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.

You might be keeping safe at home but enjoy these live online performances from some amazing library children’s performers.

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.

How can you hold a family book discussion that will work for grandparents, parents and kids alike? Take a look at this list of suggested titles in ebook or downloadable audio. Some, like Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous People's History of the United States come in both adult, and young reader editions. Others, like Kafka's Metamorphosis and Angie Sage's Maximillian Fly share similar themes, so you can talk about the book you've read and pose general questions for everyone to discuss. Are you going to give it a try? Send us a note to tell us how it worked, or make suggestions for titles that have worked for your family.

"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! 

 

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