Sometimes people just want an excuse to put their phones down, says Noah Price, events coordinator at Well Played Board Game Café.
That’s one reason he believes the South Slope business, which has more than 700 board games on hand, attracts a number of group events: birthday parties, work retreats, first dates and weekly social gatherings.
“When you’re playing a game face-to-face with other people, it fulfills that social itch that people had really been missing, especially coming out of the pandemic,” he says. “It builds and fosters relationship and community.”
For instance, a social group for people in their 20s and 30s meets every Thursday, 6-9 p.m. The cafe also hosts Homeschoolers Hangout Thursdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
“That one was the brainchild of some of our owners,” Price explains. “The idea was to find some creative ways that we can use our space during weekdays where it’s mutually beneficial for the community. The games are specifically curated for them where they’re fun, but they also have some educational value.”
On Friday, Jan. 27, 5-8 p.m., the cafe will host a free demonstration of GENSMAK!, a new trivia game that categorizes questions by generation. Game masters will teach people how to play, and the cafe will give away a free copy of the game.
“We’ve play tested it a few times, and it’s been a hit among the staff,” Price says. “Over the holidays, people were asking to borrow the copies that we had to take to their families, so they could all play.”
Well Played Board Game Café is at 162 Coxe Ave. For more information about the 20s-30s social group, go to avl.mx/cb6. For more about the Homeschoolers Hangout, visit avl.mx/cb7. To learn about the GENSMAK! demo, go to avl.mx/cb8.
Asheville author Susy Chandler will release a new romance novel the first week of February. And the second week. And the third and fourth weeks as well.
In all, Chandler will publish four new books during the month, starting with Straight Girls Wanna Have Fun on Friday, Feb. 3. That will be followed by Straight Girls Trip on Friday, Feb. 10, The Straight Girl That Got Away on Friday, Feb. 17 and Straight Girls I’ve Loved Before on Friday, Feb. 24.
“Many fiction readers will knock out a novel in one week or even one sitting,” Chandler says of her works. “Giving them one book each week ensures they won’t have to wait, and it keeps the series relevant and top of mind.”
The books in this series focus on heterosexual women who fall for lesbians. Chandler says this latest series was more fun to write than last year’s four-part, futuristic, social justice focused series, “Rise and Converge.”
“First-time steamy scenes are by far the most fun to write — and read, I think,” Chandler says.
Chandler spent about six weeks writing each of the first three novels during the summer and fall. For the final book, she belted out 50,000 words in 30 days as part of National Novel Writing Month in November.
“February is the month of love, a perfect time for a romance series,” the author continues. “My wife’s birthday is also the last day of the month, and what better way to say ‘I love you’ than with four happily-ever-after novels — and hopefully some decent royalties.”
For more information, or to purchase the books, go to avl.mx/cb0.
Words and music
The Bob Moog Foundation is selling signed copies of Switched On: Bob Moog and the Synthesizer Revolution, the recently published biography of the late inventor and electronic music pioneer who made Asheville his home.
“The process of writing this book has been an extraordinary experience, and I am proud to be able to offer this definitive story of Bob’s complex life and career,” author Albert Glinsky says in a press release.
The 471-page hardcover book, with a foreword by Francis Ford Coppola, retails for $39.95 in the foundation’s online store or in the Moogseum gift shop at 56 Broadway.
To order the book online, go to avl.mx/cb4.
Blessed are the printmakers
Printmaker and educator Ani Volkan will discuss printmaking processes Thursday, Jan. 19, 4-5 p.m., at the Asheville Art Museum. The talk will conclude with a gallery tour of the exhibition In the Age of the Etching Revival, on view at the museum through Monday, Jan. 23.
Volkan’s work combines storytelling with her Armenian heritage and incorporates old family photographs, textiles and printmaking. Her talk will explore “the ways printmaking processes like etching translate marks, explore multiples and capture a moment in time,” the museum says in a press release.
The Asheville Art Museum is at 2 Pack Square. Hours are Wednesday-Monday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (9 p.m. on Thursday). For more information, go to avl.mx/cb2.
Call for artists
The Saluda Downtown Foundation is inviting artists to apply for a spot in the 18th Saluda Arts Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 20, in downtown Saluda.
The event features paintings, pottery, metal work, jewelry, sculptures, fiber and more. The 2022 event, the first since 2019, featured more than 90 artists.
Applications are due by Wednesday, March 1. The exhibit fee is $110 for the nonjury event and is due with the application. Some types of work, including jewelry, will be accepted on a limited basis. Early entries will be given first choice of booth location.
For more information to apply, go to avl.mx/cb3.
Back to regular hours
Buncombe County Special Collections at Pack Memorial Library has returned to regular service hours after a temporary shift. Hours will be Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more information, follow the Special Collections blog at avl.mx/bc3.