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Salem Weekly Articles (by me…to date)

Salem Weekly blue logo
Salem’s only alternative, independently run newspaper.

This post includes links to my articles published in the Salem Weekly newspaper. (For those of you who are able to snatch a physical copy from one of our 700+ drop sites in the Willamette Valley, awesome. For those who are sadly out of the area, online will have to do. However, if any of you really like one of the articles online–mine or not mine–I would be more than happy to mail you a physical copy of the newspaper. We have extras at the office.) Thanks for reading!

Articles are listed in reverse chronological order:

AP & Ken
Salem Weekly lead editor & publisher, A.P. Walther, with Ken Adams (in blue), host of the Willamette Wake-Up show on Salem’s KMUZ community radio. A.P. has single-handedly kept the SW running, albeit the economy and numerous other obstacles. If there is one person who is the symbol of Salem advocacy, it’s A.P. It is an absolute pleasure knowing and working for him. (Photo credit:

“Poetry Has a New Name” (An interview with local poet, Henry Hughes, and a pseudo-review of his newest poetry book, Bunch of Animals; 03/17/2016)

(No article 03/03/2016 — the Salem Weekly only prints twice a month; this was a “skip week”)

“Popping the ‘Univer-City’ Bubble” (An adventure on the campus of Willamette University; 02/18/2016)

“Win at the Corner of Fire & Brimstone: Pizza Makes a Comeback” (A quick review of the upcoming fad, highlighting local wood-fired pizza joints; 02/04/2016)

“Winter Wanderlust” (Adventuring with Winter Hikes; 01/21/2016)

“Drawn to Black & White” (Discussing the Historic Elsinore’s Classic/Black & White Wednesday Film Series; 01/07/2016)

(No 12/24/2015 issue — no printing during Christmas Week.)

“‘Tis the Season: Spend More Time, Spend Less Money” (Things to do this Christmas season, focusing on spending time, not money; 12/10/2015)

“Cheers to Willamette Valley Wine: An Intimate Look at Our Local Vineyards and Vintners” (Self-explanatory! 11/26/2015)

(For the 11/12/2015 issue, I wrote an article to preview Thanksgiving weekend, “A Wine Country Thanksgiving,” but it was rejected by the editors of the Salem Weekly. I type this without shame or regret because this is proof that every writer has their good days and bad. And that rejection is normal, and gives me a chance to learn and grow. I may or may not rework it and post it to the blog.)

“Autumn Adventures in Independence” (A full day trip, wanderlusting in Independence, Oregon; 10/29/2015)

“This is Halloweek, Halloweek, Halloweek!” (Preview for The Moxie Initiative’s 1st year of Halloweek; 10/15/2015)

“Salem’s Fine Art, Take Part” (Preview for Willamette University & Western Oregon University‘s fall Fine Arts calendars; 10/01/2015)

“Vintage, Antique…Vintique!” (Preview for Deepwood Estate‘s annual Vintage Flea Market; 09/17/2015)

“The Fruits of Labor Day Weekend” (Preview for LDW wine country activities; 09/03/2015)

(No article 08/20/2015 due to emergency hospitalization and surgery earlier in the month)

“A Night Out on the Downtown” (A run-down of ideas for things to do in downtown Salem; 08/06/15)

“Get Thee to the Faire!” (Review on the Canterbury Renaissance Faire; 07/23/2015)

“Veni, Vidi, Vino” (Review on Cória Estates; 07/09/2015)

“Culture in Stretched Canvas” (Preview for Salem’s annual World Beat Festival; 06/25/2015)



Cória Estates: A Review

Sunny vineyardThat particular Tuesday was an Adventure Day, which means I pack up a small bag of essentials (typewriter, book, pen, paper, sunscreen and sunglasses) and follow the call of my wanderlust muse, wherever she may lead me. On this particular summer day, I knew my destination would be wine country–the sunny, cloudless sky just begged for it. When most Salemites think of local ‘wine country’ we immediately imagine the West Salem hills, which are famous for their numerous small-batch wineries offering Oregon’s staple Pinot Noir.

But today…today I am introducing you to a little boutique winery (without the boutique price tag) in the South Salem hills by the name of “Cória Estates.” I will be reviewing and discussing their wines, their tasting room and amenities, their event options, and a few other notable tidbits I experienced during my visit.

Hacking (Up a Lung)

HDay 8 – “H” as in Hacking (Up a Lung)

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But illness happens to all of us. (Writers aren’t invincible, contrary to popular belief.) The daily grind of poetic progress comes to a daily grinding halt. Be it due to the seasonal cold going around, or the full-blown flu, or food poisoning (I certainly hope not), we can’t be healthy 100% of the time. And when that happens, well…let’s just say it can really be a damper on your creativity, causing some unnecessary frustration.

As I write this, I’m perched atop a bar stool in a local coffeeshop. It’s a sunny spring day and the afternoon couldn’t be more promising. But my head is foggy from days of being suffocated by mucous, my extremities are exhausted from fatigue, I keep sneezing every three minutes, I’m mouth-breathing, my eyes are watering constantly…to any bystander I must look like I’m having a really bad day. But really, I’m just sick. And this is the first day I’ve been well enough to venture out of my house in the last week and attempt some writing. (Apologies if this blog post amounts to nothing but random yammering in the end. I’m unpredictable today! Weee! And this only proves that illness muffs up your writing routine, and you just gotta roll with the punches sometimes. — That was my wonky and weak thesis statement, professor, if you’re reading this…)

The Greats of Poetry

GDay 7 – “G” as in “the Greats of Poetry”

Today’s post is a tribute to the Greats of Poetry. I’d like to take a moment to thank the brilliant men and women who came before us, paving the rough road so that we can have an easier go at it…learning from their failures and successes…studying and understanding the whys as to what made them so “great” in the first place…before attempting to carve our own path of originality on the road less traveled in hopes to create something worthy of standing stacked amongst their vertical names in bookstores for generations to come.

F*ck Expletives in Poetry

FDay 6 – “F” as in “F*ck Expletives in Poetry” (*gasp!*)

Before anyone gets all up in arms about swearing or not swearing, know that I am not a nun when it comes to colorful language, but I also do not house a sailor’s tongue in my mouth–each with reason. I’d like to think I’m in a good place in regards to profanity in poetry: on the fence, smack dab in the middle of opinion. And since this is a strangely-heated topic in “social media writers’ circles”…I will keep this short and sweet.

I’m stating my conclusion, my sole point, at the start of this post: Expletives are unnecessary in poetry 99% of the time. But if you dare to swear in a poem in that 1% moment…it had better be placed perfectly and must serve a purpose other than to make you sound tough or edgy.

Editing Poetry

AtoZ E logoDay 5 – “E” as in “Editing”

I will do my best to keep these next few posts as brief as possible since I am in dire need of catching up on this challenge. *cheers from the crowd* (You’re welcome.) 😉

As much as I love editing (I know, it’s sick and perverse), I won’t exhaust this topic. It has been discussed time and time again, debated even more so, and I think we can all agree that Editing is the necessary evil to poetry…less evil and more necessary, in my opinion. But let’s be honest–there are so many opinions about editing floating around in the writing community, so, for this blog post, I figured I would keep it relatively simple and outline the three basic types of editing I have personally experienced and witnessed in the poetry-writing process. Of course, I think there are variations of the following examples, and everyone has a preferred editing style, but I think we can all agree that these encompass the universal spirit of what we experience when revising our babies. 🙂

Day Trips & Adventures

DDay 4 – “D” as in “Day Trips & Adventures”

 Confession:   This may be one of my favorite posts for this entire A-to-Z Challenge

Why? Because as a full-time poet/writer/editor, the days when I am able to cut loose from my daily grind (yes, I have one, too, haha) and just GO–creating my own adventure according to the pull of my Wanderlust Muse–those are the days where I feel most alive and full of creative ammunition. On those days I am able to recharge my old, poet-soul and breathe in life, living in the spirit of possibility and, most importantly, inspiration.

Sometimes I plan my Day Trips. And sometimes…Adventure yanks me out of my house before I even know what happened. I don’t think I am the only Creative who is haunted by the siren song of Experience, which dictates our every word placed to page. And experience comes from adventure–from living with a purpose. We draw from our own experiences and knowledge when creating poetry. But how does one gain that kind of experience and knowledge? Not holed up at the writing desk, that’s for sure. You need to get out. Go out. Spread out. Speak out. Reach out. And live out your days to their fullest extent. That’s what Day Trips are for. They get you out of the house, away from reading about life on the screen or in books and actually experiencing it in order to write about it. These adventure days feed our insatiable craving for poetic material, and are crucial to our process. They don’t have to be extravagant or far-reaching…they just have to be fulfilling according to your unique need.

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