Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Spokane's Fuse Book Club: 2020 Selections, Discussions, and Dates

You're cordially invited to join the Fuse Book Club. 

About us
We meet monthly to discuss books by, or about, minoritized experiences, histories, and movements. We are connected to the Spokane arm of the progressive non-profit, Fuse Washington. Our group is free and open to the public. Read all the books and join in as many discussions as you can!
📚 Location: Fellini House, 1603 W. Pacific, Spokane (next to Total Trash Records and with free parking)
📚 When? Every second Wednesday of the month
📚 6:30-8:00 PM
📚 Buy local! Participants receive a 15% discount from Auntie's Bookstore.
The odds are always good that our library system has a copy of the book we're reading, so check there. 

📌 FUSE BOOK CLUB 2020 SELECTIONS 📌 

JANUARY 8
📚 The Body Papers by Grace Talusen
Book: https://restlessbooks.org/bookstore/the-body-papers
Event Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/442488313318017/

FEBRUARY 12
📚 The Life and Death of Aida Hernandez Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374191979
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/2502547876732519/

MARCH 11
📚 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/on-earth-were-briefly…/
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/441469436519054


MAY 13
📚 Killers of the Dream by Lillian Smith
Book: https://wwnorton.com/books/Killers-of-the-Dream
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/570195963782063/

JUNE 10
📚 Black Skin, White Masks by Franz Fanon
Book: https://groveatlantic.com/book/black-skin-white-masks/
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1035387923462051/


AUGUST 12
📚 Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi
Book: https://www.ibramxkendi.com/stamped-from-the-beginning
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/560519661436343/


OCTOBER 14
📚 Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape
Book: https://www.counterpointpress.com/dd-product/trace/
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/585262915631215/

NOVEMBER 11
📚 Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for our Movement
Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/unapologetic-by-charl…/
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/574585179991789/

DECEMBER 9 
Book to be announced at November meeting

Friday, November 15, 2019

How to Celebrate Indies First in Spokane on November 30

I have learned that there are three burning questions writers are frequently asked. 
  1. How do you sit and write for that long?
  2. What do writers do the day before running the Seattle Half-Marathon?
  3. How do you celebrate Small Business Saturday? 
Today, I will answer questions two and three because one stone can kill both these birds. 

🕮

Auntie's Bookstore (their photo)
The day before I run the Seattle Half Marathon is November 30th, 2020. November 30th is Small Business Saturday, and if you are a bookstore, it is known as Indies First. I will be at Auntie's Bookstore in downtown Spokane, Washington in the hour between 10:00 and 11:00 AM. And in that hour, as I have always wanted to work in a bookstore, Auntie's has fulfilled that wish like any self-respecting fairy godmother. 

No only will Auntie's allow me to help sell books for one hour under the guise of Guest Bookseller, but I will also be given solely the perks of a bookseller's job. That's right, they will not weigh me down with a single drawback, though I am absolutely sure drawbacks exist because I've worked as a waitress, started and quickly quit a retail job, functioned as a barista, and performed other jobs that shine on the surface but end each day with butter on your shirt, the stench of steak in your hair, ninety composition papers waiting to be graded by morning, and a devastatingly clear insight into the human condition and those who expect to be served.
Inside Auntie's
photo here

But Auntie's will allow me the ability to know none of those; such as the panic over a suddenly failing credit card machine, what to do with a spill, or how to bite one's tongue when someone's complete purchase is one pair of socks at a bookstore, even if those socks are patterned with Max from Where The Wild Things Are!! (P.S. I would be that person. I'd wear those socks everywhere.)

The point is that My Fairy Godmother, Auntie's Bookstore, will give me only the fairy-tale version of book-selling. Here are my duties: 
  • Ask strangers if I can help them, and if they ask who I am, I can say Your Resident Guest Bookseller. 
  • Write those recommendation cards for books, the sort you sometimes see on shelves that make you stop. Evidently, we in the bookseller trade refer to those as "shelf-talkers." They even prefer that I type out my "shelf-talkers," so that someone else has to hand-write them. I think this is likely a perk, even though I do love to write by hand.
  • Guest Book-sell with two people I already like quite a lot: Sharma Shields and Ben Cartwright. Arriving at "work" will be like walking into one of my favorite places (a bookstore) and accidentally running into two of my favorite people. And then we, together, will pretend to be booksellers instead of having to spend the whole hour inventing the game ourselves.
  • Request specific books, no less books I love, to be stocked so that I can direct strangers to them. Several were not able to be ordered, but I won't tell you which ones. Maybe you could make that a sort of scavenger hunt when you celebrate Small Business Saturday at Auntie's with me, Sharma Shields, Ben Cartwright, and other book-loving strangers (or strangers who need to gift books to book-loving friends and relatives). 
    •  Feel free to print my list, handwrite it, memorize it, then bring it to Auntie's or Your Local Bookstore (or Local Library if you are far from an Independent Bookstore such as was the case of the first two decades of my life).   
      1. Anything in the children's section by Shaun Tan (esp. Rules of Summer)
      2. Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith
      3. Agota Kristof's The Notebook, Proof, Third Lie (usually sold as a full trilogy)
      4. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
      5. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado
      6. Tomorrow or Forever by Jack Kaulfus
      7. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
      8. Citizen by Claudia Rankine
      9. Break Every Rule by Carole Maso
      10. Jenny Saville 
      11. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

So, friends and strangers, I hope that you will mark your calendar to visit Auntie's on November 30th and celebrate Indies First with me inside your very large, very merry, and very independent bookstore. 

Saturday, November 30th
My shift: 10:00-11:00 AM
Fellow author-booksellers: Sharma Shields and Ben Cartwright
Auntie's Bookstore
402 W. Main
Spokane, WA
Full schedule of Guest Author Booksellers here.
Their faces here:

🕮

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

November 13 in Spokane: Twenty Local Writers to Meet, Read Poems, Raise Funds

fifty percent of children arriving in the united states have no one to represent them in immigration court
https://supportkind.org 
On Wednesday, November 13, I'll join a dazzling lineup of local writers, all of us reading poems and short works for your enjoyment in order to raise support for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).

Join us!

7:00-8:30 PM
35 West Main
Spokane, WA
🖉


Monday, October 28, 2019

The Author Photo, or how I met my friend Grace through photography and suicide

I met the photographer Grace June when she was in the last stages of the Survive Project in which she was photographing people affected by suicide, whatever that relationship, from having a person die that way to trying (not) to die that way. Death by suicide has a way of haunting a person left behind that, for me, other ways of dying have not. Grace's project felt right. Poetic, real, honest, immersive.

So, I reached out to her to thank her for doing the project because of how my sister died.
She asked if I'd want to participate.
Yes, please.

I hoped that participating might bring some catharsis since it would involve photography, art, and a way of approaching this death, these feelings, this experience that seemed more real to me than other traditional forms of mourning had.

We met in her studio, which is an old building like the old buildings in my hometown--paint flecking from the walls, gorgeous wooden stairs, large windows. It's likely what the house of my imagination looks like. It just felt right. Why aren't we all mourning by sitting quietly in artist studios?

We talked. She worked. This is the photograph she/we would end up selecting for the project.

Survive Project by Grace June
https://gracejuneimagery.com/survive-project
The Survive Project became the entryway to our friendship.

A few years have passed. It came time for author photos for Hezada! I Miss You. Naturally, I asked Grace if she'd do that, especially, to my mind, since Hezada! is the fictional transformation of my experiences living in a small town and grieving my sister.

Thankfully, Grace agreed. So, we spent last Sunday morning walking together, taking photographs as we made a path down to Riverfront Park where I walked every day after I returned from my sister's funeral. Every day. Walking. Because what else is there to do when your sister has died, and you feel like a very big mistake has been made? You walk.

And you walk and you walk and you walk.

On our walk, Grace and I found my favorite place in Spokane, a quiet place by the river hooded by trees and walled off by apartments where it smells like autumn, like childhood, like wet trees and rural Illinois, and we stood there being friends. That was good. We didn't take a picture of that. Grace thought to, then said, No, let's not ruin it with a camera.

That's why she's my friend, in a nutshell.

Here are a few of the results of our trying to find an author photograph with my face in it. Perhaps you can guess which one will appear on the back of the book.

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019


Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019

Erin Pringle, photo by Grace June, 2019
Erin, photo by Grace June, 2019


📸



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Visual Art, Writing, Grief, and More at the 2019 Spokane Writers Conference

 2019 Spokane Writers Conference
Spokane County Library
North Spokane Library, 44 East Hawthorne Road
Saturday, October 26 
Sunday, October 27
Free to all

North Spokane Library
I'm pleased to be a part of this year's annual Spokane Writers Conference, held by and at the Spokane County Library. I'm joining a roster of wonderful writers and instructors who will lead and participate in discussions and workshops about books, reading, writing, aspects of the drafting process, skills and drills, and everything you might imagine from here to there when you're thinking about words on a page.
On Sunday, October 27, I'll facilitate two workshops, both revolving around subjects that affect every aspect of my own writing process and that I doubt I'm alone in. I hope you can join me.


🖉

Using Visual Art for Inspiration

  • October 27, 2019
  • 1:15-2:15
  • Visual artists are often speaking to the same concerns, desires, and problems that writers are in our work. We cover ways of viewing contemporary visual art that inspire ideas on days when creativity feels beyond reach. Be ready to engage in several writing activities.
  • Sign up! (Free)
Here's why I wanted to create this workshop: I grew up surrounded by my father's love of art. Our backyard held his modernist sculptures that he re-spray painted every few years, and that I was attracted to but warned not to play near because the design inadvertently attracted wasps. He'd dabbled in wood sculpture, metal, plaster. His oil paintings hung in the garage that he'd converted into a workshop.

At the library, we'd sit between the shelves, turning the pages of the cement-heavy art books of Renoir and whatever other classics our rural library had. He drove the roads and walked fields searching for the best light, camera bag on his shoulder (and he'd made the red and yellow lanyard for the zipper pull, which still pleases me, though I'm not sure why).

I suspected, as did everyone, that my own life would follow similar but perhaps more explicit artistic avenues. Instead of a garage, galleries. Instead of only books, museums. In short, the way the American Dream colored my future in.

Life did not pan that way, but central to my storytelling, written or aloud, is the image. I simply work in the medium of words rather than oil, pastel, charcoal. And I feed my sense of self by viewing photography and art, participating in the dialogue that artists create through their images, and respond through language in the way I do.

As such, I look forward to facilitating this workshop on Visual Art as Inspiration, as well as the conversations, activities, and art we'll explore together.

🖉

Writing with Grief

  • October 27, 2019
  • 3:00-4:15
  • Mourning is a long and varied process, which may restrict or dampen creativity. We look at strategies for writing after the loss of a loved one and ways to write with the grief instead of fighting it or feeling overtaken by it. 
  • Sign up! (Free)
The second workshop I'll lead revolves around grief, which certainly would not have been my chosen topic years ago, but after a long decade of close death, from my father to my best friend to my sister, each dying differently, each beloved to me in different dimensions, their lives and the vanished nature of death has deeply imprinted my way of thinking, responding, loving, and thus, writing. (Not to mention that I grew up in a rural town that, during my childhood, was dying in population, trade, and hope, certainly set the stage of perspective on daily dying and the rituals connected to it.)

Because grief is such an intimate experience, often lonely, often isolating, often suffocating, we may not write, we may write pages and pages, we may not see the crisp lines of autumn leaves and lose the interest in waiting for the beauty to return, or believing that it will, or that it should in exactly the way it was before. With each death I experience, my writing seems differently affected. Beauty, grief, and language affect each other in ways we don't anticipate. Or, at least, I didn't. But this workshop will not be a monologue on my loss but tangible ways to navigate your writing through mourning, its relationship to identity and creativity--wherever you are in time and loss. While I am a fiction writer and prefer writing fiction to non-fiction, writers of any genre or level of truth-telling are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

(This is not necessarily a workshop on how to write about grief, though I'm sure we'll talk about that, this will be about writing while grieving, as I suspect grieving never ends, merely rubbing itself into one's identity until it's impossible to separate one from another. Perhaps I should have named it Grieving and Writing. Or just Writing.)

Please join me.

If you have any questions about my specific workshops, feel free to message me. Of course, direct any general inquiries about the conference to the librarians, as they are the ones in the know.


 Spokane Writers Conference
Spokane County Library
North Spokane Library, 44 East Hawthorne Road
Saturday, October 26 
Sunday, October 27
Free to all

🖉

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Novel news: Hezada has a book trailer!

Phoebe Waldron from Awst Press has created a fantastic book trailer for my forthcoming novel, Hezada! I Miss You.

It's better than a love letter, I think.
Or it's the best kind of love letter.
That's probably right.


Hezada! I Miss You - "All it Takes" from Awst Press on Vimeo.



Pre-order Hezada! I Miss You at https://awst-press.com/shop/hezada

Frog Voice, Frog King: I'm telling a story at Library Con

This Saturday, the South Hill Library is throwing a Library Con, full of fun, fantasy, fairy tales, and whimsy. So, of course I'll be there to tell a story. You've heard about the golden ball, or read about the frog at the bottom of a well, or seen a version of a terrible kiss, but you've never heard the way I'm stringing it together. A little Grimm, a little gender equality, a lot o' me. Come listen, come play, bring all of your children and any children you find along the way. 

(As I am in the midst of losing my voice, I won't have to work hard at all to sound like the frog.)

Story at 11 AM
Saturday, October 5th
South Hill Public Library
3324 S Perry Street, Spokane
View the full event schedule here: https://www.spokanelibrary.org/south-hill/ 

Artwork by Andrea Deszo here, https://tinyurl.com/y59mthf4
Splish, Splash, Rrrrrrbit: Imagining a Story

Come listen to storyteller Erin Pringle tantalize listeners of all ages with the timeless predicament of a child who loses a cherished toy, makes a bold agreement with a frog, then lives to regret the decision. Sometimes known as the frog prince, this version provides a contemporary take. The story will contain movement, listener participation, and, of course, a surprising ending. Story is geared to children ages 2-7, but no one is too young or old to hear this story.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Order now, read in 2020: Hezada! I Miss You from Awst Press

To celebrate the Montana Book Festival and my newest book, Hezada! I Miss You, Awst Press made these fantastic postcards and are now, now, now taking orders! These are pre-orders, which means you order now and receive it as soon as it's released! Reserve now, find it in your mailbox in February 2020 so hot off the presses, it'll burn off your fingerprints (not guaranteed).


Hezada! I Miss You
What's it about? Well . . .

The last Midwestern travelling circus is due to arrive in a rural village it has visited for a century of summers. Like the village, the circus is on its last leg. It’s down to one elephant and a handful of acrobats. The circus boss’s sweetheart is dying. The former starring act is recovering from cancer. The assistant, Frank, plans to retire after this show. Meanwhile, twins Heza and Abe wander the hot fields and roads, waiting for the circus or anything better. Hezada! I Miss You is a novel that explores tradition, love, and suicide—set under the fading tents of small-town America and the circus.


📚

To meet me in Missoula at the Montana Book Festival, see my schedule here: http://www.erinpringle.com/2019/09/meet-me-in-missoula-at-2019-montana.html


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Meet Me in Missoula at the 2019 Montana Book Festival

Let's meet at the Montana Book Festival this weekend. Here's where I know I'll be.


📙 Friday, September 13th at 11:30 AMWillow Springs Reading
Location: The Public House, 130 E. Broadway St.
Description: A poetry/prose reading and a Q&A with Northwest writers who have all been published in Willow Springs Magazine. Willow Springs is the top-ranked literary journal affiliated with the Eastern Washington University MFA program.
Information: 

📙 Friday, September 13th at 2 PMCelebrate Queer Voices
Location: Missoula Public Library, 301 E. Main St.

📙 Saturday, September 14th at 11:30 AMThe Fractured American Dream in Fiction
Location: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties, 314 N Higgins Ave
Description: Join these novelists in a discussion of the American Dream as portrayed in our novels, what it means to pursue it, the shifting nature of what it means from one decade to the next. Each of our novels deals with the American Dream in some ways, the pursuit, the failure, the impact, the fleeting nature, what happens when it slips through your fingers.

For the full schedule of events, visit http://www.montanabookfestival.org/
Just found me? For the newest of news, follow https://www.facebook.com/erintpringle/
Heard about Hezada! I Miss You? Pre-order at https://awst-press.com/shop/hezada

Sunday, September 8, 2019

THE BIG REVEAL: Uncovering the cover of Hezada! I Miss You

One of my favorite parts of the lead-up to a book's publication is the cover reveal. Luckily, all of my books have covers that I love and that seem to complement the content. I gasped the first time I saw LK James's cover for Hezada! I Miss You. 

It was early summer when it appeared on my phone, and I went around the whole day finding people I loved and asking if they'd like to see the cover, and then, without waiting for their answer, I'd do the big reveal.
Are you ready? I'd say.
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
And then, I'd turn over my phone.

They'd move the phone this way and that until they could see with the light.
And then.
Then, friend, they'd gasp. With their mouths, their hands, their whole faces.
I'd grin with them. I'd clasp my hands, lean forward, with the child inside me who knows she has the perfect object to bring to show and tell.
Isn't it perfect? I'd say.
It is. Yes.
I love it, I'd say because you can prolong the moment of appreciation, and I always try when I can.

Then I'd take back the phone, returning the cover to hiding, and swear them to secrecy regarding what they'd seen.
Hundreds of people I showed that day.
Thousands.

No, but that's how many I wanted to show. That's how many I think should see it. Imagine the collective gasp. Imagine all of us looking at the same picture and thinking, Yes. Yes, that's right.

Well, today, friends, we can do that. I'm not sure of when you'll find this, of your time zone, of how to time your gasp to another's, but we will have to do our best.

Are you ready?


Are you ready?


Are you sure?



Cover of Hezada! I Miss You, illustration by LK James

!
!
!

Do you see that elephant? Do you know how my father loved elephants? He would bring home ceramic and glass elephants in the white boxes from downtown, from the Bird's Nest jewelry and gift store. My kindergarten teacher's husband owned the store, and every gift to my mother from my father came from there.

And the elephant's expression. Do you want to cup the elephant's face in your hands and press your forehead to its forehead? I do. Do you know that feeling? That's the feeling of the novel. That's what I felt, deeply, when writing it. So deep it ached. So deep the ache hurt and many days I dreaded opening the manuscript to work on it.

Is there an elephant in the novel? Oh, yes. Yes. And that feeling, too, is there.

And what about the flower in the elephant's trunk? Do you know what that is? It's called several different names, which I didn't know until the internet, but in the Midwest, on my road, in my childhood, my mother called it Queen Anne's lace; it grows along the road my mother pushed my stroller up, then I toddled, walked, bicycled, then ran from. Had I never taken any classes on the body, I'd imagine my veins patterned like Queen Anne's Lace.

What about the frame? Its blend of Art Deco and circus poster. Its whimsy elegance. I love it. Imagine how carefully our artist drew it. Imagine her bent over her desk. Imagine. 

And the colors! The red and the blue! The banner, the script, the placement of A Novel and Erin Pringle. 

Do you love it? 
What else do you love about it? 
Will you love it with me? 
If you don't love it, let me love it until you love it, too, so we can love, together.

Thank you, LK James. 
Thank you, Awst.
Thank you, friend, for looking.


About Hezada! I Miss You
The last Midwestern travelling circus is due to arrive in a rural village it has visited for a century of summers. Like the village, the circus is on its last leg. It’s down to one elephant and a handful of acrobats. The circus boss’s sweetheart is dying. The former starring act is recovering from cancer. The assistant, Frank, plans to retire after this show. Meanwhile, twins Heza and Abe wander the hot fields and roads, waiting for the circus or anything better. Hezada! I Miss You is a novel that explores tradition, love, and suicide—set under the fading tents of small-town America and the circus.

View more of LK James's illustrations here: https://www.lkjames.com/
Learn more about Awst Press here: https://awst-press.com/