Discover the Skully family's adventures on Shaw Island

Dagney Skully and the Pendulum Bead Strings is the title of a San Juan Island author’s first book. Written and illustrated by Sarena Schumacher, Dagney Skully is the nine-year-old “tiny person” who, along with her family, comes to live in an unusual location at the Shaw Island County Park. As her family struggles to make ends meet, Dagney accidentally comes across some information about a scandal that could create an unrepairable catastrophe.

How will she navigate her world after she is given a chance to take charge? A little luck, a little magic, and a whole lot of positive intentions create an incredible outcome as karma reveals itself in just the way that karma does.

This first Skully family adventure is one that will entertain both young and old audiences alike. “Furthermore,” says Schumacher, “this project is more than just a book. It is an attempt to create a movement of positive interactions between people through goodwill and the notion of paying-it-forward. In the near future, I plan on creating games and merchandise to promote that activity.”

The Skullys were created in 2010 when Schumacher worked at the Shaw Island County Park.

“It’s a wonderfully quaint little park, but it just needed a little pizzaz,” said Ms. Schumacher, “so I hung bead strings in the outhouse for campers to take home as a Shaw Island memento. When people started asking ‘Who made the bead strings?’ I invented the Skullys and claimed that Dagney Skully had made them.” Six years later, the adventure novel began. “This has been a two-and-a-half-year book project, and I am very excited to finally get the it on the shelves.”

Schumacher has worked with many art forms including sculpture, drawing, photography, and video. She attended the film and video program at Seattle Central Community College, graduating in 2008. She moved to Orcas Island in 2009 after visiting a friend who lived there. “I was mesmerized by the natural beauty and tranquility of island life. It is nothing less than magical, and it inspired me to focus on my creativity.”

Dagney Skully and the Pendulum Bead Strings can be purchased at Griffin Bay Bookstore and other locations in the San Juan Islands. It can also be purchased on Amazon as a hard copy or ebook.

Visit the website to learn more about Schumacher's book project.


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