By Toni Massari McPherson –
I think I am ready to give up my books. There, I said it. Now, if I can just follow through. When it comes to books, I am a bit of a hoarder. I have boxes stashed under beds, in closets and in the crawl space. And yes, it was because I was deprived as a child.
In rural North Carolina where I grew up, books were scarce. No book stores or libraries in town. The book mobile that came once a month always seemed to carry the same selection. I should know; I read most of them. Books were always on the top of my birthday and Christmas lists. If I liked a book, I would read it over and over until it fell apart or the library discarded it. Granted this was a while ago, but the dread of being bookless seems to be a permanent part of my DNA.
You’d think working at the library would help me move past this childhood trauma. Instead, it exacerbated it. See, I was put in charge of the annual Friends of the Library book sales 10 years ago – a job that requires, among other things, sorting hundreds of books. As you might imagine, it was akin to giving a sugar addict a key to the Hersey’s Chocolate Factory.
Thanks to the low prices of book sale books, my personal collection has grown to ridiculous levels. Books I finish go back to the library for the sale. However, even by reading three or four books a week, I can’t keep up. My appetite for books has definitely outgrown my space for storing them.
A couple weeks ago, a guy called wanting to drop off his mother-in-law’s books for the Spring Book Sale on May 3 and 4. Sure, bring them by, I told him. Two truckloads later, around 120 carefully labeled boxes containing a couple thousand books sat in the sorting area. I felt like I was looking in a mirror at a possible future me…scary.
So I’m releasing most of my collection to the shelves of the book sale. Setting my books free, so they can go home with you. For just $3 for hardbacks and a couple bucks for paperbacks – half price if it’s Sunday – you can get your hands on one of my “must reads.” Stop by Loussac Library on Saturday from 10 am-4 pm and Sunday from 12-4 pm, and, with just a little bit of money, you can start a library of your own.
“Tundra” Cartoonist Makes “Moose” the Movie
Popular “Tundra” cartoonist Chad Carpenter is going to be in Loussac’s Wilda Marston Theatre on Saturday, April 19th at 2 pm to talk about cartooning and about his latest project: “Moose,” a creepy and funny, family film. And, oh yeah, it’s important to know this film is NOT animated – it is live action.
Chad is a funny guy, and very creative. His comic strip started in the Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 2, 1991. For the first 15 years, it appeared only in Alaska papers. Today, his strip appears in 600 papers including several in other countries.
Still, producing daily comic strips has a way of stripping away ideas, so Chad takes on challenging projects as a sideline to keep his creative juices flowing. The concept of the latest, “Moose,” was born during a winter drive to Fairbanks. Chad fantasized about what movie he would make. His mind leapt from thought to thought like he was jumping on rocks to cross a creek.
Had to be funny, family-friendly and creepy. Creature films were creepy but what creature? Carnivores had been done, but what about a herbivore? A moose. Not scary enough. How about a moose standing upright? Not scary enough. How about a half moose (head) and half man? That would be both funny and creepy… By the time Chad got to his brother Darin’s house, the idea was fleshed out: an ancient homicidal moosetaur would terrorize the small Alaska village of Gangrene Gulch. Darin started working on the script.
Last year, the Carpenters put the concept on Kickstarter to see if they could raise $50,000 to produce it. By their deadline, more than $62,000 was raised.
“It was kind of scary,” Chad said. “All along we had been through the steps never dreaming it would actually get film. Now all of a sudden, we had the money, but we had nothing in place to begin the production.”
The brothers decided to ask for help from fellow Alaskans and the resulting support has been overwhelming. All the items on their “need to rent or borrow” list have been donated from a red lava lamp to an SUV to a warehouse to build sets. The production staff and the actors are all onboard – and are all volunteers. Filming is scheduled for June and July, mostly in the Valley.
“This has become a project that belongs to a whole lot more people than the Carpenter brothers,” Chad said. “It is so much more rewarding to work on a creative project with all these people helping to energize it. Without the support of the community, it could never have happened.”
Watch for premieres in early 2015. Keep updated at http://www.moosethemovie.com/