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WORDS AND IMAGES : Valuing the Family : Two books by Ventura psychotherapist Monte Elchoness help parents and children deal with their feelings.

August 27, 1992|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The political buzz words "family values" will be with us ad nauseam until ElectionDay in November. But what are families thinking about right now--values, or just how to slog through each day?

As summer slips away, a lot of parents are concentrating on getting kids geared up and outfitted for school. Plenty more, however, are probably worrying about the quality of their children's education and wondering where to turn for help in improving family relationships.

Two clearly written, illustrated books from Monroe Press offer valuable insights into the growing alienation within families. Helping young people and their parents improve their emotional well-being is the focus of "Why Do Kids Need Feelings?" by Monte Elchoness, a Ventura psychotherapist and expert on coping with stress, low self-esteem and family-related concerns.

Elchoness' guide for surviving adolescence, "Why Can't Anyone Hear Me?"is written for parents and teen-agers to share. It addresses the frustration within families as young people in alarming numbers turn to drugs, crime, become pregnant or attempt suicide as a final act of withdrawal.

The books are available in bookstores, or directly from Monroe Press, 362 Maryville Ave., Ventura 93003.

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The American experience is extraordinarily diverse, and Naomi June Rollo proves it in her first novel, "Goldy Lark," published by Fithian Press of Santa Barbara. The author and her husband are 30-year residents of Fillmore.

To tell the story of the Anglo-Cherokee "mishlings" struggling to exist in the Missouri Ozarks, Rollo reached back into her rural Missouri childhood. Rollo worked on the manuscript on and off for 40 years.

The payoff came when one reviewer praised the novel as "a kind of Cinderella story, serving up family squabbles hillbilly-style in authentic Ozark vernacular."

Rollo will be signing her novel Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon in Mr. Nichols Bookstore, 910 E. Main St., Santa Paula.

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The Insomniac Coffeehouse hosts "Poetry Night" every Wednesday after 9:30 p.m., immediately following the movie at the Mayfair Theater, 793 Santa Clara St., Ventura. (The acclaimed film, "Howards End," begins a two-week run starting Friday.) Poets are encouraged to bring work to read and everyone is welcome to participate in conversation and refreshments. Admission is $2. For information about other Coffeehouse events, call 648-5019.

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Barbara Gaughen, who operated a public relations firm in Ventura, has recently relocated to Santa Barbara where she is holding a Book Publicity Seminar on Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Michael's Waterside Restaurant. A panel of experts will join Gaughen to show authors and publishers how to publicize and market books. The $145 fee includes a gourmet lunch prepared by chef Michael Hutchings. Call 965-8482 for more information.

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REMINDER: Monday is the enrollment deadline for the travel writing workshop on Sept. 5 at UCSB Ventura Center, 3585 Maple St. Instructor Jerry Dunn, a contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler, has written articles for major magazines and guidebooks for the Smithsonian. For registration details, call 644-7261.

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