An Afternoon With Geezers and Rae Ellen Lee

Author Rae Ellen Lee signing a copy of The Bluebird House.

About twenty people sit on folding chairs in the meeting room of the Priest River library, a comfortable space with modern reddish brown walls above a pine wainscot. Framed photographs of Priest River’s early days adorn the walls and a large projector screen dominates the front of the room. On the screen is a slide showing the colorfully illustrated covers of five books. From where I sit, the room is a sea of mostly salt and pepper hair (more salt than pepper), but the faces are friendly and everybody’s eyes sparkle with kindness and anticipation. We’re here to listen to author Rae Ellen Lee discuss her latest book, “A Field Guide to Geezers: An Illustrated Look at a Curious Branch of Hominids.”   The Field Guide is written in the style of traditional field guides, classifying the species and detailing the habitat and notable behaviors for identification and educational purposes. “Recognition is step number one in … Continue reading…

Banshees and Drunken Monkeys

This post isn’t about Independence Day revelers, although a case could definitely be made that the mix of alcohol, fire, and things-that-go-boom does bring out certain banshee-like behavior in some people.   No, the banshees and drunken monkeys referred to in the title are from a quote by Anne Lamott in her best-selling book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. In this wonderful little book, Lamott puts her years of experience as a writer down for all to see and learn from. She talks about that demon, procrastination, and its evil sister, perfectionism, about shitty first drafts and how to know when you’re done. Like a conversation with a good friend who really knows us, she writes about quieting that cacophony of voices in our heads that prevent us from hearing what our characters and stories have to say. “The other voices are banshees and drunken monkeys. They … Continue reading…