Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Nationally acclaimed author Duff Brenna will present a program Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library about his experiences in writing best-selling memoirs.
Brenna’s program will be based on readings and discussion from his novel “Murdering the Mom,” recently published by Wordcraft of Oregon.
Wordcraft publisher and CEO David Memmott will accompany Brenna and will read from his latest book of poems “Lost Transmissions.”
In “Murdering the Mom,” Brenna took all the materials of hardship and abuse during an unhappy childhood and sculpted it into a heart-rending memoir based on his life. Brenna was a juvenile delinquent, car thief (and later hobo) who turned his life around from a social miscreant to dairy farmer, paratrooper and then award-winning scholar and author.
This program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Hood River County Library District and Libraries of Eastern Oregon.
Now a professor emeritus of English literature and creative writing at California State University, San Marcos, Brenna is the author of six published novels, a collection of short stories and two memoirs.
His books have been translated into several languages and his short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals.
Memmott has published six books of poetry, a novel and a story collection. His poem, “Where the Yellow Brick Road Turns West,” was a finalist for the 2010 Spur Award from Western Writers of America.
“The Larger Earth: Descending Notes of a Grounded Astronaut” was selected as one of 150 best poetry books for 150 years of Oregon statehood by Poetry Northwest and the Oregon State Library.
Memmott is a recipient of three Fellowships for Publishing from Literary Arts Inc. for his work as editor and publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon, based in La Grande.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge