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Category Archives: Tacoma stuff
One of my favorite things as a writer is the fact that I don’t have to rely on anyone else. It’s a solitary thing. So I’m not exactly known for joining or participating in writer’s groups. I prefer to sit and type away my stuff then send it out there. But recently I heard about a new local site called Creative Colloquy. It is run by an acquaintance of mine named Jackie Casella. I had a short story that didn’t have a home and so I submitted it to the site and now people can read it whenever they like. (Here’s a link.)
In addition to the site itself, Jackie puts on a monthly reading on the last Monday of the month. This month, I’m one of the readers. I asked Jackie to join me for 5 Question Friday but then my week got very busy and I didn’t get a chance to give her the questions until Thursday night. Jackie stepped up and got back to me right away. So I’d like to give her a special thank you for that.
Here’s Jackie to talk about Creative Colloquy:
1.What is Creative Colloquy?
The short version: Creative Colloquy is a “submission based literary site” with a focus on Tacoma and South Sound scribes paying special attention to writers of short stories, essays, and excerpts of novels. But really “colloquy” by definition means to pow-wow, or open up a dialogue so our events play an instrumental part of that. It was born from the desire to create a platform for writers to share their work and build relationships with those of like minds. Writing is typically something done as an isolated individual but connecting with those who understand the struggles or process I think can be really inspiring and necessary to the creative process. Plus it’s just plain fun.
2. How can someone get involved in Creative Colloquy?
The easiest way to get involved is to submit! We publish our favorite submissions every other Monday and have so far featured immensely talented and diverse content. Another great way is to attend our events. Each final Monday every month we meet at B Sharp coffee house at 7pm. Festivities begin with a line-up of 5/6 authors we’ve published on the site reading from their works immediately followed by an open mic. The dynamics of the event pretty much guarantee performances from a variety of genres and experience levels. Other events are in talks to occur over the summer and some really cool things happening by fall that we aren’t quite ready to announce.
3. What’s been the most interesting thing to come out of this project so far?
Any time artists gather in one place it’s interesting. The stories that are told among a group of scribes especially so. I think the most interesting thing is seeing the diverse community coming together at the events. We’ve been joined by young college level novices attending their first open mic to established published authors, playwrights, actors and so on covering so many different genres. Witnessing those interactions can be interesting. The level of support has been ridiculously amazing and leaves me feeling pretty fortunate to have begun this adventure.
4. What’s something you want to do with Creative Colloquy that hasn’t happened yet?
We have been in discussion of adding some texture to the site. A podcast is something we are uber excited to do and we have some fun ideas to open a dialogue and entertain our audience. I’d really love to begin doing dramatic readings with actors performing larger pieces and getting crafty with a set design that mimics a huge pop-up book too! There have been some other seeds planted that include a panel discussion at UPS and highlighting local women storytellers with a Tacoma group working towards a living women’s museum and maybe even some children themed events for the minis out there.
5. What would you like to see for the future of Creative Colloquy?
I’d love for CC to gain non-profit status in efforts to promote literacy. I daydream about dramatic reading events for schools and festivals and a bookmobile cruising around town. We’d really love to release a “best of” print version maybe twice yearly for distribution too. That’s more of a when not if and HOW we are going to fund the project when it’s time.
For now we are just having a great time reading local talents stories and connecting at the events. It’s been really amazing having folks turn out that aren’t necessarily in our “circle” and building those relationships based on our literary love.
Once again I’d like to thank Jackie for participating in 5 Question Friday. For more information about Creative Colloquy or just to check out some local writers, go to http://creativecolloquy.com.
You’re also welcome to attend this month’s Creative Colloquy reading at the B Sharp Coffee House on Monday April 28th at 7pm. The B Sharp Coffee House is in downtown Tacoma at 706 Opera Alley. Featured readers include Alec Clayton *narrated by Christian Carvajal, Titus Burley, J Anne Fullerton,
David Mucklow, and me.
- Jack Cameron
This week is a first. After three years of doing 5 Question Friday we have our first three-time participant. We’d stop asking her questions if she’d stop doing awesome stuff. Jooley Heaps once ran a wonderfully strange shop in downtown Tacoma called Poison Apple. Sadly, the location wasn’t very conducive to massive sales. Since then Jooley and Poison Apple has existed by vending at various local events. But now Jooley and Poison Apple have a new home. And their grand opening is TODAY. Here’s Jooley to tell you more about it.
1. Poison Apple is back. What can you tell us about the new location?
We are now located inside Freighthouse Square, across from Sasquatch Cinnamon Rolls. Our new neighbors at The Giving Place and Vapor Works have also been very kind to us. Past the food court is Justin Winter at American Ritual Tattoo and his girlfriend Michelle. And of course my old pal Pete Lira is moving in this summer. Everyone has been very welcoming and it is exciting to start our new retail adventure here.
2. What’s different about Poison Apple this time around?
What we did this time was fuse together what worked for us before- a mix of rock and roll, punk, horror, etc with pop culture and a throwback to the vintage culture I adore. We have a great selection of kitsch items, clothing, shoes and all sorts of colorful fun items that can only be found here
3. How can people help out Poison Apple?
Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook many people have shared our event. I believe this location will be a good fit for us because there is daily walk thru traffic which what was a major issue with Pacific Avenue.
4. What’s your favorite thing about running Poison Apple?
My favorite thing about Poison Apple is that it is a colorful vision that we made happen. I have a dedicated crew in Jason Emmett and Jennifer Walter, and we each bring something to the table and all complement each other. While wearing ‘handerpants’ of course. I’d definitely say that there is nothing out there in Tacoma like it, and it makes me smile because it’s hilarious and always evolving into more.
5. What do you hope for the future of Poison Apple?
As far as the future- aim high! We are about to also start our busy vending schedule so of course the more events the merrier:) and I’d love to have success with the shop and possibly open a second location. Like I said. Aim high:).
I’d like to thank Jooley Heaps for participating in 5 Question Friday and for bringing Poison Apple back to Tacoma. If you or someone you know is interested in joining me for 5 Question Friday, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jack Cameron
I’m a big believer in letting fellow Tacomans know about great companies in our city. When I moved back to the Stadium District almost two years ago I needed an Internet provider and ended up choosing Advanced Stream.
You probably don’t know this but when it comes to phone and internet companies, we’ve never gotten along very well. Things tend to go badly as their rates increase along with decreased service and terrible customer service. So I was fully expecting an that my relationship with Advanced Stream would be one of unpleasant tolerance.
Instead what I got was an installer who came out on time, reliable internet connections for my computer, laptop, Roku, X-Box, and Kindle Fire, and customer service that makes me feel like one of my friends is running an ISP.
I know this likely sounds like a commercial. It’s not. I’m simply talking about what I’ve experienced as a customer for Advanced Stream. Today’s 5 Question Friday is with an Advanced Stream Representative calling himself Harmonious Wilbury. He’s here to tell you a bit more about Advanced Stream.
1. What is Advanced Stream?
We are an ISP located in Tacoma WA. We offer Cable modem Internet Service, with speeds up to 100 Mbps, over the Click! Network. We also offer Telephone service and websites hosting, etc.
2. How is Advances Stream different from larger Internet Providers?
We are very “hands on”, customer service oriented company. If you call, you will be talking to a knowledgeable person that cares about you and your concerns. We always make it right and keep our customers happy.
3. What special offers are you currently running?
We are currently running our “Welcome Home” special, which is $19.95 per month for the first 6 months – with a free install and free modem.
4. How can people sign up for Advanced Stream if they want to?
You can get the deal here: http://www.advancedstream.com/online-signup-special
5. What do you see for the future of Advanced Stream?
Thanks! Well, “the future” will soon be a thing of the past; but, our customer service culture will forever last! We will continue to focus on being happy, spreading cheer, having a sense of humor and helping people with their issues. Basically, we will keep doing what we do best and let the future take care of itself. “I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.” –Albert Einstein
I’d like to thank Harmonious Wilbury for participating in 5 Question Friday. If you or someone you know would like to join me for a 5 Question Friday, let me know at email@example.com
One last note, should you choose to use Advanced Stream, please mention my customer number 14024 . Advanced Stream is big on referrals.
- Jack Cameron
I just released a new edition of my self-destruct book, Ruin Your Life. I wrote it, formatted it, created the cover, and published it. I’m a publisher as well as a writer. Later this year, I’m releasing an ebook about running Kickstarter campaigns and a Tacoma-based crime novel. When it comes to Tacoma and publishing, I’m very interested in the things going on in this town. So when I heard about the Nearsighted Narwhal I reached out to Christina Wheeler, the mastermind behind the Nearsighted Narwhal.
1. What is The Nearsighted Narwhal?
The Nearsighted Narwhal is a storefront that is planning on opening in the summer of 2014. Spaceworks has accepted our application and will be helping to place us in a vacant storefront sometime this summer.
Our main focus is on self-publishing. We are a consignment store for anyone who has ever printed their own books, zines, music, comics, or made their own CDs . We will also have a zine/comic creation area in the store along with workshops on self-publishing and the myriad facets of putting your words or art out in the mainstream. We’ll also have a listening station set up to listen to-and buy-local music. We plan on having special events such as open mic nights, musical performances, 24 hour zine/comic making events in which the store will stay open for a full day to accommodate the creators, along with a lot of other fun stuff.
Though our main focus is publishing, we also want to lend a helping hand to people that create other tangible items. We will have a consignment area for these individuals and groups that make buttons, patches, stickers, jewelry, t-shirts, posters, or whatever else the lovely creative community of Tacoma has to offer us. We are open to it all as long as it is handmade.
Our store will also feature visual art from local artists that will be on consignment.
2. What makes this different than other publication companies?
We are interested in the “little guy”, those individuals that get looked over even though their wares maybe be brilliant and amazing, in favor of more mainstream media. We believe that these underground publishers, these people that choose to take the path less traveled in order to pursue their passions…these are the people that need to be celebrated. They are an untapped creative resource and we’re here to shed some light on them. We want to show people that you don’t need a big publishing contract-though those are nice-to be successful and get your name out there.
Another thing that makes us different is that, as individuals, we are also self-publishers. My partner, Ossain, and I have been in the self-publishing business for years. We understand on an intrinsic level the difficulties that many of these people face on a day-to-day basis and we’re here to help. By opening this store and getting the word out to people who might skip right over the independent publishing shelf at the local bookstore full of mainstream authors, we’re bringing the focus on the people who aren’t censored by editors and publishing company politics. It’s pure unfiltered talent and we’re excited as hell to be able to help.
3. What can people do if they’re interested in participating?
You can contact us through Facebook, through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), through Twitter #Narwhal253, or through our website www.thenearsightednarwhal.com. Once you contact us we will send you the consignment agreement to be completed and signed and given back along with whatever it is you’d like us to sell. That’s it. Super easy.
4. What other local independent artist causes interest you?
We’re always interested in community building and drumming up interest in the vast well of artistic talent that resides in Tacoma. We’re especially fans of the Art Bus, Creative Colloquy, or any other business or venture that promotes community and focuses on the artist and not turning them into a machine that cranks out works like they’re in front of a conveyor belt.
5. What would you like to see for the future of The Nearsighted Narwhal?
We’d love to be one of the many agents of change in Tacoma for the self-publishers, artists, and other crafty folk. We’d love to spur Tacoma on its way to recognizing the many different talents that this city harbors.
We’d like to be fully established as the self-publisher’s landmark in Tacoma that can help with promoting the DIY community and be involved in the zine festival circuit at some point in the near future. Ideally we envision our store as a place a customer can come to and pick up a zine, a book, a comic, have a cup of coffee, listen to some local music talent, read from their works in front of a crowd of like-minded individuals, eat some locally made goodies, make a button, take a workshop on an area of self-publishing they need help on, and be filled with wonder at the thought of Tacoma being so amazing. Because, you know…it totally is.
I want to thank Christian for joining me for 5 Question Friday. For more information on the Nearsighted Narwhal, check out their website www.thenearsightednarwhal.com.
If you or someone you know wants to participate in 5 Question Friday, drop me a line at email@example.com.
- Jack Cameron
Every now and then I’ll put out a random tweet asking for people to volunteer to join me for 5 Question Friday. Historically, every single person who has volunteered has not responded once I sent them five questions. It’s been that way for three years now. Rosie Martinson has broken that streak.
Rosie Martinson works in healthcare marketing, but that’s not what we’re talking to her about. Rosie is likely better known as the creator of TacomaWorkingMom.com. Rosie somehow manages to do all of this and raise four boys with her husband. How she found time to join me for 5 Question Friday I’ll never know. Here’s Rosie:
1. What is TacomaWorkingMom.com?
It’s a blog all about living a successful Mom life, Wife life and work life.
2. How did TacomaWorkingMom.com get started?
Tacoma Working Mom got started because I wanted to create a place for working Moms to engage in community and share lifestyle tips and experiences plus I needed a creative outlet separate from my day job.
3. What’s the one thing you want every Tacoma Working Mom to know?
It doesn’t matter whether you have a conventional job or you stay at home, all Moms are working Moms.
4. What’s your favorite thing about being a working Mom in Tacoma?
As a working Mom in Tacoma one of the best things is all-day kindergarten. My favorite thing about being a working Mom is sharing what I do at work with my boys and how I make a difference in our community.
5. What do you see for the future of TacomaWorkingMom.com?
The future of Tacoma Working Mom is full of opportunities. I just launched TacomaWorkingMom TV in January! I’m interviewing women that have a story to share. I also want to partner with brands to help promote everything local.
I’d like to thank Rosie for participating in 5 Question Friday. You can find more about TacomaWorkingMom at the links below. If you or someone you know wants to participate, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jack Cameron
This past Tuesday tattoo artist Justin Winter, Mishele Dupree, and a friend were walking on South 19th and Martin Luther King Way. They were approached by a group of young people. There were at least 15 of them. Justin had refused to give one of them a cigarette a few nights before.
The girls with Justin managed to escape with bruises. Justin was not so lucky. He was knocked to the ground and repeatedly stomped in the face and hands and left with a jaw broken in multiple places and numerous other injuries. He’s finally being released from the hospital today.
The attack occurred on a busy street. The nearest police station was only two blocks away. While the Hilltop neighborhood is notorious for crime from the gang violence of the early 1990s, Hilltop has changed dramatically since then. And violent attacks such as this are rare.
This crime is eerily reminiscent of the 2000 beating death of Eric Toews. In that case, it was one of a series of attacks by the same group of teenagers. I’ve spoken with the Tacoma Police Department and have been told that similar attacks have not occurred lately.
As one might expect, the injuries Justin has sustained are resulting in substantial financial hardships. There is a fundraising page set up for Justin at the link below. If you have the means, please donate what you can.
- Jack Cameron
I first met Todd Buckley a few weeks ago when he organized a tour of Tacoma Brewing Company. He was a gracious and enthusiastic host with plenty of knowledge and passion for alcohol. Up until then, I’d never heard of the Tacoma Alcohol Consortium. By the end of the tour I decided that everyone in Tacoma with an interest in drinking should know about it.
I contact Todd and he was more than happy to participate in 5 Question Friday this week. Here’s Todd:
1. What is the Tacoma Alcohol Consortium?
Tacoma Alcohol Consortium was designed to elevate the importance of locally crafted alcohol, because there is an urgency for awareness, education, and enjoyment of, what I believe to be, Tacoma’s second renaissance (the first being the art/museum scene).
The mission of TAC is: Sharing Enjoyment Through Imbibing Locally Crafted Alcohols. The mantra is: Drink Smarter.
2. How did it get started?
I have been pursing my dream of opening Tacoma’s first distillery since late 2009. I started to put my resources and energy into the distillery business in 2010 and since then I have been doing my best to figure out creative ways to get this business financed and open to the public. The concept of Tacoma Alcohol Consortium actually came to me during morning meditation. I had these thought of “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Then the question for me became, how can I accomplish that goal, not just for my distillery, but for everyone making alcohol within the greater Tacoma area. Tacoma has a chance to be a destination place on the map nationally if we all work together and seize our destiny. Tacoma was once the largest alcohol producer on the West Coast. There is no reason that cannot happen again.
3. How can people participate with the Tacoma Alcohol Consortium?
First, if you are on Facebook, click the ‘like’ button on our Facebook Page. Secondly, start reading and get engaged. This community can only thrive if people have passion and deep interest in the topic of locally produced alcohol. Frequent restaurants and stores that promote and sell locally made alcohol. When you see your friends drinking a fancy import, ask them if they’ve tried the fancy local beer, wine, or spirit. When you go to a restaurant or store and you don’t see local alcohol for sale mention it to the manager.
4. What are some of your favorite Tacoma places to imbibe?
Tacoma is a drinking town. There are too many places to list, but my heart is about cocktails and I would be most overjoyed when I would sit at the bar at the original Hilltop apothecary, 1022 South, with Chris Keil. Now I spend a lot of time at Tacoma Cabana. Jason Alexander is doing great things with Rum. There are numerous breweries that I enjoy like, Wingman, E9, The Harmon, and Tacoma Brewing Company, as well as locally produced wine at 21 Cellars and Stina’s Cellars.
5. What is your ultimate goal for the Tacoma Alcohol Consortium?
There are approximately 200,000 people in Tacoma and almost 2/3rds of those people are of legal drinking age (about half the American population doesn’t consume alcohol – a fact I found amazing), but that still leaves a lot of potential influencers to support a thriving ecosystem of locally made alcohol. I would like to see Tacoma create a healthy culture around producing and consuming alcohol which would make the City of Destiny a destination spot for people all over the world to come and enjoy. Plus, 50,000 Facebook Fans for TAC wouldn’t be bad either.
I’d like to thank Todd Buckley for taking the time to join me for 5 Question Friday. If you or anyone you know would like to participate in 5 Question Friday, write me at email@example.com
R.R. Anderson is one of Tacoma’s most outspoken and prolific artists. Last time him joined me for 5 Question Friday, he was talking about Tacomic. Now he’s part of a new artistic endeavor called Tinkertopia. I could try to explain what that means, but R.R. can do it a heck of a lot better than me. Here’s R.R.:
1. What is Tinkertopia?
Tinkertopia, LLC. is a creative reuse center specializing in alt. art supplies all rescued from the oblivion of our North American consumer culture way of life waste stream. Our creative reuse center also maintains an onsite “Make and Take Tinkerspace” or open studio where you have freedom to tinker with access to our book and tool library. Our network of Tinker Patrol Deputies are always on the lookout for perfectly good materials to rescue into a new life of creative pursuits. Anyone can become a Tinker Patrol Deputy… we give you a badge and everything!
2. Where did Tinkertopia originate?
Tinkertopia manifested out of the twilight zone… Ms. Darcy and I would always joke about quitting my commercial, cubicle bound graphics design job and opening a Mr. Jones Glass/Burning Man style junk yard complete with Red Green style creeper delivery van. We would imagine our store being much like the Creation Station up in Lynnwood, Washington or SCRAP USA down in Portland, Oregon or Urban Source up in Vancouver, BC. These dreams quickly became PLAN B after the design firm I worked for plunged into a violent death spiral. From the lifeboat, my wife and I took stock of our ninja skills… I a graphic artist with web and marketing experience… Ms. Darcy a preschool Montessori teacher with theater and retail craft store experience. We are fortunate to live in a city that encourages creative class entrepreneurship! We packaged our crazy ideas into Tinkertopia applied for a Creative Endeavor storefront with the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Spaceworks Tacoma program. Cosmic convergence! I mean, I’ve been drawing hyper-local political cartoons since 2007… digging in politician’s trash cans looking for stuff to make beautiful drawings out of. SKILLZ!!!
3. What are your hopes for Tinkertopia?
To survive, to become self-sustaining… maybe growing into a well worn community institution with that old book smell? When customers enter into Tinkertopia, I want to conjure the same emotional response that I used to get walking into one of my grandparent’s basement/garage workshops that exist now only in haunting memories. We hope to create a place where things are taken apart… fixed and reassembled maybe not exactly looking the same, but looking better with that special patina of handyman ingenuity. We want to change the relationship citizens have with ‘stuff’ which we believe is critical to planetary health awareness. We’re going to change the world or something! Maybe employee health benefits! Fun with a capital F! and capital U!
4. How can people help Tinkertopia?
We do pickups (click here for information on pick ups) in addition people can now Tinker Patrol Deputies can deliver donated materials for drop off at 1914 Pacific Ave! Shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call (253) 778-6539 if you have questions !
5. What’s the one thing you want everyone to know about Tinkertopia?
We deliver 24 hr honest to god creative reuse customer support via Twitter & Facebook
I’d like to thank R.R. for joining me on 5 Question Friday. You can find Tinkertopia at 1914 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402. For more information, check out the links below.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in 5 Question Friday, write to email@example.com.
- Jack Cameron
I first encountered Tacoma Brewing Co.’s place while looking for somewhere to have a drink before I went to see a movie at the Grand. Morgan’s brother, Tristan was working. Lately, craft brewers have been popping up everywhere in and around Tacoma.
Most of them make an IPA, a Stout, and maybe something slightly different. The choices at Tacoma Brewing were strange and exciting. I ordered a honey/strawberry beer. After that, Tristan let me taste a few others. Not one of these beers seemed like a safe bet to me. Each seemed to be pushing the envelope of craft brewing. Sure, they had a stout but it was a cherry/pomegranate stout.
As I talked to Tristan, he told me about his brother, Morgan. He said, “He’s been brewing stuff practically since high school when he learned you could turn sugar into alcohol.
A few weeks later I got a tour of Morgan’s operation and got to talk with Morgan. When I tried to describe the experience and the type of adventurous drinks that Morgan is making to a friend after the thing, I said, “When it comes to brewers, where others are professors, this guy is Indiana Jones.””
I’m happy and honored that Morgan agreed to join me this week for 5 Question Friday. Here’s Morgan:
1. How did Tacoma Brewing get started?
It got started out of an obsession to make flavor-forward beers for the masses… or at least Tacoma! It was some years in the making but after getting feedback from dropping samples off at my favorite watering holes, I decided to go for it and file for a commercial beer making permit.
2. What’s your favorite brew you’ve made so far?
My favorites are the Penalty Kick Double IPA (11%) – it drinks like a 7% and is very citrus hoppy – very juicy! On the darker side I like the Kentucky Bourbon Stout… because I love bourbon and it’s very bourbon-forward.
3. What’s the most misunderstood thing about craft brewing?
I’m not sure about that one!
4. Where can people get your beer?
People can get my beer at the taproom and as of this week at the Red Hot and Parkway – and soon other fine beer places.
5. What’s next for Tacoma Brewing?
Next is scaling up production and moving to a larger space. That’s the two year plan, at least. I am also one of the only breweries making a “pre-prohibition style ginger ale” line (contains alcohol) and I hope to start bottling them by this fall to get it out to local grocery stores and bottle shops.
I’d like to thank Morgan for participating in 5 Question Friday and I’ll say right now that his ginger ale is amazing. You can try his continuing changing selections yourself at Tacoma Brewing Co. at 625 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402. They’re open 5pm – 9pm Mon-Fri and 3pm – 9pm on Saturdays.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in 5 Question Friday, drop me a line at TacomaStories@gmail.com
– Jack Cameron