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A holiday celebration of authors and community at the Commons
It’s a scrum of scribes meeting on common ground.
Poets, essayists, non-fiction writers, picture-book authors, novelists and memoirists will gather at the South Whidbey Commons Coffeehouse Bookstore in Langley between 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The gathering is called “South Whidbey Commons Celebrates Local Authors” and features 23 authors of different styles and stripes for a holiday book signing and general meet-and-greet with community members.
“There’s an incredible density of talent on South Whidbey, and we wanted to provide members of the community with easy access to as much of it as we could,” said Petra Martin, spokeswoman for the South Whidbey Commons.
“The Coffeehouse Bookstore now features works by 36 local authors, 23 of whom will be present at the event on Dec. 10. And our list is growing.”
The small café and bookstore is not only the place to go for a cup of coffee or tea and a chat with a friend, but also the place to find a local author on the bookshelf.
Tom Trimbath, a Cultus Bay resident and author of several books, including his series of photo books, “Twelve Months at Cultus Bay, “Twelve Months at Admiralty Head” and “Twelve Months at Deception Pass,” said that sitting in the commons coffeehouse is a fun respite from writing. He is looking forward to the day devoted to local authors.
“I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to linger there lately,” he said.
“They’re providing the extra incentive to get me to sit still and socialize for a while. I even get to hang out with other writers and commiserate,” Trimbath added.
All of these authors, of course, hope that some of the folks who wander into the coffeehouse on any given day will pick up one of their books and give it a read. Trimbath said he hopes for all the 7 billion people on the planet to read his explorations of nature.
“I’m happy with reaching those people who haven’t the time, inclination or risk tolerance to experience aspects of the world that I’ve witnessed for them,” Trimbath said.
“Others get to spend more time at the commons. I spend more of my time in nature. We balance each other when we share our stories,” he said.
Joy and Craig Johnson also look forward to the event. They are the authors of “Our Pacific Northwest Birds & Habitat” and “The Amazing Hummingbird Story of Red Rufous.”
“It is always grand to have a person who is not very knowledgeable about birds pick up one of our books and then be inspired to go out and look for birds,” Joy Johnson said.
“In fact, the most rewarding part of all the hard work that we put into the photography, research, writing and layout of our books is knowing that there are now about 9,000 books ‘out there’ connecting people to birds,” she added.
Indeed, Johnson said she always enjoys the book signings because she loves to see people’s enthusiasm about Whidbey Island’s birds.
Other authors who will be present during the celebration are Frances Wood, Cathy Scherer, Roger Harrison, Marion Blue, Charles Booth, Dot Read, Patricia Brooks, Michael Seraphinoff, Ann Medlock, Yvonne Palka, Dan Pederson, Elizabeth Davis, Jerry Wennstrom, Christina Baldwin, Petra Martin, Shirley Vail, Judith Adams, Ann Galia O’Barr, Carol Wiseman and Deb Lund.
Martin said the community is invited to come and enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry, meet and speak with authors and have books signed for oneself or find gift ideas for the holidays.
Trimbath said he has a dream of getting his books into the right hands.
“I dream of people reading my books who simply need some entertainment, but also I dream of people using my work as inspiration or a point of reference for finding new and better ways to relate to the world,” he said.
The South Whidbey Commons is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the community by creating opportunities for people of all ages to gather, learn and grow.
The South Whidbey Coffeehouse Bookstore is at 124 Second St. in Langley. Visit www.southwhidbeycommons.org or call 221-0127 for more information.