Novel

July 24th – July 30th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello all you wonderful people out there! We’re extremely glad to bring you another issue of the Nerd Watch!

This week let’s celebrate that local creators at Make Big Things made not just double, not just triple, not just quadruple, but QUINTUPLE their Kickstarter goal for their new game Damn the Man, Save the Music! They’re putting out an absolutely delightful sounding game about saving a failing record store in the mid-1990s! And they made enough to hit their stretch goal of releasing an extra Sci-Fi/Douglas Adams inspired game “The Record Store at the End of the Universe”.

Make Big Things is one of the prides of the Valley, making tabletop RPGs that plumb interesting experiences and innovative play styles, and you owe it to yourself to check out their recent release Noirlandia as well as their original game Questlandia! Yay for Make Big Things!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, July 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Learn Ukulele with Julie
Learn the most tiny and fun of guitars: Ukulele! Sooner than you think you’ll be belting out songs and by the end of the hour you’re going to have a seven-album recording deal with a major studio, we guarantee it!
Tuesday, July 25th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Book to Art Club
Create your own alphabet and learn the art of hand-lettering! All the supplies will be provided and you’ll also get a copy of “The Sun is Also a Star” which sounds neat and accurate. You’re going to use it for a string art project next meeting! Also there are refreshments and AC!
Wednesday, July 26th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Family Workshops at the Mead
Come to the Mead to experience the wonder of air conditioning and making good art! Visitors are invited to participate in a variety of fun activities, from film screenings to art-making!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Keen zines for zine fiends, never before seen zines, zines for teens and tweens, Halloween zines, zines about queens, all the zines you can fit in your… … machine!
Thursday, July 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Upcycling Workshop
Learn about upcycling from Lou’s Upcycles! You’ll learn about how to make plastic bags useful again view the process of fusing them! Fuse and reuse, we always say!
Sunday, July 30th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Sketch at the Mead
Draw at the Mead! Artists are welcome to sketch in the galleries or outside in the courtyard! Paper and pencils and drawing boards AND gallery stools provided!

Board Games:

Wednesday, July 26th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Family Game Night
Play games with your family and friends! It’s a good night for a bunch of friendly people!

Books:

Monday, July 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thoreau Open Mic
Kick off the GPL Thoreau celebration we’ve decided to call Thoroughly Thoreau Thrills! This open-mic night will be a chance to read your favorite Thoreau works!
Wednesday, July 26th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Kory Stamper, Word by Word
Kory Stamper, Lexicographer for Merriam-Webster, takes you through how dictionaries are made and helps you understand the complex world of obsession over every single word! A must-see if you want to get in on the ground floor of this year’s hottest new words, like strealf and minump.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
A Book Discussion of Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau
Come discuss what Thoreau thought about Cape Cod, and enjoy some cake and refreshments in celebration of his birthday! Weirdly most of his thoughts about Cape Cod had to do with the quality of the Mozzarella sticks at local eateries. Register for the discussion at 413-283-3330 and pick up a copy of the book at the library!
Saturday, July 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Find Waldo in the Pioneer Valley Party and Grand Prize Drawing!
Did you find Waldo at local businesses this summer? Well, if you found 20 or more Waldoes, you’re eligible for the Grand Prize drawing.. If you found fewer than 20 you’re eligible for a great party with snacks!

Comic Books:

Thursday, July 27th
Northampton Sidewalk Sale [Between GoBerry and the Northampton Box Office] at 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Modern Myths at the Sidewalk Sale!
Get a bunch of great books for really cheap! Old comics for less! Graphic novels half-off! It’s a deal bonanza!
Friday, July 28th
Northampton Sidewalk Sale [Between GoBerry and the Northampton Box Office] at 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Modern Myths at the Sidewalk Sale!
Get a bunch of great books for really cheap! Old comics for surprisingly litte! Graphic novels half-off! It’s a deal extravaganza!
Saturday, July 29th
Northampton Sidewalk Sale [Between GoBerry and the Northampton Box Office] at 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Modern Myths at the Sidewalk Sale!
Get a bunch of great books for really cheap! Old comics for amazing prices! Graphic novels half-off! It’s a deal stanza!
Sunday, July 30th
Northampton Sidewalk Sale [Between GoBerry and the Northampton Box Office] at 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Modern Myths at the Sidewalk Sale!
Get a bunch of great books for really cheap! Old comics for practically nothing! Graphic novels half-off! It’s a deal that exists!

Entertainment:

Thursday, July 27th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
In Conversation: Eric Carle and Annie Lionni
Eric Carle’s meeting with Leo Lionni in 1952 led to not just a job but also a long friendship! Eric Carle will be joined by Annie Lionni, granddaughter of Leo Lionni, as they share their memories of Leo Lionni and discuss the parallels between Carle and Lionni’s careers! There’s a Q&A afterward and a light reception! Books autographed by Eric Carle will be available in the Museum Shop!
Saturday, July 29th
Cummington Fairgrounds [97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA] at 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Massachusetts Renaissance Faire
Enjoy jousting, delicious food, bards, fire shows, magic, games, and excitement for all ages! Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for ages 6-15, and children 5 and under are free!

Kids:

Tuesday, July 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Jungle Jim’s Minecraft Madness
Balloon artistry, magic, comedy, improv, and more in this action-packed performance that’s a Minecraft fan’s dream! Join Jungle Jim on stage for the Building Block Madness Tournament, the Zombie Chase, and the Balloon Firework Rocket Extravaganza!
Wednesday, July 26th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Reading is Magic! With Ed the Wizard!
It’s not often that one of the legendary Order of the Silver Secrets comes to our humble Valley but when they do, they love to teach people about how reading is a kind of magic we can do every day! Ed also teaches kids how to brew a potion that turns people into newts but that’s his own thing, the Order has specifically requested he not do that at these events.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Sparky’s Puppets
Enter the world of stories via puppets! Humorous, colorful puppet people will get kids laughing and learning and generally feeling like hey stories are very fun and good and so are puppets. Recommended for kids ages 3-10!
Friday, July 28th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Laser Tag (Ages 11-17)
Registration required ahead of time! Hunt your friends through the library and then shoot them with lasers!
Saturday, July 29th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
End of Summer Reading Program Party
Ice cream! Water games! We assume that water games are where you just play videogames but under water. There are also drawing for raffles during the party! See if you won anything! Also you did win something: ice cream.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Experience the Book: A Picnic with Hector Fox and Friends
Celebrate Hector Fox and his woodland friends! Author/Illustrator Astrid Sheckels will appear as Hector the Fox himself! Sign up to reserve your spot in this world of imagination! 413-772-1544 x5104!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Starlight Theatre presents The Little Mermaid Jr.
The Starlight Youth Theatre is proud to present Disney’s beloved Little Mermaid but with adorable kids, we presume! We’re pretty sure the players are youths and that’s why it’s the Little Mermaid Jr. It’s possible that the youth just run the theater company.

Movies:

Wednesday, July 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film: Let the Fire Burn
Let the Fire Burn is a 2013 documentary film about one of the of the most under-reported clashes between the government and US citizens in our history: the stand-off between MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department. This horrifying event is brought to life through archived news coverage and interviews.
Saturday, July 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Hot Summer Saturday Movie Matinee: Queen of Katwe
Based on the true story of a young girl from the streets of Uganda whose world changes when she’s introduced to chess! Thanks to the support of her family and community, she pursues her dream of becoming an international chess champion! Free and open to the public!
Sunday, July 30th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
FILM | Portrait of Wally
Egon Schiele’s tender portrait of his mistress was locked up in a legal battle between the Leopold Museum and the Jewish family from whom the Nazis seized the painting in 1939. Learn more about the history of this iconic image, from the painting of it to the theft to the post-war confusion and resurfacing of the image!

Science:

Saturday, July 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Tom Ricardi, “Birds of Prey”
Meet and learn about the coolest birds! Sorry songbirds you’re very neat but these are the best birds because they are very fast and make loud, terrifying shrieks. Tom Ricardi, an avian expert who operates a rehab center for birds of prey in Conway MA, will be on hand to demonstrate and teach you about these beautiful animals!

June 12th – June 18th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We just moved! Our new place is very very good and we like it but what we don’t like is that all of our muscles and organs are now gone. They transubstantiated about 4 hours into the move and now we’re mostly composed of noodles and it’s just not working out as well as organs used to. That’s why there’s a lot of “from the site” this week and why it’s coming out late! Jeez for real typing feels like work, why does moving ever happen.

Of note this week: we’re doing Nerd Nite tomorrow at the World War Two Club at 50 Conz St. in Northampton at 7:00pm EVEN THOUGH we are basically the most tired, it’s heroic.

Second: local creator Epidiah Ravachol (buy his games, buy his magazine, support local creators!) has a podcast about the Rockford Files and we’ll be honest we’re kind of excited. What even IS the Rockford Files? We’re gonna see if they ever explain that. This could be the next U Talking U2 2 Me!

Oh also also the book Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer was real good, read that one quick reminded us of some of the thinkier 70’s SF our dad liked and the Gwent free-to-play game they just put out? Weirdly good! Just like, good old-fashioned fun. Updated to be not as easy to cheese as the game featured in the game The Witcher 3, which is good.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, June 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Reception for New Americans by the NHS Teen Advisory Group, and Paintings and Photographs by Jan Ruby-Crystal and Ellen Augarten
What it says on the tin, we guess! A reception for new pals and some excellent paintings and photos!
Tuesday, June 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunderland Short Story Series presents Linda Putnam and Kim Mancuso
Linda Putnam will be reading “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, and Kim Mancuso will be reading “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri!
Wednesday, June 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Zines! Zines about beans, zines about Commander Keen, zines about greens, zines about spleens! If you can dream it you can zine it!
Saturday, June 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Portable Herb Gardens
Paint a terracotta pot to brighten up a window or a porch! Plant herbs in them, then eventually harvest and consume those herbs! Make those herbs into more of yourself!

Books:

Tuesday, June 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dusty Miller, Danger Under Ground
From the site: “In Danger Under Ground, Alice is on the move again as she follows the trail of a highly charged kidnapping. Her friend Felicia, her dashing French lover Gerard, and their young tattooed friends Warp and RubyStarr must expose this politically-motivated crime.”
Thursday, June 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Linda Greenlaw, Shiver Hitch
From the site: “Jane Bunker thought she’d escaped the pollution, noise, and dead bodies of the big city when she left her job as a Miami homicide detective and moved back to the idyllic town of Green Haven, Maine. But through her work as a marine insurance investigator, it appears she’s left behind the bustle of the city, but not the murder.” But the murder’s the worst part!

Card Games:

Friday, June 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Friday Night Magic: Amonkhet Draft
From the site: “Friday Night Magic: Amonkhet Draft. This is a limited booster draft using the new set, Amonkhet! Tournament with Swiss Pairing. Entry: $18.00 Prizes: At least one AmonkhetBooster, promo cards, and possibly winning more boosters depending on match results.

Community:

Monday, June 12th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Transportation Justice for Franklin County MA
We’re assuming this is about public transit conditions in Franklin County and how they affect the lives of residents in unequal ways which we as a community must address rather than a pitch for a new Star Trek police procedural but we can’t be 100% certain.

Computers:

Monday, June 12th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Using Elastisearch – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
From the site: “Half database and half search engine, Elasticsearch powers things like GitHub’s code search, eBay’s item listing, and Netflix’s internal logs and metrics. Come learn about the basics of Elasticsearch and full-text indexing from Ross Johnson, who has been using Elasticsearch for 6 years to power document search in web apps.” Take a look at the meetup group to sign up and see the MYSTERY LOCATION! https://www.meetup.com/wmasswebdev/events/240263959/
Wednesday, June 14th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
From the site: “Are you curious about flow-based Agile methods? Kanban provides a continuous flow of project work, in contrast to Scrum’s iterative process. In this session, Lisa Sieverts will provide an overview of Kanban, we’ll see the magic of limiting work-in-progress, and we’ll share stories and insights”
Thursday, June 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
June 2017 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
From the site: “6:00 Welcome & Introductions, 6:10 Upcoming Events / Announcements, 6:15 Tip of the Month, 6:20 Module of the Month, 6:30 Lightning Talks (5-10 minutes talks on a brief topic), 7:15 Presentation “What are Drupal 8 Plugins?”, 8:00 Adjourn” … Comprehensive!
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
From the site: “WordPress sure is a neat platform, but what if your WordPress site is based on selling products or services? WooCommerce is a popular plugin that helps make it easy for your customers to buy your products and services inside the WordPress framework. Marjorie Ray will provide a short overview of how she uses Woocommerce on her children’s educational toy site.” and more!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, June 14th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ukulele With David Hyde Costello
Do you find you lack Ukulele music in your life? Address that.

History:

Saturday, June 17th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Chaotic Freedom in Civil War Louisiana: The Origins of an Iconic Image by Bruce Laurie
From the site: “Bruce Laurie will speak on his research into two Pioneer Valley soldiers who changed the course of the Civil War. Laurie’s work culminated in the essay, “Chaotic Freedom” in Civil War Louisiana: The Origins of an Iconic Image, a Working Titles e-book published by The Massachusetts Review.”

Kids:

Friday, June 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Spoken Word with Rah and Kat
From the site: “Calling kids, tweens, and teens- try out our new spoken word program in the Children’s Department! The first meeting will be Friday June 16th, at 3:30. Rah represented Northampton at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and Kat holds a Masters in Poetry. Come create, experience, and learn about poetry with us!”
Saturday, June 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
From the site: “Learn about an assortment of tiny critters this month as Ralph & Steven explore entomology, the study of insects! Register here https://goo.gl/forms/iBh193ojpudlHU1n2!”

Movies:

Wednesday, June 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film: AWAKE
From the site: “AWAKE is a Josh Fox-directed film chronicling the native-led peaceful resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, against the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), intended to carry fracked oil from North Dakota’s oil fields through native land and under the Missouri River, the water source for the Standing Rock reservation (and 17 million people downstream).”
Saturday, June 17th
Millside Park [2 Ferry St., Easthampton, MA] at 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM
The Dark Crystal
Free movie! Popcorn and refreshments available for purchase, bring a blanket and bug spray! Watch this weird as heck old Henson film on the big screen!

RPGs:

Saturday, June 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Free RPG Day!
RPGs for you to play free all day! Bring some friends and head down to the … quay. Shoot. No we lost the plot there. Head Modern Myths to play some games and then buy some games!

Science:

Monday, June 12th
World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo
Come see ‘A History of Public Benefits’ by Monk Kelley and ‘The Economy is a Badly Designed Game’ by Aaron Jensen! The rare set of talks that actually relate to one another!
Tuesday, June 13th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Pollinators Need Our Help Now
From the site: “With a chaotic climate, so much foul weather, and many other threats to their existence, there can be no better time to start supporting native bees and butterflies, and no better way than planting pesticide-free flowers and making nests in our yards and public spaces. Come see what we can do to brighten the futures for these critically important beneficial insects.”
Wednesday, June 14th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Downtown Northampton’s “Wild” Night Life: Moths, Fireflies & Other Night Flying Insects
From the site: “Presented by moth aficionado Betsy Higgins, the evening will include an indoor slide presentation about the diversity of moths in our area. Following this, we will head outdoors to check out the variety of night-flying insects drawn to Higgins’ black lights and mercury vapor lamps. The evening will conclude with a light show, courtesy of thousands of fireflies in the nearby meadows.” pre-registration required at lsanders@historicnorthampton.org, $10 members, $15 non-members!

May 15th – May 21st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello folks! Happy Mother’s Day! On this day we want to call out our extremely excellent mom! She’s pretty great, she supports us on Patreon which is very appreciated, and it is her combination of community spirit and an intense sublimated orneriness that we call upon to do our weekly rounds! Thanks mom for everything and let us know if you need anything because we’re in some deep debt to you at this point.

Also speaking of our dear mom, we’d like to call out a local artist: Mary May! We got one of her neat freehand fractal paintings as a gift for our mom and we like them a lot, and she also makes jewelry and does some oil painting work. Check her out on Instagram at @mmayjewelry and ask for commissions via mmayjewelry [at] gmail [dot] com! You can also head to the Shelburne Falls Coffee on King St. in Northampton to purchase her work on display and also to say “I enjoy your work so much I want to give you money for it” which will make her happy!

We’d like to again call specific attention this week to the newly formed Western MA Film Makers Group! Per their description: “Western MA Filmmakers Group is a chance for people making film to network, attend events, and build community.”

Are you interested in creating film, or just a big fan of film in general? Meet up with fellow “cinephlicks” as everyone agrees we should call them and share, discuss, question, brainstorm, and in general get some support, feedback, and community!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, May 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Needle Felting and Fiber Crafts
Sculpt three-dimensional objects in felt! Make jewelry! Sculpt faces, make figures, embellish clothing with needle felting! Felting needles and supplies will be available for purchse! Feel free to bring your own projects to work on with fellow felters!
Friday, May 19th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Poetry Discussion Group: Reading Dickinson through Different Critical Lenses
“Part 2 of this two-part session will include a review of the sociological lenses applied in Part 1 and an introduction to one or more psychological lenses (Freudian, archetypal). Participants will look at several more Dickinson poems using a variety of approaches. The session will conclude with a discussion of the value added from applying critical theories to Dickinson’s poetry.”

Board Games:

Wednesday, May 17th
The Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat!
Wednesday Games this week features a gigantic game! Mechs vs. Minions is a big old sort of board-game tower-defense that seems neat and has really cool miniatures! As always the Brass Cat is a delightful bar with a nice little outdoor terrace and the regular Wednesday Games crowd is friendly and eager to teach you fun games!

Books:

Monday, May 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Author Reading and Signing – Roxann Davis
Local mystery novel writer Roxann Davis will be reading from her debut novel! The novel, “Nightbeat”, will be available for sale at 25% off and every sale will be donated to the GPL! What a lovely thing to do. Refreshments will also be served!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Conversation with Author Series: Mary Newman and her book, “Edible Flowers”
“Most of us like to look at them, but why on earth would anyone want to eat them? As Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman show in this book, however, flowers have a long history as a tasty ingredient in a variety of cuisines. The Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, Mayans, Chinese, and Indians all knew how to cook with them for centuries, and today contemporary chefs use them to add something special to their dishes.” Delicious flowers!
Tuesday, May 16th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Do you write children’s books? Come hang with fellow writers and discuss the process! Learn the business from pros, offer advice and feedback to fellow artists, generally come together and talk about making art for young folk!
Wednesday, May 17th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Renee Ahdieh, Flame in the Mist, & Holly Black, The Darkest Part of the Forest
Two excellent authors discuss and present readings from two wonderful books! Flame in the Mist is about the daughter of a samurai who’s an alchemist! She gets embroiled in an assassination plot and infiltrates the very clan of assassins sent to kill her! The Darkest Part of the Forest is about a young woman living in a world that intersects with the fairy realm and a mysterious boy in the glass coffin that finally wakes up!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Writing Critique Group
“Writers of picture books, middle grade and YA meet to read and receive feedback about their work-in-progress from the group, facilitated by leaders following the SCBWI guidelines. You don’t have to be a member of SCBWI to participate.” Make your writing better!
Friday, May 19th
Gateway City Arts [92 Race St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dennis Lehane, Since We Fell
Since We Fell follows former journalist Rachel Childs, who lives as a shut-in after an on-air mental breakdown. Otherwise she’s doing alright, until she’s sucked into a terrifying conspiracy! Rachel has to deal with some real tough times for certain.
Sunday, May 21st
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Lucky Broken Girl with Ruth Behar
Based on Behar’s own childhood, Lucky Broken Girl is a coming-of-age story about a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl as she adjusts to her new life in New York City.

Card Games:

Saturday, May 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Amonkhet Game Day
We’re just assuming this is a Magic the Gathering thing based on “game day” and now we’re going to check! ~time passes~ YES IT WAS! Dang we’ve gotten acceptable at this. Play Magic! Get some booster packs! Engage successfully in that hobby you like!

Comic Books:

Monday, May 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
Talk to excellent people about comics and board games and video games, it’s a lovely time! Moderated by the magnanimous manager of Modern Myths, Melissa, you can rest assured that it’ll be a good chat!

Community:

Monday, May 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Palmer Town Council Community Meeting
Meet up to discuss the present and future of Palmer, a nice town! You probably don’t go to all of these we are guessing because town council meetings can be a bit boring, but it’s also the place you can sloooowly steer the Ship of Town toward things you think are useful and dang if you are not doing it imagine your least sensible neighbor doing it! Because they are, they’re working to officially designate your home as a Tire Fire Preserve and Place Where Foxes Can Do That Terrifying Yelling All The Time.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Citizen Discussion Group
Discuss things with your fellow citizens!
Tuesday, May 16th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Round the World Women
We have no information about this whatsoever so we’re assuming it’s a sort of documentary about what it was like to be around the World Women, a superhero team.
Saturday, May 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Book, Bake, and Plant Sale
Special offer on books! Get a GROCERY BAG of books between 1pm and 3pm for just $7! Come earlier if you’re looking for quality instead of quantity. Also, eat some good baked goods and maybe grab a few plants to brighten up your domicile! Everything you need in one place: the Sunderland Public Library!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Speak Up for Change for Women
Practice speaking up in a supportive environment that will help you get better at advocating for political change! We frankly go into a sort of fuge state of nerves when speaking in public that we only hope results in being convincing so we are totally into the idea of learning to better express important political points! There’s never been a more important time to really loudly insist that people don’t do horrifying things.

Computers:

Thursday, May 18th
Mount Holyoke College [50 College St, South Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
May 2017 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
“Those who attended Drupalcon 2017 Baltimore will talk about the event and sessions they liked. We will also have a discussion about how to structure our meetings in the future, using ideas from the Boston Drupal Group and others. Hope to see you there!”
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Do you work with WordPress? So do a bunch of other people in the Valley! Provide your expertise or call upon the expertise of others to solve problems and generally make WordPress work for you!

Entertainment:

Monday, May 15th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Labyrinth Around America Tour
Huh, what an interesting thing! “Labyrinth Around America is a an initiative to take a labyrinth around the United States, making stops in each state that marks the border of the mainland … the initial intention is to encircle the mainland with a trail of positive energy, bringing an invitation for people to come together in walking this wonderful path.”
Thursday, May 18th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator
Informal conversation, show and tell with objects in the Forbes Collection, snacks! What a delightful time.
Saturday, May 20th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate and Fear
“Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts presents poetry and prose from writers from the Connecticut River Valley, Marilyn Nelson, Doug Anderson, Leslie McGrath, Kate Bell, and Howie Faerstein.” Hear from a lot of good writers and poets!

History:

Wednesday, May 17th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Donald Blais, Jr. Speaks About President John F. Kennedy
A talk in honor of the 100th anniversary of the President’s birthday, May 29th. It’s free and open to the public, so get out there and learn about one of the significant figures of the American 20th century!

Kids:

Tuesday, May 16th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Teen Graphic Novel & Fan Fiction Club
Open to all 12-17 year-old fans of Graphic Novels! What do you like? What don’t you like? Do you write fan fiction? Do you read fan fiction? All are welcome! Share what you read and write with fellow fans!
Wednesday, May 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday Wizards
“Wednesday Wizards: Learning and fun at the Library, meets from 4pm-5pm in the LeVanway Room of Greenfield Public Library. Kids become wizards of science and learn various concepts with experiments. Each session a guest presenter will introduce a science concept with a book and activity sure to inspire creativity. This activity is open to all and free thanks to the Friends of Greenfield Public Library.”
Saturday, May 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Llamas in Pajamas in the Library!
Meet a llama! A real llama! They’re adorable! Aaaah some of them have little poofy hairdos and that’s wonderful, but all of them are like super long-necked dogs with very soft fur! Then Debbie from Country Quilt Llama Farm and her excellent llama you just met will share the story Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney and teach kids about what llamas do!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Girl Scout Information Day
Elena of Avalor, who appears to be pretty danged awesome, isn’t afraid to try new things, and neither are Girl Scouts! Learn what it is to be a Girl Scout with an Elena of Avalor themed activity!

Movies:

Wednesday, May 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Global Warming Documentary
What we know: “The National Alliance of Concerned Americans for the Well- Being of All People are sponsoring the movie with discussion and Q & A.” what we don’t know: what movie is playing.

November 14th – November 20th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

In times when we feel defeated and saddened by the state of the world, we often turn to the words of comfort our father used to give us:

“Life is an unending series of tragedies.”

In good times, it’s a joke about how little his nerdy little kiddo had to gripe about. In bad times, it’s a reminder that this is the life we’ve got and we need to make what we can of it, tragedy notwithstanding.

Or to quote his favorite philosopher Marcus Aurelius: “Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.”

We’re worried about friends and family as we face a political administration that has repeatedly promised to harm them. We’re looking for opportunities to help, and if you’ve got any ideas for us we’d love to hear about them.

And in the service of being good:

If you’ve got the means, monthly sustaining donations or volunteering would be extremely helpful and appreciated at local charitable efforts:

For further-flung charitable operations, there’s a good list here.

People are also going around cleaning off the horrific graffiti that’s been popping up around the Valley threatening violence against minority groups, and you can check out the Facebook group that’s been coordinating those efforts here.

We’re going to be donating 50% of the proceeds of tomorrow’s Nerd Nite NoHo to the ACLU and we’re planning future donations. Justin Dowd of the Brass Cat Games Night has let us know that they’re encouraging folks to bring donations to Tapestry Health to the game night this week.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, November 16th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Teen Writing Workshop (Ages 12 and up)
Write with others! Get advice! Get encouragement! Write the best thing!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Zines! The underground. Zines! The forbidden. Zines! The mysterious. Zines! The circulation of maybe 3, but hey they’re fun to make so make some Zines and get your thoughts out there! Tiny magazines of your thoughts artisianlly crafted!
Saturday, November 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:45 PM to 4:45 PM
Neurodivergent Writing Info Session
“Through a grant from Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, I will be publishing a collection of short essays from members of the neurodivergent community. I’m looking for stories that show neurotypicals that we live full, emotionally complex lives. If you are interested, please submit a one page sample of your writing IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS AN ATTACHMENT. I will NOT consider it if the text is not pasted in the email. Those who get selected to contribute will receive a FREE copy of the final product. ” Email smith.terrencej@gmail.com to participate! A free book in exchange for an essay isn’t bad, even if we’re not fans of spec-work stuff.

Board Games:

Tuesday, November 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Play boardgames at Palmer! Meet folks, use demo games from the library, bring your own favorites, be excellent to each other.
Wednesday, November 16th
Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Brass Cat Game Night
Join wonderful local hero Justin Dowd in his fun time games place where you’ll learn and play and meet nice people. He’s got all the board games and he brings a new theme every time! Other people also bring games and you can buy great beer and great food from a food truck nearby!
Saturday, November 19th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry is free!
Sunday, November 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Colony Board Game Demo
It’s one of those games where you gather up production into your hand and try to turn it into various upgrades and victory points and such, but the interesting idea here is that SOME of the resources can be banked permanently like we imagine you know… wood, but some of them have to be used immediately! These games are real fun for us, we like the quick sprint toward the end when you start producing a billion of something you’ve produced 3 of for the past hour. An Envoy will teach you how to play for free!

Books:

Tuesday, November 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Robert Shaw and Jocelyn Mossman
Two amazing poets reading from their poetry collections! You may remember Robert Shaw from being like one of the very few poets we all know about. Not to say poets aren’t great! Poems are wonderful, but Robert Shaw is a name we just know, which isn’t the case with a ton of poets. Anyway the point is, go hear some beautiful poems from great people.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunderland Short Story Series
Dramatic readings by professional actors, to bring stories to life! Kermit Dunkelberg will be reading “Ed Has His Mind Improved” by Walter R. Brooks, and Myka Plunkett will be reading “Exchange” by Ray Bradbury.
Wednesday, November 16th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Susannah Richards presents: Hot Titles in 2016 for Classroom and Holidays
“Former 2013 Newbery Committee Member and children’s literature advocate Professor Susannah Richards will highlight dozens of great books including picture books, middle grade novels, nonfiction, graphic novels, and young adult novels. There will be refreshments, free promotional items for teachers, a special discount for purchases and special orders, and a maybe a surprise celebrity from the children’s book world during the event. Bring book loving friends!” This is so nice, books are great and so are refreshments.
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mark and Jeannie Gionfriddo authors of Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night
“Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night opens with her idealistic, romantic adventures as a wealthy young college graduate; her marriage to Allen and their early trials and tribulations; and how Hart and Joe’s paths cross with Ponzi, whose own rise to power and rapid descent unfolds in alternating chapters. The book offers a fascinating look at a turbulent time in Boston’s history as well as an examination of Ponzi, the inventor of the first ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme that continues to be reinvented.” Always a very important thing to know about! It’s a good idea to keep your head on a swivel when it comes to investments that seem too good to be true.
Thursday, November 17th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Sabina Murray author of Valiant Gentleman
“The New York Times Book Review has stated that PEN/Faulkner award winner Sabina Murray writes historical fiction “…very beautifully, bringing it all close to us, to here, to now.” Her new novel, Valiant Gentlemen, is no different, spanning across four continents and forty years to reimagine the lives and friendships of humanitarian and Easter Rising Irish patriot Roger Casement, his closest friend, Herbert Ward, and Ward’s extraordinary wife, the Argentinean-American heiress, Sarita Sanford.” Sounds awesome! Listen to a reading, buy a copy, get it signed!
Friday, November 18th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion Group
How did Dickinson want to be recognized and remembered? We may find some answers in Dickinson’s reaction to Thomas W. Higginson’s poem “Decoration.” There are few recorded instances of Dickinson exchanging poetry and commentary with another poet, so it’s a rare opportunity to explore how she read and responded to other’s poetry. Lead by the extremely great Melba Jensen, PhD in English.
Saturday, November 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Book Signing with Romola M. Rigali, Wayne E. Phaneuf, and Joseph Carvalho III authors of On Being Italian: A Story of Food, Family, and Faith
“Wayne E. Phaneuf, executive editor, Romola M. Rigali, former managing editor both at The Republican will be on hand to sign the newspaper’s newest book in its Heritage Series, On Being Italian: A Story of Food, Family and Faith. The event will feature a special treat for attendees.” Treats are 100% always great so no reason not to check this out!

Card Games:

Sunday, November 20th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St #B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
PPTQ Amokhet
A PPTQ! A qualifier fro the Pro Tour, and the winner will head to the Regional Pro Tour Qualifier for a chance to play in the PRO TOUR in Nashville! It’ll be $30, you’re playing standard constructed with a decklist required, and you’ll get a cash payout if you’re in the top players! Have fun and get to that pro tour!

Community:

Monday, November 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Live a Flourishing Life: Stress Management Workshop
Just guessing this might appeal to a lot of folks this week. Resilience Strategist Rita Schiano presents a lot of skills to help people feel in control of their lives!
Wednesday, November 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Single-Serve Desserts!
Make four different desserts to try and then eat those desserts and for real you deserve dessert right now.
Saturday, November 19th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Memory Cafe
The library will welcome people experiencing memory difficulties and their families to hang out and have some relaxation and refreshments and generally talk to folks who know how it is to deal with memory problems!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Racial Equity Leadership
We don’t entirely know what’s up with this but it sounds like a very good idea, you should check it out and talk to people and get back to us about what’s up!

Computers:

Thursday, November 17th
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Solve WordPress problems with friends, bring your laptop to help the group get to the bottom of things! Talk about effective backup solutions, and also learn about interpreting integrated Google Analytics! You should sign up so you can get WordPress questions answered and be a better computerer. NCTV is located at the rear of Northampton HS. they’ll be in NCTV’s studio room!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Introduction to the Internet
Learn what the internet is! How it works, how to use a search engine, what “the cloud” is, and when to stop learning about the internet so you stay happy!

Entertainment:

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
White House Events in the Coolidge Era with Julie Bartlett Nelson
See scrapbooks of news clippings, invitations, searching charts, menus and more of the events hosted by or attended by Calvin and Grace Coolidge 1923-1929. And eat cookies!
Friday, November 18th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hungrytown
See folk duo Hungrytown perform their stunning act in which via the power of music they slowly but surely morph from a duo to a gigantic beings known as “Hungrytown: The Town that Devours!”

History:

Monday, November 14th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 7:45 PM
“From Nothing to Something: The Surprising Start and Rapid Spread of Basket Ball from Springfield to the World”
In this lively panel discussion, Professors Dennis Gildea and Derek Paar of Springfield College, along with Springfield College Archivist Jeff Monseau, will explore the history and spread of basketball from its origins into the twentieth century. Springfield gave this gift to the world and you should not forget it! Western Mass contributes.

Kids:

Wednesday, November 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Minecraft Club
Build your cares away in the blocky world of Minecraft!
Thursday, November 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lazer Tag
Lazers! Shoot your friends with them in the library! Pretend it’s Star Trek and clumsily toss a Styrofoam boulder at someone! Grades 5th – 8th are welcome!

Movies:

Wednesday, November 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM
Strangers on a Train
Ahhhhh hahaha the poster is Alfred Hitchcock putting an L in the word “Strangers” to make it “Stranglers” old movie posters are awesome. See the movie about a person who thinks he’s got a foolproof plan for murder and the stranger he forces into it!

Science:

Monday, November 14th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060]
Nerd Nite NoHo: Emotions and Architecture
Grad Student Andrea Cataldo will discuss “Quantifying Emotion in the Decision Process”! She’s very smart and great so the talk will be awesome. Then we’ve got Brianne Zulkiewicz who’ll talk about “Triple Deckers: New England’s Working Class Vernacular Architecture”, which is neat because it’s one of those things you sort of notice around here and then when you actually take second you realize how much pragmatic design decisions shaped the landscape you’re in.
Wednesday, November 16th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM
When in Rome Gallery Talk
Jon Caris and Scott Gilman from the Spatial Analysis Lab at Smith College will talk about the making, use, and interpretation of maps! They’ll talk about how historical maps like the “Nolli map” are re-purposed and re-imagined in the digital age!
Saturday, November 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
Join Ralph & Steven in this interactive program as they explore their surroundings and cultivate curiosity for the natural world. This November’s meeting will focus on a library mystery to be solved using chemical forensic techniques. Who was the culprit: M&Ms, Skittles, or Kool-Aid? For kids aged 8-11! Give or take a bit you know your own kids, you know? Register online here.

Video Games:

Thursday, November 17th
Moriarty’s Pub [755 Liberty St., Springfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Ego Death Presents: Super Smash Tourney!
There’s a $5 cover, ladies are free, and it’s welcoming to all ages. It’s been getting bigger and better really quickly! Folks at the events look like they’re having a super good time and you can win prizes so that’s nice. You can also play: Mario Kart, Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Mortal Kombat. It’s like a pop-up arcade full of friendly people the best idea.

Halloween to November 6th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy Halloween! We had a great Halloween party this weekend where we were the prettiest princess and also we’re playing horror games all weekend and also watching horror films, which is why Halloween should always be a Monday.

Also in not Halloween news we finally got to try out a Vive VR headset and the Tilt Brush paint program and DAAAANG for real that is incredible in a way that is difficult to emphasize enough. It feels like you’re sculpting in zero gravity, and basically also like you’re a wizard.

We aren’t so great at sculpting so our creation was basically a glowing lines stick figure but we saw other folks make truly impressive sculpted creations in a really short time. It’s super interesting how unintuitive and difficult it looks when you watch someone work on the 2D monitor and then how simple and fun it is when you can see it in 3D!

Though prices being what they are we’re probably going to be getting one two decades from now.

Hey it’s still Halloweekend so you should play a horror game too! We recommend either Betrayal at House on the Hill or Dread or The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku or Monsterhearts or Fear The Living! It’s kind of weird that legit all the Halloween-themed board games and RPGs are from the Valley. Oh wait no it isn’t all the best games are from this, the happiest of valleys!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, November 2nd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Teen Writing Workshop (Ages 12 and up)
Are you writing a novel this month? Wow! That seems like, wildly difficult. Jeez. Well, if you’re doing that extremely difficult task you should get some help! Hang out with other Teen Writers and get some motivation and encouragement! Write the Best Novel and become world-famous!
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Global Artists Speak at the Mead – Zanele Muholi
Join South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi in conversation with Wendy Ewald, photographer and visiting artist-in-residence at Amherst College. Followed by a reception. Both do impressive work!
Thursday, November 3rd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus: Poetry Night and Book Launch
A book launch and reading with Hannah Fries, Author of Little Terrarium. The title is a reference to the body that holds the person and the world that holds the people. Fries’ poems evoke wonder through lyricism and cover the gamut of human conscious experience to the five hearts of nightcrawlers. It sounds neat!
Friday, November 4th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
An Evening with Emily: Songs by Copland, Hall, Harbach, and Walker
An intimate performance in the parlor of the Amherst Women’s Club of Dickinson given by award-winning soprano Molly Fillmore! Accompanied by pianist Elvia Puccinelli, Fillmore will perform the popular Aaron Copeland song 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson. Jeez this night sounds classy as all get out wow.
Saturday, November 5th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Free November 5 Family Day
A ton of stuff is going on! There’s a grand tour, there’s LEGO Architecture, there’s free refreshments, there’s a food truck (bring cash), there’s a bunch of prints and postcards and such, it’ll be a great time! Plus you get to see one of our favorite museums for free!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Mural Unveiling and Celebration!
There’s a new mural in the children’s department by local author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, who’ll do a reading after the unveiling! It’s going to be a reminder of the fact that Northampton is a pretty delightful town.
Sunday, November 6th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Gallery Talk | Balka’s Lower East Side with Laura Kruger
Curator Laura Kruger will talk about the YBC’s new visiting exhibit! It’s a multi-artist exhibit that focuses on the experience of Eastern European immigrants to New York “The Big Apple” City’s Lower East Side!

Board Games:

Tuesday, November 1st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sunderland Library Chess Club
Play the game of thrones! It’s one of the most popular games in the world for a reason. This club is available to anyone, expert or beginner! Study famous games and learn great strategies! Become the best at Chess and then travel the world defeating all comers on a journey to achieve the dream of becoming The Ruler of Chess! Children 3rd Grade and younger must be accompanied by adults!
Wednesday, November 2nd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Game On
Play some board games with your pals! It’s a bunch of fun to play board games and the library has some games for you to play! Or bring your own, it’s a good idea.

Books:

Saturday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Richard Michelson, FASCINATING: The Life of Leonard Nimoy
A biography for children of Leonard Nimoy, the iconic Mr. Spock of Star Trek! Leonard Nimoy had a tough time breaking into acting but his experience as the son of immigrants helped him mold Spock into one of fiction’s most memorable characters!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Local Author John Sheirer Presents: Making Common Sense Common Again
Do you think politics are wacky? Correct! This local author will take a comedic look at the world of politics and make you say “wow! yes it would be nice if people did things sensibly instead of in a silly manner!”
Sunday, November 6th
140 Pine St., Florence, MA 01062 at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Plagiarama! An Afternoon with author Geoffrey Sanborn
The David Ruggles Center is excited to sponsor an afternoon celebrating the publication of Geoffrey Sanborn’s book Plagiarama that explores African American abolitionist and literary figure William Wells Brown. He was also a great writer and became the first published African-American playwright in 1858! And he published the first history of African Americans in the Revolutionary War. Seems like someone worth learning about!

Community:

Wednesday, November 2nd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
Local higher ed professional TearNee Sodders will help you figure out this incredibly scary process! FAFSA is important because college costs a crudload so get every advantage you can!
Saturday, November 5th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
See above, but it’s a different time!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 1st
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of folks who code! No need to bring your laptop, just go hang out with folks who code and talk to them about how annoying seg faults are or why you hate people changing their design specs midstream!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
One-on-One Tech Tutoring
You can register for one-hour one-on-one sessions in English or Spanish if you have a valid library card! You do need to call 413-420-8118 to register at least 24 hours beforehand! Learn how to use technology in a friendly setting with wonderful library folks!
Thursday, November 3rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Introduction to Computers
Learn about computers and computing from the ground up! You’ll get introduced to the basic concepts behind what makes computers work and slowly work your way up to building an AI robot person with superhuman strength and a driving need to understand what this human… love… is?
Amherst Media [246 College St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
November 2016 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
Do you Drupal? Drupal with other Drupalers at this session! Get help with your ongoing projects or get started with Drupal!

Entertainment:

Monday, October 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Halloween Party!
Show off your Halloween costume, pick up some treats, play some games, and get tricked! Best costume will be trapped forever in the nether zone that the library was built on top of as a sort of mystical barrier.
Tuesday, November 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
National Vegan Day
A whole menu of tasty vegan treats! BLT, Pulled Pork, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chili… wait… wait a second folks we don’t know if The Quarters knows what vegan food is. There’s also Planet Earth on the projector!

Kids:

Thursday, November 3rd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Crafternoons at the Library
Craft things at the library! You can make buttons in the button maker, make jewelry, color, whatever idea you may have!
Saturday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Hazel Mitchell, Toby
Author and illustrator Hazel Mitchell will be at Odyssey to give a reading and do a draw-along workshop for her new book about her dog Toby! Toby is a good dog name and also, a good dog! We know this because all dogs are good, dogs are the best.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
I dealt a word of Gold’ Writing at the Emily Dickinson Museum: A Program for Junior Girl Scouts
Earn your Junior Scribe badge while learning about the trailblazing poet Emily Dickinson! It’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dickinson home and landscape. Harness your inner poet, Scouts!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Paintbox Theatre Presents: Grace for President
Grace is running for school president! But to get that coveted position she needs to campaign! Paintbox will distract and entertain you for the weekend before the real election! Distract yourself from the existential dread that suffuses your every waking moment this campaign season!

Movies:

Thursday, November 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Campaign by Kazuhiro Soda
Kazuhiro Soda shot Campaign in 2005, following along a political campaign in Kawasaki Japan run by Kazuhiko Yamauchi, an inexpeirenced new candidate.

RPGs:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons? Easy. Dragons? Now we’re cooking with gas. D&D is a ton of fun! It’s an opportunity to hang out with friendly folks, it’s a chance to play-act as someone different than yourself, and it’s a fun game about stealing everything that isn’t nailed down and killing like basically everyone you meet!
Friday, November 4th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 8:00 PM to 12:00 PM
Magestry LARP Final Game in Elmerton
After 13 years of Chesterfield, Magestry is heading to a new place! This is the last game in Chesterfield and it’s going to be a blast! It’ll be big and fun and amazing and this is the best time possible to give it a shot! If you don’t have a bunch of cash on hand, be an NPC! All you need to bring is warm bedding and clothing without visible logos and the rest is taken care of! And everyone is welcome on Sunday for brunch!

Video Games:

Sunday, November 6th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – AR for Tango (now with zombies!)
Keep yourself from the post-Halloween blues with Paul Hake of Hitpoint Studios and Pat King of PVGD and Zombies! Real Zombies! In your House! Blast them to smithereens quickly! You can learn about the creation of the Crayola Blaster AR game and the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, the first Google Tango mobile device! What’s Google Tango? We have legit no frigging clue. Wait we just looked it up it’s an AR app that lets you see stuff placed in the world via your phone!

The Wayward Astronomer: James’s Friend Is Doing a Thing

Note: This is in no way a Valley-based thing, I just want to do a little to help out a friend who’s making some art.

So my pal Geoff is a guy who I’ve known since high school.

He’s currently working at a private space company building a spaceplane. You might recognize this as an occupation that I have always dreamed of having. It sounds super neat and also seems to actively be excellent based on what I know about the folks he works with and the work he gets to do. He’s living out the dream he’s had since he started reading sci-fi and that’s awesome. It would be understandable for me to be deeply jealous of Geoff, but I can’t be. Because Geoff’s also working very hard on possibly the only thing nerdier than building a spaceplane: fanfiction.

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Geoff is a huge fan of the comic Dreamkeepers. It’s about talking-animal space alien people and it’s not something I actually read, but it seems like a good adventure story. He’s such a huge fan he wrote a fanfiction novel about it called “The Wayward Astronomer” that has become canon.

To clarify, I don’t mean to say that fanfiction is lesser-than. Fanfiction is just a story being told and stories should be judged as neat or not on their own terms. It’s just indisputably nerdy. It requires a deep and abiding love for a particular piece of media that can’t be contained by mere consumption. And I find his unabashed enjoyment of Dreamkeepers and of the craft of writing too charming to succumb to the jealousy that boils beneath my skin even now.

He loves the world of Dreamkeepers so much that even while working what can only be described as a spectacularly difficult job he spent a ton of his free hours for the past five years putting together a fitting tribute in the form of a novel. Here’s the pitch:

Our hero is a young astronomer, Hal Adhil. He spends his evenings watching the sky high up in the Starfall Mountains with his friend and fellow astronomer, Miri. Here, far away from watchful eyes, he can indulge in using his unique but forbidden power: the ability to see all forms of light. Nestled safely in the remote observatory, the troubles of the city and his past life are far from sight and even farther from mind, but no calamity can be ignored forever.

When a meteorite crashes nearby, Hal and Miri set out to find it. Unfortunately, what they go out looking for, and what they find, are two very different things. After a chilly encounter turns violent, Hal is left for dead and abandoned. He is unwillingly thrust into a dark conspiracy that threatens the life of everyone in Anduruna, where the difference between friend and enemy is impossible to see. He has no choice left but to fight to reclaim the things he lost, and solve the mystery of the meteor… before time runs out.

He’s doing a Kickstarter to get the book published in a for-real actually on bookshelves manner, and I think that if you think the story sounds interesting you should take a look. I feel comfortable recommending you back the project because Geoff is a hardworking and dedicated person who is taking great pains to do this right.

I wish him the best of luck!