an opportunity for my readers

“Hello, everyone. I’d like to alert you to what I hope will be a wonderful experience. Fred and Mary Ann Brussat have for years run the Spirituality and Practice website. It is, to my mind, the best clearinghouse for spiritual thinking available anywhere. I encourage all of you to look at it simply for that reason.

Recently, they have accorded me the distinct privilege of putting together an e course around my writings. It will consider the major themes, major ideas, and important passages in my work. I, personally, am very excited to see what they do with this, because no one has ever collated my thoughts before. I consider it a gift and an honor, because no one could do it better than they can.

I’m alerting you to this e course so any of you who might be interested will have a chance to sign up. I will be doing an audio interview with Fred and Mary Ann sometime during the course, so we will have a chance to share thoughts about the whole experience.

Please go to the following website to find out more: http://bit.ly/KentNerburnEC. I’m very excited about this event, and hope you will be, too.

21 comments

  1. Caleb says:

    Dear Kent,

    I know you must be “hounded” with questions all the time about the way you use your royalties and proceeds, but I would like to put something forward that you may or may not hear often. I am almost done with Neither Wolf and can’t help but wonder a few things:

    1. Are these Dan’s actual words and do you have recordings and/or dictations to back them up? If not, were all of them adapted with his approval? Dan, if he existed, may not have desired to be known but what about Wenonah and her children? Either way, some documentation or certification (even if redacted for privacy’s sake) would be nice.

    2. More important than that however: What was the breakdown of the proceeds and royalties from this book? To me this is the question of essence in determining whether or not you are a complete fraud, and in turn makes your book easy or difficult to digest and appreciate. A lot of the writing outside of the quotations is overwrought and fakely sentimental: too many loaded adjectives before every single noun: this reinforces exoticism. Notice the “ex” in exoticism: it keeps what is exoticized apart from the one who is fascinated by it, so that the fascinated one holds no responsibility or duty to the object of his/her fascination, and can even destroy it so long as it is preserved in a sappy memory. Don’t get me wrong, many other elements of the book make it a worthwhile and valuable document: especially if its origin is authentic. There are excellent critiques of the way industrial bureaucratic societies (whose laws and mores derive ultimately from titular ownership, feudalism and land tenure) understand space, speech, nature, time and personhood – as contrasted with the understanding of these things from a culture rooted in nomadic hunter gathering.

    Style, aside, however, even if you were to have made up the characters entirely, it would STILL be a great crime to take the proceeds for yourself and not donate them to a Lakota foundation, a scholarship, a family, a Lakota cooperative business, etc. It would be just like your character Dan always intoned about the “white man” wanting to buy everything so as to overtake and “become” it and sell everything authentic for a profit. I notice you have had many books – the series never ends – with cheesy, sentimental titles oriented toward surfeited bourgeois consumers of exoticized native wisdom. Just look at the monstrosity of the Wolf Nor Dog enterprises: talk about cashing in on a vanishing culture! Do at least 75% of the profits go to Lakota people, or is this just another way to milk them so you and your family can make money? Maybe I am wrong, but if this is the case with you, no wonder you cried so much when Dan and Grover sang their Lakota chant in the truck after the diner scene: you were convicted of your ill-motives.

    Also – I know that you need to make a living, but how MUCH of a living? I see that you are thoroughly merchandized, with dozens of titles, a retail business, paid speaking tour after paid speaking tour, grants here, grants there, etc. Is there not 1 project done fully as a charitable offering? How much of the $ from these activities as a whole goes to the people from whom you derived your content? Especially in regard to “Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” you should be specific: we deserve to know! Forget the fact that they are N. American Indians…they easily could have been Scotch-Irish, Sudanese, Chinese or Aboriginal. Without them, you’d have nothing to say at all – and thus no $!

    You should disclose where the proceeds from Neither Wolf Nor Dog have gone in a percentile breakdown and also where the Wolf Nor Dog Enterprises proceeds are going. Otherwise, your message is hypocritical at its core and cannot be absorbed by honest readers.

  2. Lisa Cellini says:

    Good Morning Kent. Remember me from my breif visit to Pine Ridge this past June with Kelley and my sister Megan. It was wonderful to meet you. I just found your website this morning. I wanted you to know i finished reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog awhile ago and was touched to tears. You did a great thing writing that book. I just bought Letters to My Son and read a few passages this morning. Again I was moved to tears. I have two sons, 13 and 16. I hope i can get them to read it someday. I also have a husband who had a difficult father. I hope I can get him to read it. I may try to get my daugheter who has 3 sons to read it as well. Bravo Kent! I wish I could have gotton to know you better at the Higher Ground but by reading your books I feel perhaps I have. Take Care and best wishes.

  3. Carlyn says:

    I just finished reading A Wolf at Twilight. It’s the only book I have read of yours but I am hooked. I couldn’t stop reading. Amazing thought provoking story!

  4. Carlyn says:

    I am interested in this opportunity. Can the course be done with a phone since its the only internet I have daily access to?

  5. Laura Gerew says:

    I so enjoyed reading your book, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, in my English 104 class. Your talent to be able to bring the reader a long with you is amazing. I felt as though I was right there with you, Dan, and Grover, in the car. I felt the emotions that you were feeling due to your excellent use of descriptive words and quotes. Very much enjoyed this reading.

  6. Pete Gettes says:

    Mr.Nerburn, I just finished reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog and was kind of mesmerized by the whole s a tory,could not put the book down. I have never read or saw anything that made me feel the way this book did. I felt like I could actually see and feel everything you were describing in the book. It has made me look at things a lot defferently. While reading there were times I laughed,times I could have cried and at Twilight many times I was so mad I couldn’t keep quite,as my wife will attest to. I have read quite a bit on american native history and have never been so affected by anything. I wanted to be with you,Dan and Grover while you were getting your notes aand everything for the book. I wish I could express myself better tell you what a wonderful book you have written,because you really have. I can not wait to get the sequel,The Wolf at Twilight.

  7. Kerry says:

    I am taking the course – Mon & Thur – and enjoying it very much! Although as a longtime fan of Kent’s, I have already read most of the lessons in one book or another, it is good to have it parsed out, sent twice a week to my inbox, so I slow down to read it, think about it a few days, try to practice the wise words, not just read & forget them.

  8. Lily says:

    Do you have any information on the Morris Industrial School for Indians from 1887-1909? I’m looking for info for my History day project.

  9. Stephen Nuevo says:

    The excerpt of your book ” The Cab Ride I will Never Forget” made me teary-eyed. It’s so poignant and so touching. It brought back a memory way back in March 1968, when I was still a teenager in Asia, struggling as a pedicab driver during summer, for a few pesos, while pursuing my studies I had the same experience, and I refused the payment of an old lady. She made me wait for thirty minutes. I knew it was all the money she had then.

    Now, after so many years, and as a retired banker staying in Canada, I chanced upon that article in the Saskatoon Express, I was transported back in time.

    Go on with your craft, and tug more at people’s heart, for more compassion, patience and love. We will meet those people only once maybe in our lives, but we, at least, have impacted on their lives.

  10. Mary Carroll says:

    Reading, and learning. Thank you.

  11. Angeline says:

    Hi Mr Kent,

    I got this blog post on the Cab ride that ill never forget.

    It reminds me so this colleague, that I have been taking too and stir up some memories with him.

    Can I get your permission to re-post this post in my blog?

    Thanks for your kindness!

    Angeline.

  12. Daniel Humphreys says:

    I drove cab in Cincinnati for 35 years. I have a collection of journals in the closet that includes a lot of experiences which are compatible with your story.

    After several years, I specialized in working with the elderly and handicapped in the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati, Hyde Park and Oakley. I worked by appointment, and got referrals, a business plan that I acquired as I was flunking out of the insurance business.

    I recall taking a regular, Mona Strong, who was once the book review editor of the Cincinnati Post-Times-Star [alos deceased] downtown for “one last trip.” She had cancer for eighteen years before it finally took her. On that trip we took her andirons down to a store to be cleaned and refurbished so that whoever got her house wouldn’t have that task.

    “First marriages are great,” she said, “they teach you what you do not want.” Her second marriage was to an architect. He built her a house overlooking the Ohio River. She had a ballet dancer for a gardener and an art major for a driver.

    “A young person thinks of death as an elevator,” she confided. You go into a room, the door closes, and you come out on another floor. It’s more like an escalator, except that you are walking up, and it is moving down.”

    I’ve been meaning to get that box out and run those journals through the scanner. Your piece has nudged me to share. You owe this one to Snopes.

  13. Hi, This is Lucile B. Tañalas, associate editor of Health & Home, a missionary magazine here in the Philippines. I was able to read your inspirational story entitled “The Cab Ride.” It is such a wonderful story and I am blessed by the message.

    I hope to include this moving story in our missionary magazine so our health & home readers will be blessed by it too.

    May I ask permission to reprint this inspirational story? We pay US$20.00 an article. You will also get a complimentary copy of this missionary magazine where your story will be printed.

    Thank you, Kent, for your positive response to this request. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    God bless.

    Sincerely,

    Lucile

  14. Austine says:

    Your story of the cab was touching. I am a new subscriber and look forward to other such heart felt stories. Your course sounds exciting and I will be looking into it.

  15. Anita says:

    Typed in the website but it brings me to this blog. Is it not up and running yet?

  16. knerburn says:

    No one who hasn’t driven a cab can understand the full joyful, tragic, confusing, and elevating experience that it is. And most wouldn’t believe half the true stories cab drivers have to tell. Thanks for writing.

  17. knerburn says:

    please cite the book from which it came and direct your readers to my website.

  18. knerburn says:

    You’ve made my day, and you’ve underscored my basic point: I only did what so many others would do and have done in similar circumstances.

  19. knerburn says:

    Sorry, never heard of it. It should be easily traced, though. Good luck.

  20. knerburn says:

    There may well be another time.

  21. knerburn says:

    Your anger is odd, but understandable. I don’t know what you do for a living, but you surely have a false impression of the economic benefits of writing. Would disclosure make me less of a fraud of more of a fraud? It would satisfy you, but would do no good for those who wish to live in anonymity. I serve the needs and will of those who matter to me, not those of the curious general public. I’m sorry if that is not adequate for you. Perhaps you should find other authors who better serve your personal needs and meet your personal standards and requirements of public disclosure. Peace.

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