Postcard from Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon

Dear Oregon reader,

You know how you sometimes beat your own postcards home? Well, that is what has happened to me. I’m already back in Alaska, but today is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write a postcard to you.

First let me say that the rumors are true — Deschutes County truly has the most fantastic one community, one read program. For the past 10 years, “A Novel Idea” has featured a book each year that thousands of people read together and then celebrate with programs over the course of several weeks. Past selections include The Kite Runner, The Help, and Rules of Civility. This year they chose The Snow Child, and it was an incredible privilege.

novel ideaThis is the only place in the world I’ve been where the community makes a debut novelist feel like a rock star. For the first (and probably only) time in my life I got to see my name on a marquee. I spoke in front of a sold-out house at the Tower Theatre — 500 people. For a book event! Then another several hundred people came to a nearby high school for another event the next day. And the library gets this kind of turnout every year.

This is a community that knows how to celebrate books. They sew quilts inspired by the book, they paint paintings, sketch pictures, write lovely bluegrass music — all based on the book of the year. It was a moving experience as a writer to see how others had retold the story through fabric, colored pencils, and vocal harmonies.

And most of all I enjoyed getting to know the library staff. In ways, being a writer is a lonely endeavor. There are times that I miss the office banter, the collegial joking that goes on between co-workers. The Deschutes Public Library has the kind of staff anyone would envy, and you can tell they have a lot of fun together even as they work hard. But what was most remarkable was the way they included me, even welcomed me, into their friendship and laughter. For that I will forever be grateful.

So to the quilters, artists, musicians, book clubs, readers and librarians of Deschutes County — Cheers! And thank you!


P.S. For those of you who know my troubles with homophones, I thought I’d confess that this postcard initially read “my name on a marquis” instead of “marquee.” I guess my name tattooed on a nobleman would be interesting, but I prefer the marquee.



  • Suzy Olsen says:

    Thanks Eowyn! It was a joy and an honor to have you in Bend. As I’ve told many people, talking with you is like catching up with an old friend. All the best to you!

  • Kristin says:

    I really enjoyed hearing you speak and it was wonderful to meet you. Thanks for coming to Bend and I’m glad you’ll always have warm memories of your time here!

  • Marilyn in Moffat, Scotland says:

    What a fantastic trip that must have been Eowyn. Sounds really interesting to have your book reproduced in quilts, etc. A really fascinating idea. So pleased for you 🙂

  • Eowyn,
    Thank you for the most generous blog! The “A Novel Idea” crew feels so fortunate to have shared our Library’s community read with you. You are an amazingly talented author and have the loveliest of qualities — humility, kindness, and grace — that you bestow on everyone you meet. You dazzled Central Oregon! It’s not surprising the sun shines so brightly when you are around. Sending lots of laughter and gratitude to you always!

  • Liz Goodrich says:

    What a great blog post! Thank you so much for your generosity and great story telling! I know people will be talking about it for a long time.

  • Denise Caudell says:

    As a employee of the Deschutes Public Library….Thank-You for sharing your incredible book, your time, and your lovely thoughts!!!!!

  • Linda Maddox says:

    Love you as much as the “Snow Child”, Eowyn! You spoke so beautifully there at the Tower Theatre last Friday night. You brought us a genuine warmth all the way from Alaska! Thank you for your visit. Wishing you all the best as you continue your life as an author “rock star”!!!!

  • Michelle Solley says:

    As a lifelong reader and a wannabe novelist, I found you truly inspirational. Thanks for coming to Central Oregon!

  • Ann Hettinger says:

    I sent my sister the book you signed for her (the wannabe novelist). The enclosed note read “Listening to Ivey speak at the Tower was like talking over coffee with an old friend.” Thank you for coming to Central Oregon!

  • Tina Walker Davis says:

    Eowyn, it was truly a treat to be able to share a couple of days with you here in Central Oregon. You can hang out with the library crew any time! You’re a gifted writer whose down-to-earth demeanor makes everyone around you enjoy your company all the more.

    Also: I will never again see a sloth without thinking of our laughing fits over dinner. *makes sloth fingers*

    Thanks for making our tenth Novel Idea so remarkable!

  • Donna says:

    I agree.. Better on the Marqee! But it sounds like you had a great time, and winter is FINALLY ending here! Congratulations on all you have accomplished!

  • Donna says:

    Marquee… Whatever happened to that ‘U”?

  • Marisa Kozak Ringe says:

    I’m so so so glad you enjoyed Bend! I knew you would!