Monsters & Demons

Monsters & Demons

The dark, yet oddly lovely world of local author Sharma Shields
Sharma Shields is in a bakery on Spokane's South Hill, bobbing a tea bag in her mug, looking to kill some time before her kids get done with preschool. Behind oval-shaped glasses, her eyes can burn hot, but the heat is offset by a recurring smile and stories that all seem to end in self-effacement and a sharp laugh.

The King's Speech

Happy Watkins has delivered King's "I Have a Dream" speech hundreds of times. But at 73, he's finally slowing down
To great applause, Pastor Percy "Happy" Watkins approaches the stage at the Spokane Convention Center in a crisp tan suit. He's "back by popular demand," says Freda Gandy, executive director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center, standing at the podium to greet him.

Hot Hand

Meet Tyler Harvey, one of the nation's leading scorers
Eastern Washington basketball star Tyler Harvey is challenging for the national scoring title, carries a 3.75 grade point average and seems to impress everyone with his genial personality and humble nature. Eagles coach Jim Hayford can't think of anything negative to say about Harvey.

Old, New and the Commodity of Seattle Cool

Distilled: A shot of life
Booze ain't what it used to be, or maybe it's more what it used to be than ever. And it's everywhere — bottles set out in a Seattle boutique, for example, where you're invited to mix yourself a little something while trying to figure out what this store actually sells.

Comedy On The Bell Curve

Culture Digest
W. Kamau Bell's comedy is meant to make us uncomfortable, but also force us to use our brains. Over the course of a decade, the San Francisco-based comedian has built a career hilariously discussing topics that other comedians (and polite dinner parties) tend to pass on, such as racism, politics and religion.

For Your Consideration

Epic-Fail Edition
FASHION | For years now, the Oregon Ducks have not only blasted opponents on the field, but they've looked way better doing it. Pre-Oregon, uniforms were too stodgy.

A Good Year

Local writer Sarah Hulse releases an emotional first novel examining the path to redemption and forgiveness
A few weeks into the new year, and the Inland Northwest's literary minds are already making it one to remember. This week — and just seven days before fellow Spokane author Sharma Shields' (see page 22) debut novel comes out — 30-year-old Sarah Hulse is releasing her highly praised debut novel, Black River.

Ascending Artist: Devon Plopper

A young artist pushes the boundaries of detail and time
Her activity in the arts community has been sporadic over the past year or so, causing some to maybe wonder if she's an artist in hiding. Devon Plopper hasn't had a solo show in Spokane since last spring, but the artist's most recent series of ink-on-paper drawings took nearly a year to create.

Paint by Lyrics

Distilled: A shot of life
With a plastic pitcher of torn red raffle tickets in hand, she gracefully flits between tables and greets new arrivals in an already packed brewery. "Would you like to enter a raffle for the painting I'll be doing tonight?

For Your Consideration

Hot rock, a cool rom-com and a tasty read
MUSIC | It's so punk rock, barely 32 minutes. Yet I'm grateful the new Sleater-Kinney album NO CITIES TO LOVE — the band's first in 10 years — is here at all.

Returns and Beginnings

After 14 years away, Patrick Treadway returns to the Civic to direct The Servant of Two Masters
It was almost a quarter-century ago that Patrick Treadway last directed a show at the Spokane Civic Theatre. It was the theater's first-ever production of Nunsense; Troy Nickerson, now a veteran director in his own right, was choreographer.

Bucking the Trend

A champion bull stays busy in retirement
Bushwacker's last round on the Professional Bull Riders circuit might not look extraordinary to the layperson. A chute opens.

Each Other, and This Place

A couple hopes to put things back together after separation from each other and themselves
The shelter smells of hot wings and pizza — a special dinner for New Year's Eve — and there are green-and-white bottles of non-alcoholic champagne waiting to be cracked open. The Fresh Start warming shelter in Coeur d'Alene is full tonight: People huddle on mats, lean against walls and wedge into corners.

Knowing the Unknowable

Jennifer LaRue continues to push the boundaries of the local arts scene
Putting Sigmund Freud in a pink garter set on the cover of her latest collaborative project was not her idea, but Jennifer LaRue can totally relate. "Repression is the most evil thing," she says, noting that art allows people a unique opportunity to delve into complex things.

Blood Alcohol Consequences

Distilled: A shot of life
Some hangovers never really go away. Days later, fear and shame still swim in the stomachs of 13 people now summoned to Spokane County District Courtroom No. 6.

For Your Consideration

Welcome returns and a borderline insane podcast
ALBUM | If the new Decemberists album was just Colin Meloy singing dictionary entries or a concept record about great horned owl mating rituals, I'd hardly be surprised. This Portland band is just weird enough to pull something like that.


Recent Comments

  • Re: Old, New and the Commodity of Seattle Cool

    • Nice bit of writing!

    • on January 27, 2015
  • Re: The Double Life of Billy Tipton

    • From what I see here, Diane Middlebrook seems never to have known or spoken to…

    • on January 26, 2015
  • Re: Monsters & Demons

    • OK. Sasquatch believers answer a simple question for me. Why has there never been a…

    • on January 22, 2015
  • Re: Monsters & Demons

    • Go see Sharma read, and buy the book. Her writing is unique and powerful! Shann…

    • on January 21, 2015
  • Re: Blood Alcohol Consequences

    • Guess what? This guy makes almost 8k as a FF a month, and turns out…

    • on January 16, 2015
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