"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."

—Muriel Rukeyser

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Colorado Edition: The Strength Of The Human Spirit


A sign outside Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.


A sign outside Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
STEPHANIE DANIEL / KUNC

Today on Colorado Edition: We explore the state's forecasted budget amid the coronavirus outbreak. We also round up this week's education news, learn more about the 2020 census now that it's officially begun, and get anxiety advice from a mental health expert.

LISTEN  HERE : The Strength Of The Human Spirit


Colorado's Forecasted Budget

Over the past week, we’ve been hearing a lot about the economic impacts that the coronavirus outbreak is having across the country. Today, we begin our show by digging into those impacts here in Colorado, beginning with our state’s budget.

On Monday, the state of Colorado held a budget forecast briefing for Colorado officials. KUNC’s Scott Franz was there, and he joined us to talk through what he learned. You can read Scott's reporting on the briefing here.

Economic Impacts Of The Coronavirus

To get a more full picture of how COVID-19 is affecting Colorado, we spoke with Dan Mika from BizWest, who has been following various industries key to our state’s economy.

The Week In Colorado Education News

As schools close around the state, the state of Colorado announced that it will cancel standardized testing for students for the year. This is just one effect that COVID-19 has on education in our state. To talk about the other impacts, we spoke with Erica Meltzer, bureau chief at Chalkbeat Colorado.

Advice For Coronavirus Anxiety

With all the news about the spread of the coronavirus in our state and across the world, it’s hard not to get anxious. So today, we talk to Vincent Atchity, CEO of Mental Health Colorado, to get some practical advice on how to maintain your mental health at this time.

What's At Stake With The 2020 Census

The 2020 census has officially begun! You may have already received an invitation in the mail from the census bureau. If not, you’ll likely get one any day now. To talk about what’s at stake in our communities, we spoke with Natriece Bryant, deputy executive director of Colorado's Department of Local Affairs.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

“Charcoal Lines” by Sketchbook
"The Consulate" by Holyoke
Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.



How to Be a Successful Self-Published Writer


What are the ingredients of a New York Times Best Seller? Ken Atchity has the answers and they are not what you expect. He is a movie producer, author of over 20 nonfiction books and novels. He has spent his lifetime helping writers get started and improve their careers. Writing was in his blood from the beginning. ‘I never understood writers’ block because I never had it,” he says.

What is the right mindset for being successful as a self-published writer?

It’s about what Winston Churchill said: “Never give, never give, never give up!” Don’t doubt yourself, keep working and learning more about your craft.

You wrote over 20 non-fiction books and novels. Are you still learning?

Yes, I am. I am always learning. I love writing because it’s a way of focusing your learning. I write the book first, then I do the research and spend years revising the book.

Some writers confessed that they don’t read books when they work on something new…

While you write your first draft, there is no need for you to read something else.The time to start reading other things is after you’ve finished it and improved it. You can always study yourself to death and never finish the first draft. And that’s the danger of it, or being influenced by other voices. It is much better to get your voice clear in the first draft and then give yourself a limited amount of time to do further research to make sure things are accurate. You would be surprised how often your imagination gets things pretty much right.

What do you appreciate most in a book?

I love books that take you to another world and keep you there the whole time. A storyteller who knows his craft will do this by not making a single mistake. A mistake is something that takes you suddenly out of that world.

You helped several authors to make the New York Times Best Sellers list. What are the ingredients of a bestseller?

That list is a victim of the changing times we are living now. In today’s world, a person needs to be famous or write about someone who is. The most recent three NY Times Best Sellers were about John Kennedy. But this list is not the only judge. Selling books on the Internet is a direct and immediate way to see if you could find an audience for your book.

Read more


Roy Freirich, in conversation with Jeff Dorchen, discusses and signs Deprivation

Please join them for excerpts, stories, wine and cheese, and insomnia. Thur. Mar. 12th, 7:00 pm PDT 

Book Soup 8818 Sunset Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069 

Women's History Month: When Hollywood’s Power Players Were Women

Female writers, directors, and producers were pioneers of the silent-film era—but were pushed out of the industry as its influence grew.


Lois Weber, a prolific screenwriter and director, was the first woman to establish her own film studio.HULTON ARCHIVE / GETTY


Given the dearth of women among this year’s Oscar nominees for writing and directing, not to mention behind the camera in Hollywood at all, you may be surprised to learn that before 1925, during the silent film era, women wrote the outlines for roughly half of all films. In fact, a great many women were behind the camera in those days—producing and directing films, and running studios. Women also pioneered much of the film technology that still exists today—only to be pushed out of the burgeoning industry once its influence and moneymaking potential had become more widely recognized.

When the writer and satirist Dorothy Parker and her writer husband, Alan Campbell, moved to Hollywood and signed contracts with Paramount, she was paid four times as much as he was. Frances Marion, who would go on to become the founding vice president of the Screen Writers Guild, was the country’s highest-paid screenwriter in the 1920s and ’30s; more than 100 of her scripts were made into films, and in 1930, she became the first woman to win an Oscar for writing. Lois Weber, a prolific screenwriter and director, in 1917 became the first woman to establish and run her own film studio. The year before, her wage as a director was the highest in Hollywood.

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Women's History Month: Virginia Woolf - Time Woman of the Year 1929






Illustration by Oliver Sin for TIME; George C. Beresford—Hulton Archive/Getty
MARCH 5, 2020


In 1928, addressing distinguished female students at the University of Cambridge, novelist and critic Virginia Woolf declared, “A woman must have money and a room of one’s own if she is to write fiction.” Replace “write fiction” with any creative, intellectual or political pursuit, and in a sentence, Woolf had summed up millennia of inequality. In her 1929 extended essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf played with both fiction and nonfiction, building on the themes of her lectures. She invented the indelible figure of Judith Shakespeare, sister of William, who had equal talent but would never become a world-famous playwright because she was barred from education and relegated to the home.

Suddenly, readers imagined a world history filled with the ghosts of gifted women and the works they never had the opportunity to create. Before 1929, Woolf had established herself with Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse as one of the boldest novelists of the 20th century, and then when “A Room of One’s Own” was published to both celebration and outrage, she became a political visionary too. Her essays were—and still are—a rallying call to women around the world. —Lucas Wittmann

Read more


The Last Full Measure - Audience Reactions



THE LAST FULL MEASURE tells the true story of Vietnam War hero William H. Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine), a U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen (also known as a PJ) medic who personally saved over sixty men.  

During a rescue mission on April 11, 1966, he was offered the chance to escape on the last helicopter out of a combat zone heavily under fire, but he stayed behind to save and defend the lives of his fellow soldiers of the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, before making the ultimate sacrifice in the bloodiest battle of the war.  

Thirty-two years later, respected Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman (Sebastien Stan) on a career fast-track is tasked with investigating a Congressional Medal of Honor request for Pitsenbarger made by his best friend and PJ mission partner (William Hurt) and his parents (Christopher Plummer & Diane Ladd).   Huffman seeks out the testimony of Army veterans who witnessed Pitsenbarger’s extraordinary valor, including Takoda (Samuel L. Jackson), Burr (Peter Fonda) and Mott (Ed Harris). But as Huffman learns more about Pitsenbarger’s courageous acts, he uncovers a high-level conspiracy behind the decades-long denial of the medal, prompting him to put his own career on the line to seek justice for the fallen airman. 

With a superb all-star cast and an emotionally gripping story, The Last Full Measure is a film everyone should see. Get tickets: www.thelastfullmeasurefilm.com



Celebrating Disappointment by Kenneth John Atchity



Are you disappointed? We all get disappointed by life from time to time and, in these “interesting” times, no doubt more often than usual.

Maybe because I savored my Roman Catholic upbringing, I was drawn to a profession in which rejection became not a daily occurrence, but an hourly one—until the email era, in which rejections come in once every few minutes! As an intellectual property manager, I try to tell my rejected clients that every no is a step further to the one yes we’re looking for. I remind them of a story I was once told:

There’s a big blackboard in the sky. On it are all the NOS you or your dream project will ever get. And there too is the final YES.

The only problem is that you can’t see the blackboard.

Since this is the case, what does the dreamer do? Only three things:

Never give up. You never know, but the YES may be lurking behind the NO that makes you want to throw in the towel. There’s only one way to find out: Persist. As long as you live and breathe. My definition of a happy death is dying in the middle of your dream.

Get through the NOS as fast as you can.

Don’t think negatively about them. Do you really wish your dream was accepted by the WRONG person? That’s what a NO is, a wrong person for your dream. Nothing would be worse, believe me, than having your dream partnered with someone you talked into it when they didn’t see it in the first place.

Celebrate each NO as a step forward toward making your dream come true. No successful dreamer has succeeded without dealing with rejection over and over. Edison….

Disappointment and celebration. To live a happy life, you can’t have one without the other. Think of them as life’s teeter-totter, disappointment on one seat, celebration on the other.

Imagine that you’re on that teeter-totter (because you are) but don’t understand how it works. Every time disappointment has the upper position, you sit there like a lump on a log and bemoan your fate.

That will literally get you nowhere, allowing disappointment to maintain the upper hand. I went to an ashram outside of Delhi some years ago, to check out for myself whether a certain guru was all my current girlfriend believed he was cracked up to be.

I have to admit I was nodding during most of the program, but during the question and answer period I came awake as I heard a distraught westerner lament that she tried so hard to lead the path of perfection and serenity but, because she was only mortal, kept falling. “What shall I do?”

He looked at her with that infinite ennui that teachers who have heard it all a thousand times experience, and said:

“Pick yourself up and keep going.”

“Master, I try to do that,” she lamented. “But I am weak, and I only fall again. How many times can I pick myself up?”

“Sister,” the wise man replied, “how many times can you fall?”

That’s when I decided he was indeed a wise man.

You’re sitting there on the ground, disappointment in the air, wondering your glass of life is half-empty. Finally you get tired of the half-empty glass. Or you figure it out—or you remember--and you use your legs as pistons and celebrate your ability to return to the top of the teeter-totter where your glass of life appears to be more than half full!

That’s celebration in action, countering disappointment. That’s optimism, the only logical program to adopt for life. It’s logical because it either proves to be justified—by success; or you’ll actually never know because you remain optimistic to the end. That’s why, in The Godfather, we all loved the Don Corleone’s last words as he fell to his knees with a massive stroke in the tomato garden: “La vita é cosí bella…Life is so beautiful”—optimistic to the un-bitter end.

Don’t think I’m not as bad as the woman at the ashram in terms of sitting at the bottom of the teeter-totter wondering what happened to put disappointment in the cat bird seat. I am as good at lamenting as the next guy, maybe even better! One day I was complaining to my best friend (you need to be careful who you complain to, by the way) about a clump of setbacks that happened one after another, yet another reflection of the turmoil of our times. I recited them to my friend and explained why I questioned whether life was still worth living.

He said, “So some deals fell through, and so it’s hard to earn a living.

“But you don’t have mongoloid children, but two kids who are earning a living and leading an okay life. You go back and forth to New York whenever you want to. You have a beautiful Japanese wife who cooks, takes care of the house, works hard, has her own non-profit, loves you. Loves you. Your brother is not in jail, but is a millionaire who leaves you alone. Your sisters aren’t drug addicts, but doing okay. You aren’t pushing a walker, you ARE playing tennis 3 times a week. You’ve been involved in a whole bunch of books that have your name in them. You’ve been involved in a bunch of movies. You have a bunch of projects that are still viable. You have friends who haven’t killed you yet. You’re not driving a junk heap but a luxury sedan with air conditioning. You have a view out three sides of your apartment in L.A. You have a cat who loves you. You meet Hollywood people and literary people all the time. You’ve developed your companies in a whole new direction and had the best year in six years last year. You have several major feature films nearing production. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR ATTITUDE?”

One thing about attitude: you’re entirely in charge of it. Celebrate that. Celebrate that the problems you have are the ones you asked for. The cost of admission to the stage of your life.

Reposted from Tome Tender