Under the best of circumstances, I like to post on my blog about once a week, but school has a way of sucking time out of the universe, at least my universe. … More School is a huge time suck, which isn’t a bad thing
Seattle’s reputation as a literary town includes an enormous presence in the science fiction and fantasy universe. The great Octavia Butler, author of the Parable of the Sower, penned her works in the shadow of the Space Needle, the city’s iconic landmark. Other authors include Don McQuinn, Cat Rambo, and Shawn Speakman. Lesser known and … More Two-Hour Transport: A journey into Seattle’s sci-fi and fantasy community
Getting into the local library is one of the biggest challenges for the self-published author. I’ve leapt that hurdle with my one self-published novel, Bet: Stowaway Daughter, which I released as an e-book in 2009. It’s now available for checkout at the Seattle Public Library and the King County Public Library. Download it to your … More ‘Bet’ now at Seattle Public Library; Poll: Change Joe’s name
When Americans think of a place for outer space on Earth, Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center come immediately to mind. That’s where the United States has launched most of the manned and unmanned space missions of the past half-century. Things are changing, however. While launches will always happen close to the equator because of … More Is Seattle the ‘New Space’ Capital of the USA?
The news I dreaded for years arrived this week. The 1935 Kalakala, the only art-deco ferry ever built, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is headed for the breakers. Its death was slow, painful, and probably inevitable. It’s passing should not be a surprise. I listed it as endangered in 2011 and 2012 … More Why is it so hard to save our maritime heritage?
Ok, so I’m late to the party, but I just spent the last six or eight weeks (I’ve lost count) reading the 1,123-page paperback edition of George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons, book five of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, mostly because my obsessive-compulsive tendencies prevented me from abandoning the door-stopper. … More Has Game of Thrones reached its sell-by date?
Politicians love symbolic actions, especially when they’re sending a message to Congress without any cost at home. That’s the most realistic way to interpret a move by the King County Council (which governs Seattle’s home county) this week to create a county maritime heritage area. The action covers all of the county’s saltwater shore on … More New heritage area is like Cool Whip: A tasty froth
I attended an arts event the other day that reminded me why I don’t go to arts events. The event was one of a series of readings sponsored by a Seattle-area literary non-profit which I won’t name, but I respect it for its work with aspiring writers and young people. The event’s theme of climate … More Why arts events are like torture
The Pacific Northwest lost a piece of its irreplaceable history last week, and I lost a friend. Dave Wright, the last surviving fisherman who sailed on the schooner Wawona, died on February 11 in Anacortes at the age of 94. Dave was the single most important source for my book, Shipbuilders, Sea Captains and Fishermen: … More Remembering the last man of a ship’s final crew
I visited the first annual Seattle Indie Book Fair today at the A/NT Gallery on Westlake in Seattle. At least two dozen independent authors and small press proprietors packed the gallery with science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, and poetry. The gallery is a great space for showcasing some fabulous work by people taking DIY publishing to … More Photos from Seattle Indie Book Fair
More than 30 independent Seattle authors will gather for the first time at a downtown Seattle art gallery in December to discuss and sell copies of their work to the public. The inaugural Seattle Indie Book Fair is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 20-21, 2013 at the A/NT Gallery, … More 1st Seattle Indie Book Fair Dec. 20-21
Aspiring authors in Seattle can now print copies of their novel while waiting for a refill of their prescriptions. The Bartell Drugs store near the University of Washington has installed an Espresso Book Machine as part of a pilot project with Kodak Alaris. The machine can print single or multiple copies of a book uploaded … More Get Poetry With Your Pill Refill
Classic workboats from the Puget Sound region gathered today at the Historic Ships Wharf in Seattle’s Lake Union Park for a show alongside the historic ships permanently berthed at the site. Visitors also got the first public views of the ongoing restoration work aboard Lightship No. 83, also called Swiftsure. The retired NOAA research ship … More Classic Workboat Show 2013
Congratulations to the 143-foot, former US Coast Guard tug Comanche, which is settling into a new berth on the waterfront in Bremerton, Wash. The boat is owned by the Tacoma-based Comanche 202 Foundation, a non-profit supported primarily by veterans of her service as a Coast Guard vessel. Launched in 1944 as a U.S. Navy tug … More WWII-era tug Comanche finds new home
A literary event in April 2014 has me thinking that climate fiction may have arrived in Seattle. Richard Hugo House, a non-profit organization that supports writers with educational programs and events, has posted the schedule for its annual Hugo Literary Series. The org has invited three writers–Nick Flynn, Rick Bass, and Jennine Capó Crucet–to write about … More Seattle literary event may debut climate fiction
The 1904 Lightship No. 83, also known as “Swiftsure,” has returned to her berth at Lake Union Park in Seattle, and I finally had a chance to visit and take a few pictures. I love her bright red paint and the “new” feel to her. I bet she has that “new car smell” on the … More Seattle Lightship Back Home
A Seattle preservation group plans to re-launch a historic lightship after three months of restoration work. Lightship No. 83, also known as Lightship Swiftsure, is nearing completion of the second phase of Northwest Seaport’s $1 million project to replace the deck, rigging, remove hazardous materials, and restore the Swiftsure’s primary electrical systems. When finished, the … More Seattle Lightship Nearly Ready for Re-Launch
The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle has unveiled its plans for a $6.6 million education center next to its 37-year-old facility at Lake Union Park. In a statement released today, CWB says the wood, steel and glass education facility, designed by award winning Seattle architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, recalls historic Northwest … More Design for Seattle Maritime Education Center Unveiled
Metropologie is a new tour company in Seattle that presents curated, personalized walking tours focused on local history, arts, music, and culture. I’m one of about two dozen guides, and my tour takes place on Seattle’s central waterfront. We start at the foot of Yesler Way, the second birthplace of Seattle (after Alki) and tell … More New Metropologie Curated Tours
Recreational fishing is important to Puget Sound’s quality of life, as well as its economy, and Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats has mounted a new exhibit to celebrate its history. The exhibit, titled “Fish On!”, examines a time when resorts, such as Cama Beach on Camano Island in central Puget Sound, and boathouses from Olympia … More Seattle Exhibit on Rec Fishing