Living Artfully is reviewed.

A couple of books with a Sooke connection

Book reviews of Moon Tanning and Living Artfully: reflection from the Far West Coast

Moon Tanning

Author: Gwynn Davies

152 pages. Hardcover and paperback

Published by Xlibris Corporation

 

Gwynn Davies is a fanatic. His whole world seems wrapped up in motorcycles, parts, repairs and of course, hitting the open road.

In his book Moon Tanning, Davies takes the reader to work with him. One learns about all of the characters he works with in a motorcycle repair shop in a small town in British Columbia. It is not about hogs and Harley’s as much as it is about the luxury BMW motorcycles.

For anyone who is a motorcycle fanatic this book might grease your gears and rev your engine. It is a bit heavy in motorcycle jargon and lingo but it is well-written and the author could have a future in writing if he were to broaden his scope. Five years in the making, Moon Tanning is Davies’ first novel and self-published by Xlibris. He is planning another book, but this time, he said, it won’t be so “motorcyclist.”

Born in Manitoba, Davies spent a few years as a missionary child in Zaire. He is well travelled, having adventures through Asia, Russian, Europe and other amazing locations. He is a well-trained motorcycle mechanic and adventurer who enjoys a number of other outdoor sports and interests.

An excerpt from the book:

“Albert, Harry, and I were the three mismatched mechanics of the shop. We caused trouble in the small motorcycle dealership located in the town of Evangel, British Columbia. Our captors held us there for nine hours a day minimum, even through the rain and snow. This story takes place in a time without war, with a lack of concern for the environment, and when you could go full throttle on your motorcycle with no regard for the law. I remember it as if it only happened yesterday.”

Davies will be holding a book signing at the Reading Room bookstore on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast

Anita Sinner and Christine Lowther, Editors

Key Publishing House Inc.

242 pages, soft cover

 

Forty-three artistic minds have contributed their reflections on living on B.C.’s west coast. From the small islands to the larger, each author speaks of how and why they came to live along the coast. Their stories are all different but there is a common thread binding them all together — their love of the coast.

They each tell stories of how they are inspired to create and how the islands shape their reality forcing them to become grounded on the rocky shores and grow roots which are both tangible and psychological. The stories are familiar to any of us who have moved from our inland homes to the shores on the edge of Canada.

Author and editor of this anthology, East Sooke resident Anita Sinner, in her contribution 48 37’ N123 68’ W talks about three women who helped shape her appreciation for the creative minds and souls living on the edge of the rainforest. Her friendship with Elizabeth, Mrs. Dixie and Barb remains threaded in who she is. These women exemplify the artful spirit which is so prevalent on the shores of the West Coast. They will also be recognizable to locals in the Sooke area.

Co-editor Christine Lowther is a published author living in Tofino who welcomes the foul weather which makes her grounded and undistracted in her writing. She says writers are isolated and she has found her solitude in that coastal community. She says in her story, A Beautiful Imposition, “in my experience, west coast places cause art. They demand expression.” So it is with all of the contributors in this anthology, they demand expression and the editors have given them voice.

Living Artfully works two ways. It gives the writers creative voice and it gives the reader a small glimpse into the artists’ eye — the windows to their souls. It inspires.

Living Artfully: reflection from the Far West Coast is available at the South Shore Gallery on Otter Point Road in Sooke.

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