Best Bets: Whidbey Island author of genre-bending books comes to Bellingham


Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan


Nancy Horan's highly anticipated new work of historical fiction, and Indie-Next pick, "Under the Wide and Starry Sky," changes our view of the author of such classics as "Treasure Island" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." She talks about the book at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

Horan evocatively re-creates the passionate and powerful love story of Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and his intrepid American wife Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, a divorcee 10 years his senior and an artist in her own right who played a key role in his career.

Ranging from the artists' colonies of Europe and the mining camps of Nevada to the mountains of Switzerland and the shores of Polynesia, Horan invites us to explore the Stevensons' unusual relationship and the ways in which they changed the literary and artistic landscape around them.

Horan's first novel, "Loving Frank," chronicles a little-known chapter in the life of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was translated into 16 languages, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year, and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction, presented by the Society of American Historians in 2009.

Nancy Horan has two sons, and lives with her husband on Whidbey Island,


Improv Playworks will host a free improvisation workshop, "Awaken the Spontaneity Within," from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at 1308 E St. in Bellingham.

Join others for an evening of fun. Experience the magic of the games, exercises and storytelling that have evolved out of the art of improvisation. Build self-confidence, spontaneity, community and more.

Improv Playworks provides a safe and playful environment that encourages creativity and discovery.

Teacher Sheila Goldsmith helped co-found the Upfront Theatre before founding Improv Playworks school for theatre and improv.

Are you interested in ongoing classes or special events? To register, or for more information, please call Sheila at 360-756-0756.


The City of Bellingham will recognize World Water Day 2014 with a free, 2.3-mile "Walk for Water." The event will start at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 23 at the Fairhaven Village Green.

The family-friendly walk is designed to symbolize the distance women and children around the world frequently travel to collect water for household use. Participants are encouraged to carry jugs of water, provided at the event, as they walk.

There will be a water tasting station and signs along the route with facts about this year's theme, "Water and Energy."

Participants can pick up information about a partnership between the City of Bellingham Water Conservation Program and the Opportunity Council and Sustainable Connections' Community Energy Challenge (CEC). The program offers water and energy conservation rebates and energy assessments.

The first 100 people to complete the walk will get free stainless-steel water bottles and LED light bulbs.

More information at 360-778-7732.

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