Hanging out with editors, illustrators and writers was an educational experience for Tina Headley of Medina. Not that she needs educating...

Share story

Hanging out with editors, illustrators and writers was an educational experience for Tina Headley of Medina.

Not that she needs educating. The young woman has two novels and an illustrated book in the printing pipeline; the first will be released next year.

Headley participated in the Western Washington Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators retreat and conference Friday and Saturday.

Friday night’s dinner was illuminating for Headley, Molly Blaisdell of Woodinville and Cathy Benson of Lynnwood. They ate at the Yarrow Bay Grill with Harcourt senior editor Jeannette Larson of San Diego, illustrator Obadinah Heavner of Seattle, Caldecott Award author Janet Stevens of Colorado, and Dianne Hess, executive editor of Scholastic Press.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

The editors shared tips and answered questions. But Hess commanded the most attention — even from the wait staff. She talked about Scholastic Press editors preparing J.K. Rowling’s sixth installment of the Harry Potter series for release. (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is due out July 16.)

Although everything is hush-hush, Hess did say the office where the work is being done has been nicknamed the Chamber of Secrets, after Rowling’s second book. Entry is limited, and everything is kept under lock and key.

Staging a partnership

Blossom Landau wants to see more mature actors on stage. James McClain, director of the city of Bellevue’s Youth Theatre, needs more actors. He’s providing the stage; she’s giving free lessons to senior citizens.

Landau’s Senior Acting Workshop starts at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Bellevue Youth Theatre, 16661 Northup Way.

Interesting footnote: Landau, who started the immensely popular Children’s Theater in Los Angeles in 1960, volunteered for this teaching gig.

“I’ll keep the classes going as long as people show up,” she said.

Seniors will get a chance to be in an upcoming Youth Theatre production.

“The directors use everyone who tries out for the various productions,” Landau said. “No child or person is left behind.”

Spirited play

Devon McCarroll of Snoqualmie was amused to read in Thursday’s column about the ghosts that might be hanging around the Consignments Etc. store in Issaquah. Owner Robbie Pirhadi believes spirits of former building owners Alex Strnard and Dick Bernsten account for odd happenings in the store.

Strnard is McCarroll’s uncle. McCarroll and her sisters confirmed that Strnard’s sense of humor and the ghost’s seem to match when it comes to pulling stunts.

“Uncle Alex was a total sweetie, and I can just see him getting a kick out of being able to be very kind and mischievous at the same time,” said one sister, Ruth Nelson of Seattle. “That sounds so much like Uncle Alex that I completely believe it’s true.”

Apparently the whole family shares the same delight in practical jokes.

McCarroll figures if Uncle Alex is hanging around the store, her deceased parents, Paul and Patricia Nelson, may also be around.

Spring cleaning

Wait, don’t throw out that high-school annual. Particularly if you went to Lake Washington High School.

Folks at the Kirkland Heritage Society have been trying to complete their yearbook collection. They’re missing copies of the “Reveille” for 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1948 through 1956, 1960, 1964, 1976, 1986, 1998, 2000 and 2003.

To donate your copy, call the Heritage Society at 425-827-3446.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com