Take the leap: Fall Beachside/McKenzie 2015

Take the leap: Fall Beachside/McKenzie 2015

Register Now Would-be writers, here’s a chance to finally take the plunge into being ones. Writers, here’s a chance to get better. It’s Bob Welch’s annual basic writing workshop. The details: A one-day Beachside Writers Workshop in the McKenzie Valley led by founder/director Bob Welch. It’ll be a relaxing and inspiring day in which Welch will break down 10 keys that he uses — whether writing 675-word columns or...

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Living a Yahtzee life

Living a Yahtzee life

They say if you want to make money in the writing business you find a niche and go to that place again and again. In other words, if the crowd loved your trumpet solo don’t come back on stage with a guitar or xylophone. Play that trumpet, baby! Again and again and again. I get that. And I don’t begrudge any writer who subscribes to that theory. To each his or her own. But here’s to those who’ve gone the other way, who’ve followed their...

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Why I don’t believe in writer’s block

Why I don’t believe in writer’s block

It’s one of the most oft-asked questions I get as a writer and teacher: “What can I do about writer’s block?” “Write,” I say. (I was going say, “Simple. Write.” Alas, I realize it isn’t simple. It isn’t easy.) I tell people I don’t believe in writer’s block. Do the words sometimes come harder than at other times — or hardly at all? Sure. Do you sometimes need to change things up to feel the mojo again? Sure. Do you...

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Earning my Wonderful Life wings

Earning my Wonderful Life wings

Pacific Continental Bank in my home town of Eugene has an interesting requirement for all new employees going through their orientation: they must watch It’s a Wonderful Life from start to finish. “The message in that film is the message we want our employees to come to work with every day,” says Dean Hansen, senior vice president & relationship manager. “The idea that our actions make a difference in the community around us.” I...

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New book came easier than ‘Nightingale’

Some books come hard. American Nightingale had a longer gestation period than a camel. Information only came grudgingly. In my third day of trying to get Frances Slanger’s 1930s school records, I got transferred to a janitor in the Boston School District’s boiler room. In all, I spent nearly two years researching Nightingale. Ah, but some books come more easily. Last spring, in my post-Beachside Writers recovery week in Yachats, I read Laura...

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Why we write

In Yachats, Beachside Writer Michelle Koehn of Eugene works on a short writing assignment. AS I PREPARE for the Feb. 25-27 Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats, the question comes up as it certainly will that weekend. Why write? Why bother to risk putting something down on paper when it might just blow away in the wind? Or get kicked back at you by someone’s criticism? Or require you to make sacrifices in the process of creating your story...

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