One of my most, best, absolute favorite things to do is visit libraries, bookstores, quilt guilds, writers groups, and more. Here’s an overview of the programs I present.
The Novels of CARDING, VERMONT
Carding, Vermont (population 3,700) is the small town that no one can seem to find on a map of the Green Mountain State. But you can find it any time you choose in my three novels and the every-Thursday Carding Chronicles that appear on this website.
Carding was and is inspired by life in the area of Vermont and New Hampshire known to locals as the Upper Valley as well as my childhood home in Holden, Massachusetts.
I chose to create a fictional town so that I would have a free hand in furnishing it with all that I love about the Upper Valley such as:
- A town green surrounded by homes and businesses like the ones in Woodstock, Vermont and Lebanon, NH;
- a great bakery and diner like the Hartland Diner in Hartland, Vermont, the Four Aces in West Lebanon, NH, King Arthur Flour in Wilder, Vermont and Lou’s of Hanover, NH;
- The teaching and art to be found all over our magical kingdom in places such as the Tip Top building in White River Junction; the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, NH and the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH;
- A bandstand for public music like the ones on the greens in Quechee and White River Junction, VT;
- A town beach on a lake that looks just like the beach in Kilowatt Park in Wilder, Vermont;
- And the wonderful advocacy of all things locally owned, locally grown, and locally organized such as our farmers markets, summer music concerts, our one-of-a-kind general stores, and events such as winter carnivals that feature events like snowshoe racing.
Add into all of this the quirky rituals around town meeting, frost heave season, the search for the perfect cup of coffee or swimming hole, and looking out over our hills in October to appreciate the foliage and telling ourselves, “Yep, that’s why we live here.”
All of the beauty, pleasures, foibles and pains of life in a Northern New England are part and parcel of Carding, Vermont.
As you can tell, I love where I live, and I enjoy sharing Carding and all that inspired it with readers. So, if you are interested in having me speak at your library, your bookstore, your writer’s group or your social service group, please contact me via email at: Sonja@SonjaHakala.com
For QUILT GUILDS
Stitching Together a Writer’s Life has been presented at guilds all over New England and at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. The lecture includes:
- My trial-by-fire introduction to the quilting universe. (Hint: it involves writing and sewing a how-to book for beginners.)
- How quilting influenced my Carding novels.
- The importance of quilt guilds in my work as a novelist.
And then, of course, are the stories about the quilts I bring along, the ones sewn for Teach Yourself Visually Quilting as well as those that make appearances in my Carding novels: The Road Unsalted, Thieves of Fire, and The Dazzling Uncertainty of Life.
If you are interested, please contact me via email at: Sonja@SonjaHakala.com