Friday, August 29, 2008

Ergonomics and You


I will be the first to admit it: I do not sit up straight. Not only do I have a general hunching problem, but I have noticed it is particularly fatal when I happen to be sitting at my desk, staring at a computer screen and editing like a madwoman. If I had a nickel for every time I caught myself slouching at my desk...well, I think you know how the rest of this goes.

The good news is I have stumbled across some amazing ergonomic tips that can and have saved a wretch like me from the early onset of osteoporosis. Compiled by my fellow library coworker Christopher Cuttone in his zine, Ergonomics & You, these tips are killer, but not on your body. While the zine is specific to library ergonomics, anyone who works at a desk for long periods of time will benefit from this wealth of knowledge.

Here a few of my favorites:

Adjusting your workstation. Most of the time you can't adjust the height of your work surface, so adjust what you can.

1. Display Monitor. Position directly in front of you at a minimum of 16 inches. The upper line of characters on the display should be at approximately eye level (or lower for bi-focal wearers).

2. Mouse/Digitizer. Position the tool so the upper arm can be close to the body while maintaining a straight line between the hand and forearm. Most importantly, get that wrist off the table when using the mouse!

3. Keyboard. Maintain the hands in a reasonably straight line with the forearms. A keyboard fitted with a wrist rest supports the wrists.

4. Chair. Adjust the components of the chair to fit the body. Adjust the chair height to allow the upper arm and forearm to form a right angle (or greater) while resting the hands on the keyboard. Don't forget to adjust the back and the angle as well.

5. Footrest. A footrest is helpful for reducing stress to the back of the legs.

It's also important to make sure you're sitting up straight (I should know this better than anyone!) Even with your keyboard at the right height and your arms at the right angle, you might still be hunching your shoulders. Many people store stress and tension in their shoulders, which is why it's important to take breaks during the day to stretch, take deep breaths, and relax the muscles in your body.

This last tip also applies to your eyes. That's right, your eyes! Staring at a computer screen all day can seriously affect your vision. That's why it's important to remember 20/20/20: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This reminds our eyes that they have other jobs to do besides staring at the manuscript a foot in front of them for grammatical errors.

When your workstation is set up in a way that is ergonomically correct, not only will your body thank you in the long run, but just think how more productive you will be!

Portland Literary Events

Date: Sunday, August 31
Nathan Hoover and Jay Twenge will present a performance-art walking tour around downtown Portland. Weather permitting.
Where: Front Avenue between Southwest Harrison and Northwest Glisan (Look for a guy with an electric guitar by the Steel Bridge.)
When: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: (503) 296-5749 or http://wweek.com/events/words

Date: Tuesday, September 2
During the September meeting of Willamette Writers, author Jeannie Shortridge will give a talk on the 10 most common writing rules and how to break them.
Where: The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97201
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free for members; $5 for guests of members and students; $10 for all others
For more info: http://www.willamettewriters.com/

Date: Tuesday, September 2
Rio Safari will read from “scenes from a gay man’s life,” and Femme Affinity will read from Femmes Unite! This event is part of the Zinesters Talking series.
Where: Hollywood Public Library, 4040 NE Tillamook Street, Portland, OR 97212
When: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: (503) 988-5391

Date: Wednesday, September 3
S. M. Stirling will read The Scourge of God.
Where: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Portland, OR 97005
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Wednesday, September 3
Josh Frank will read from In Heaven Everything Is Fine.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Thursday, September 4
James D. Thayer presents Portland Forest Hikes: Twenty Close-In Wilderness Walks.
Where: Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Thursday, September 4
Kristine Virsis will present her silkscreen prints. The show runs until the end of September.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak Street, Portland, OR 97205
When: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.readingfrenzy.com

Date: Friday, September 5
Bikes. Bikes. Bikes. And more bikes. Attend a workshop to learn about bike commuting (5:30 p.m.). Watch a tire-changing demonstration and ask questions about bike maintenance (6:30 p.m.). Listen to a talk about Oregon’s bicycle movement by Ray Thomas, author of Pedal Power.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Friday, September 5
Looking Glass Bookstore will host an open house with live music by Matt Bergstrom’s Gypsy Jazz Trio.
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
When: 6:30-9 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.lookinglassbook.com

Date: Saturday, September 6
Storytelling with Sy James.
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
When: 10:00 a.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.lookinglassbook.com

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wordstock Needs You!

Wordstock 2008 is right around the corner, and we hope you're ready to join us as volunteers at this year's festival!

Wordstock is Portland’s Festival of the Book. The festival includes a book fair, a children’s festival, workshops for writers and teachers, and readings by regional and nationally known authors.

The book festival will be held on November 8th and 9th at the Oregon Convention Center. There will be some activity on Friday, November 7th, as well. If you are interested in helping our cause, please click on the following link to fill out our volunteer sign-up form. (You can also access the form by visiting Wordstock's website, www.wordstockfestival.com. Click on the Get Involved tab on the right of the page, and then click on the Volunteer Signup tab.)

When filling out the form, please pick your top three choices from a list of volunteer options. We will make every attempt to place you in your 1st choice. Volunteer options include escorting authors to their stages, providing information to visitors, selling Wordstock merchandise, and much more. Please feel free to sign up for more than one shift, a whole day, or the entire weekend.

Without volunteers, Wordstock would not be possible. If you have any questions regarding the festival or volunteering, please email megan@wordstockfestival.com or bradi@wordstockfestival.com.

Trend Spotlight: Confessions of…












Lady Nijo wrote an autobiographical novel in the thirteenth century about her experience as concubine to Emperor of Japan Gofukakusa. The account was later found and then finally published as The Confessions of Lady Nijo in 1950, translated to English in 1973.

Confessional books have been popular ever since with an increase that seems to parallel the rise of reality television. Here are just a few titles:

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister: A Novel
By Gregory Maguire and Bill Sanderson (2000)

Confessions of a Street Addict
By James J. Cramer and Jim J. Cramer (2002)

Confessions of a Shopaholic
By Sophie Kinsella (2003)

Confessions of an Advertising Man
By David Ogilvy and Sir Alan Parker (2004)

The Confessions of Max Tivoli: A Novel
By Andrew Sean Greer (2005)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
By John Perkins (2005)

Confessions of a Video Vixen
By Karrine Steffans (2006)

Confessions of a Carb Queen: A Memoir
By Susan Blech and Caroline Bock (2006)

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
By Laurie Viera Rigler (2007)

Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the D & D Game
By Shelly Mazzanoble (2007)

Confessions of a Sub-Prime Lender: An Insider’s Tale of Greed, Fraud, and Ignorance
By Richard Bitner (2008)

Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss
By Philip Carlo (2008)

Confessions of a Contractor
By Richard Murphy (2008)

The trend just won’t quit—it even seems to work for novels. Perhaps all your fictional manuscript needs to spark interest is the Confessions of prefix in the title.

Trend Spotlight by Adriel Gorsuch, Indigo Editing, LLC

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last Week to Submit to the Ink-Filled Page

Call for Submissions

The Ink-Filled Page is accepting fiction and nonfiction submissions as well as art pieces through the end of August.

The Ink-Filled Page is a quarterly literary journal produced by Indigo Editing, LLC. The journal is published online quarterly, and we print an anthology annually. We operate primarily off of donations of time and money. To sponsor an anthology or to get involved, e-mail info@indigoediting.com.

Selected authors and artists will receive a complimentary copy of the annual anthology. Authors will also receive professional editing services on the selected story.

Fiction submissions can be short stories or novel excerpts, and the nonfiction section is open to personal narratives and essays. While all genres are welcome, special interests include travel, multicultural themes, feminism, and magical realism.

Limit submissions to 5,000 words, one submission per candidate. Authors who submit more than one piece will not be considered.

Submissions will be accepted via our online submission form through August 31.

All work must be original and unpublished by any other literary publication. Simultaneous submissions are accepted on the condition that you notify us immediately upon acceptance by another publication. By submitting your work to the Ink-Filled Page, you agree to the Terms and Conditions.

For best results, read our publication by downloading the most recent issue or buying the 2007 anthology before you submit.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Portland Literary Events

Date: Saturday, August 23, 2008
Jill Malone will read from Red Audrey and the Roping.
Were: In Other Words, 8 NE Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97211
When: 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.inotherwords.org

Date: Saturday & Sunday, August 23 & 24
Check out the best indie press gathering in the country at the 8th Annual Portland Zine Symposium.
Where: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Ballroom
When: Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. & Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://pdxzines.com

Date: Saturday, August 23-Sunday, August 31
Admire a showcase of self-portraits by lady comic artists.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak Street, Portland, OR 97205
When: Business hours
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.readingfrenzy.com

Date: Sunday, August 24
Embrace your inner performer and read a play aloud at local coffee shop. All plays are by local authors. Performances are every other Sunday.
Where: Three Friends Coffee House, 302 SE 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
When: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: (503) 236-6411

Date: Monday, August 25
Laura O. Foster will lead Marketing Your Manuscript, a workshop presented by the Oregon Writers Colony. Laura is the author of Portland Hill Walks.
Where: Lookinglass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th Ave., Portland, OR 97202
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://lookingglassbook.com or http://www.oregonwriterscolony.org

Date: Monday, August 25
Alafair Burke will read from Angel’s Tip.
Where: Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Tuesday, August 26
Janice Marschner presents Oregon 1859: A Snapshot in Time.
Where: Annie Blooms, 7834 SW Capital Hwy., Portland, OR 97219
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.annieblooms.com

Date: Tuesday, August 26
Frank B. Wilderson will read from Incognegro.
Where: Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St. 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Thursday, August 28
Michael Phillips will read from The Undercover Philosopher.
Where: Annie Blooms, 7834 SW Capital Hwy., Portland, OR 97219
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.annieblooms.com

Date: Thursday, August 28
Daniel H. Wilson and Anna C. Long will read from The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame.
Where: Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Thursday August 28
Shannon Wheeler will read from Postage Stamp Funnies.
Where: Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Discovery Girls: A Magazine for Tweens and Written by Tweens

Sitting alongside magazines that idolize celebrities and feature diet and dating tips is Discovery Girls, a magazine for tween girls (ages eight to twelve) that focuses on self-esteem building. In a recent issue of School Library Journal, Catherine Lee, the founder of DG, was interviewed about the magazine’s philosophy. Catherine revealed that she wanted to create a publication for girls that would help them feel like they are not alone. What resulted is DG—a magazine that guides tweens towards self-confidence and shows readers that other young girls have similar questions, worries, and problems.

What really makes DG a one-of-a-kind magazine is that over half of its content is written by the readers themselves. Each month the magazine travels to a new state and finds twelve girls that according to Catherine “…stand out as role models, girls with something interesting to say, girls who simply have that special spark…and we also try to get a diverse group in terms of size, ethnic background, and looks, so all girls will feel like they see girls just like themselves on our pages.” Those girls then receive writing assignments that become the articles for the magazine.

Catherine is proud that tweens won’t see models and celebrities on the cover of DG, but themselves. They won’t read about sex and dieting, but friendship and fitting it. What a wonderful step in the right direction.

The entire article is available to read at: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6585035.html?nid=3362.

To learn more about DG or to find out how a tween in your life can become a contributor to the magazine, visit: http://www.discoverygirls.com/.

New Release Spotlight: 50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming

50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming
by The Green Patriot Working Group

When it comes to Global Warming, we get inundated with varying messages from different perspectives: We can each do one thing. If we each do only one thing, it’s not enough. No matter what we do, we’re headed for doom. We better start building on the moon. It’s all a hoax; just ignore it.

While I think I tend to travel the middle of this road—advocating that we each do all we can—I’m constantly looking for more ways I can easily alter my life to decrease my carbon footprint.

50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming by the Green Patriot Working Group offers manageable tools to help us do all we can for the environment. As the title suggests, these steps are simple. They’re not expensive steps or time-consuming steps to rebuild your car or build methane power plants over landfills. They’re also not steps that hit you over the head with stuff you already know—or should already know—by now: turn off extra lights, drive less, recycle when you can.

This handy little book covers everything from signing up to programs that automatically send an environmental e-mail a day to politicians to planting a rooftop garden. While this second example is perhaps not as simple as the first, 50 Steps proves it’s simpler than you probably thought. With a list of Web resources at the end of each step as well as with books and organizations listed within tips, this book totally nixes the complaint, “I don’t know where to start.”

In fact, here’s a great simple step you can adopt for your one thing this week:
Give Green Gifts. “Just about any gift you imagine can be given greenly, from food and wine to home d├ęcor, jewelry, and clothing,” says the Green Patriot Working Group. Check out Ecoist.com, Ecoshoppe.com, and GreenGlass.com for places to buy green gifts, and don’t forget to “be sure the wrapping is environmentally friendly as well.” Did you know you can buy cloth gift bags made of scrap from the Patagonia sewing room floor for only $2? Now you do.

With many more tips where that came from, 50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming will have your save-the-world toolkit jam-packed in no time.

Review by Ali McCart, Indigo Editing, LLC

ISBN: 978-1-893910-49-2
Publisher: Freedom Press
Pub Date: January 2008
Paperback: $9.95

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seeking Submissions from Women Writers for Two Proposed Books

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS from U.S. WOMEN WRITERS for 2 PROPOSED BOOKS
See complete guidelines on: http://www.encirclepub.com/poetry/aurorean/announcements (bottom of page.)

1. The Poet in Us: Tips on Writing by and for Today's Women

* Foreword by Robin Merrill, Maine Poets Society President 2006-2007 (M.F.A. Stonecoast.) With hundreds of poems published, some from her chapbook Laundry & Stories (Moon Pie Press) were featured on Garrison Keillor's Writers' Almanac. (http://www.robinmerrill.com)

* Afterword by the editors of Iris Magazine, an award-winning publication of 27 years celebrating and empowering young women through provocative articles, essays, and fiction pieces that are uplifting, inclusive, and literate. http://womenscenter.virginia.edu/coreprograms/iris.html

* Markets for women, why women write, time management, using life experience, women\'s magazines, critique groups, networking, blogs, unique issues women must overcome, lesbian and bisexual writing, formal education, queries and proposals, conference participation, family scheduling, feminist writing, self-publishing, teaching tips, etc.

Step 1: Send your proposed topics before writing articles to avoid duplication; proposed topics must be accompanied by a 65-70 word bio with your present position, location, relevant publications, career highlights for the contributor page; please use POETS/your name on the subject line to brackett-vincent@encirclepub.com.

Step 2: (If your topics are approved): Deadline for submissions (by e-mail only) is August 30, 2008. Again, please use POETS in the subject line; send to Cynthia at brackett-vincent@encirclepub.com in a Word document (.doc format only) using 12-point font.
Article specifics: Word total for 1-2 articles based on your experience: 1,900 minimum; maximum 2,100. Two articles preferred. If submitting two articles, please break them up fairly evenly in word count.

No previously published or simultaneously submitted material. Contributors must be reside in the United States. Books such as this can typically take up to a year to compile. Contributors receive a complimentary copy and contributor\'s discount on additional copies.

* Co-editor Cynthia Brackett-Vincent is publisher/editor of the esteemed Aurorean poetry journal; poetry instructor; award-winning poet; author of The 95 Poems chapbook (2005) and contributor to Educators as Writers: Publishing for Personal and Professional Development. In 2007, her poems received a citation, honorable mention and second place in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, New England Writers and Maine Poets Society competitions. View Cynthia at http://www.encirclepub.com/poetry/aurorean/editor

* Co-editor, Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited. An award-winning writer, her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Iris, and several others including anthologies; chapbook, Pudding House 2008; Educators as Writers, Peter Lang 2006;
and http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3575-3

2. Women Writing on Today's American Family

* Foreword: Robbi Hess, Journalist, co-author,?Complete Idiot's Guide to 30,000 Baby Names(Penguin Books); Editor, Byline Magazine

* Afterword: Suzanne Bunkers, Professor of English, Minnesota State University, editor of Diaries of Girls and Women: A Midwestern American Sampler (University of Wisconsin Press.)

This is a book about writing and publishing about family by women with family publication credits. Possible subjects: markets; why women write about family; using life experience; networking; unique issues women must overcome; formal education; queries and proposals; conference participation; self-publishing; teaching tips; family in creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, novels. Contributors have already covered: blogs, using family history, managing time, privacy issues.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful to readers.

Two articles each 950-1050 words; minimum 1900, maximum 2100 words total. No previously published or simultaneously submitted material or co-authors.

Deadline: August 30, 2008

Contributors receive a complimentary copy and contributor's discount on additional copies. It is common for compilation of an anthology to take upwards of a year, but I will be in touch with updates on securing a publisher.

* Editor: Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers (Peter Lang, 2006); chapbook, (Pudding House 2008); The Published Librarian (American Library Association, forthcoming). My work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Iris, The Detroit News, several others including anthologies; Words and Images of Belonging co-edited with the editor of the Aurorean is with an agent; a recent book is http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3575-3.

Please send topics for feedback and a 65-70 word bio. Place FAMILY and your name on the subject line, send to: smallwood@tm.net.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Portland Literary Events

Date: Monday, August 18
Kira Salak will read from her debut novel, The White Mary.
Where: Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Monday, August 18
James D. Thayer presents Portland Forest Hikes.
Where: Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capital Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.annieblooms.com

Date: Tuesday, August 19
Paulann Peterson will read from her latest poetry collection Kindle, and Peter Sears will read from his newest book of poetry, Luge.
Where: Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capital Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.annieblooms.com

Date: Tuesday, August 19
Explanation: Janice Marschner will read from Oregon 1859: A Snapshot in Time.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Wednesday, August 20
Kathy Fish and Claudia Smith will read from A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness, a collection of four chapbooks.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Wednesday, August 20
Sage Cohen hosts the Poetry Reading Series.
Where: Barnes & Noble, Lloyd Center, 1317 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR 97232
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.bn.com

Date: Thursday, August 21
Nalini Nadkarni will read from Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees.
Where: Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Friday, August 22
Win McCormack will read from You Don’t Know Me.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.powells.com

Date: Friday, August 22
Kick off the Portland Zine Symposium with a zine reading by Camp IPRC teens.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak Street, Portland, OR 97205
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.readingfrenzy.com

Date: Saturday & Sunday, August 23 & 24
Check out the best indie press gathering in the country at the 8th Annual Portland Zine Symposium.
Where: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Ballroom
When: Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. & Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://pdxzines.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Release Spotlight: Neela Potts Has Lots of Knots

Neela Potts Has Lots of Knots
By Tina L. Wuehr
Illustrations by Mari Brown

Another book from Pipsqueak Publishing and illustrator Mari Brown (see review for Catching Boo by Joanne Rowlinson, 6/11/08), Neela Potts Has Lots of Knots has some great things going for it: catchy illustrations, a great theme of diversity and acceptance, and a quirky main character, Neela Potts. A little girl whose knotty hair has gotten the best of her, the story centers around what it means to be a child of two parents who are of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

While the story has its charming moments, there’s also something lacking. Aside from the occasional grammatical mistake, at times the choice to use rhyming text feels limiting to the potential to explore these complex issues even further. While everyone is trying to help Neela find a way to wear her hair that makes her feel good after she gets teased at school (“The poor little thing. Something should be done. Her Naani suggested ‘Let’s put it in a bun!’”), no one is telling her that she’s fine just the way she is, and the point is that she doesn’t need to change at all. I believe this is what Wuehr attempts to achieve with highlighting this difficult issue, and Neela does end up (sort of) happy in the end when she gets a hair cut she likes, but is this the message to send to children who may be struggling with their cultural identity, that everything will be okay if they just cut it all off and assimilate already?

At the same time, the story does succeed in creating a character many children can relate to, and part of this is due to Brown’s vivid watercolor illustrations. It is clear why Pipsqueak chooses her to illustrate many of their books, as her sense of character and color make her illustrations really come alive. While the book design could be a little more diverse (most spreads duplicate text on one page, illustrations on the other), as a whole they really do their job of making the book an arresting visual experience.

All in all, despite its few rough edges, Neela Potts Has Lots of Knots is worth the read, and succeeds in making us think really hard about these kinds of difficult issues surrounding diversity and cultural identity. Even though the book may not have pulled it off perfectly, the point is that it started the conversation that encourages us to continue our own dialogue in the communities we live and work in.

Review by Andrea Deeken, Indigo Editing, LLC

ISBN: 978-0-973-99623-4
Publisher: Pipsqueak Publishing
Pub date: September 2008
Hardcover: $21.95

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fall Writing Workshops for Women

Information provided by Portland Women Writers.

Greetings Portland Writers,
We hope the summer is treating you well and shedding some new light on your creativity. Portland Women Writers has an array of offerings to spark your self-expression this autumn. We hope you’ll join us for a workshop and help us continue to build a strong community of women writers. As always, our workshops are open to writers of all levels and genres. Our weekly groups are a great way to inspire your authentic voice, with imaginative writing exercises and opportunities to receive positive feedback about your work. Afternoon sessions take you deeper into specific topics and formats designed to cultivate your craft and artistry. Sign up soon to reserve your spot. Here’s what’s happening:

WEEKLY WORKSHOPS
Fall Wednesday Writing with Rhea
5 sessions, September 3-October 1
Two times to choose from: Wednesday, 10 a.m.-noon (location TBA) or Wednesday, 7-9:30 p.m. in SE Portland
Cost: $80
Contact: rhea@pdxwomenwriters.com or 503-234-8996

Fall Thursday Evening Writing with Jennifer
5 Sessions, September 18-October 16
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Location: (TBA)
Cost: $90
Contact: jennifer_springsteen@msn.com or 503-890-3127

Fall Friday Morning Writing with Dawn
8 sessions, September 12-October 31
Time: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: NE Portland
Cost: $152.00
Contact: dawn@pdxwomenwriters.com or 503-654-1200

ONE-DAY EVENTS
Sacred Story Writing with Dawn
Each of us is the author of our own life. However, many of the stories we tell over and over keep us from happiness and from realizing our full potential. In the sacred space of this workshop and on the cusp of the autumnal equinox, we'll take time to close our eyes, relax, and use the power of visualization to gain more awareness about what is ready to be transformed in our lives. Then we'll put pen to paper to honor and release the old story in order to create room for our next chapter.
Day/Time: Sunday, September 21, 1-5 p.m.
Location: SE Portland
Cost: $50
Contact: dawn@pdxwomenwriters.com or 503-654-1200

The Craft of Writing with Alida (a series of four workshops)
These workshops will delve deeper into some of the ingredients of creative writing. No lectures, just exercises designed to allow you to explore the afternoon's topic. Workshops are for all experience levels and will bring out the best in your writing abilities without engaging your inner critic. Sign up for one or more.
Day/Time: 2nd Sunday of the Month, September-December, 1-5 p.m.
Location: TBD
Cost: $50 each; $180 for all four
Contact: ali@pdxwomenwriters.com or 503-816-1701.
* September 14—Fiction
* October 12—Character
* November 9—Setting
* December 14—Special Topic

WINTER WRITING RETREAT
The Winter Writing Retreat is December 5-7, Friday evening to Sunday afternoon at the Silver Falls Conference Center in Sublimity, OR, with Emily and Dawn. For more information, contact Dawn at dawn@pdxwomenwriters.com.

Please contact the facilitator if you have any questions about her workshop. You can follow the links or go to www.pdxwomenwriters.com for more details about the facilitators and the workshops. We hope to see you in the fall!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Welcome, Leah and Megan!

Indigo Editing welcomes the two most recent additions to our team, Leah Gibson-Blackfeather as our marketing and editorial assistant and Megan Wellman as our editorial assistant.

Leah has had an obsessive passion for words since she was very young; she is prone to three a.m. breakouts of creativity which cause her to lose valuable sleep. She is currently a staff writer/proofreader for her school's liberal publication and in the process of developing a freelance writing and editing career to slide into after graduating next spring. Leah has recently become involved in Ooligan Press, which has led to her a disastrous addiction to the smell, feel, and general presentation of books; it has all gone downhill from there. She can now be found in the aisles of Powell's blue room on any given day, madly molesting the spines of books.

Megan’s love for words began underneath the branches of her grandparents’ oak tree, where she devoured book after book. A handful of years later, Megan earned her BA in English literature from Western Washington University. After graduation she decided to turn her obsession with reading into a career and began working as an editorial assistant at Illumination Arts Publishing Company in Bellevue, Washington. Currently, Megan is a graduate student in the publishing program at Portland State University. She will graduate this fall. Although her literary tastes have changed from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Jane Eyre, Megan still visits the oak tree from time to time.

Lay or Lie?

From the driver’s seat of my Honda, I find myself staring at a bumper sticker affixed to a large truck. The sticker reads: Cowboy up or just lay there and bleed. Hmmm, I think. Shouldn’t it be lie? A common error plagues this piece of bumper art.

Read the rest of this week's Editorial Tip at www.indigoediting.com.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Portland Literary Events

Date: Saturday, August 9
Lance Kramer will read from his interactive children’s book Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself.
Where: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR 97005
When: 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://powells.com/

Date: Sunday, August 10
Peter Sars, Joan Maiers, Fran Adler, Barbara LaMorticella, Sara Guest, John Morrison, Sage Cohen, and Dan Raphael will read at Pinot Passion Poetry.
Where: Helvetia Winery, 22485 NW Yungen Road, Hillsboro, OR 97214
When: 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.helvetiawinery.com/

Date: Sunday, August 10
Learn about the history of zines and how they are made. Workshop participants will make their own zine as well. (Youth only)
Where: IPRC, 917 Oak Street, #218, Portland, OR 97205
When: Noon
Cost: $5.00-$10.00 (sliding scale)
For more info:
http://www.iprc.org/

Date: Tuesday, August 12
Luke Warm Water and Trevino L. Brings Plenty will read from Shedding Skins: Four Sioux Poets.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.powells.com/

Date: Wednesday, August 13
Amanda Boyden will read from Babylon Rolling.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.powells.com/

Date: Wednesday, August 13
Six speakers will share six-minute stories speaking on the theme of True Colors at Back Fence PDX.
Where: Urban Grind East, 2214 NE Oregon Street, Portland, OR 97232
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $7.00
For more info:
http://backfencepdx.wordpress.com/

Date: Thursday, August 14
Ray and Jeanna Bottenberg will read from Vanishing Portland.
Where: Borders, 2605 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR 97005
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.borders.com/

Date: Thursday, August 14
Sean Carswell will read from Train Wreck Girl.
Where: Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.powells.com/

Date: Thursday, August 14
Daniel Skach Mills will read from The Tao of Now, and David Hill will read from Consumed.
Where: Looking Glass Bookstore, 7983 SE 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
When: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.lookingglassbookstore.com/

Date: Friday, August 15
Larry Crane will read from Tape Op: The Book About Creative Music, Vol. II.
Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:
http://www.powells.com/

New Release Spotlight: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
Janelle Brown

Ah, intelligent chick lit. As summer crests, journalist Janelle Brown’s first novel is a page-turner that doesn’t melt away as quickly as ice cream on the longest day.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything starts as though no one in this book will need to want anything—“June in Santa Rita is perfect, just perfect…It isn’t too hot to play tennis. Silk doesn’t stick”—but upper-middle-class (and financially ascending) Janice Miller, her twenty-eight-year-old daughter Margaret, and her fourteen-year-old daughter Lizzie will of course end up wanting more than they can get. Though lots of books and television shows rub raw the facade that a wealthy life is a happy life (Desperate Housewives
, anyone?), the beauty of Brown’s story is that the characters’ troubles—and redemption—come from much more than that.

Janice’s husband and father of her two children leaves her for her best friend—just as the book begins and just as his company’s stocks make him a millionaire hundreds of times over. He has a sneaky legal contract that says his family can’t have what they’re entitled. Margaret is the well-educated feminist whose magazine has just left her in debt a hundred thousand times over. And Lizzie, barely a teenager and only recently coming out of a childhood of low self-esteem, has her own numbers to deal with. Though numerically lower than the rest of her family’s demons, hers are just as monumental: she’s slept with six boys in three months. Life for the Millers only grows worse from there.

The three hide out in the family’s California home—a survival strategy determined both consciously and subconsciously—though none fully realize that the others are having problems until the end. Told in third person, the chapters alternate among the three points of view, and the characters gracefully become three-dimensional. They aren’t gated-community robots—their mistakes and their reactions could happen, in one form or another, to anyone; they aren’t wholly victims—the cheating lovers and peer pressure are vague pains at the back of the book for most of the time, so the focus is on the people who matter, who matter for both their positive and their negative traits.

Sure, there are several conveniences, the Kelly character being the most glaring example, and the lives of the three Miller women are tied by the end of the book into bows, albeit messy ones. But with your ice cream only just beginning to drip down the cone, you can forgive some literary sloppiness, can’t you?

Review by Kristin Thiel, Indigo Editing, LLC

ISBN: 978-0-385-52401-8
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Pub Date: May 2008
Hardcover: $24.95