Readers of Strong Heart will remember the pivotal role played by the atlatl (the primitive spear thrower). Characters escape some truly menacing foes and life-threatening situations thanks to their skill with the atlatl. Today I came across this video showing how such a tool would have been made. It’s fascinating. Watch to the end to see the velocity a thrower can achieve when throwing a spear with this tool….still going up against a short faced bear with this would be terrifying!
Here’s a look at Charlie Sheldon’s new novel, Adrift:
Doesn’t look like much now, but it will! This is always a thrilling part of the book building process. When the author is done writing, the editors are done editing and we can sit down with our designer to start the process of creating the visual and tactile experience of the book-to-be.
That was our morning. At a local Starbucks we talked about the story, how it connects with Strong Heart, the first book in Charlie’s series, and what’s new in this latest installment. If you’ve read Strong Heart, you’ll remember William, Tom, Sarah, Myra, Sergei…They’re back in Adrift, along with a whole handful of new characters and another remarkably imagined adventure!
So we told our designer, Sonja, the story then sent her off to work her magic on the page design, work in some maps to help readers get their bearings in the cold North Pacific setting of the story, and build the overall experience of the book. We can’t wait for you all to see it.
If you want to see Adrift before the rest of the world, sign up for our Adrift mailing list and we’ll send you an exclusive first look copy of Chapter 1 in January 2018.
Haven’t read Strong Heart yet? Well, you’d better get a copy so you’re up to speed when Adrift comes out. You can get your copy of Strong Heart at your local independent book store or in paperback, audiobook and Kindle from Amazon.
Watch this space for more updates as we build Adrift!
If you or anyone you know would love an exciting coming-of-age adventure story set in the Olympic Mountain wilderness of Washington State and full of mystery, science and surprise, follow this link:
“…rife with secrets and hidden depths” — Kirkus Reviews
It’s FREE! All we ask is that you post a rating and/or review when you’re done reading.
Auctioneer, Adventurer, and Iron Twine Author Larry Snyder was featured on Happy Hour Radio. Hear him talk about his book Miracles in Montanare and his love of all things Italian (Larry’s talk starts at 26:32, though if you listen to the beginning you’ll learn a lot about delicious Spanish wine).
Looking for something fun on a Friday night? How about listening to a great story by a wonderful local author? Charlie Sheldon will read from Strong Heart at Village Books in Bellingham at 7PM, Friday, March 17.
Friday, March 17, 7:00PM
1200 11th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015
A few months ago, with the release of Color Stories: the Short Fiction Coloring Book, we started a program called “Buy a Book, Save a Foot“. For each copy of Color Stories sold, one dollar from that sale would be used to buy socks (and underwear) for Seattle’s homeless population. Here now, are the first socks we’ve been able to purchase thanks to the folks who bought copies of Color Stories. We wish it was more, but it is more than none, so that is good. We’re going to work with Seattle’s MORELove Project to add these socks to their supplies the next time they prepare packs of essentials for the homeless population. So these socks will go out in bags along with other donated supplies like food, hygiene products, gloves, hats, blankets, etc. Thanks to everyone who helped us do our small part to address a big problem. We’re not done. If you or someone you know would like to get a copy of Color Stories and have your purchase deliver some good: we’re going to keep the Buy a Book, Save a Foot program going. Tell everyone you know!
Scroll to the end for details of “Buy a Book, Save a Foot”.
I met Chris under the freeway on Jackson Street. A year ago, he could have been me. Middle 40’s, successful business owner, had a house on an acre of property east of Seattle, wife, two kids, dog. But when I met him he was living under the I-5 freeway on Jackson Street. Why? He told me. He was an alcoholic and that had ruined his first marriage. But he got sober. He built a life that worked. He built a family. He built a construction business. Then one day he injured his back working on a construction project. He was prescribed opiates for the pain and it triggered his addiction. When the prescription drugs ran out, Chris turned to heroin and cocaine.
When I met Chris he was months into a downward spiral. I noticed he had two large, dark scabs peeling from his cheeks. I thought he might have fallen or been in a fight. I asked him what the scabs were from. The reality was far worse than I could have imagined: the cocaine Chris was still doing was laced with a veterinary drug — levamisole, a pig, cattle and sheep de-wormer. It’s a common and terrible additive in much of the cocaine circulating these days. Levamisole causes the skin of the face to begin rotting away and that’s what was happening to Chris. He knew it, he hated it, he wanted to stop doing the drug that was causing it. “But,” he said, “I know I won’t if I don’t get help.” He told us he had an appointment at a treatment facility in Renton the next day. He was worried he would sleep too long and miss his bus to Renton. He knew which bus to take, just not if he would be on it.
I was with a group from Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission rescue van program. A week after we met Chris, a couple of the others in my group called the Renton treatment facility to see if Chris had made it there. They had no record of his arrival. The group members went back to the spot under I-5 where we’d met Chris, but they never found him.
This is a difficult admission, but it’s true: in the past I have felt frustration and annoyance over the presence of so many homeless. But I realized it wasn’t because of anything they had done, I was annoyed because I didn’t know what I could do about the problem, though I felt compelled to do something. Since then I’ve decided the most important thing I can do about the problem is to stop judging it from the outside and, instead, get inside of it. My friend Larry Snyder (author, charity auctioneer, philanthropist extraordinaire) invited me to go with him on the Union Gospel Mission rescue van. I went. I’ve been multiple times since. What I’ve learned is that the problem is huge, but it looks bigger from the outside when I’m doing nothing. On the inside of the problem are people who are suffering. People who need. They need supplies—dry socks, clean underwear, toothbrushes, gloves, hats, blankets. They need food. They need shelter. They need a system that better supports them. Many of them need drug treatment and they know it. They need a lot of things. But most importantly, they need three things: 1) They need compassion, just as we all do. 2) They need the experience of being treated like people—you don’t have to give them money, give them a moment of your time and a “hello, what is your name?” 3) They need us to not give up.
No one person can solve the problem and, even collectively, street-level action is not going to reverse the tide. But we individuals can ease suffering and though the individual action is small, it is important
Buy a Book, Save a Foot
Here’s what I’m doing right now:
The first time I went out on the van I was amazed to see that, yes, the people were happy to get some food, and a warm drink and a blanket. Those things got them excited and it didn’t surprise me. Something else that got them excited and was a big surprise to me was socks and underwear. I thought about it afterwards and realized it shouldn’t surprise me. Of course! If you’re cold, wet and dirty from the skin out it just compounds your suffering.
Undergarments are often overlooked when we’re thinking about what needs we can address. And I’ve heard it said since that first outing that, when you’re homeless, “if your feet go, you’re in really big trouble.”
I have this publishing company, Iron Twine Press. We’ve just released a new book: Color Stories: the Short Fiction Coloring Book. It’s a lot of fun, this new book. Thirty-two flash fiction stories paired with coloring pages inspired by the stories themselves. It’s the coloring book for lovers of story, the story collection for lovers of coloring books. You can find it on Amazon.
From today until the end of the year $1 from each copy of Color Stories purchased will be used to buy new socks and underwear which Iron Twine Press will then donate to The MORELove Project for Seattle’s Homeless. This great organization directly supports the UGM Rescue Van program and can get the supplies to the people who need them. I know, socks and underpants are funny…unless you don’t have them when you need them, then they’re kind of serious.
Please consider buying a copy of Color Stories. And even if you don’t buy one, please spread the word about this, lets see how big an impact we can make together. If you do get a copy, I know you’ll enjoy the book and you’ll have the added enjoyment of knowing that you’re helping ease a little of the suffering around us.
Thank you all!
Founder and President, Iron Twine Press
PS: Come to Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, October 30th @ 3pm to hear the Color Stories authors read selections from the book and other works.
Color Stories is the coloring book for lovers of story. Color Stories is the fiction anthology for lovers of coloring books.
Color Stories is new from Iron Twine Press, available Now!
Wait a minute…what is Color Stories?
Color Stories is the literary fiction coloring book for grownups!
It’s “two great things that go great together” (to borrow a phrase from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups): vivid flash fiction paired with coloring pages presenting lively and evocative drawings, by Seattle artist Sonja Gerard, inspired by the stories themselves.
Iron Twine’s founder and editor-in-chief, Ethan, was inspired to create Color Stories while working on a children’s picture book. “I was working with the author to match illustrations with her text, trying to find drawings that would really deepen the kids’ engagement with the story. It was exciting to think about kids going back to the drawings and enjoying them long after they’d finished reading. It occurred to me, ‘why should kids have all the fun?’ I was editing an anthology of serious adult fiction at that same time. I thought ‘what if we turned this into a picture book?’ it would add even more depth to the experience of these stories. The picture book turned into a coloring book because I wanted people to scribble all over the book and make the stories totally their own. It’s fun and why should kids have all the fun? Did I already say that?”
The stories in Color Stories are the product of a group of innovative Seattle authors. The group meets regularly in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, in an apartment perched on the edge of Discovery Park, “to tell each other stories and inspire each other to craft work that shows something real about the human heart.” The group, comprised of prize-winning authors, including a veteran of the Best American Short Stories anthology series, calls itself the Edge of Discovery Writers, for literal and figurative reasons. They’re serious about their craft. Their new book is seriously fun.
Color Stories is the short fiction coloring book your kids will want to color. But it’s for grownups!
And come to Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle on October 30th at 3 pm for our Color Stories book launch: Storytime for Grownups!
Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany is about friendship: the value and importance of opening your heart to others, of believing that it is possible to connect despite language or cultural differences and about the life-altering benefits of finding friends who will believe that with you. It is a small story. It is a huge story.
On September 18th, 2016 it was announced that American author, playwright, poet, fiction writer, translator, and Seattle resident Lyn Coffin has been awarded Georgia’s top literary prize, the Saba, for her translation of Shota Rustaveli’s, The Knight in the Panther Skin (Poezia Press, 2015).
We published an interview with Lyn about this amazing work earlier this year. But, just to refresh your memory:
The Knight in the Panther Skin is a 12th-century epic poem from the country of Georgia. It is considered the national poem of Georgia. It has been largely unknown to English-speaking audiences because few translations have been produced. Those translations that have appeared over the years have opted for free verse or prose re-tellings rather than the much-more-difficult poetic translation in meter faithful to the original. Some scholars familiar with the poem have even gone so far as to say a translation that preserved the rhymes, the metaphors, the poetry and the scope of the original was impossible. Lyn Coffin took on that “impossible” challenge, working for over two years to faithfully translate, line by line, the 1,661 quatrains of the nearly nine-hundred-year-old masterwork.
Saba is the most prestigious literary award in Georgia, founded by TBC Bank and Rustavi-2 TV. Its winners are revealed each year. The categories vary from fiction to non-fiction, poetry, as well as translation works.
Following her time in Georgia for the Saba Award ceremony, Lyn will travel to Stockholm, Sweden to present a reading from her latest collection of short fiction The First Honeymoon: New and Selected Stories (Iron Twine Press, 2015). She’ll read at The English Bookshop in Stockholm, October 8 at 10 a.m. and then will return to Seattle where she will be reading at Elliott Bay Book Company on October 28 at 2 p.m. in support of Color Stories (forthcoming from Iron Twine Press, 2016) a short-fiction anthology in which her work is featured.
Congratulations to Lyn and Poezia Press for this remarkable honor!