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Author: Rhetorical Redhead

The Best Worst Blog Post of All Time

This is, undoubtedly, the best worst blog post of all time. (Why? Who even says that about their blog?) I do. Because I’ve spent over 14 months drafting it. No one in their right bloomin’ mind would spend so much time on something so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of life. It’s like obsessing over a 14-month-old band-aid. Just rip the damn thing off already. (And seriously…you’re disgusting for leaving it on that long. Ew, Jess. Just…ew. #shameshameshame) So here we are. Where to begin. Tiny Head-Voice squeaking: “Start at the beginning and go to the end!” (NO.…

Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop

‪Mothers Day‬ is HERE! I’m delighted and honored to be collaborating with Olive & Ivy Botanicals and Broadway Coffeehouse for this weekend’s holiday ‪pop up‬ event to offer some wonderful homemade gift options for Mum (Saturday May 7th & Sunday May 8th, 9 am – 1 pm). The beautiful and talented Sarah runs Olive & Ivy, which is an organic and raw, small batch botanical apothecary located here in ‪Salem, Oregon‬. I will be creating custom ‪#‎PopUpPoetry‬ on demand, and hopefully offer custom greeting cards for the first time! Sarah will offer her handcrafted, organic skin & body products. And…

Spoken Word: Easter 2016

Ray 5
Image courtesy of Salem Alliance Church. All rights reserved.

“Because He Lives”

Written by Jessica Murdoch, Rhetorical Redhead; Performed by Ray White

© 2016 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved

This Easter, I had the opportunity to compose another spoken word poem for Salem Alliance Church. The piece would be performed by an intelligent young man by the name of Ray White, recorded by SAC’s extremely talented tech guy, Chris Hahn, and directed by myself and Jeff Brown, the church’s Worship Pastor.

I continue to be humbled and blessed by beautiful collaborations such as these…they fall into my lap without my asking, and I’ve learned to say “yes” to the things that terrify me. Growth happens when you’re able to work through your fears, making them work for you, and replacing uncertainty with absolute trust. It’s so very hard. But so very liberating. And that is exactly what happened this Easter weekend. I never seem to be able to articulate these experiences very well…and I suppose that is alright. The best things in life need no explanation.

The livestream video is available to view by clicking here. For those who do not wish to watch the full video, the spoken word piece begins at the 24:45 time stamp. If you happen to meet Ray or Chris or Jeff, thank them. And I do hope you’ll take the time to watch the service in its entirety. We are surrounded by passionate and talented individuals who have such a heart for Christ and for others. Let’s celebrate Him, and each other, and remember that we live because He lives.

(Text of poem below.)


“Poetry Has a New Name”

 “Salem’s art scene is untapped. Portland—forget about it. It’s like elbowing into a crowded sardine can. But not here. This is a river you can leap into, and create a great literary scene.” Henry Hughes, in an interview with the Salem Weekly Click here to read my recent article in the Salem Weekly‘s Art section, discussing our local poetry community. The article weaves through an insightful interview with the ever gracious poet and author, Henry Hughes, who has just released a new collection of poetry, Bunch of Animals, as well as a memoir, Back Seat with Fish. Hughes’ writing continues to capture his ongoing love affair with fishing,…

Book Review: “Back Seat with Fish” by Henry Hughes

I had the immense pleasure of reading and reviewing a new work of nonfiction, released by Skyhorse Publishing earlier this month. Back Seat with Fish is a refreshing take on the fishing memoir, written by the magnanimous Henry Hughes. Hughes’ book is dynamic and engaging, plunging into the art of angling, of navigating relationships and traveling the world. There is no shortage of entertainment, nor thoughtful execution. Hughes is a brilliant storyteller, reviving the once-unpalatable genre of ‘the fishing memoir’ for men and women of all ages and origins to enjoy. Click here to read the full review on Amazon before purchasing a copy for yourself or for…

Pop Up Poetry – Valentine’s Weekend 2016

Saturday, February 13th Brooks Winery, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Poetry is “on the house” this Saturday, courtesy of the amazing Brooks Winery! Come to their gorgeous tasting room for some exquisite wine flights, a phenomenal view, and excellent conversation. Ask me to type up a poem on my vintage typewriter for you, or as a gift to someone! Give a subject; get a poem. It’s that easy. And what pairs better than wine and poetry? Donations accepted, and don’t forget to tip your server! See you there! Sunday, February 14th Broadway Coffeehouse, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. As a teaser…


2015 taught me a lot about friendships. How and who to trust, and when to let go when the relationship becomes toxic or one-sided. There is nothing wrong with setting boundaries for your heart. ❤  

The Christmas Story


by Jessica Murdoch, Rhetorical Redhead ©2015 All Rights Reserved

As written and performed by Jessica Murdoch for the Christmas Eve Services at Salem Alliance Church on December 24th, 2015

(Spoken Word & Art Collaboration introduction begins at the 23:32 time stamp in the LiveStream Video)




‘Twas not the silent night of old

tradition leads us to believe;

perhaps the greatest story told

is the ‘Unspoken Christmas Eve.’

Both fully-God and fully-man,

fulfilling holy prophecy,

the Rock on which the Church would stand

bore humble birth and ancestry.

Come sit, come hear the Tale of Times

retold in careful word and script;

there’s much to read between the lines

revealed anew each year, for it’s

beyond the text, beyond the page,

these people, places, feeling, thought,

define a Faith that’s without age

because of Love, because of God.

‘Tis the Season: Spend More Time, Spend Less Money

‘Twas the eve before Christmas and all through downtown, not a single soul resting—no time to slow down! With twinkle lights hung (precarious in the rain) in hopes that next year this won’t happen again. The wish lists were gripped, e’en taken to beds, while visions of bright price tags danced in their heads. Our customs, traditions—how stressors do climb! This season merely asks: “Spend less money; more time.” – Written by J.M. Murdoch (c)2015 – [This imperfect poem is a nod to “The Night Before Christmas,” first published anonymously on December 23rd, 1823 in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New…

Cheers to Willamette Valley Wine

My most recent article, as published in the Salem Weekly Thanksgiving issue. The Wine Country Thanksgiving spread is a great resource for this weekend’s festivities in Salem and the surrounding areas. Click HERE to read the article online, or pick up a copy of the Salem Weekly at one of 700+ local drop sites and businesses. Cheers!

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