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The BUZZ: Lockhart conjurs up readers with new ‘Ouija Board’ book


Petaluma’s Ross Lockhart scares up new fans at Portland’s Lovecraft Film Festival: “It was a wonderful time, and I even managed to take in filmmaker Phillip Gelatt’s latest feature film, ‘They Remain,’ ” reports Petaluma’s Ross Lockhart, founder and publisher of the locally-based Word Horde Books — a small-press producer of horror, science fiction and weird fantasy books. Lockhart is describing his visit last weekend to the annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong fan of scary fiction, Lockhart has been attending the 22-year-old festival for years. This year, Lockhart served as a judge in the festival’s annual screenplay competition, taught a writing workshop, listened to authors describing their projects in a formal Book Pitching Session, participated in panels discussing women horror-fiction writers and the current state of small-press publishing. He even found time to run an often bustling vendor table where he talked up Word Horde’s numerous releases, in particular the company’s brand new anthology, “Tales From a Talking Board,” a collection of short stories inspired by the Ouija Board.

“Festival goers were extremely receptive to the anthology, and all the other Word Horde books I brought along,” says Lockhart, adding that he sold several cases of books. “Tales From a Talking Board” will have its local book launch on Friday, Oct. 27 at Copperfield’s Book Store, where ghost stories will be shared, contributing authors Amber-Rose Reed and Anya Martin and others will read from their stories, and Lockhart will raffle off a full-sized Ouija Board patterned after the anthology’s gorgeously detailed book cover.

Calling all Christmas craft artists: Petaluma’s annual Holiday Arts and Craft Sale is currently accepting applications for artists, crafters and creators of cool holiday-themed items, gifts and artworks. The annual event, sponsored by the Petaluma Arts Association, will be held Dec. 9-10 at the Petaluma Community Center, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Cost for a table/booth is $100 for non-PAA members, and $75 for members. For information about applying, email Elaine Larson at Elainelars@gmail.com.

Spirits of Petaluma prepare to walk (and talk) once more: Petaluma’s popular annual Cemetery Walk will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Cyprus Hill Memorial Park, 430 Magnolia Ave. Bearing the gleefully textbook-ish title “Contributions of the Petaluma Pioneers: Reflecting on Life in 19th Century Petaluma,” this year’s Cemetery Walk will take place twice, the first tour beginning at 10:30 a.m., the second at 10:45 a.m. Donations of $15 accepted (adults 12 and over, all others free).

Tequila Tasting at the museum: Speaking of spirits, the Petaluma Museum Association will be holding its annual high-octane professionally guided Tequila Pairing and Fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. Inside the ornate historical landmark of the museum, five different varieties of tequila will be offered, along with commentary and background information on each one. Every tasting will be accompanied by a delicious dish (courtesy of Preferred Sonoma Caterers), designed to complement the characteristics of that tequila. PSC caterer Amber Balshaw will be on hand to describe the culinary thought-process behind each pairing. Reservations are required. Tickets $60 each, available by calling (707) or through the Museum website at PetalumaMuseum.com

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: That well-timed phrase (we are surrounded by friends and neighbors needing comfort and joy right now) will be the title of this year’s annual Festival of Trees. Sponsored by Hotel Petaluma and The Fabulous Women, the annual event will take place Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 2, 3-9 p.m. An array of trees, decorated by local businesses and nonprofits, will be on display at the hotel, and will be auctioned off during the event. Proceeds will be donated in the form of targeted grants to two separate Petaluma non-profits, chosen from a pool of applicants by members of The Fabulous Women. Applications to be considered for a Festival of Trees grant are open through Nov. 1.

Written by David Templeton, Argus-Courier staff

(Have a BUZZ item to suggest? Write David at david.templeton@arguscourier.com)