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charlieq
Recent Activity
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In the flurry of preschool today, I noticed a new title in the library—titled Hershey's Milk Chocolate Weights and Measures. (Yes, that giant candy bar is part of the title.) I didn't have time to check out the quality of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
After a long break I returned today to the preschool classroom at People Serving People. A state background check has to be done annually to clear me to provide "direct contact services," and for some reason, it took much longer... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Small businesses and nonprofits have a lot in common: They operate on thin margins, develop strong local ties and support their communities’ economic and social wellbeing. But what happens to those strong bonds when an online retailing giant comes in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Small businesses and nonprofits have a lot in common: They operate on thin margins, develop strong local ties and support their communities’ economic and social wellbeing. But what happens to those strong bonds when an online retailing giant comes in with a deal that benefits one side and threatens the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Scout and Morgan owner Judith Kissner (right) and her sister, Jenny Ryan, form a welcoming duo at the front of what has to be the sweetest bookstore in Central Minnesota. Author John Green has a catch phrase for his young audience: "Don't forget to be awesome." I think I know... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Trudy was one of those deep and engaged readers a writer is delighted to meet. One of our rules for this book business is that it's supposed to be fun. Fun for audiences and our hosts, of course, but also for Susan and me. Traveling to support book sales is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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It's been quiet here as my volunteering has been interrupted by a busy travel schedule. This entry is cross-posted from my author blog as "The old news and a few remarks on events intervening." Last night, we heard artist Andy... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Last night, we heard artist Andy Sturdevant describe his residency for Coffee House Press's In the Stacks program. He'd taken items from old issues of a community newsletter and updated what had happened in the intervening years. This morning my wife found a letter folded in sixths marking a spot... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Ranking slightly below my dislike of headlines like this one is lazy reporting off some press release touting a simplistic proposition thinly supported by pseudo-statistical data. Yes, I'm talking about Amazon's annual list of The Most Well-Read Cities in America. All manner of media uncritically reproduce this crap, from Time... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Sometimes you can just tell. The first clue was when I was in Denver for the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association show last September. BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan and her cohort, Carol Timblin, made it known I'd be welcome there when Monument Road came out, and I made a... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Janis Nowlan, a great advocate of my novel, was told she didn't get it by a man who hadn't read it. Samuel Baseler, my high school English teacher, set me on my life's path with the question: "Have you ever considered becoming a writer?" In my ongoing quest to find... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Book Train owner Carole O'Brien (left) would've held up a copy of Monument Road, but they were sold out. I wrote Monument Road because I came back to Grand Junction, Colorado, after a long separation. But I began as a writer in Glenwood Springs, the small town 90 miles up-river... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
When I pulled up to the Day Center yesterday, two patrol cars and three police officers had beaten me there. The trouble turned out to be minor. A florid-faced man with white hair had come into the vestibule where other... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Although homeless people frequently get around by relying upon public transit, walking, bikes and the kindness of strangers, some of our guests do have vehicles. Here's a small gallery of recent examples parked near the day center. (Click to enlarge.)... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Salida's Book Haven presents an inviting facade on the funky downtown's main shopping street. For years I'd been hearing about the great artsy-outdoorsy town of Salida, so when I met Lisa Marvel at last year's Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association show, I was delighted to hear the Book Haven's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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Monument Road has been out long enough that I'm enjoying a new phase of promoting the book. I'm still doing bookstore events here and there, and now the mix in the audience includes people who've read the book. I'm also spending more of my time with book clubs, where everyone... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
Paco came in today to brush his teeth. One of his schticks is to speak in a regional shitkicker accent. So, as he said it, he'd come to the Day Center to brush his tayth. He still has a full... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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What would you save of your estate if all you had was 32 gallons of storage? We never get the full picture at the Day Center, even with the people who are most forthcoming. Human beings are too complex, even... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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A selection of candles available at the supply window. If you're homeless, soap is easy to come by at the Day Center. So is shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, band-aids, camp candles and weak coffee. Aspirin, combs, bath gel, plastic... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
I believe that was the pretext, although the man said he had the money to pay three months in advance, I recall. The underlying takeaway though is that Section 8 recipients may be more reliable tenants than "homeless" people because they have done the paperwork and are subject to the program rules. By comparison, a guy who'd earned the money on his own wasn't considered as safe, I guess.
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At the Day Center, the mission is to serve homeless adults by providing some basic services unavailable to those without a stable place to live. There's more than one “official” definition of homelessness, and we see people all along this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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When I first thought about volunteering at the Day Center, I had a hard time getting excited about handing out towels, soap and toothbrushes. Homeless men drinking weak coffee while hanging out waiting for showers or phone calls—how much fun... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
I'm back in Grand Junction until May, and with a throttled-back book schedule, I'm posting here again. The first day back at the Day Center after a long absence always requires some adjustment. New rules get posted. The volunteer crew... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2014 at Across the Great Divide
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Last night I spent a stimulating evening in a building that I had first visited as ruin 16 years ago—years that bridge a very transformative time for me, three arts organizations and the City of Minneapolis. Artist Wendy Fernstrum and I talked about our long and episodic collaboration and the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Charlie Quimby
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I braved the polar vortex Monday night to attend Barbara Field's reading of her work in progress, The Crackatook. Early in the winter, she'd gotten out to a reading of mine on a night cars were sliding all over icy streets, and a dash to The Playwrights' Center in the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at Charlie Quimby