Archive for August, 2010

A Repeat of the IWG Event with Idaho Songwriters:

Tuesday, August 31, 6-9 p.m., 1419 Warm Springs/168 S. Villa

 The RANDOM READING event for July with the Idaho Songwriters Association was so much fun we want to do it again!! Same thing – only the August 31st event is purely a social one. It’ll take place at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Diane Graham’s house at 1419 Warm Springs Avenue. You’ll find a lot more parking and easier access to Diane’s HUGE backyard if you enter the event by going to the end of South Villa Street. (Warm Springs to Walnut St. Right on Walnut (South) to Lewis and turn left. Lewis to S. Villa and turn left again. Be looking on the curb on the right hand side for a stenciled address 168 S. Villa. There, you will see the gray cedar fence and some balloons on the right leading to the Graham’s back yard. When parking, please do not park in front of someone’s driveway. There should be plenty of places to park.)  Hope to see you there!


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A lot is happening with independent bookstores these days.  Sadly, we have confirmed that A Novel Adventure is closing its doors.  You can join them for one final bash at First Thursday on September 2nd.  They will have music, wine, and great deals on books.  Learn more at www.ANovelAdventure.com

One of Boise’s other independent bookstores has recently relocated downtown.  Rediscovered Bookshop will host a Grand Opening at 6:30pm on Friday, August 27th.  Alan Minskoff and Paul Hosefros will be signing their new book Idaho Wine Country.  And of course, there will be wine to taste.  Visit www.RediscoveredBookshop.com

Please join us at both events.  The IWG thanks the owners and staff for all their efforts in our literary community.

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Tonight- William Kamkwamba, author and subject of the inspirational story “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” will visit Boise State University as part of the Campus Read program.  Kamkwamba’s talk will be held at 7pm in the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and is free and open to the public.

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“Bad Writing” by Vernon Lott

Saturday, August 21, 12:30 p.m.  to 2:45 p.m. at THE FLICKS, 646 Capitol (off Myrtle)

The Idaho Writers Guild has teamed with the Idaho Media Professionals for a very special program. Bad Writing is a documentary about a wannabe poet who sets off on a quest for answers about writing – bad writing, good writing, and the process in between. What he learns from some leading figures in the literary world will inspire anyone who has ever dreamt of creating art.

We’ll start the afternoon by watching the film at 12:30 p.m. (Keep in mind that you can come earlier to the Flicks for lunch.) After the film, we’ll hear Vernon talk about his documentary, and then we’ll have questions and answers. If the questions go on past 2:45 p.m., we can always go out to the patio to continue. (IMP is helping IWG pay for the Flicks rental, plus hotel costs for Mr. Lott.)  The film is free to IWG and IMP members. Members of the public can watch it for the usual Flicks ticket prices.

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The men burned tumbleweed in the upper field. Jerry and I saw tumbleweed in the barn corral. We wanted to help the men. We ran down to the ranch house basement where supplies were kept for sheep camps. We searched through boxes of canned vegetables, fruit, slabs of bacon and ration-bought sugar and flour.  It was 1941. Jerry was seven and I was five. We didn’t understand what “the war” meant, but we knew what rationing meant. Matches were not rationed.

We ran back to the barn. We tossed burning matches into the tumbleweed. As the flames grew, the tumbleweed melted. It burned bright red, turned black and dropped grey spirals to the ground. We felt good! After a few minutes, the men began to run toward the barn, waving their arms and yelling. “What’s wrong?’” we asked. Then we saw that our “good deed” had turned into gigantic tongues of red and yellow flames licking the side of the barn. We started to run, and then Jerry stopped and said, “Help me bury these matches.” We hid behind the bunkhouse and played in the dirt with rocks and sticks.

Our mother smelled the smoke first. She checked the flue on the woodstove, and then stepped outside. With a sharp intake of breath and a narrowing of her eyes against the bright sun, she saw the smoke billowing from the barn, a quarter mile up the road. Her first thought was, “Where are those little kids?” She half ran, half stumbled up the path toward the barn, holding her hand over her mouth to stifle her scream and quiet her fear.  The smoke reminded her of Peggy’s fire.

My sister, Peggy, died two months before I was born. A fire started from a kerosene lamp while she was making a bed. Peggy died of a blood clot just after her fifth birthday.

As she ran toward the barn, choking from the smoke, Mom saw it was covered in flames. She knew that whatever, whoever was in there could not be saved. With a trembling hand, she reached into her apron pocket for a handkerchief, and as she looked down, she saw two sets of footprints in the dust, coming, and going. Relief. Then, she set her jaw and followed the footprints left by two barefoot children. She came to a small mound, scraped it with the toe of her shoe and dozens of matches spilled out.

I distinctly remember seeing my mother’s brown lace-up shoes first.  Then I saw her ankles in brown stockings. My eyes crept up her flower-printed cotton dress and her cotton apron with blue piping around the edges. Her black hair was pulled into a bun.

Arms akimbo, she said, “Do you kids know the barn is on fire?”

“Oh”, we said, “Is it?”

Showing us a handful of matches, she said, “Look what I found.” We tried to run, but Mom was too quick for us and gave us both a good licking.

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