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Seattle Arts Marathon

Want to thank Kate Vrijmoet for asking me to sit for a portrait during the Center on Contemporary Arts Seattle marathon. Posing for a portrait is quite an experience ... and a privilege to be asked. She thought it might be nice to cross-pollinate some creative media during Arts Crush month. I suspect I should use her as a character in a story soon. I could do much worse.

She's very talented, with a unique style. In places on the canvas, she allows excess paint to drip off the form, giving it a "Persistence of Memory" feel. It was fascinating to watch the mechanics of it: the paint mixing and matching, and all the prep work. At one point, while working on the face, she used her wrist and lower arm as a palette, just mixing the colors on her own skin.

I'll include a photo of the painting on this page ... wherever I can make it work. Check out Kate's website ... particularly some of the paintings of underwater scenes. Great perspective. Read More 
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October events

We've got some fun events coming up. From 10-11 through 10-16, 36 local writers are participating in The Novel: Live!, in which we'll write in front of the public for 2-hour stretches at the Richard Hugo House on Capitol Hill. I'm writing from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15. I"m one of the last writers, so I think I get to handle some pretty weighty plot points. Should be great fun and it's a privilege to be invited to participate.

In promotion of the event, Erica Bauermeister and Kevin O'Brien and I are reading and gabbing Oct. 13, 7 p.m., at Third Place Books, Ravenna.

A tangent to that: Part of the local Arts Crush activities in Seattle include the 24-hour Art Marathon Oct. 7-8. ( I just received an invitation from Seattle artist Kate Vrijmoet to sit for a portrait to be auctioned. Check out her website: She has some amazing stuff there. The paintings can be seen at the Thursday Art Walk, 5-9 p.m., Oct. 7 at the Globe Building in Pioneer Square.

At the end of the month, Oct. 26, our good friends at Kirkland Parkplace Books have invited me to be a part of a panel with author friends Jim Lynch and Carol Cassella, and others. 7 p.m. Read More 
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University Bookstore project

Happy New Year!

The University Bookstore at the U of Washington is releasing a book to celebrate its 110th birthday. Stesha Brandon over there asked some local writers to create 110-word pieces for the book. I thought it was a nice honor to be asked and happily contributed.

The topic and form were our choosing, with the only limit being the word count. At the time of the invitation, I had been helping a friend with a project to raise money for a charity close to us, The Thembalethu Trust, which funds medication, hospice, education and aid to HIV-infected persons (particularly orphans) in South Africa.

While researching my next writing project in South Africa last summer, I met a remarkable person, Natalie Hansen, who dedicates a considerable portion of her days comforting patients in a province where the HIV infection rate is 50 percent. She is dedicated, selfless and truly inspiring. One afternoon, her husband, Paul, drove me past a local cemetery that could not contain all the new graves. Makeshift markers were made of sheet metal with the names painted by hand. It was a heart-breaking sight.

I used my 110 words to write about it. I will put the poem at the bottom of this post. If you would like to know more about Thembalethu and how you might be able to help, please see the website at

By Dave Boling

Down at the bottom of Africa
the virus takes its half. Half
the pickers and workers, and
the teens on the dusty street corners. Half
the children steaming in tin-shed huts,
half the babies who drink it in so sweetly
from their mothers’ infected breasts.

The freshest graves are mounds of rocks
because the diggers are dying too, dying with
the stone carvers; so the markers sprouting
from the baked earth are sheet metal squares
with drippy hand-painted names. Who will plant
them now? Who will paint their names? Who
will be left to stack stones on the body of the last
child to die at the bottom of Africa?

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Bike wreck

Bear with me on typos and "texting" short cuts ... i'm typin lefty.

Basically got run off a bike trail by a couple reckless racers... flew over handle bars .. broke right collarbone and scapula. Appears the scapula will require surgery and some hardware.

So work columns and promo schedule a little uncertain until surgery is booked and completed. Thinking about having a character in the next project fall off his horse and have to deal with the physical trauma.That will make this experience seem like useful research!  Read More 
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Two October events scheduled

Readings and signing scheduled at two of my favorite Seattle region bookstores ... Oct. 15 at Parkplace Books in Kirkland and Oct. 19 at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Both are at 7p.m. Booksellers at both places have been so nice in the past year they've turned into good friends I like to visit even if I don't really need to buy any books at the moment. Patti and the ladies at Queen Anne Books are the same. It's a good reminder to support your local independent book store. Read More 
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"Guernica" paperback in US

First, thanks to all who have left comments on the weblog. Great to hear from you.

Not much news to report other than the fact that the U.S. paperback edition (Bloomsbury) is scheduled to be out in the first week of September. The last that I heard, they had decided to keep the cover relatively unchanged. I'm happy with that decision as I like the moody, atmospheric colors.

Since you're at this site now, you might be interested in checking out the "works" page to see the various covers from different territories. Whenever a new one is published, I'm always amazed at how creative designers are able to take the same book and come up with such different interpretations for a cover they believe will capture both the readers' attention, and the essence of the subject.

Curious if anybody has any preferences among those displayed. Feel free to leave comments with your favorites. Read More 
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South Africa trip

A three-week trip to London and South Africa -- for promotional and research purposes -- resulted in some nice pictures from my son Jake, the family photographer. The animal shots were taken at the wonderful Shamwari Game Reserve. You can check them out at Jake's flickr photo address:
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I guess I didn't know this site had weblog capabilities until now. I will try a few posts and see if anybody is interested.

The news about "Guernica" is that it won the reader vote as the top book of the eight Richard and Judy Summer Reads selections in the UK. Thank you readers and voters. I wondered if that's a bit of a hollow distinction as the Richard and Judy show is canceled. I'm told that at the very least it will cause another sticker to be placed on the cover. Very nice and gratifying, though, to get that kind of wonderful response from readers. It also was the top seller among the eight, I'm told.

After some promo work in South Africa last week, we should have some "Guernica" publicity via the Jenny Crwys Williams show on 702 Radio (not sure on the date, but I'll supply a link when I spot one), a possible story in The Sunday Times by Andrew Donaldson, and a feature on FMR Radio in Cape Town.

It's also been picked up by a Croatian publisher, pushing the territory total to 14 (12 languages) ... giving us publications in both Serbian and Croatian, incidentally.

If you are a reader stumbling upon this, feel free to ask questions or share thoughts. I promise I will get back to it when possible.


Dave Read More 
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