Thursday, February 12, 2009

nothing like an ocean

Isn't that a great title? I wish I could tell you I know the author of this upcoming book but the truth is I only know his wife, Gin Petty. But I'm sure I'd like Jim Tomlinson if I met him because he's a writer and so many fine things are being said about his work! He and Gin live in Berea and are avid supporters of all things Kentucky. I met Gin, who is an artist, last August when I went to a fiddling gig in old town Berea. She is a wonderful link to home.

Jim has an interesting history. I think he was born a writer but kind of stumbled into engineering by accident, holds several patents for the latter, and has finally gotten back to the business of writing and publishing. He has a very interesting online journal at The Courier-Journal recently printed an in-depth article about him in which he said something I agree with wholeheartedly, "You learn to write by writing. Reading and writing - I don't know any other way."

I especially like what his wife, Gin, had to say about him: "He's a collector, not of physical things but of intangible bits and snippets - a turn of phrase here, the lift of an eyebrow there, a woman's heel-to-toe rolling walk, a child's dance with a bee. Seeing him take those bits and pieces and reassemble them into stories was a pure delight."

Jim has won the coveted 2006 Iowa Short Fiction Award for his debut collection Things Kept, Things Left Behind. His new work, Nothing Like an Ocean, is being released currently by the University of Kentucky Press.

I've ordered mine from Amazon and know it will be fine reading. Now if I could get back to Kentucky and meet Jim, that would be even finer.


  1. Next time you get back to Kentucky, I'll see to it that you do meet Jim, maybe over a home cooked Kentucky meal. Thank you for sharing Jim with your readers. We both appreciate it.

  2. My pleasure, Gin! I can't tell you how much I look forward to holding Jim's book in my hands and having a taste of home in doing so. I look forward to meeting Jim and seeing you again, hopefully this fall!