When you sit down to write a sympathy card, do you freeze with worry as you try to write the “right” thing? A new book, “The Art of Comforting,” written by Maine resident Val Walker, addresses how we can offer comfort to people in distress. She’ll be talking about and signing copies of her book in Portland on Tuesday and in Kennebunk on Thursday. Call 780-4070 for information on Tuesday’s event; call 967-6136 for Thursday’s event.

WHEN:  6 p.m. Tuesday; 7 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: University of Southern Maine Bookstore, Bedford Street, Portland; Kennebooks, 149 Port Road, Kennebunk

HOW MUCH: Free, both events