Chronicles of a Blessed Man – Paul Haber

Join us for a reading from Chronicles of a Blessed Man, a memoir by Paul Haber.

Paul Haber is a former career soldier- a Marine, then Special Forces (Green Beret) and Ranger. After retiring from the service, he held several jobs, including security officer, bodyguard, and martial arts instructor, before “finding his niche” with the Arizona Department of Corrections; progressing from Officer to Sergeant, to a type of counselor called Corrections Officer III, before taking an early retirement.

His personal life was not quite as successful. Ten years after a marriage to a woman he barely knew, he became divorced and hurried into another, against the advice of his parents and friends. He didn’t realize at the time that he was, in great measure, the cause of the split with his first wife. Fortunately, his second wife, Kyehwa would not give up on him, despite the usual- and some not so usual- problems in their marriage. He upbringing and her beliefs were strong enough that she persevered, and slowly taught him the meaning of love, responsibility and marriage.

Shortly after retiring from Law Enforcement, Paul was suddenly struck down with a ruptured small intestine, which brought him hours, possibly minutes, from a painful death. This is the story of that time, what he learned and beginning of a new way of life.

In addition to highly successful careers in the military and Law Enforcement, Paul Haber worked at more than four dozen jobs, ranging from warehouse worker to electronics instructor and even professional bodyguard. He says it was all research for his writing career, which really began after a near death experience, which became the subject of his first book, Chronicles of a Blessed Man.

He had been writing most of his life, with his first published work was a satiric limerick he wrote as a homework assignment in High School. His English teacher, rather than giving him the “F” Paul expected, submitted the poem to a Young Adult literary magazine and later presented Paul with a check of the princely sum of fifty dollars. That whetted his appetite for story-telling, but for many years, he wrote only for his own enjoyment and that of his children and grandchildren.

Once he began writing, it became almost a fever, and he quickly began several other projects, ranging from an autobiography to a murder novel.

Paul is married to Kyehwa, his bride of more than four decades, and is the father of seven, grandfather of twenty-seven (blood and adopted) and beginning to count the great grand-children. He lives in Vancouver, Washington.

Final Flight Final Fight – Erin Miller

Join us to learn about the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, Erin Miller’s grandmother Elaine Harmon, and the fight to honor her at Arlington National Cemetery, in Final Flight Final Fight.

When Arlington National Cemetery refused to accept her grandmother’s last request to be laid to rest there, Erin Miller refused to let her legacy as a veteran die along with her.

Her grandmother, Elaine Danforth Harmon, flew as a pilot with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II. Despite being part of the first group of women to fly for the United States Army, the WASP remained officially unrecognized as members of the military due to discriminatory thinking about gender on Capitol Hill and beyond.

Miller led her family’s campaign on behalf of her grandmother, and all the women of the WASP, across social media, traditional news outlets, and to Capitol Hill to fight for their equal recognition at one of the nation’s most well-known cemeteries. Her grandmother’s final fight came after her final flight – but Miller was honored to follow in her footsteps to ensure her legacy would not be forgotten.

Erin Miller is the granddaughter of WASP WWII pilot Elaine Danforth Harmon. Erin has a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, a Master’s in international studies from the University of Leeds (UK), and a B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego. She is a licensed attorney in Maryland, where she lives with her two Shiba Inus.

Inkwater Authors Night – David Prideaux, Janet Rucker-Smith, Lawrence E. Hussman

Join us for our monthly reading by three authors from Inkwater Press! This month we have David Prideaux, Janet Rucker-Smith, and Lawrence E. Hussman.

A new author has come up with a big idea that would replace the Big Bang theory. In No Big Bang: A Three-Part Look at a Bent Universe, writer David Prideaux explains his belief that astronomers and physicists have mistakenly assumed “expansion” explains the universe. He suggests that “gravity” is a better fit. It all goes back to evidence that is 100 years old — the Hubble “red shift.” The author sees the universe as “bent,” which follows Einstein’s idea (which has been proved) that starlight is bent by gravity.

Self-confrontation is the driving force of the spiritual journey. It is how we grow and evolve in ways that can dramatically and profoundly alter the trajectory of our lives. We must be relentless in our awareness of our reactions and our feelings because they clearly, honestly and perfectly let us know when we are disconnected from love, peace, compassion, and happiness – from the essence of All That Is, which is what we are. Janet Rucker-Smith’s Rantings of a Screaming Soul: Healing Through Purposely Random Self-Confrontation chronicles her unexpected inner pilgrimage through death, dark shadows, redemption, and rebirth. It is an ordinary woman’s extraordinarily raw and candid account of an emotional and spiritual awakening in the midst of teenagers, ex-husbands, death, bills, and loads and loads of laundry. One day she’s basking in the gloriously infinite and eternal bliss of divine love, and the next day she’s on her knees in the tormenting depths of hell begging to be released from the excruciating agony. Shall the truth set one free? Indeed it will, but only when we finally remember the most profound truth of all: We are not our problems or our hurts or even our successes. And although our experiences may shape and color the masks we wear, our eternal being is always and forever perfectly well.

In his biting memoir, Acanemia: A Memoir of Life in the Halls of the Higher Learning, Hussman skewers those responsible for the numerous problems that plague American higher education and price it beyond the means of many. He traces the development of these drawbacks using his exceptional experience as a member of the founding faculty at a public university established in the 1960s. Along the way, he weaves in personal details of his life inside and outside the classroom.

At age 11, Portlander David Prideaux got his first telescope. As a lifelong learner fascinated with the cosmos, he eventually came up with a bold new idea. He published it so he could share his passion about the origin of all things. Prideaux has a B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.

Janet Rucker-Smith is the second of three daughters and was raised in Los Angeles. Both her mother and father were among the first generation of African Americans to graduate from college. After receiving her BA in English from UCLA, Janet forged her career in corporate training and development, highlighted by her creation and facilitation of career development workshops, guiding people through self-exploration and self-assessment.

Birthing three children in five years and then becoming a single mother while shouldering the majority of child-rearing and financial responsibilities, Janet jumped off the corporate fast-track and became a high school English teacher. The death of her father coupled with the sudden end of a significant relationship catapulted Janet into a tumultuous spiritual and emotional awakening, ultimately giving birth to her first book, Rantings of a Screaming Soul. Following an inner call, Janet resigned her teaching position and completed extensive training to become a certified professional coach where she helps people who are experiencing unprecedented life challenges/crises, who are tired of struggling, and who are ripe to upshift their life to the next level.

Lawrence E. Hussman has taught American literature at three universities in the US and at four in Europe as a Fulbright scholar and as a visiting professor. They include the University of Michigan, the University of Portland, Wright State University, the University of Warsaw, the Psychology Academy of Warsaw, Marie Curie University in Lublin, Poland, and the Open University in Lisbon. In addition to publishing three highly praised literary critical volumes and many journal articles on literature, film, and higher education, he has written two books for the counterterrorist and adventurer Sam Hall and has edited a memoir by Marguerite Tjader, one of Theodore Dreiser’s amanuenses.

Inkwater Authors Night – Marilynne Eichinger, Sharon Ann Rose, and Mark Chussil

Join us for our monthly series from Inkwater Press. This month, we hear from Marilynne Eichinger, Sharon Ann Rose, and Mark Chussil.

Lives of Museum Junkies: The Story of America’s Hands-On Education Movement: Peer into the political and educational climate of the 1960s to discover factors that propelled the hands-on education movement into prominence. Follow the missteps and breakthroughs of Marilynne Eichinger and 11 other naive but dedicated museum directors, board volunteers, and National Science Foundation managers as they strove to change the way science was taught. Their oft humorous stories are revealed with candor and clarity. Responding to the latest research in learning and child development, they created engaging, self-teaching displays that impacted the landscape of 2,900 centers worldwide while serving 98 million people in the U.S.

Faces of the Mother: A Journey, A Collaboration, A Feminine Restoration: What happens when a group of everyday women go off in search of the most vital riches they contain…leaving behind notions of who they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing?! Through this creative inner journey, Sharon Ann Rose, M.Div., intimately explores with a circle of women the many facets of the Mother…the full spectrum of Her deepest darkness to Her lightest ignition. Each woman goes through a life-altering transformation, facing resistance, shame, freedom, surrender, past wounds, new awakening, ancient understandings and the realization of what we encounter as we commit to fully living from the Sacred Feminine and its integrated expression in our modern world. Faces of the Mother offers an intimate portrayal of the REAL DEAL of CREATION, offering a pathway to face one’s greatest self-judgments. Here we learn to honor our deepest longings so we can work with, instead of resist them, and birth a life of beauty, blessing and extraordinary love.

Mark Chussil’s Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live: “Nice Start” is about you, your life, and your dreams. “Nice Start” asks you questions. They aren’t about right and wrong; they’re about what you think and feel. The experience is truly challenging and deeply rewarding.

Founder of the interactive learning center Impression 5 Science Museum in Lansing, Michigan, Marilynne Eichinger is well known as the former president of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned science centers. In conjunction with 22 national museums Marilynne founded and published the “Museum Tour Catalog,” circulating educational materials and toys to two million households.

Sharon Ann Rose is a Transformational Facilitator and Author. Through the shamanic and hypnotic arts, and her connection to the Earth and Sacred Feminine Mysteries, she provides a safe space for others to find their inner wellspring of wisdom, creativity, softening and love. Her favorite place is walking in the forests of Portland, OR listening to the trees. Learn more about her at her website.

What do you get from Mark Chussil, an odd man who studied political science at Yale and business at Harvard, who started his own strategy-consulting business and travels the world with it, who publishes extensively, who says science saved his life three times and almost killed him only once, and who got the biggest shock of his life from a 15-year-old kid? You get “Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live.” By the way: “Nice Start” is not about political science and it is not about business. It is about you.


This Never Happened – Liz Scott

Join us for a reading from Liz Scott’s new memoir, This Never Happened.

This Never Happened is a genre-bending memoir, told in a non-linear way using photographs, letters, and lists. This is a spare work…alternatively heartbreaking and darkly comic. Like an archeological dig, Scott’s memoir goes in search of the answers to the mysteries of her family. In her relentless quest to uncover the truth, she leaves no one, including herself, unexamined. In the end, it is about the challenge of making peace with questions that will never be answered and the struggle to forgive.

Liz Scott has been a practicing psychologist for 40 years, helping clients to identify life themes and make sense of the puzzle of their lives. She has brought this focus to her writing in the last fifteen years, first as a short story writer and most recently in her memoir, This Never Happened. She has been published in numerous literary journals and served two terms on the board of Oregon Literary Arts. Originally from New York City, she currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Here is Where I Walk – Leslie Carol Roberts

Join us for a reading from a new eco-memoir by Leslie Carol Roberts, Here is Where I Walk: Episodes From a Life in the Forest.

Leslie Carol Roberts turns her daily walks in San Francisco’s Presidio into revelations of deeper meaning, reflecting on her travels as well as her home life as the single mother of two. In this finely crafted eco-memoir, each place provides Leslie with exactly the scaffolding needed to survive, with nature serving as the tonic. Here Is Where I Walk provides a vivid answer to how we can find our place, not only in nature but within ourselves and the world we walk.

Leslie Roberts, photo by Mara Holt Skov

Leslie Carol Roberts is the author of Here Is Where I Walk: Episodes from a Life in the Forest (Nevada, 2019) and The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica (Nebraska 2008, 2012). She was the first Fulbright Fellow in the world in Antarctic Studies. Currently she is professor and chair of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Her work has appeared in Fast Company, Forbes FYI, Lear’s, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre and many other publications. Roberts is a journalist and has worked for newspapers in Florida, California, Thailand, and Australia. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand, two NEA grants, and has a MFA from the University of Iowa.

Lesbian Lit Book Group – May

Up this month is a memoir by Chana Wilson, about sexuality and her relationship with her mother. (And more, of course, but we don’t want to give it away.) Join us to discuss, as always, on the first Tuesday of the month, when we talk about lesbian characters/issues/content.

The Jesus He Deserved – Sean Davis, Matthew Robinson, Jacob Meeks

Returned veterans are becoming writers and artists. And American stories are changing. The Jesus He Deserved tells the tales of the wars our soldiers fight at home before they fight abroad and once that battle has ended. Each holds the conscience of the world right now. Each shows how someone who has seen too much death can recover into life.

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, and the winner of the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015 and the recipient of the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader, Human Rights award for 2016. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in the Ted Talk Book The Misfit’s Manifesto (Simon and Schuster), Forest Avenue Press anthology City of Weird, Sixty Minutes, Story Corps, Flaunt Magazine, The Big Smoke, Human the movie, and much more.

Matthew Robinson is the author of the novel The Horse Latitudes (an Oregon Book Award finalist), holds an MFA in Fiction from Portland State University, co-edits the online literary journal The Gravity of the Thing, and is an Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient. He lives, writes, and teaches in Portland, Oregon.

Jacob Meeks is a veteran who has worked in humanitarian aid, specializing in operations and security in South Sudan, Guatemala, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, and most recently, Nigeria. In the past he deployed with the 82nd Airborne to Kosovo and Afghanistan. He is currently also working on his writing career. His first stories were published in War Stories 2017 and The Jesus He Deserved.

L. Kris Gowen, Lee Barkmann, Philip Kenney (Inkwater Press)

L. Kris Gowen has a prosperous career, a loving partner, a strong circle of friends … until tragedy strikes. She turns to karaoke: a source of joy. With a half-formed plan and a need to sing, she takes off on a 17,774-mile karaoke road trip through America. She reconnects with old friends, makes new ones—and heals. Each time Kris takes the microphone, she sheds a little more grief, stepping into a world where everyone is accepted simply for singing a song they love. In One Nation Under Song: My Karaoke Journey Through Grief, Joy, and America, readers gain an insider’s look at the unique culture of karaoke while riding and singing along with the author on her once-in-a-lifetime journey.

In Digging Up New Business: The Swiftpad Takeover, GG has a plan to capture the whole world’s attention. She hooks up with local pothead Kip to create SwiftPad, a renegade social media app that promises to convert the world’s fascination with itself into billions in cash for the crew and their backers. But when a sadistic killer’s handiwork is uncovered, new clues to an old crime point to Portland’s IT community. He is out there, using his high-tech talent to mock efforts to catch him. Digging Up New Business is a raffish, satiric account of how we are coping with the sweeping changes of recent decades.

The Writer’s Crucible provides a map for navigating the turbulent, emotional waters of a creative life. It does so by helping writers understand the psychology of vulnerability. Perhaps the most common vulnerability we face is the persistent sense of not being good enough. This troubling insecurity is often present in even the most successful writer, who, despite success, is subject to episodes of self-doubt that undermine creativity. To help authors manage this core experience, The Writer’s Crucible offers an in-depth exploration of the psychological underpinnings governing the internal narrative, “I am not enough.” That knowledge enables readers to begin undoing emotional constrictions and connect with an inner source of spiritual nourishment, allowing creative energies to move with greater freedom. The Writer’s Crucible is not a book that tells you how to write—it is one that shows you how to be a writer.

L. Kris Gowen, PhD, EdM, received her doctorate in Child and Adolescent Development from Stanford University and her Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is also the author of Sexual Decisions: The Ultimate Teen Guide, a book for youth. She lives in Portland, Oregon–despite her dislike of gray skies. Her favorite artists to karaoke are Donna Summer and Olivia Newton-John.

Lee Barckmann was born in South New Jersey in 1951. He played little League baseball, fished and hunted and otherwise had a Huckleberry Finn childhood. He went to college at the University of Kansas with a track scholarship, but was injured freshman year. Lee then became involved in the anti-war movement on campus.
He graduated in 1973 with a BA Economics and in History. Lee moved to Utah, then Oregon, and wrote his first (unpublished) novel in between learning Mandarin and working several jobs. Lee was invited to teach English in China, where he taught for 2 1/2 years. He returned to the US in late 1987. Lee started an IT career, changing jobs frequently for 25 years until retiring in 2015. He now lives in Wilsonville, Oregon with his wife, Mary, as a fulltime writer.

Philip Kenney has practiced psychotherapy and meditation for over thirty years in Portland, Oregon. In addition to these practices, he writes poetry, fiction, and essays on culture, psychology, and the spiritual challenges of our time. Mr. Kenney’s understanding of the many emotional vulnerabilities facing writers and artists is based on his own experiences as well as those of the creative people he sees in his psychotherapy practice. Having worked with these talented people through hours of intimate psychotherapy, and having heard and felt their considerable pain—the pain of feeling not good enough—he was moved to write this book.

Local Author Don DuPay

Pimps, prostitutes, safe crackers, murderers, drug addicts, thieves and thugs—and of course, the Portland Police Bureau—Don DuPay introduces them all in this candid, entertaining and brutal look at the stark realities of police work. DuPay, a 17 year veteran of the force, has written an intimate memoir that will take the reader on an unforgettable journey, pulling back the curtain to reveal the true and shocking machinations that fueled police culture, during his time. It’s a world of danger and contradictions, where officers are torn between their duties and the demands of survival. Police officers get dressed, strap on a gun and go to war. It’s a different war every day but it’s still a war. In this unforgettable story, the reader is never left to choose between the good guys or the bad guys. DuPay keeps it real as he wrestles with a vocation that nearly destroyed him. DuPay provides, startling revelations about the corruption, burn-out and heartache that he experienced during his time on the force—dynamics which remain a common pattern in long-term law enforcement careers.