How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons
Joe and Lucy are an unlikely couple. Joe is better at communicating with clay than people and is deeply rooted to his pottery studio in the North Cascade mountains. Lucy, an actress, has worked hard to build a career on stage and perhaps harder to avoid getting entangled in love, driven by an old fear. And yet, like the undeniable call of making art for a living, something drives them to believe they can make their relationship work.
Helped by the cast of quirky characters who come to buy Joe's pottery, and the beauty of the natural world around them, Lucy starts to see a role for herself in the mountains. Joe's wood-firing kiln may not always be dependable, but his love for her is. However the tight-knit community that surrounds him is an entirely different kind of audience than she's used to, and when Joe asks for a commitment, something Lucy feels she can never promise, they both find their emotions spinning like a pot on a wheel.
How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons is about clay and love and the surprising unpredictability of both.
Novels by Nicola:
The Case of the Barking Dog
Callum Lange is a retired New York City detective who moved to 80 acres in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State to get away from crime….only to find himself getting sucked right back in. In this first story, The Case of the Barking Dog, a woman is found stabbed to death in the little village of Rockport, just a few miles up the highway from Lange’s yurt on Sauk Mountain, and the detective finds a group of seeds, stuck to the side of the victim’s couch, that will lead him directly to the murderer.
The Man in the Mud Room
In this second Callum Lange mystery, the retired NYC detective is wondering who has been stealing firewood from the 80 acres around his yurt on Sauk Mountain when he receives a call about a woman, missing from her home, on the nearby Rockport-Cascade Road. Once drawn into the investigatation he learns about a series of petty thefts, the art of wildcrafting, some painted gourds, and the story of the man in the mud room. Plus he discovers who has been making off with his firewood.
Some Plays by Nicola:
Carried by the Current
In the late 1800s, in a small town in Texas, a group of women led by Martha McWhirter moved away from life with their abusive husbands and on to financial independence and, ultimately, great success. The women, all from wealthy white families, professed “sanctification” as a way to stop sleeping with their husbands and to stop taking their money. They sold eggs, butter and cheese, chopped firewood and did laundry to save money for their common fund. Eventually the women moved in together, creating the first safe house for battered women in the USA. This play is a dramatization of their story.
Nicola Pearson grew up in England and traveled extensively before settling down in the Skagit Valley with her potter husband. She turned her creative attention to writing when they decided to have a family and journeyed from plays to novels and mysteries all while sitting at her cedar plank desk with its view out to Jackman Ridge. Her award-winning play, Carried by the Current, is presently on its way to a production in Seattle with Women's Work Productions. For more information about this play and the production company, please click here:
The Soul Plays
A series of one-act plays that are related by the theme of the connection or disconnection from our souls. In The Genius Room, God is helping create the mind of a genius while eating a turkey sandwich and lamenting the fact that people spend so much time switching off their souls with their remote controls that they don’t hear the genius calling to them. In The Lobbyists, a young woman is trying to quell the constant bickering between her mind and her soul over what she should do with her life while Waspwoman introduces us to two friends who meet again after a long absence, except one of them has been reincarnated as a wasp. Fulfilling Forgiveness is the story of two men who have died but discover they cannot progress forward in the next life until they leave behind the baggage they carried around so determinedly when they were alive and in The Gift, Angela meets a strange and unexpected messenger of love.
The Soul Plays consist of 9 one-act plays that can be performed alone or in groups. They range in playing time from 10 to 20 minutes, each have small casts (2-4 actors) and simple sets. They have won numerous awards and been produced in theatres throughout the US and in Sydney, Australia.
Publication: Canyon Voices Literary Magazine Fall 2013: The Genius Room and Market America
Canyon Voices Literary Magazine, Spring 2014: The Gift and The Lobbyists
The Blue Light Zone
Quentin has been living alone since his wife died six months ago, surrounded by his collection of recyclables and “blue light special” sale items. Quentin likes to live the “thrifty” life. The only thing that disturbs Quentin’s routine of cutting coupons and seeking out bargains, is the periodic arrival of his three adult sons, Jeff, Jeremy and Andre. They come for his birthday or to deliver groceries, rag him for his penny-pinching ways and then retreat rapidly to the warmth of their own lives. Until Quentin writes a will, saying they each have to move in with him for a month if they want his money. After some frantic negotiations two of the three brothers move in, while the third ends up spending much more time at his father’s house, and all four come to realize that the true wealth in the house has very little to do with bargains or money and a lot to do with each other.
The Blue Light Zone is a comedy in 2 acts, with a running time of 1 hour 45 minutes, a unit set, and a cast of four males, one 70+, and the other three between the ages of 30 and 50.
From Me, To You
It is 1974 and the Worldwide Penpal Organisation randomly connects two teenagers who have applied to them for a correspondent. One is Sally Easton, a girl from a small, seaside resort town in Essex County, England, the other, Patrick Hinton, who lives in an even smaller town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, USA. She likes to read Shakespeare and daydream; he prefers to play his guitar, hike and fish and hunt. They have almost nothing in common yet in the three years that they write to each other, they share their dreams, laugh, bicker, fall in love, grow jealous, misunderstand, drift apart and reunite, without ever meeting face to face. Their letters provide meaning and hope to their lives and give them a place in which they can confront their most difficult teen years and grow together.
From Me, To You has a cast of five, two boys and three girls, who play from 15-18 years of age (one girl plays from 12-15), a unit set with simple technical demands and a running time of one hour and forty-five minutes.
· Chosen for the 7th Annual EDWARD ALBEE THEATRE CONFERENCE in Valdez, AK.
· Winner in the 2007 Fremont Theatre Centre New Playwright Competition.
Les Aventures du Concierge Masqué
Written and published in French, this is a collection of short stories where each story has 3 authors and must include a reference to a “masked janitor.” After Dark, written by Nicola Pearson, Stéphanie Hérisson Delattre and Joel Henry begins with Dani, a janitor for the National Park Service, donning a balaclava and dark clothes to cross through a friend’s property alongside the Skagit River at night to hunt for something buried in the dirt next door.
The Lost Hour
What happens to the hour we lose to Daylight-Savings time?
If he’s Six O’Clock, maybe he packs his bag and goes looking for work. And because time flies, he flies around the world, finding himself in music and numbers, and even on the front of a bus!
The Lost Hour, delightfully illustrated by 13-year old Maya Keegan, is a humorous story about time and travel and finding yourself when you are lost.
While the community gathers to celebrate Joe and Lucy's marriage in the winter magic of the Upper Skagit Valley, there is one person who refuses to feel the love; their neighbor, Hilda. She is determined to mar their happiness with a vindictive property line dispute, and before the ink is dry on their marriage certificate, their find themselves embroiled in a series of stomach-churning ordeals that they must overcome in order to keep their marriage, and their pottery business, viable. All this they endure while trying to reason with Hilda. But when she sabotages the ancient apple tree growing in front of their house, they can't help but wonder if it's truly the property line that's bothering their neighbor, or something deeper.
Borrowed Ground brings Joe and Lucy back from How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons and sets them up with new, shared lessons, that cause them to reflect on the validity of the eathly boundaries we seem so intent on guarding.
A Dog in the Big Courthouse
is a charming introduction to the world of courthouse facility dogs. These professionally trained animals serve a special purpose, as they bring comfort to children and families who must testify in court. Filled with delightful artwork by Maya Keegan, this short tale lets curious readers spend a day in the marvelous lives of courthouse dogs.
Written and illustrated as a donation for Courthouse Dogs Foundation, proceeds from all sales benefit this non-proift organization.
The Body in the Blackberries
Callum Lange is fully immersed in his daily walk on Sauk Mountain Road when a vehicle appears beside him. The attractive female driver shows him her DEA badge and wonders if she can take a moment of his time. Lange is surprised. "What in the world is the DEA doing all the way out here, in the middle of nowhere?" he asks.
"The middle of nowhere is where small planes like to drop drugs they've flown in front Canada," she answers.
Which reminds Lange of a noise he heard recently in the early morning and a disturbance he saw on the hillside above some wild blackberries. But when he takes the DEA agent down the abandoned logging road to the hillside in question, they discover something even more troubling than drugs hiuden among the blackberries.
When a near death stray dog is left outside Riverside Animal Clinic in Mount Vernon, Washington, Leo Friel, DVM, has no idea how saving this dog's life will impact his own. Leo's personal life is a mess and the only thing helping him hold things together is his work with small animals. His vet tech, Mac, knows this and struggles to keep his schedule on track while the distrsctions of his divorce complicate his workload. But when the clinic is threatened--and not just by Leo's divorce--the vet finds the little stray to have an uncanny ability for guiding him away from the danger.
The Gift is about animal care and caring animals and the magic that happens when the two intersect.