Chris Holm here. Though Library Week has officially passed, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the role libraries played in making me who I am. Money was tight when I was young, and my love of books hit early and hard. As a consequence, libraries were how I kept my brain (and soul) fed. I doubt I’d be a writer today if it weren’t for them, and the wonderful people (librarians, volunteers, readers, and writers) who populate them.
That’s why I’m always delighted to give back whenever I can. Library events are among my favorites in this business, because they always feel a bit like coming home. Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to read at the Portland Public Library. (Thanks to everybody who came out!) I’ve got three library events scheduled for the coming months. A couple more I’m still firming up. (Check the Appearances section of my website’s sidebar if you’re interested in attending any.) And if you’re a librarian within reasonable driving distance of Portland, I’m always looking to add more.
Since we’re on the topic of wondrous places that feed both brain and soul, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite local haunts: Portland Architectural Salvage.
Don’t let the name fool you. This ain’t some bland home-improvement center. What it is is a ramshackle, four-story maze made entirely of writing prompts. Creepy statuary? Check. Stained glass recovered from Masonic temples? Check. Terrifying demon masks that will haunt your dreams for years to come? SO VERY CHECK.
I go whenever I feel like I need to recharge my creative batteries. After a few hours spent wandering around, I always come home brimming with ideas. Pictures, too—including every photo in this post, and dozens more besides.
Understand, I’m not affiliated with Portland Architectural Salvage in any way. In fact, I’m probably the sort of customer that drives them bonkers, because I rarely buy anything. (Turns out, stone lions from Tuscany are expensive.) But if your writing needs a jolt, I highly recommend you check them out. You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram if you want to inject a little mystery and intrigue into your social media feeds. Who knows? You might even get a story out of it.
I want that Asylum sign on my office door.
It’s pretty awesome, right?
Oh darn it, Chris…I SO wish you hadn’t share the info about this place. I want to go there at once and buy lots of cool architectural stuff. Or at least a sign, the letter C, and a stained glass window. Maybe a monster or two? Pillars for my porch?
Maine is full of enchanting places, and now I’ve added this to my list.
You’ll love it, Kate. But maybe leave your wallet in the car.