed it—death. Stories of his childhood and family are interspersed with very detailed facts about genetics and biology.

Shields, at age fifty, is obsessed with death; the eventuality consumes him. He dreams about it. He waxes poetic about the inevitable deterioration of the body. He ghoulishly wonders what his last words will be.

His foil (and most interesting character in the book) is his father. He’s ninety-six and as vibrant and full of life as ever. Of course this irks Shields to no end. How can someone so close to death not think about it?

The book has kind of a weird, disjointed format—random facts about teen suicide, Donald Trump’s wedding, and Shields’s cat seemingly pop-up out of nowhere. What at first seems to be a unique way to tell a story quickly becomes tiresome and at times puzzling.

It’s obvious Shields has done a lot of research (in addition to all the science, there are a countless amount of quotes from people ranging from Da Vinci to O. J. Simpson), but the lack of a straight-forward narrative is jarring.

The stories about his father—a Dodger fan who once in the middle of a losing streak asked himself why God hadn’t made him a Yankee fan—and Shields’s own early basketball prowess are interesting and entertaining, and I wished there were more of those and less of the cold, hard scientific facts.

The best lesson learned from this book is that life is too short to constantly dwell on death or, for that matter, to read a book about someone who does.

Review by Tim Josephs, Indigo Editing, LLC

ISBN: 0307268047
Publisher: Knopf
Pub. Date: February 2008
Hardcover $23.95

Grace Paley, Celebrated Wondrously

I attended a celebration of Grace Paley's life last night at Broadway Books. What a fun event. It's too bad the format wouldn't work for readings normally because the variety of both information given and speakers was so refreshing.

Judith Arcana (Paley's biographer), Miriam Budner, and Nancy LaPaglia hosted the evening, with Ursula K. Le Guin, Elisabeth Linder, Ruth Gundle and Judith Barrington, Rebecca Gundle, Marjorie Sandor, Elinor Langer, Paulann Peterson, Martha Roth, and Gwyn Kirk sharing Paley's work and their memories of her. Every couple of speakers or so, Budner asked the audience members questions about their relationships with Paley. What resulted was not only a memorial to a person but a reading and a discussion of writing, activism, and strong living. A percentage of purchases made last night at the bookstore went to the War Resisters League, which Paley was a member of for almost fifty years.

I took some notes, but they don't cover the full event, and I also need to offer apologies for any misquotes (and certainly the language of my notes doesn't convey the thoughtfulness and poetry of the speakers' words). Around taking hasty notes, I was cutting the cake and unwrapping the bread for a post-discussion feast it sounds like Paley would have loved.

*Paley said that few paid her work any attention until "women lifted her" by buying her books, etc. (Arcana)
*Brian Doyle's recent Oregonian column suggests one of the worthy ways one could spend one's kicker check is on Le Guin's complete works. (introduction to Le Guin speaking)
*To Paley, stupidity equals refusal to hear; adults should raise children righteously up, meaning that they should speak truth and do no harm to both those who are familiar to them and those who are strangers; a hunk of bread is an important thing to eat daily (her father ended every meal with a hunk of bread); always remember love. (Le Guin)
*Paley arrived at a pre-event party with bare legs, and the host (Linder) rejoiced and ran back upstairs to her bedroom to remove her own nylons. It's sad that we are no longer able to ask Paley questions, but what is truly awful is that we can no longer receive her answers. (Linder)
*Budner told the story of the time she was in a cab with Paley, and she had just worked up her courage to say, in just the right way, how much Paley's works had meant to her when Paley interrupted her to speak to the cab driver about broken stoplights. Budner said she suddenly felt as though she were in one of Paley's short stories, realizing how difficult and surprising it is to care.
*Paley preferred the word storytelling over fiction. She told her writing students to think of and discuss, without putting pen to paper, a story. A couple days later, she asked them to think of the story underneath that original story. On the fifth day of class, she asked them to consider the story underneath the second story. Some amazing, truly unexpected stories emerged. Don't lie to the reader. That's enough concrete; anything more is just stone. Compassion should be in the same room as hard truths. You should interrupt—don't you know how to have a conversation? (Ruth Gundle and Barrington)
*Kirk explained that she thought she had read Paley's stories, but she had of course read them in her British accent, etc. She discovered that she hasn't truly read the stories until she heard Paley read them. (And there is a good plug for the importance of readings.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Define a Word, Donate a Grain

What a great way for writers, editors, and all word lovers to give a little back, at any time of year.

Season's Greetings Indeed

It's that time of year. The sky is overcast, potentially dumping rain or snow. It's cold outside, and most of us just want to be inside, cuddled with a blanket and a favorite book. Some of us are even out bustling around in search of the perfect gifts for family members and friends.

Whatever your situation, be sure to buy a copy or two of the 2007 anthology of the Ink-Filled Page. It's the perfect way to immerse yourself in literature while the weather immerses your house in cold. It's also the perfect gift for any book lover. Winter hobbies and holiday shopping fulfilled in one stop! You don't even have to leave your house.

Just visit our site to buy a copy, or three or ten.

Because one can never have too many anthologies, check out Write Around Portland's most recent one too: See the Water Rise. Write Around Portland is also featured in this year's Willamette Week Give Guide as a nonprofit worthy of your donated cash and time.

Some other great books to spend your cozy time with are, of course, this year's winners of the Oregon Book Awards. Check them out at Literary Arts.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Gift to Writers This Holiday Season

Have you checked out Duotrope's Digest yet? Jeff at the Writers' Dojo clued me into this amazing—and free!—online resource.

What Kate's Reading

One of Indigo's clients has started a blog she calls an "online book club…I'd love to have my blog become a place for discussion on books, a place for people to learn about new books, comment about them or similar authors or books that they think I and other blog-readers might enjoy."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Portland Literary Events

Monday, December 10
Dinotopia: Journey to Chandra
Where: Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, December 11
Where: Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, December 11
The Brontosaurus Word Processing Exchange
Where: In Other Words, 8 NE Killingsworth St.
When: 6:30
Cost: $3-$10 suggested donation

Wednesday, December 12
T is for Trespass
Where: Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, December 13
To Harvest, To Hunt: Stories of Resource Use in the American West
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13 Ave
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Friday, December 14
Live Wire!
Where: Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave
When: 8:00 pm
Cost: $12.00 adv/$15.00 dos

Saturday, December 15
Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th
When: 1:00 pm
Cost: Free

This week the Portland Fiction Project continues it’s “Things Both Flat and Round” theme with “note” inspired stories. Check out for some note worthy short fiction.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Engleby

Engleby by Sebastian Faulks

Creating an unreliable character may seem like it would be easy: create someone totally crazy, with shifting motivations. Perhaps a drunk. But of course all that does is create a reliable character—reliably over the top. In his latest novel, Engleby, Sebastian Faulks uses grays, rather than blacks and whites, to paint a fifty-year portrait of Mike Engleby, whom the reader first meets as a teenager in 1970s England.

Engleby is either terrorized or ignored by his classmates, leading the reader to sympathize with the boy whose only crime seems to have been being unlucky. But then Engleby shares a detail such as the time he met a beggar: “Dear God, a facetious beggar. A postgrad wino. I didn’t feel like giving him money. I felt like taking his money—like elbowing him in the teeth, clearing out his pockets and selling off his dog for dog meat.” The reader begins to wonder how much compassion Engleby deserves.

Engleby is funny, wondering if one becomes a social geographer by reading articles such as “Oxbow Lakes and the Non-Egalitarian Aquifer” and “Tectonic Plate Shift and the Command Economy,” but he is also a mean comic, as when during a heart-to-heart with his sister, he notes that “Julie liked to give ideas a name familiar to her, and get them into boxes small enough to handle easily.” Engleby shares some interesting thoughts about loneliness and history and uniquely observes that a woman’s “black nylon calves crackled” and that a song had a “gluey organ intro,” but his descriptions are not always so benign. A girl dancing flirtatiously at him is not beautiful but instead “like a dog emerging from water” and his need to steal a young woman’s bike is not joking or even unthinkingly mean; rather it’s to make her less independent. His observations swing wildly from funny and introspective to creepy and ugly.

And yes, Engleby drinks and takes drugs. He does so with a darkness not standard for the typical teenager and talks about headaches and forgetfulness of whole events, but he’s also functional, scoring well in school and earning for himself a relatively comfortable lifestyle.

Readers may be sucked in by the book jacket’s talk of missing Jennifer Arkland—was Engleby involved?—but Engleby himself is more of a plot than “just” a character. It’s impossible to do justice to the subtlety and brashness of his ideas, moods, and stories in a short review. Thankfully there’s more than three hundred pages of him waiting—perhaps lurking—at the local bookstore.

Review by Kristin Thiel, Indigo Editing, LLC

ISBN: 978-0-385-52405-6
Publisher: Doubleday
Pub. Date: September 2007
Hardcover: $24.95

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Portland Literary Events

Monday, December 3
The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach about Jesus’ Birth
Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, December 4
It’s So You
Where: Powell’s City of Books on Burnside, 1005 W Burnside
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, December 5
Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch
Where: Powell’s City of Books on Burnside, 1005 W Burnside
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, December 5
Children’s Hanukkah
Where: Annie Blooms’ Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy
When: 3:30 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, December 6
Book release party for The Things I Can’t Say Out Loud
Where: Grendel’s Coffee House, 729 E. Burnside St.
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, December 6
Saint City Sinners
Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Friday, December 7
Twenty Questions
Where: Waucoma Bookstore, 212 Oak St, Hood River
When: 5:00
Cost: Free

Saturday, December 8
Torina’s World: A Child’s Life in Madagascar
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th
When: 10:00 am
Cost: Free