What’s happening at the Library: My mentor, Stephen King

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

I hope the people reading this article have discovered a role model in their lives. I consider my role model a mentor because he has taught me so much simply by example. Even though he wouldn’t know me if we passed each other on the street, I owe esteemed horror author Stephen King for my literary tastes and the twisting roadmap of my life. I am writing about him because he is celebrating a birthday this week, but his influence on my life is felt daily.

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I was first introduced to Stephen King in high school (I guess that makes me a horror late bloomer). I was in a composition class where we did minimal compositions. They did have a bookshelf with Stephen King books on it. That’s where I first discovered “The Shining.” It was not just a ghost story or that weird Stanley Kubrick movie with the spooky twin girls. It’s a story about good and evil, not about a boy vs. a haunted hotel but about father Jack Torrance’s love for his son vs. his destructive impulses (feel free to check out this book at our library. The call number is Fantastic F King, and I’d be happy to discuss it with people). It was also the first book I read, and thought to myself, “I’d like to write like that.”

From that one book came a tiny scary seed that bloomed into a lifetime love of horror and a desire to dig deep and understand its nuances. Reading that one book led to my passion and love for literature that was nurtured in college and still exists today. That book even led me to become a librarian, where I could theoretically talk about Stephen King with other like-minded patrons. We have plenty of Stephen King books and movies. Just come by the library to check them out.

Also, come check out these fantastic programs:

• Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m., is the monthly meeting of the library’s writing group, Write Out There! We welcome writers of all kinds to get some excellent writing prompts to get you started and we can also do workshops where other writers can share their work and get feedback. Bring anything you’re working on, or bring paper, pencil or a laptop to do some writing and have some fun.

• On Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show features Elvis Presley as a race-car driver preparing for the Grand Prix while also working in Las Vegas as a waiter to pay for his new engine. Soon, he strikes up a romance with a beautiful young woman. Popcorn and snacks provided.

• On Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m., Book Brunch . . . From Beyond features a club about pallbearers. In the late 80’s, Art Barbara, hair metal fan and back brace wearer, was not popular in high school. He started his school’s chapter of the Pallbearers’ Club for volunteer pallbearers who could work at poorly attended funerals. A girl that Art likes wants to be in the club to take pictures of the corpses. Years later, he tries to make sense of that girl, even as his past comes back to haunt him. Membership in this club means donuts! The book is available on Hoopla as an E-book or audiobook.

• On Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m., Children’s book illustrator Catrina Cowart and her program Pet Portraits will help you discover the world of pet portraiture with mixed media! Join our class and level up your skills as you create unique pet artwork. Learn beginner-to-intermediate techniques as you transfer your pet’s image onto mixed media paper, create an underpainting with watercolors, and embellish it with colored pencils and markers. Bring your own pet photo (8×10) or use a premade outline. Contact the library at (859) 744-5661 for more information or to register. Registration is also available through Evanced.

• And don’t forget about Local History Week programs from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5. Each night, the meal will start at 6:15 p.m. and the program will start at 7. The last day to purchase tickets for the meal is Sept. 22. Tickets for the meal cost $10 and they can be purchased at the reference desk, but you can also just come to the program.