Category Archives: Books

Point of View and the Emotional Arc of Stories: A handbook for writers and storytellers by Loren Niemi

loren-niemi-532x1024Loren Niemi has been an innovative professional storyteller performing, directing, collecting, coaching, and teaching stories for over 40 years.

August 1, 2020 marks the release of his latest book:
Point of View and the Emotional Arc of Stories: A handbook for writers and storytellers (written with Nancy Donoval).

The New Book of Plots: Constructing Engaging Narratives for Oral and Written Storytelling, completes the set of his instructional books on the craft of storytelling, both written and oral.

Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories (written with Elizabeth Ellis), is the theory behind these two companion books.

And his genuinely disturbing ghost story collection What Haunts Us is the winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award in the ‘Fantasy / Sci-fi / Horror / Paranormal’ fiction category. It is an example of the application of the three other books.

You can find links to order copies of these books on Loren’s website: https://www.lorenniemistories.com/books

Loren Niemi, Author & Storyteller

It is Fall 2018 and I sit alone at a table in the back of what was then the Underground Music Café in St Paul, MN, attending one of the last meetings of Chris Title’s long running open mic series ‘Barbaric Yawp’. Across the room sitting alone at another table is Loren Niemi, who I do not know but had met at another reading series Summer 2018. I ask how he is. He tells me he is about to have a collection of ghost stories published. I congratulate him. We get on with our lives.

It is Winter 2019 and I stop attending open mics. I am glad to have met other writers in those communities but realize the open mics are taking time away from my actual writing and provide just enough encouragement to have me fool myself into thinking I am accomplishing something. But I stay in touch with my new community via social media and my blog. I see the news that Loren’s book, “What Haunts Us” is published on February 1, 2019 by Moonfire Publishing. He has a book launch and a reading but I miss it. Continue reading

Natalie Diaz, Mojave American Poet

It is Thursday night and I ride the #2 bus along Franklin avenue, through the heart of the Minneapolis Native American community. My destination is McNamara Alumni Center on the world-renowned University of Minnesota (UMN) campus.

In 1851, seven years before Minnesota was admitted into the Union, the territorial legislature chartered the university. That same year, the Dakota were forced to cede nearly all their land in Minnesota and eastern Dakota in the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota (though Minneapolis and St. Paul are built on land ceded in 1805).

I am headed to see Natalie Diaz, Mojave American poet and language activist, read her poetry. Continue reading

Popcorn from the Void: one-year anniversary

July 10, 2018 was the one-year anniversary of the publication of Popcorn from the Void– my friend Todd Park’s memoir that I edited from his blog. The proceeds from the sale of this book go to support various cancer charities. It’s been doing well for a self-published book about such a serious topic: the arduous journey of a bone marrow transplant and the untimely death of its author. Continue reading

Empty hospital bed with bowl of popcorn on the stand

Popcorn from the Void: Observations, Manic Kvetching, and the Raw Truth of Leukemia

Popcorn from the Void:
Observations, Manic Kvetching, and the Raw Truth of Leukemia
By Todd Park

6×9, 288 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1521532324
eBook $2.99/ Paperback $9.99

Available at Amazon

At 50, Todd Park did not look like a man whose bone marrow teemed with 50% cancerous cells. He had no symptoms. Settled into a new job in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah after a naval career and other post-military employment gave him a lifetime of moving, a simple blood test taken for a discount on health insurance led to an unexpected diagnosis: acute myeloid leukemia. An avid writer, Todd blogged the raw physical, mental, and emotional experience of his treatment for this deadly disease. That blog became this posthumous memoir, Popcorn from the Void, fulfilling the commitment he made to write a book about his experience to help others struggling with leukemia.

Continue reading