Upcoming Willamette Writers Teaching Gigs

wwlogo-200I’ll be teaching Travel Writing for Fun and Profit at the Willamette Writer’s Conference  in Portland on August 3.

Here’s the rundown:

Ever dreamt of becoming a travel writer? This workshop will help you learn to think like a travel writer, pitch ideas to editors, break in to the travel market, and bring place and experience to life on the page. Be prepared for hands-on writing activities. 

The WW annual conference is a great time and very productive. I attended many years before teaching the past two.

I’ll also be presenting to the Willamette Writers Coast Branch in Newport on November 19.

The Oregon Coast chapter of Willamette Writers offers its Writers-on-Writing workshops on the third Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. in the McEntee Room of the Newport Public Library.

I’m not sure what I’ll workshop yet! Maybe travel writing again, or perhaps general magazine writing from the point of view of an editor? Or we could do a memoir class. Requests?

Hope to see some of you at these events.



Hell Yes

This one is even better because it came from my mother. hellyes

The Modern Bookseller’s Dilemma


bookshop Last weekend, the sun was shining and the chickens had an idea.

“Mom, we’re going to set up a shop in the yard to sell your books!”

“Great,” I said. An activity and potential moneymaker all at once, perfect.

“How much do they cost?” asked Noodle.

“Well, if you buy them at the store they’re like $15.”

“We can’t sell them for that much!” she said incredulously. “Let’s sell them for like $2.”

“Sure,” I agreed. Given that we live on a dead end street, I didn’t expect much traffic. And two bucks is two bucks, man. Halfway to a pint of beer.

They set up a lovely display of Chance of Sun, Day Trips from Portland, and a few copies of Central Oregon Magazine. 15 minutes later, they’d encountered no buyers.

“Mom, we think we’re going to sell them for a dollar instead.”

I laughed. “Sure, whatever.” Depreciation happens.

After a good long while, two customers approached (our neighbors).

“Books for sale, books for sale, one dollar!” the chickens chanted.

“What is this book about, why should I buy it?” said one careful shopper.

“I don’t know,” Noodle shrugged.

“Well, you’re selling it, you should know what it’s about,” said my neighbor, grinning.

Noodle picked up a copy and read from the back.

“Fresh, alive, exciting and bold writing. A compelling piece of writing, heartbreaking and redemptive.”

My neighbor smiled. “We’ll buy that book for a dollar. How much are the magazines?”

“They’re $5.” This mysterious pricing difference was lost on me, but I was going with my original commitment to laissez-faire parenting.

“We won’t pay $5, but we’ll give you a dollar.”


After they left, Noodle exclaimed, “I can’t believe we got two whole dollars from one person!”

Join the club, baby.

To my surprise, by the end of the morning, they’d sold six books. I rewarded them with a few cookies and covertly pocketed the bills. After all, the chickens can’t drink beer.



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