Creekstone Press

Northern BC's publisher


Review of creekstones: words & images

You can’t judge a book by its cover, I joked with Craig at Misty River Books, but I’m sure a nice one helps them sell. We were talking about a beautiful book that hit the shelves in June, creekstones: words & images.

Published by Creekstone Press in Smithers, B.C., this collection of short stories, poetry and photographs is made up from the works of 27 writers and seven photographers living, at least at the time the call for submissions went out, in the Northwest. The book calls out to be picked up so that you can stroke its smooth white cover and peruse the photographed rock collection on its flap jacket.

At first I was unsure whether or not it could live up to its sophisticated dress and all the suggestions that its title evoked. My fears were put to rest at first read.

I meant to read just one poem and I had things to do and planned to sit down and read the book properly, cover to cover, after dinner. But just as a stroll down a beach with the vow, just one more pebble, is of no avail, I end up with full pockets, so was my resolve to read just one more page, glance at one more picture.

I meandered through pages, stopping, when caught by an image or phrase, to read the whole bit. It was a rumbling torrent of words and images as satisfying and emotional, as mystifying and inspiring as a walk by a river is. Every sense wakened in a rush of thoughts, fluid as water and as interesting as glimmering stones, each one intriguing on its own but when discovered all together, a wonder.

I have read every word and stared at every picture, marveling at the stories that come from a camera’s lens. I’ve read some things multiple times, turning the words over in my mind just as I would a smooth stone in my pocket.

I was a 13-year-old girl, hoping with a desperate fervor that doing things just so would make all go well for my brother and keep him from dying in Angela Dorsey’s The Crossing Dance.

I got to revisit North Beach in the Charlottes, to walk again upon its shore and to feel the confusion and the dreams of people I met in The Belair Beach Bar Roundup by Sheila Peters.

Val Napoleon’s non-fiction piece, Being Frank’s Sister, inspired sadness but left me with hope as it grappled with the issues of addiction, violent crime, societal responsibility and restorative justice.

Delores, by Grace Hols, made me cry for my own mother, my sister and for myself.

I want to tell you about the poems of Marc Arellano that moved me, the words of Judy McCloskey that hit a chord of recognition inside me and other poems that caused me to see the world or myself differently, but I’m running out of room and you’ll have to read them for yourself.

Books broaden your world and make your universe bigger but the reverse is true as well. Books shrink the space between time, and people and places. They allow you to see things, to visit areas and have experiences that sometimes your reality prohibits.

In creekstones you have the pleasure of home, you recognize the landscapes, have had the conversations and the worries of the characters that you meet but you also get to voyage far away, across the province, across the country, even into Mexico and that is just in words. Photographs will take you to places as familiar and loved as Midsummer Festival and to places that for some of us are only dreamed of: Wales, Australia, England.

Each piece in this book belongs and makes it something wonderful. A creek bed filled with natural wealth, a perfect stone just waiting to be found.”