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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 6 hours ago at Charlie Quimby
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Pearl Harbor Day was frigid, the bottom end of the terrible cold snap that paralyzed much of the country. The kind of day when you remember that public libraries are so more than book repositories. Friends of the Golden Valley Library: Peggy Nelson, Janet Tarkow, Mary Gaffney, the author and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
Note to self: Consider a spring launch next time you do a book. A day after the eeriely smooth traffic following Wednesday's snowstorm, the deep cold followed, and our drive to a reading at Moon Palace Books crept from door-to-door over icy roads. Cancelled RSVPs fell like octogenarians venturing out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
Since my novel Monument Road launched this fall, I've been doing my blog posting over at my author site. If you're interested in books and vagaries of being a debut fiction writer published by a small indie press, jump over... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2013 at Across the Great Divide
Wednesday brought the season's first good winter storm atop a slickery undercoat that had me consulting Google traffic maps before I headed over to SubText for a reading last night. I resigned myself to a long, slow slog and a minuscule turnout. My expectations were dashed on both counts. I-94... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
After a brief Thanksgiving recess, we headed out to Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, where I had serendipitously scheduled myself months ago to appear on what turned out to be Shop Local/Indies First Day. Indies First Day brought authors into independent bookstores around the country to show our support for these... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
The conventional publishing wisdom says if you're a debut author, your job is to get out there and find the spotlight. Don't confuse the marketplace by sharing it too much with others. Readers need to get acquainted with you and your book. So what the hell, I've done some readings... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
At Magers & Quinn, talking about finding how many bales of hay fit in a pickup bed. Last Thursday evening, co-Indie Next pick P.S. Duffy and I did a joint reading/discussion at Magers & Quinn. Emphasis on discussion. We talked about how research informed our novels and the various types... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
Look at this articulated front entrance, where you can window shop out of the weather. They don't build commercial spaces like this any more. Yesterday, Monument Road led to Northfield Minnesota, where I first fell in love with the Midwest, and to Monkey See, Monkey Read Books, a vital main... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
My launch at Common Good Books last week I'm doing so many things in support of Monument Road this week, I'm not even going to list them all. But here are two I want you to know about. Truth, Fiction & Landscape at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis Thursday,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2013 at Charlie Quimby
Nancy (left) and Rachel were happy we made that stack of books behind them disappear. It's true I don't have the MFA in Fiction or a bunch of literary connections, but I enjoy something the young Turks will have to wait a while to develop: more than 40 years of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at Charlie Quimby