Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Hepola and Steve Almond

Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir, Wild, became a successful movie with Reese Witherspoon, is a good storyteller whose online talks and Q&As never contain a dull moment. It was during one of my searches for her talks that I learned that she had resurrected her advice column, Dear . . . → Read More: Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has some of the best wine country on Earth, especially if you’re into the Pinot Noir variety that Rex Pickett made famous with his novels Sideways and Vertical, the latter of which is set in Oregon. For those who live in Portland or are just visiting, most of the wineries are . . . → Read More: Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

Garrison Keillor has occasionally referenced the basement of a Lutheran church as well as a dinner entrée called a casserole (aka hotdish) during his successful, long-running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. I was raised in a denomination, i.e., the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), which is similar to Lutheran (two sacraments: baptism and communion). . . . → Read More: Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

RIP John Trudell, by Daniel Housman

John Trudell, poet, activist for American Indian rights, dies at age 69

RIP John Trudell.

I’ll never forget hearing him speak 20 years ago in a basement hall at the University of Washington, at a time when the case of Leonard Peltier was getting renewed attention (which did not result in his pardon), . . . → Read More: RIP John Trudell, by Daniel Housman

Jack Kerouac – October in the Railroad Earth

Television host Steve Allen plays the piano on this and it forms a moment of unusual beauty. Here’s Jack Kerouac, our latter day Whitman, singing the body electric in old school San Francisco. He uses the word “fellaheen” a half century before middle eastern class and sectarian struggles would dominate the headlines. Something in . . . → Read More: Jack Kerouac – October in the Railroad Earth

Superman’s Imaginary Stories, by Rich Horton

Back in the days before Marvel’s more “realistic” super heroes overthrew DC’s dominance in the comics marketplace, DC would sometimes feature what they referred to as “imaginary stories,” which was a rather endearing way of saying the plot pursued an alternative story arc that didn’t fit in the overall fictional continuity of the characters . . . → Read More: Superman’s Imaginary Stories, by Rich Horton

Split-Fountain Hieroglyphics: Psychedelic Concert Posters From the Seattle Area 1966-1969, by Art Chantry

last wednesday, i was honored to be at a book signing event for a rather momentous and very important little poster book project. scott mcdougall is one of the best experts i’ve ever met on all things psychedelia. his own artwork (he desgned the cover, for instance) is enough to entrench him into the . . . → Read More: Split-Fountain Hieroglyphics: Psychedelic Concert Posters From the Seattle Area 1966-1969, by Art Chantry

Greg Graffin – Faith Alone – Will Appear at Hawthorne Theater, Portland 9/23

Author and Bad Religion member Greg Graffin has shared “Faith Alone”, one of his own songs that thematically inspired his new book, Population Wars. The full series including “My Poor Friend Me”, “The Answer”, “Changing Tide” are available on an limited edition exclusive 7-inch available for pre-order with Population Wars at kingsroadmerch.com/badreligion.

With . . . → Read More: Greg Graffin – Faith Alone – Will Appear at Hawthorne Theater, Portland 9/23

Frank Gifford, RIP, by Chuck Strom

This post was a nice surprise. Not just that someone would have had the presence of mind to mention Freddy Exley, but that apparently Gifford and Exley came to know each other after A Fan’s Notes, and that Gifford even hosted a party for Exley when his last book came out.

http://news.yahoo.com/frank-gifford-death-fred-exley-a-fans-notes-220404916.html

One . . . → Read More: Frank Gifford, RIP, by Chuck Strom

One of the Coolest Books About the USA Ever Made, by Art Chantry

Robert Frank’s game-changing book THE AMERICANS, published in 1958 by Grove Press (there was a different edition published in france a year earlier with essays many assorted french intellectuals (and cover art by saul steinberg). the american edition had a single essay by jack kerouac. the project itself was funded by a Guggenhiem Grant.

. . . → Read More: One of the Coolest Books About the USA Ever Made, by Art Chantry

Mark Blake – Pretend You’re in a War: The Who and the Sixties, by Pat Thomas

Starting in the early 70s, I’ve never had a casual relationship with The Who – just like I’ve never had a casual connection to my head, heart or groin. The Who always exemplified the visceral, mercurial, macho, homoerotic, thunderous, vulnerable side of rock music, they made me feel more alive reflecting my changing moods. . . . → Read More: Mark Blake – Pretend You’re in a War: The Who and the Sixties, by Pat Thomas

‘Life Itself’ shows Roger Ebert ravaged by cancer, but engaged till the end, By RANDY RENDFELD

The documentary “Life Itself” shows film critic Roger Ebert in a less than flattering light. In a society that celebrates youth and vitality, some might find it shocking that we see Ebert’s face ravaged by cancer. We see shots of his final days when he’s unable to walk or talk. Yet he was able . . . → Read More: ‘Life Itself’ shows Roger Ebert ravaged by cancer, but engaged till the end, By RANDY RENDFELD

The Dark Ages Warrior’s Version of Play with a Purpose, By Kim Rendfeld

A 13th century toy mounted knight – Walters Art Museum via Wikimedia Commons, used under the terms of under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

When we shop for toys for the loved ones on our list, we like to think the kids are learning something. Books help children associate those squiggles . . . → Read More: The Dark Ages Warrior’s Version of Play with a Purpose, By Kim Rendfeld

Yes, People in the Dark Ages Bathed, by Kim Rendfeld

This 14th century image by Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci depicts the newborn Virgin Mary about to be bathed.

When I decided to write fiction set in the days of Charlemagne, I knew very little about the Middle Ages but was certain of one thing: medieval people didn’t bathe. I recall being told by teachers . . . → Read More: Yes, People in the Dark Ages Bathed, by Kim Rendfeld

Who’s Guilty? God Knows. By Kim Rendfeld

First published Sept. 8, 2014, on Spann of Time http://www.susanspann.com

To prove her innocence of adultery, Kunigunde, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich II, walked over red-hot ploughshares (circa 1010, bas-relief from Bamberg Cathedral).

Who’s Guilty? God Knows. By Kim Rendfeld

Delve into the justice system of early medieval Francia and . . . → Read More: Who’s Guilty? God Knows. By Kim Rendfeld

Traditional Marriage: Eighth Century Frankish Style

“As a novelist, I don’t judge the marriage traditions of another society. My responsibility is to accurately depict my characters’ reality and their reactions to it. But examining customs in another time teaches us that the definition of marriage–who is eligible, who gets to decide, why one gets married–has indeed changed.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kim . . . → Read More: Traditional Marriage: Eighth Century Frankish Style

The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

Microfiction by Knute Rimkus

They lived in a white microhouse. It was a shoebox, for baby shoes, in the Varane neighborhood. Their neighbors lived in shoeboxes too. This misery did not love company.

They ate dinner quickly. She thought the steak was too red and only ate half. She drank water. Murdoch drank a . . . → Read More: The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

David Bowie’s Reading List, By Mark Erickson

David Bowie is a staple on classic rock radio, and deservedly so. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (and my Rykodisc extended version) is clearly a four-star album. I am also quite fond of Outside (1995) and Earthling (2007), among other releases. Bowie has had duds. I listened . . . → Read More: David Bowie’s Reading List, By Mark Erickson

Author in Need Seeks Eye Surgery Assistance, By Andrew Hamlin

Gillian Gaar, longtime scribe to the Seattle scene, author of She’s A Rebel and other books, needs surgery and has no insurance. I hope you can donate, but at least please do try to spread the word around:

– Andrew Hamlin

. . . → Read More: Author in Need Seeks Eye Surgery Assistance, By Andrew Hamlin

Pat Thomas, Ron Johnson and Gary Perry to Discuss Legacy of the 1965 Watts Riots, the LA Rebellion and Social Justice, Reviving a Cultural, Social, Artistic and Political Framework on March 23 at 6PM, New Time

The lecture in which Pat Thomas will participate, sponsored by the Northwest Film Forum on 1960s/1970’s underground African American films on Saturday March 23rd in Seattle has been changed from 8 pm to 6 pm – the NEW time for this free event is 6 pm !

After two trips to London (May and . . . → Read More: Pat Thomas, Ron Johnson and Gary Perry to Discuss Legacy of the 1965 Watts Riots, the LA Rebellion and Social Justice, Reviving a Cultural, Social, Artistic and Political Framework on March 23 at 6PM, New Time