September 13, 2015

A Special Treat: Two Main Blog Posts from Oregon

I had a hard time filling the state of Oregon this year--note to you Oregon residents-I know you're out there.  Anyway, the first person dropped, I offered to the next in line, didn't hear back, found a cool writers group and they stepped up then I heard from the second person. It felt wrong not to post them both because both are such great articles so-great for readers-twice the info and two prizes to win! 

Rediscovering the Joy of Hiking with TL Cooper
Soon after our move to Oregon in 2007, we discovered the diversity of the Oregon landscape. With deserts in the east and the ocean to its West, the Willamette Valley where I live is nestled between three mountain ranges, the Oregon Coast Range, the Cascade Range, and the Calapooya Mountains. 
This makes for great hiking experiences.

This summer we’ve been exploring some of Oregon’s hiking trails, especially those that lead to waterfalls. I love waterfalls, so this has been quite enjoyable. Most of the hikes have been easy to moderate, including hikes to Sweet Creek Falls, Koosah/Susahalie Falls, and the multiple falls on the Wahkeena Falls Trail including Multnomah Falls and Wahkeena Falls. Walking through the forests and hearing the water on the rocks is a particularly exciting experience! I’m anxious to visit several more waterfalls and other hiking trails in Oregon.

Hiking this summer has reminded me of my childhood playing in the woods on our farm in Kentucky as well as my love for hiking. I’d forgotten just how much I enjoy the trees and the water and the sounds of the forest all working together. This love has often found its way into my work with my characters riding horses and hiking in the woods or just appreciating the beauty of nature. 

Come visit Oregon, especially in the summer, and you too can hike one of the many trails leading to waterfalls…

Leave a comment to be randomly selected to receive a signed copy of my book of short stories, Soaring Betrayal.

T. L. Cooper is an author and poet whose work aims to empower and inspire through an exploration of the human condition. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in Soaring Betrayal, her Silhouette Poetry Series, and a novel, All She Ever Wanted. She grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, hiking, and traveling. She currently lives in Albany, Oregon with her husband and three cats.
Her published books include a collection of short stories,

Author Social Media Links: 
(all info provided by author)

Oregon and Writing with Oregon Native, John Burridge
I've lived in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, for most of my life.  Maybe one reason I'm a writer is because of the language in the place names.  The words Oregon, Willamette (a river), and Eugene (where I currently live) are shibboleths  that help residents identify new-comers to the state, valley and city.  The name Corvallis (the town I grew up in) is based on the French phrase for "heart/core of the valley."  A number of Oregon's place names come from the Native American tribes displaced by settlers in the 1800's. 

Unlike the half of the state east of the Cascade Mountain Range, it rains a lot in the Willamette Valley.  From about the autumnal equinox to the summer solstice, it's typically partly cloudy to scattered showers.  Our seasons are (usually) moderated by our proximity to the Pacific Ocean.  Generally, our lawns glow green in December, as do the lichens and the ferns growing on the older oaks.

The great part about Eugene is that it's about ninety minutes east of the coast and about ninety minutes west of the Cascade Mountains--so if you want skiing and snow or kite flying and the surf, just choose a direction and you'll be there in no time.
 But you don't have to go far to find an inspiring landscape.

Two of Eugene's popular hiking spots are Spencer Butte   and Mount Pisgah.  Spencer Butte  is a basalt mountain with fabulous trails through douglas fir (and poison oak!).  Mount Pisgah is a large hill with a a bronze memorial to Jed Kesey, son of Ken Kesey.  The memorial is a sighting pedestal with a topology map of the area on top and local geological information on its side.
wonderful arboretum at its base (and more poison oak), and at its summit is

Maybe it's the water, maybe it's the university,  maybe it's the rain, but for whatever reason, Eugene has a reputation for being artistic.   Between the annual Slug Queen coronation and the Oregon Bach Festival, it's the perfect place for writers--and Eugene seems to have a higher writer per capita than usual. 

One place to go and research McGuffins and characters is Eugene's vibrant Saturday market, which is filled with locally produced crafts, organically farmed produce, and lots of old hippies. 

If it's history you want, visit Hope Abby and the Eugene Masonic Cemetery.  The Cemetery is the final resting place of Eugene Skinner, the city's namesake, and many of his contemporaries.  The local historical society maintains a number of informative placards on the graveyard's occupants.  Hope Abby was designed in the 1910's by Ellis F. Lawrence, in a Neo-Egyptian architectural style.  Lawrence also designed the Library and Museum buildings on the University of Oregon campus.  To get a feel for Victorian living, tour Shelton McMurphey Johnson House.

Scholars will want to visit the University's special collection room, which houses collections of many feminist science fiction writers, such as Ursula LeGuin and Kate Wilhelm.  Joanna Russ's short story rough drafts and writings to feminist science fiction authors of the 1960's and 1970's make for some fascinating reading. 

Oh, yeah; and Eugene's locally famous for football and track, too.

My award winning short story, Mask Glass Magic, published in Writers of the Future v 23, is set in Eugene, Oregon, during a time when glass lampwork experienced a renaissance, and glass bead and "decorative water pipes" graced what seemed like every other block's art store.

The winner of the Oregon drawing will receive a copy of the The Best of Writers of the Future anthology, featuring many Eugene writers.
John Burridge's short story, "Before the Last Bloom Falls" is the June 2014 recipient of the Penn Cove Literary Award.  His short story, "The Gear Master's Wife," may be found on the On The Premises, web site.  Also there is his short story, "Reset Romance."  His micro-fiction, "The Book Deal," may be found in the Delving Press anthology, "Twisted Tales in 66 Words."  His short story "The View from the Top" may be found on the Analog web site. His short story "Up" won the Whidbey Student Choice Award.  His short story "Mask Glass Magic" may be found in the anthology "Writers of the Future, vol 23."  He misses Thaumatrope, a Twitter Fiction venue to which he contributed.

John lives in Eugene with his family. He is a computer support technician by day and a fantasy and science fiction writer by night. Since 2001 he has been an active member of the Eugene Wordos , which he serves as
He is probably over-caffeinated.
Visit John at his blog: or at Twitter:
(Text provided by author/Pictures downloaded from various sites listed in article and from Author's website) 


  1. Strangely, I've only experienced Oregon as a place to pass through on the journey between California and Washington State. Having read these two pieces, I fear that I've missed something quite charming and beautiful. Perhaps I shall be able to — I can't really say return since I've hardly been — perhaps to revoir.

  2. My husband and I had the huge pleasure of visiting your area a number of years ago. Still remember the beauty you speak of. In fact--we loved all we saw in the entire state, Pacific Ocean to eastern boundary. Saw our first llama herd after driving east over the mountains and dropping onto the flatlands.

  3. TL, I enjoyed learning about your current state of Oregon. You made me want to visit. I wonder where in KY you lived. I am a native of West KY and currently spend most of the year in Paducah. I was born on a farm in this area. Good luck with your books.
    Linda Swift

  4. My introduction Oregon came in my youth when I read H. L. Davis' wonderful Honey in the Horn, prompting me to put the state on my list of places I might want to live some day. That didn't come to pass, but reading other books by the likes of Ken Kesey, David Guterson, David James Duncan and others added more incentive to visit.

  5. First of all, you are always fair and thinking of the authors, Annette. Thank you for both articles. As to the information in this post, both paint a slightly different image of their locale but both make me feel Oregon is a lush Paradise. I have long heard that it's a haven there and these descriptions confirm that. As a teen, I had been across the California border into Oregon and visited two towns there. However, it might have been the season but I remember everything being hot and dry. It might have been summer but it left me with the thought Oregon was dry and barren, which I've long since learned it definitely isn't. Two different writers painting lush images of their state. Two different writers in their genres with books sounding wonderfully interesting.

  6. Wow...I'm in luck. I love both short stories and anthologies. Plus I learned more about Oregon, one state I've not visited...although we've visited many in the US. Oregon has always held a mystique, and wild and peaceful place in the US. Thanks for both posts. Happy to meet you both.
    Celia Yeary

  7. Thanks to both of you for your wonderful posts about Oregon. It's one state I've not visited..only gone through..but it hold much mystique and a peaceful, wild feeling. I know it's gorgeous.
    I love both short stories and anthologies.
    Celia Yeary

  8. Oregon is one state that neither my husband or myself have ever visited or passed through. It is a state that is on our list of places to visit. We are from MS and live on the Gulf Coast. Just the idea of a place like Oregon is like another planet to us! Thank you for sharing and for giving us a peep into your world.

  9. Definitely high on my list of states we must spend some time camping in if we ever get to retire! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Great article writing ! I was fascinated by the details ! Does someone know where I might locate a fillable IRS 8822 form to type on ?

  11. Hi Roxanne ! my


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