Frozen Oregon Readings


John and I drove back from fishing with plenty of time to spare (or so we thought), only to find Corvallis still locked in the deep freeze. Nineteen degrees, snow covering everything and four inches of solid, clear, black ice turning the roads into a skating rink. With the predictably jammed up traffic, it took me 45 minutes to drive 34 blocks from John’s house to my hotel, and I witnessed three wrecks along the way. Traffic jam in Corvallis? No way! At this point, I figured anyone who was going to come to the readings would bail, and it was looking doubtful that we could even make it to the reading. As we drove to Albany for the first event, John and I were already making plans for where we should go eat if nobody showed up.

We pulled into the Albany Public Library, and amazingly, the parking lot was full of cars. I immediately thought they were from people who must have walked home to avoid driving. But John said, no, there are people here. And when we went into the big meeting room, it was full of people. No way! The reading went great, with Larison nearly stumping me during the “interview” part of the talk–that’s him in the photo above, back in civilian clothes–and lots of good discussion from the audience. And really, I was just grateful to even have an audience.

Finally, we wrapped things up in Albany and slipped and slid our way back to Corvallis for Part 2 of the doubleheader. Again, I was sure nobody was going to show up at a fly shop at 9:00pm on a weeknight with ice covering the roads to hear a guy they’d never heard of. And once again, I was wrong. Full shop? No way! I should disclose, though, that a large part of the draw could have been the excellent beer on tap. Still, it was a great discussion, and we ended up reading and talking until midnight. Whew! Huge thanks to Kyle Smith, who organized both events, and no doubt twisted a lot of arms to fill the venues. Also to Larison, for his excellent interview and for letting me poach some of his fans that came out to see him. Same to Kate Taylor and Justin Crump. When it was all over, I walked out into the icy night nearly overwhelmed with gratitude, not to mention hunger. John and I hadn’t eaten since leftover bear burgers on the river at noon. The pizza joint across the street’s still open? No way!


Hello Willamette Valley


This Wednesday, December 11th, I will be back in my old stomping grounds (I grew up in Corvallis) for a book event double-header, presented by the Calapooia Watershed Council, Greenbelt Land Trust, Ten Rivers Food Web, Bluebacks Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Albany Public Library:

6:00-7:30pm Albany Public Library. I will read from and discuss Closer to the Ground with novelist John Larison, followed by question/answer session and book signing. Most likely topics of conversation: Foraging, conservation, kids in the outdoors, wild food, importance of  place, etc. We’ll also have books for sale in case you need a copy or two for holiday gifts.

8:00pm-??:?? Cascadia Fly Shop. We’ll pack up in Albany and hightail it back to Corvallis for a more informal–and fish-centric–talk at the fly shop. I have some new, fishier writings to read and will talk about fishing, conservation and anything else anyone wants to discuss. Followed by book sales and signing. I also hear they have beer.

So…if you’re in the area, please come on out to one or both of the events. Good excuse to get out of the house after this long, chilly week, and you can knock off some items from your shopping list while you’re at it.

Or just come out to listen and talk. Either way, I’m looking forward to meeting you in person. Hope you are all well.

Holiday Book Events


Warning: Shameless self-promtional message to follow. Have I mentioned that Closer to the Ground makes a perfect gift for anyone who reads? Or eats? Or loves the outdoors, or has kids, or grandkids? Or breathes? Ha! If you’d like a signed–or better yet, personalized and inscribed–copy of Closer to the Ground for the holidays, I will be at the following locations over the next month or so:

November 30th, 3:00-5:00pm, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA. This is a great event, created by Sherman Alexie, to promote holiday shopping at independent bookstores. Local authors will work as guest booksellers, give recommendations and sign books. It’s an honor to be a part of the fun. Come on down, meet some famous authors (and me) and help support our local indie bookstore.

December 6th, 5:00-8:00pm, Charrette Holiday Pop-Up Store, 130 Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island, WA. Charrette features a collection of local and regional artists and their creations. Products range from artisanal chocolates to jewelry, fine art and lamp shades. Pretty much one-stop shopping for everyone on your list. I will be there signing books for the First Friday Art Walk.

December 11th, 6:00-7:30pm, Albany Public Library, Albany, OR. I will be giving a talk, reading from Closer to the Ground and signing books at this cool event presented by the Greenbelt Land Trust, Calapooia Watershed Council, Ten Rivers Food Web and the Albany Public Library.

December 11th, 8:00-??:??pm, Cascadia Fly Shop, Corvallis, OR. Fish stories, fly tying, book talk and signing presented by the Bluebacks Chapter of Trout Unlimited, all in my old home town. If that’s not enough incentive, I hear they’ll have beer on tap at this event.

I think that’s about it for now. I will try to remember to post reminders as the events get closer. If you have the time, come on out to one or more of the events. It’ll be great to meet you in person and shoot the breeze. And here’s an idea: Buy 20 copies of the book, have me inscribe each with a personalized inscription, and BOOM! You’re done with your holiday shopping for the year. At least now I can tell my publisher I tried…