The Key Peninsula is alive with working authors. Four new books will be on the shelves in the next few months, including two by first-time authors Ted Olinger and Don Tjossem.
Olinger’s book, “The Woodpecker Menace: Stories from an Accidentally Unseparated Island,” illustrated by local artist Tweed Meyer, uses humor to describe real and imaginary scenes: Young homeowners grapple with the depredations of a heartsick woodpecker. Anarchist loggers nail indignant poems to roadside trees. Shamanic gardeners work to heal a damaged world one lawn at a time. It will be available about March 15 locally and at woodpeckermenace.com.
Tjossem’s book is “Gig Harbor (Images of America),” a pictorial history from Native Americans and early settlers through fishermen, farmers, boatbuilders and lumbermen to more current scenes. Some photos have never been published before. The publication date is April 15 and is available for pre-orders on amazon.com.
Dick Dixon’s third book, “Angels in My Foxhole,” is a memoir. A slum kid works his way up to field grade officer in the U.S. Army and serves for more than 20 years, but not without the aid of angels who manifest themselves in ever-increasing frequency to protect him from harm in combat.
Karen Lovett’s second book, “Rise with the Eagle,” tells the story of a frustrated and angry teen who becomes stranded and ill on an uninhabited island. A Native American, guided by his family spirit, the eagle, sets out to find her. It will be available at plicatapress.com and amazon.com.
Upcoming author events:
• March 9 — Words and Music on Madrona Beach Lane, Vaughn, with singer/songwriters Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer. Poet Paul Hinter will be the opening presenter, and Tweed Meyer will sketch and paint the performers. The 7 p.m. event is a $20-per-person donation with food and beverages included. For more information or to make a reservation, call 253-778-6559.
• March 14 — Plicata Press and The Writers Connection in Gig Harbor will present Wendy Hinman reading from her book, “Tightwads on the Loose,” the story of her seven-year sailing adventure around the world. An open mic session will follow. The event will be held from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at Spiro’s Pizza & Pasta in Gig Harbor. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
• March 21 (and on the third Thursday of each month) — Words and Wine at the Blend Wine Shop, 7 p.m., free. Local photographer and poet Dale Goodvin is the featured author for March. An open mic will follow. For more information, call 253-778-6559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writers groups around the KP:
• The Key Peninsula Writers’ Guild, organized in 2003, meets from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Brones Room at the Key Center library. The group offers an impromptu writing experience in which writers explore a topic, word or concept and share their written observations in poetry, fantasy, fiction or essay. Anthologies were published for five years in cooperation with Two Waters Arts Alliance.
• Lakebay Writers meet from 1:30 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday at the Blend Wine Shop in Key Center. Participants are encouraged to bring multiple copies of poetry, prose, songs or books in progress to be critiqued. No purchases are required to attend. For more information, call 253-884-3931 or email email@example.com.
• Watermark Writers presents a free writers’ workshop from 5 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday on Madrona Beach Lane. They work with all genres to help writers strengthen their work. For more information, call 253-778-6559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Key Literary Concepts has published six books by KP authors, an anthology from The Young Writers Conference in 2008 and other books, including one in process. For more information, visit watermarkwriters.com/contact.html.
• Plicata Press, a cooperative press in Gig Harbor, published both Olinger’s and Lovett’s books. Currently, five of nine authors published with Plicata Press are Key Peninsula residents. Visit plicatapress.com for more information.Out Our Way columnist Colleen Slater can be reached by email at email@example.com.