SLOW FIRE: Thoughts on writing and the writing life
July 24, 2012
This is another image that may be useful to people who live near Rocky Flats or in the Denver metro area.
July 19, 2012
Readers have asked me to post the chart showing the plume from the devastating 1957 fire at Rocky Flats. Two years after this fire, the surrounding area showed an increase in childhood leukemia and other cancers and health effects. Contamination from the 1969 Mother’s Day fire followed a similar path.
July 16, 2012
The May 11, 1969 “Mother’s Day” fire at Rocky Flats brought the Denver metro area to the brink of a catastrophic nuclear accident, and sent a radioactive cloud over the entire area. Residents were not warned or evacuated, and even after the fire, few people were aware of how devastating the fire was, and its long-term consequences for the Denver area. Later, tests by the DOE and independent scientists confirmed plutonium contamination as far away as 30 miles from the plant.
July 15, 2012
At Powell’s bookstore. A great crowd, with good questions. The story of Rocky Flats is not just about Colorado. It’s a story that’s happening all over the country at places like Hanford, the Savannah River site, and many more. People who live near former nuclear weapons sites, current radioactive/toxic storage sites, and nuclear power plants have the same concerns: how is the environment being affected? What does this mean for my health, and the health of my family? Can I trust the government and the private corporations who manage these sites to tell me the truth?
July 15, 2012
Tags: book tour photos
It was such a treat to read at Collected Works in Santa Fe, a long-time favorite bookstore, and afterwards go out for blue corn enchiladas and margaritas.
July 15, 2012
Great crowd, with great questions.
July 12, 2012
One of the big highlights of my book tour–and certainly one of the highlights of my life–was to be introduced by Daniel Ellsberg at my reading at Book Passage in Corte Madera (San Francisco area). Afterwards we had lunch and a lengthy talk. It was a great honor and pleasure to spend time with such an extraordinary person. Rocky Flats was a big part of Ellsberg’s life and work.
I also had the great pleasure to spend a little time with my dear friend Molly Giles, a wonderful novelist and director of the MFA program at the University of Arkansas. (She believed in my book from the very first paragraph; she is a great inspiration to me!) Andy Ross joined us, too. I first met Andy at the San Miguel de Allende writers conference, where we shared a little tequila and talked about writers and writing. Andy was owner and manager of Cody’s Books in Berkeley for almost thirty years, and now has his own literary agency.
The best thing about a book tour is connecting with readers, writers, and friends!
July 8, 2012
July 6, 2012
June 17, 2012
936 South Cooper Street
Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: (901) 278-7484
Fax: (901) 274-8863E-Mail: email@example.com
I’m back in Memphis now after weeks of being on the road. The summer humidity hasn’t set in yet, and it’s sunny and bright with a crispness in the air that reminds me of my beloved Colorado. It feels good to sit down at my desk and get back to some serious writing. I’m feeling a bit stunned that this last year has passed so quickly, and now–less than two weeks away–the paperback of Full Body Burden is coming out! I’m so excited. I love the cover. (Do you? Send me your thoughts!) It’s...read more
On April 16, I was very honored in Washington, DC to receive an award from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, along with fellow honorees U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, director and filmmaker Kathleen Sullivan, and environmental lawyer Diane Curran. My sister Karma was in the audience. It was an evening I will never forget. I feel very fortunate that my book is reaching so many readers and getting so much recognition in the world. Full Body Burden was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews, the American Library Association,...read more
A local Colorado resident living near Rocky Flats has started a petition to oppose development on contaminated land around the Rocky Flats site. The petition already has nearly 2,000 signatures! People who live near Rocky Flats deserve to be informed about contamination in the soil and air, and the building of the Jefferson Parkway will not only stir up contamination in the soil but lay the groundwork for expansive future development of homes in the area. Here is the petition: “Building a tolled four-lane highway and future hiking and...read more
I just returned from a whirlwind trip to New York, where I had the great honor of attending a luncheon for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award finalists, and then to Denver to see my father, and then on to Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books. The past several months of being on the road with Full Body Burden have taught me how to travel light and keep a suitcase packed and ready! It has all been such a thrill. And I’m very happy to report that my father is now out of the hospital and has improved dramatically. All of my...read more
January 12, 2013 The controversy about development around Rocky Flats is an ongoing, raging debate, and at this point it looks like the new parkway will go through, despite vehement opposition from local citizens and environmental groups. It’s very important for citizens to understand the health and environmental risks of the proposed Jefferson Parkway and the residential and business development that will follow. This very thorough article discusses why activists and local residents are concerned about building a highway on land...read more
Due to emails from readers, I am reposting this map that shows areas of plutonium contamination in areas around Rocky Flats.read more
August 4: Santa Fe, NM. Kristen will be speaking at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe with speakers including Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research; Bill Hartung, senior research professor at the New America Foundation and expert on weapons proliferation; Cynthia Jurs, Buddhist teacher and peace activist, and others. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Kristen speaks from 11:15-12:30. August 5: Ashley Pond Park, Los Alamos National Labs, NM. Kristen will be speaking at an all-day event that includes...read more
At the top of the hill behind our house stands the Arvada cemetery. The year 1863 is etched in a stone marker at the entrance. The cemetery works like a magnet. As soon as our mother puts us out into the yard for the afternoon—just like the kids and grandkids on the family farm back in Iowa, who were expected to fend for themselves for the day—my sisters and I scramble over the fence and head for the hill. We trek across the field behind the row of backyards and through the old apple orchard and get up to the creek, where we balance a flat...read more
Each morning over coffee, I scour the want ads. It’s 1994; I’m a single mother and graduate student who needs a job with flexible hours. And then, there it is, a large ad: administrative skills, flexible hours, $12.92 an hour. The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site is hiring. Start immediately, it says. Environmental Technology Site? It used to be known as the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility. When I was growing up nearby, my family and most of our neighbors thought Rocky Flats made household-cleaning supplies. In fact, Rocky...read more
This is another image that may be useful to people who live near Rocky Flats or in the Denver metro area.read more