Out of the cave: Reading, signing in Port Townsend this Thursday

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Just when it seemed an attention span was a thing of the past, the young writers are emerging from Pato's Cave.

They come bearing essays, short stories and even Thunderheart, a 336-page novel. All took shape at Pato's, aka author Patrick Jennings' after-school writing workshop here. The writers of these works each braved the true test: editing and multiple revisions.

Now they're ready to unveil two freshly published trade paperbacks in a party at Better Living Through Coffee this Thursday evening.

Jennings and crew will present Cave Writings 2013: A Pato's Cave Anthology and Thunderheart, the novel by Anna Tallarico, in a reading and signing from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the cafe at 100 Tyler St. Admission is free, while copies of the books will be for sale. Coffee, tea and snacks will also be available.

Thunderheart is the story of “a regular girl finding out she and her parents are wizards and that when she was born, she broke a curse that had been on her family for generations,” said Tallarico, 12. It's the first of a duo: Lightningheart will be published next year.

Weekly workshops

Tallarico is one of the writers who's been attending Pato's weekly workshops for the past four years. She and her peers — 10- to 12-year-olds in the beginning, now 10 to 15 years old — write, discuss, edit and revise with guidance from Jennings, author of some 20 books for young readers.

Thursday is an auspicious event. The writers have shared their work with one another, and now they're ready to share some with the world, Jennings said. They have proved themselves devoted to old-fashioned storytelling and have gone through many revisions of their work before it was brought into the Cave Writings anthology.

The 194-page book features 18 essays and stories, from “Dream School” by Ruby Gale to “The Uniter” by Orion Weinblatt Dey to “Miss Delilah” by Odette Jennings. There are excerpts from novels, too, such as Zanika's Island by Ruevear.

Ruevear is the nom de plume of Ruby Gale, who thought it up after hearing of someone named Rubear. It just suits her writing, so she plans on continuing to use it.

Ruby's story “Dream School” came from a discussion she had with classmates about what the ideal place of learning would look like. Orion's “The Uniter” is about a boy who while lost in the forest encounters a man who knew his missing father.

Zanika's Island is also the story of a boy, this one lost on an unknown isle where good and bad things befall his family. And “Miss Delilah” is a spooky, dialogue-rich piece about a mysterious letter. Odette, its 14-year-old author, is the daughter of Pato's Cave coach Jennings.

Cave Writers

The Cave Writers also include Korbyn Reimnitz, Isaac Steimle, Story Walsh, Ella Wiegers, Samantha Heron, Rowan Halpin, Ezra Aguilar, Ella Ashford, Camilla Costa-Goetz, Mia Nebel and River R. Kisler.

After Thursday's gathering, both Cave Writings 2013 and Thunderheart will be available at the online publisher www.Lulu.com.

And for the Pato's Cave dwellers, this is not the end of the story.

“We will have more books to come,” said Jennings.

_______

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 03. 2013 6:03PM
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