Blogs: Adults

Cindy and her dog, Maddie
Cindy Hiday is the author of Iditarod Nights, a Library Writers Project book that has recently been published in partnership with Ooligan Press. 

People love dogs! What inspired you to write about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in particular?

I became hooked on the sport when I read Race Across Alaska: First woman to win the Iditarod tells her story, by Libby Riddles and Tim Jones. I'm drawn to stories about women who are courageous under pressure, as Libby Riddles certainly was when she found herself exhausted and caught in a blizzard during the race. When I read about a local woman who put her career on hold to train and compete in the Iditarod, I had the spark of an idea for my heroine in Iditarod Nights. For a time, the research consumed me. I discovered there is so much more behind the Iditarod – from its early beginnings to its present-day sport – than most people realize. I admire the veteran mushers, their dedication and how they put their dogs' wellbeing ahead of their own. And I fell in love with the dogs! They are amazing athletes; the sheer joy in their expressions when they're hooked up to a sled is thrilling!

Are there common themes you find yourself drawn to in your writing and the books you read?

My author brand is writing in the spirit of adventure and happy endings; that's my promise to my readers. The more challenging and seemingly impossible the adventure, the better. There has to be character growth beyond what the character believes themselves capable of. And even though I put my characters on an emotional rollercoaster, there is always a happy outcome. I want a story, whether one of my own or someone else's, to leave me with a good feeling. I'm not genre-specific in what I write or read. To date, I've published three contemporary romances and a humorous adventure novel. If it's a good story, I don't care if it's a romance or western or sci-fi/fantasy. I just finished reading Nora Roberts' dystopian series Chronicles of the OneI'm a huge Stephen King fan, especially his Dark Tower series and Christine, and Whiskey When We're Dry, by John Larison, knocked my socks off!

What can readers expect from Cindy Hiday next?

My current work-in-progress, Come Snowfall, takes place in 1880's eastern Oregon and is about a twelve-year-old girl who discovers how far she's willing to go to save her family. My husband and I went camping near Baker City last summer to research the area where my story begins, near the Elkhorns and Wallowas, and we visited the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It's beautiful country, and it has been fascinating to learn about the history of that era, the pioneering west. I hope to have the book finished by the end of the year.

Who inspires you in your life?

Resilient people. People who find the silver lining or a solution to a challenging situation. People who don't know the meaning of the word "can't"; And kind people. Something as simple as a smile from a stranger can brighten my entire day.

Our Very Own Enchanted April

We all had plans. I was going to visit the island in New Jersey where my mother lives, see my family and swim in the ocean. My sister and I were going to meet up in Pittsburgh and canvass together before the presidential election. I was starting to dream about a trip to Colorado to visit a friend, imagining how we’d hike in the Rockies as wildflowers bloomed, how we’d drink wine on her deck. 

Absolutely none of this will be happening this year. Instead, I’m taking walks, circling my neighborhood, staying close to home because I definitely don’t want to use a public bathroom- even if I could find one that was open.

I know that a lot of you are sad about canceled trips, too. I know it’s not the same, but reading can offer vivid settings that are definitely not my neighborhood or, presumably, yours. The books on this list are all downloadable. Consider immersing yourself in another place while we stay home to try to protect the people who live in all the places.

Resources for older adults

Are you looking for resources and activities for older adults? Check out these great ideas from Library Outreach Services:

Scrabble pieces spelling "support"

 

Resources for caregivers of older adults

Are you a caregiver for an older adult? Find support and resources from these organizations:

  • Timeslips.org has free stories, images and audio to spark meaningful engagement with family members who have dementia. 
  • Aging and Disability Resource Connection is providing multilingual local support for caregivers and older adults. You can call or email ADRC at 503.988.3646 or adrc@multco.us  for 24-hour information and assistance to seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers.
  • The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 help line (800.272.3900) is providing specialists and master’s-level clinicians to give confidential support and information to people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, families and the public.

Unprecedented. Troubled. Or just plain scary. That's how these times are being described. It’s important to keep up with the news, but sometimes you need a break. You need fiction so absorbing that the world will drop away completely. The e-books on this list I made for you are not all entirely happy and feel-good, but what they have in common is they will make the world go away so that you can forget for a while and live in these characters’ reality. Many of these novels will make you laugh, and they all have well-developed characters. There are older titles on this list that might be available immediately, but there are also some new ones you'll have to place a hold on, because who knows how long this might last? Be well, dear readers. Know that the people who work at your local library miss you as much as you miss your library. What with sanitizing things, homeschooling your children, and trying to find stores that stock toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I know you’re busy. Carry on, but find time to read. Your soul needs a lot of things, but one of those things might be a good book.

IRS 1040 form with pen

Update: COVID-19 Tax Relief Options

As of March 18, 2020, the Federal Government is allowing all individual and other non-corporate filers to defer up to $1 million in federal income tax payments until July 15, 2020. As of March 25, 2020, under Governor Brown's direction, the state of Oregon will be following the federal government's extension for state taxes, as well. You can check for more information on the "COVID-19 Tax Relief Options" page of the state government website.

Since library locations are currently closed, we recommend you print state and federal tax forms and instruction booklets online as they become available. We can still help refer you to tax professionals. Some tax preparers are able to work with you online or in another way that doesn't require an in-person visit.

Federal Hard Copy Forms

While libraries are closed, you can download and print federal tax items from the IRS Forms & Publications page. You can also direct questions to the IRS offices in Oregon. Of special note, neither the 1099 and 1096 forms nor any of the W series (W-2, W-4, etc.) are available for download. You can contact the IRS directly to have those mailed to you.

State Hard Copy Forms

Public libraries are no longer a distribution center for state tax forms and booklets. If you need Oregon forms or booklets, you can print them from the Oregon Department of Revenue page. If you want forms mailed to you, then you can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue via:

Other States

You can go to the Federation of Tax Administrators State Tax Forms & Filing Options, which provides links to tax forms for each state.

Dusty adding machine keys
Online Filing

Once the tax season officially opens, both the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue will have listings for online filing services. Remember, with the COVID-19 Tax Relief, most state and federal taxes can be submitted by July 15th without penalty. Take a look at the state of Oregon's page on COVID-19 tax relief for up-to-date details.

You can find tax preparation assistance through the AARP's Tax-Aide Locator, CASH Oregon and the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Some of these programs may be offering virtual help or have rescheduled their appointment availability while others may not have specific information at this time. 

 

"Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know." - Alberto Manguel

Talking with people about books is a shortcut to knowing them -- what they think, value and love. Many people are going online with their bookgroups to keep that sense of community alive. If you're participating in a virtual bookclub, the library can help. 

Here's a list of ebooks that have proven popular with book clubs and are available now, as of 3/24/20.

You can find an "Always Available" e-book collection from OverDrive, made up of some 3000 classic titles.

Here are the most popular available e-books - this link updates automatically to available titles. 

And if food is a thing for your bookgroup, check out this list of cookbooks in ebook format -- maybe you can show off your cooking skills via skype. Now if we only had smell-o-vision! 

To your health, everyone! 

 

Do you have a zine you want to share with the world? The library is a great place to do that! We have a zine collection available for checkout at five of our locations: Albina, Belmont, Central, Hollywood and North Portland. The focus of the collection is to provide a showcase for local authors that produce zines on popular topics of interest to our community.

You can submit a sample of your zine by dropping it off or mailing it. (Please include your name and contact info.)

Multnomah County Library 
Attn: Lori Moore
1038 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214

Or

Drop off a sample: at any Multnomah County Library location marked: Attn: Karen Eichler

Contact us for more information.

Finally -- a reason to celebrate insomnia.

WPC 56
BBC shows set in different eras can be so spot-on. They've produced some brilliant series that completely capture the milieu of a particular time period and do it whilst telling a really interesting story. I enjoy watching Downton Abbey for the beautiful frocks but the story of how the world of the upper class was changing after the turn of the century is the more important tale to observe. And yes, I love the fashions of the 40s and 50s so I’ll watch a lot of shows just for the look of those times, but give me a series that explores the changing roles of women and men, and I’ll binge-watch the entire thing in a couple of days.

WPC 56 is one of those shows. It’s set in the 1950s, in the West Midlands police force. Gina Dawson is the first female police officer to serve in her home town police station. At her first meeting with the chief inspector, he sternly says to her, “Never forget that your sole responsibility is to support the men so that they can get on with the job of real policing.” Unbelievable. But then again, so believable. In just a few episodes, we see how such tough issues as rape, mental illness, and race relations played out in a small town in 1950s England. Even though I wish I had a few of their party dresses, I’m glad I’m living in 2018. 

Here's a list of some of my other favorite British series that bring to life other times and places. 

 

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