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The Yes Book, Edited by Jill Cooper

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Exult Road offers books and services to inspire the mind, awaken the spirit, and enliven the heart. The Yes Book, edited by Jill Cooper, published by Exult Road is available fall 2014 for purchase. 

The Yes Book, Edited by Jill Cooper


The Yes Book, Edited by Jill Cooper


This phenomenal breakthrough book is an anthology of award-winning authors writing about the power of the word Yes published by Exult Road. Seventy-two authors describe stories of transformation and hope, the challenge of life-changing decisions, and the magic of Yes in everyday life.Storytellers breathe Yes through the life of their characters. Poets extol the power of Yes in love and loss. Spiritual teachers reveal the secret of Yes in the heart. Neurologist Dr. Newberg explains how using the word Yes physically changes the chemistry of the brain. The book itself is a transformational device; a perfect gift for yourself or loved ones.  

ISBN: 978-0-9905317-0-8 (Softcover), Pages: 204, Foreward by Dorianne Laux

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Minna Aalto has a Masters Degree in Nordic literature and resides in Turku, a big enough small town on the southwest coast of Finland, and shares a precious everyday with her life partner, Michl Britsch. In addition to dancing, reading, and writing, Minna recharges her batteries in Yin Yoga, on walks, and through meaningful, deep-diving conversations with friends. She is also quite fond of heartfelt silliness. Minna started learning English at the age of 11, and English has become her soul language. In 2007, she founded Dakinia, a company focusing on delivering the message of Nia, a holistic movement form, giving courses on alternative takes on entrepreneurship and living, empowering women especially. Minna writes about her journey with Nia in her Finnish blog Nian matkassa, shares her poetry on, and composes and performs her own music as Minna Twice.


Liz Alexander, Ph.D., is a global hybrid: born in Scotland, raised in England, and a U.S. citizen since 2009. Her portfolio career can be summed up in one word: communicator. A former journalist and BBC TV presenter, Liz is the award-winning author of 14 globally published nonfiction books. She teaches strategic communications and storytelling for business impact. Liz also works with business leaders and teams in the U.S., U.K., and India through her consultancy, Leading Thought (, guiding clients to communicate in ways that intrigue, influence, and positively impact their target market. Lizs constant companion is a black Labrador who thinks shes human, named Buffy (guess why?). They live in Austin, Texas.


Verity Arndt is a mother, wife, and spiritual counselor who is passionate about living this incredible life. After years of searching for real lasting joy and peace, and for insight into how the world works, she found what she was looking for. Since then, she feels absolute joy in showing others how to navigate life in a way that brings them the most joy and fulfillment. Her daily life includes home-schooling her three children, gardening, time in nature and meditation, raising golden retriever puppies, playing harp and piano, singing, and whatever else inspires her. More about Verity at


Ellen Bass, a poet and teacher, grew up in New Jersey. She earned an M.A. in creative writing from Boston University, where she studied with Anne Sexton. Basss style is direct; she has noted, I work to speak in a voice that is meaningful communication. Poetry is the most intimate of all writing. I want to speak from me to myself and then from me to you. Basss collections of poetry include Mules of Love (2002), which won the Lambda Literary Award; The Human Line (2007), named a Notable Book by the San Francisco Chronicle; and Like a Beggar (2014). She helped edit the feminist poetry anthology No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (1973).


Bass has also written works of nonfiction, including, with Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (1988) and Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children (2003, revised edition 2008). With Kate Kaufman, she wrote Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth—and Their Allies (1996). Basss honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize, a Pablo Neruda Prize, a Larry Levis Reading Prize, and a New Letters Literary Prize. She teaches in the M.F.A. program at Pacific University and lives in Santa Cruz, California.


Joanne S. Bodin received her doctorate from the University of New Mexico in Multi-cultural Teacher Education. She is an award-winning author, poet, and retired educator. Her book of poetry, Piggybacked, was a finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards. Her novel, Walking Fish, won the New Mexico Book Awards and the International Book Awards in gay/lesbian fiction, and placed finalist in three other categories. She is past vice president of the New Mexico State Poetry Society and has served on the board of Southwest Writers. She is currently on the board of the New Mexico Orchid Guild. Her poetry has appeared in The Rag, La Llorona Poetry Anthology, Fixed and Free Poetry Anthology, Desert Sun Runner, Voices of New Mexico Too, JB Stillwater Magazine, NMSPS Albuquerque Chapter Poetry Anthology, Zingara Poetry Pics, New Mexico Mercury, 200 New Mexico Poems Anthology, The Storyteller's Anthology, and Adobe Walls 5.


Hallie Bradley is a retired elementary school teacher and currently lives with her husband in Hood River, Oregon. She is working on a historical novel about the life of her mother, who kept a fascinating journal during the 1940s. 


Cedar Burnett is a Seattle-based writer, mother, and professional rule-breaker. She once had lunch with Kenny Rogers and is unnaturally proud that Al Jazeera America paid her to go to Hempfest and write about it. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,, The Associated Press, USA Today,,, Huffington Post,, Fox News, Fodor's, Alaska Airlines magazine, and, among other publications. She spent a summer in Boston wearing adult diapers for ulcerative colitis (then wrote a book about it). More at


Rose Caiola could have easily been defined by her success in real estate, but she ventured far beyond the boundaries of the business world. She is a teacher, speaker, and expert practitioner of a number of disciplines that promote wellnessderived from ancient wisdom as well as cutting-edge science. Rose has studied neuroscience, Reiki, Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese herbal medicine, and various styles of yoga and meditation. She has received extensive training in neurofeedback, kinesiology, hypnosis, and Holographic Memory Resolution. Her journey informs RewireMe.comthe online community she founded for people seeking ways to learn, grow, heal, and transform.


Daniel Cammarn was born in Reidsville, Georgia, in 1987 to a military family that traveled around the world from the time he was born until 2002, when his father retired and settled down in Wakeman, Ohio. Since graduating high school in 2005, Daniel has traveled to two different countries and lived in four different states. He currently resides in Olympia, Washington, while attending South Puget Sound Community College.


Lois Colton retired from her work as a writing instructor at the Oregon State Penitentiary and moved to Hood River, Oregon, to be close to her children and grandchildren. She currently teaches ESL part-time to adult students at the community college and leads writing workshops for local writing enthusiasts. She chooses to live a life filled with energy and artistrygifts bequeathed to her by her family. No family is perfect, but she knows the gifts of love shes been given. She never wants to stop being a learner and says Yes to way too many things.


Jill Cooper is a writer, poet, editor, and founder of Exult Road, the publisher of this book. Her writing has appeared in the literary and online magazines The Raven Chronicles, The Floating Bridge Review, and Jill has served as the director of a Buddhist publishing house and as a consultant to dozens of publishers across the nation. She offers all her creative endeavors as celebrations of life. She lives with her husband, Todd Murray, near the Columbia River in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. Read her poetry and learn more at


Jude Dippold was raised in a small Pennsylvania town on the western slope of the Allegheny Mountains. As a child, he spent countless hours in the forests surrounding his community, acquiring a lifelong love of nature that helps inform his writing and photography today. After graduating from Saint Vincent College with a degree in philosophy, he attempted to open a philosophy shoppe, but recession forced him to embark on a career in journalism and corporate communications. He is now writing poetry, pursuing his love of photography, and cycling his way into retirement.


Brian Doyle (born in New York in 1956) is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is the author of thirteen books, among them the novels Mink River (big) and Cat's Foot (little; a friend of his says it is a novella, but that sounds like a disease or a sandwich spread), the story collection Bin Laden's Bald Spot, the nonfiction books The Grail and The Wet Engine, and many books of essays and poems. His Huge Whopping Headlong Sea Novel The PLOVER was published in April 2014 by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, bless their mad hearts. Brian James Patrick Doyle of New Yawk is cheerfully NOT the great Canadian novelist Brian Doyle, nor the astrophysicist Brian Doyle, nor the former Yankee baseball player Brian Doyle, nor even the terrific actor Brian Doyle-Murray. He is, let's say, the ambling shambling Oregon writer Brian Doyle, and happy to be so.


Nyah Sky and Leela Rain Eberhardt are sisters who live in Canton, Georgia. Nyah is 6. She loves animals, camping, and being sillythe grosser the better. She hopes to be a vet one day. Leela is 4 years old. She loves swimming, soccer, and chasing boys on the playground. She hopes to be a family medical doctor when she grows up. She loves to be just as silly and gross as Nyah. Both girls can most often be found making fancy art projects, giggling upside down, building campfires with Daddy in the woods, or riding on Marley, their golden retriever.  These poems are the first of many published works, as they are both enthusiastic and creative writers.


Barbara Scott Emmett has published plays, poetry, short stories, erotica, and novels. Drowning: Four Short Stories; The Land Beyond Goodbye; and Dont Look Down are available as ebooks. Her latest book DELIRIUM: The Rimbaud Delusion, a metaphysical/literary novel was published in 2014 through Triskele Books.


Caitlin Enwright is a 29-year-old human who lives in Oakland, California. She typed her submission to The Yes Book with a broken left hand and the cosmos painted on her cast.


Bash Evans is a 20-something California-born, Northwest-grown man of few words and many thoughts. He is a craftsman who admires detail and the beauty in quality. He is a student who yearns to become the master, and a master who yearns to learn. There are many things that may describe his life and the decisions he makes, but there is only so much he can tell you. You will more readily find Bash in his craft. You will find him in Down to the Root Studio. More at


Melinda Gates has dedicated her adult life to the exploration and relief of suffering, intuitively guided by a certainty that freedom, joy, peace, and immense power are natural birthrights of every person. As a Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner and Divine Openings Guide, she offers counseling, coaching, and bodywork that invite others to remember the powerful magic of a yes-graced life. When not working, Melinda supports her un-schooled son in remaining true to himself through child-led learning and by facilitating his ability to live the life he desires. Learn more about Melindas work and journey at


Ille C. Gebeshuber, Ph.D., is an Austrian physics professor who has been living and working in tropical Malaysia since 2008. She works on developing new ways of doing engineering, inspired by living Natures way. Illes rainforest expedition teams are as diverse as the habitat they enter: veterinary medicine specialists, fine artists, engineers, biologists, physicists, economistsall together, learning, asking questions, listening to the answers, enjoying the beauty and togetherness, far remote from any phone reception or Internet connection, diving into a way of living that is different from our modern way, and yet can teach us much.


Martha K. Grant says YES to life through her poetry and visual arts in her Texas Hill Country studio, though she often must say NO to one muse in order to accommodate the other. She is now at work on a collaborative project, collaging her poetry into her art quilts.


Richard Grossinger was born and raised in New York City, attended Horace Mann SchoolAmherst College, and the University of Michigan, earning a B.A. in English at Amherst and a Ph.D. in anthropology at Michigan. With his wife (then girlfriend at Smith College), Lindy Hough, he founded the journal Io in 1964, then founded North Atlantic Books in 1974.

Between 1970 and 1972 he taught anthropology at the University of Maine, Portland-Gorham, now the University of Southern Maine, and between 1972 and 1977 he taught interdisciplinary studies (including alchemy, Melville, Classical Greek, Jungian psychology, and ethnoastronomy) at Goddard College in Plainfield, VermontGrossinger is the author of many books, including Planet Medicine, The Night Sky, Embryogenesis, New Moon, Migraine Auras, On the Integration of Nature, The Bardo of Waking Life, and The Dark Pool of Light 3-volume series.


Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, speaker, freelance writer, and musician. He created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with and continues the exploration with his bestselling debut book, Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality and his upcoming book, Everything Mind.


Jenn Grosso plays host to the dance of shadow and light, while smiling at the fleeting nature of it all. Embracing her inner sacred creative, she focuses most of her time on reading, writing, painting/mixed media, yoga, meditation, and picture taking. Connect with Jenn on her blog Perilsoftheliving, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


Chelan Harkin is a 25-year-old artist, healer, and poet, developing a deep trust that life is always leading her toward a deeper understanding of The Great Yes. Chelan is married to a wonderful man named Noah and they currently live in North Portland. She is also a hypnotherapist, and relishes her daily hemp-milk mochas. She loves to sing. Many of Chelans poems come from this place of "YES!" so she is very happy that The Yes Book is creating a space where life-affirming voices can all sing together.


Karen Fendig Hoffman is a part-time barn hand and writer and a full-time wife and mother. She and her husband own a small coffee bar and live in Virginia. She believes in seizing the day, gently.


Lisa Hoffman-Reyes, Ph.D., is a studious fan of nineteenth-century epistolary exchanges, especially those penned by Robert Browning and Oscar Wilde. Her scholarly work focuses on Victorian aesthetic theory, gender theory, and mid- to late-Victorian poetry and prose. She teaches composition and literature at community colleges in Western Washington, where she always hopes for (and often secures) a classroom with a view of Mount Rainier.


Antonio Hopson is an author residing in Seattle. He is the winner of the Farmhouse Reader's Choice Award, Finalist "Best Short Story Anthology" EPPIE Award, Featured Writer at Hugo House and for NPR commentator Andrei Codrescus journal, Exquisite Corpse. Ogden Messiah is his latest novel.


Lola Jones became an internationally known spiritual teacher when her book Things Are Going Great in My Absence: How to Let Go and Let the Divine Do the Heavy Lifting made its way to 135 countries by word of mouth. She created, a virtual world where people take online courses, create community, enjoy or purchase her art, music, books, and audios. Many visit the site every day to see the inspirational short videos in the courses and the Message of the Day. Lola leads life-transforming Five-Day Silent Retreats in the U.S. and Germany, where results come with ease and grace, laughter and pleasure, instead of hard emotional work and processing. People are relieved to finally be able to stop the endless seeking.


Maureen Buchanan Jones is the Executive Director of Amherst Writers & Artists and leads creative writing workshops in Amherst, Massachusetts, under her business, Writing Full Tilt.  Her poetry has appeared in Woman in Natural Resources, 13th Moon, Peregrine, North Dakota Quarterly, Letters from Daughters to Fathers, WriterAdvice, Equinox, Calyx, and Chrysalis. Her book of poems, blessed are the menial chores, is available on her website: Maureens novel, Maud & Addie, is with Writers House of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature.


Faith Keolker is a native of England. Faith came to live in Hood River, Oregon, in 2006, where she started a home care business with her husband. The beauty of the Columbia Gorge has reawakened Faiths creative voice, and she now writes poetry in her spare time. She is currently working on a collection of traditional poems for our time and is passionate about writing in a traditional, classical style.


Sally King is the author of the novel Heirs and Graces and the upcoming sequel Folly in the Mist. She is a mum and a businesswoman who owns 100k Hairdresser, a training company for hairdressers. She squeezes her novels and other writing in when she can, but acknowledges that its all so much less effort since embracing author and teacher Lola Joness motto to just say yes.


Maria Kute is a reformed academic of the English variety (M.A., literature, University of South Florida) and an unapologetic perpetual student of music, creative writing, communication disorders, psychology, and the Internets at large. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, she has taught piano and voice to many students in the Tampa Bay Area, and introductory writing and research courses to several college students of Clovis Community College, Eastern New Mexico University, and the University of South Florida. Within a few years, she hopes to finish her (re-) schooling and practice as a speech language pathologist, for she stands awestruck by the human ability to learn and utilize language in all its complexity, wonder, and abstraction. Currently, she is a resident of Las Vegas. When she hasnt been able to convince her husband to enjoy the gluttons paradise that Vegas offers, she watches her two dogs and cat goof off, makes giant pitchers of green and herbal teas, hikes, and studies for her communication disorders degree online with Utah State University.


Fred LaMotte is the author of Wounded Bud: Poems for Meditation, published by Saint Julian Press. He is an interfaith college chaplain and adjunct professor of world religions living in Olympia, Washington.


Dorianne Laux’s most recent collections are The Book of Men (winner of the Paterson Prize) and Facts About the Moon (winner of the Oregon Book Award), both available from W. W. Norton. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Smoke. She is co-author of The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Widely anthologized, her work has appeared in many literary journals. She and her husband, poet Joseph Millar, are founding faculty at Pacific University's low-residency M.F.A .program. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she teaches poetry and directs the M.F.A. program at North Carolina State University.


Alice Lee is the former editor and publisher of the Alaskan letterpress, Orca, and the former editor and publisher of Whistle Lake Press (Washington state). She received a Pushcart Prize for best of the small presses. Her poems have been published in many anthologies and magazines, including the Alaska Quarterly, the Kansas Quarterly, Calyx, Crosscurrents, the New Mexico Poetry Review, and Adobe Walls. Lee taught college English courses for more than thirty years and now enjoys her time gardening, writing, painting, and traveling.


Wayne Lee is a Canadian/American who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Lees poems have appeared in Tupelo Press, The New Guard, Sliver of Stone, Slipstream, and other publications. His awards include the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and the SICA Poems for Peace Award, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net Awards. His third collection of poems, The Underside of Light, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013. Learn more:


Tara Lemieux is a mindful wanderer, spirited inspirationalist, and weaver of words. Although she may appear to be listening with great care, rest assured, she is most certainly lost in thought. She is an ardent explorer and lover of finding things previously undiscovered or at the very least mostly not-uncovered. To find Tara and read more of her musings, visit:


Erinn Magee is a Global Nomad currently living in Panama City, Panama. An educator, she is the high school principal at Balboa Academy. Her hobbies include teaching her dog Puchika Ines how to sea kayak, rocking in rocking chairs while reading great works of literature and student essays, and enjoying life in the company of her husband, Silvio.


Mariann Martland is discovering a voice in her life through words, poetry, art, inspiration, and healing. She is learning the difference between enforced silence in the despair of loneliness and chosen silence in the beauty of solitude; how silence can create both pain and peace. More of her writing can be found online at The Power of Silence 


Dominique Mazeaud's calling for the last thirty-five years has been to answer What Is the Spiritual in Art in Our Time?, a question she has lived as a gallerist, curator, artist, and writer, but mainly as a seeker preferring to call herself a heartist who does art for the Earth. She expresses her deep love for the Earth in ritual performances, community projects, and installations. 


Patty McCabe-Remmell is a writer and editor based in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Since the 1980s she has written about topics ranging from gourmet cooking to auto racing and beyond, and is working on her first novel, tentatively titled The Beautiful Year. She also dabbles in poetry and essays on her blog, teaches professional writing at the University of South Florida, and fervently hopes the Rays do better this baseball season.


Melanie McFarland is a writer living in Seattle. Her work has appeared in Variety,, the Chicago Tribune, The Oregonian, the Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. When she isnt writing, she is dancing and deepening her practice of Nia Technique as a Blue Belt instructor.


Kathy McGrath works as a consultant in Chicago. She has two wonderful, grown children, Andrew and Amanda, a husband, Ozziewho also likes to write poetryand her doggie companion, Buddi! Kathy loves writing and taking pictures of people and nature. She is part of the community created by Lola Jones and is awake to a Grace-filled life, finding Joy and Bliss in the Presence.


Karen McSwain lives in a rural community that is equal distance between Seattle and Portland. She is an avid reader, an aspiring writer, and a lover of road trips and 1970s kitsch. Karen is a frequent contributor to Yeah Write, an online writing community for writers who blog and bloggers who write. She blogs at


Jennifer Milich is a poet and singer/songwriter who has been living and working in Brooklyn for the past 20 years. She studied poetry with Cornelius Eady at SUNY Stony Book and was the first student board member at Stony Brook's Poetry Center. She is also one of the founders of Scarlet Fox Letterpress, a creative collective that produces Salons based out of Ditmas Park; these events highlight and share the original work of artists in all mediums. The Scarlet Foxes just created and released Jennifer's first music video, "Calling Derek Jeter," viewable on YouTube.  


Joseph Millar, poet, grew up in western Pennsylvania and was educated at Penn State and Johns Hopkins University, where he earned an M.A. in poetry writing. He worked as a commercial fisherman and telephone repairman for more than 20 years, and his accessible narrative poems, influenced by the work of poets Philip Levine and James Wright, often take working life as a means of engaging themes of class, family, and romantic love. In a 2009 interview for Pirenes Fountain with Charles Morrison, Millar stated, We must have the ambition for our poems that they reach toward the sublime, that they speak from our own true selves and are grounded in the experience of our daily lives, including our dreams and hopes.


Millar is the author of several poetry collections, including Blue Rust (2011), Fortune (2007), and Overtime (2001), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Montalvo Arts Center, and Oregon Literary Arts. His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillors National Public Radio program The Writers Almanac and won a Pushcart Prize. Millar, who has taught at Pacific University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, poet Dorianne Laux.


Michelle Motoyoshi has wanted to be a writer since she first learned how to scribble words on a page. Since then she has cobbled together a few accomplishments, like having her work performed with local theater groups, publishing three educational books for children, and writing articles for local and online publications. She has also managed to earn a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. At present she heads up a small production company that has just completed its first short film, a mini-musical entitled Practical Uses for a Time Machine. She plans to develop the film into a series. You can find out more about Michelle and her projects at and at


Andrew B. Newberg, M.D., is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Radiology and Director of Research, Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. He is co-author of the best-selling books Why God Won't Go Away and How God Changes Your Brain, as well as Words Can Change Your Brain. He has also published several academic books, including Principles of Neurotheology and The Metaphysical Mind. His work focuses on the relationship between the brain and religious, spiritual, and mystical experiences.


Noriko Oki was born in Tokyo. After graduating with a B.A. in English & American Literature from Gakushuin University, she moved to California in pursuit of Art and Design and graduated from Otis/Parsons (currently Otis College of Art and Design) in 1992 with a B.F.A. in Illustration. She has been involved in a broad range of creative fields, including film production, computer animation, graphic design, editorial illustration, and toy design. Since 2000, Noriko has been living in Japan and is now based in Tokyo, where she paints and enjoys being a mother. Noriko is currently challenging and experiencing a cure of breast cancer naturally by enjoying, appreciating, and loving life. Painting is her tool to express, and by it she wants to reach out to anyone around the world who appreciates her art to heal and grow.


Dr. Marissa Pei is an inspirational speaker, organizational psychologist, corporate consultant, TV commentator, author, and talk radio show host of Take My Advice, Im Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa, a popular show on the Universal Broadcasting Network with over a quarter million downloads and 20,000+ regular listeners ( She is the recipient of the 2012 Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 2007 Remarkable Woman of the Year, and the 2005 Role Model of the Year Award in Business and Media. Her book Mommy, What Are Feelings?, an interactive childrens book illustrated by her daughters, has been recognized for helping autistic children all over the world. She has been featured as a television guest and commentator on major network shows including Nostradamus: A Scientific Inquiry (Discovery Channel), Totally Out of Control People (ABC/Discovery), Busted on the Job (FOX), UFOs: Put to the Test and Monster Myths (The Learning Channel); Making It (KTLA) and KUSI-TV News and CW6 in San Diego.


Doreen Perrine has published three novels through Bedazzled Ink, and her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary ezines including The Copperfield Review, Lacuna, Freya's Bower, Raving Dove, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, Read These Lips, Sinister Wisdom, and Queer Collection. Doreen's plays have been performed at Here Arts Center, WOW Café Theatre, Under St. Marks Theatre, and Manhattan Theatre Source in New York City. She is also an artist and art teacher who resides in the Hudson Valley of New York.


Shannon Perry is a generic Oregonian who has had the privilege of living in the Hood River Valley for 32 years. It has been a nurturing home for raising three daughters. The beauty of the valley inspires her every day and provides many opportunities to hike and explore. Shannon has written for as long as she can remember. She taught in the elementary grades for 28 years, and through that was able to nourish young writers. Now retired, she has time to explore her own writing. She lives with her partner, Stephen, and their cat, Bobcat, as well as Maxine, the box turtle she has had for 25 years.


Dan Phillips was born in Troy, New York, on August 30th, 1964.  Raised mostly in California, he has been dabbling in poetry on and off since 1998, and lives in Santa Ana, California.  He is single, and has had a lifelong interest in horror films and history.


Kevin Pochocki is a native of LaGrange, Illinois, who currently calls Littleton, Colorado, home. When asked about his motivation for writing, he explained: I enjoy exploring the consequences of motivations, not so much the object, or fulfillment, of those motivations, but the collateral damage and the unseen impetus that is given to the actions of others. All of us are truly contingent beings whose lives are guided through the interactions we have each day. Whether our contact with others is by whim or choice, we affect the outcome of the lives around us. Kevin is a family man with a wife and two children. Outside of writing, Kevin enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending time with his children. My job is to make sure that their lives are greater and the world benefits from having my children in it. 


Heather Rader has always loved to write. Many times in her life, her journal has been her best friend. She's an educational coach, columnist, blogger, and author. You can find her at to see what's on her mind.


Heather S. Friedman Rivera, R.N., J.D., Ph.D., is an author and past life researcher. She co-founded PLR Institute for advancing past life research. Dr. Heather speaks, writes, and hosts retreats. She is the author of Healing the Present from the Past: The Personal Journey of a Past Life Researcher, Quiet Water, and Maiden Flight. Learn more at, or email


Linda Saylor grew up on a farm in the Pacific Northwest. She has studied poetry, veterinary medicine, and animal husbandry, and is a master gardener with forty years of herbal and naturopathic experience. She and her husband moved to the interior of Alaska to build a home and raise two children. Linda uses a social network forum to share her daily diary, and that network of friends has grown into an audience of readers interested in off grid, rugged life.


Kay Schmerber is a retired middle school teacher and native Oregonian. Brooklyn, New York, was home for two decades, and she has been a partner to a gifted cherry farmer in Washington. She has one adult son and two adult stepsons. She lives in White Salmon and Portland, where she reads, watches movies, walks, and writes poetry. Two sisters, a 100-year-old father, and lasting friendships keep her honest.


Tosha Silver grew up thinking one day she would be a rabbi, a lawyer, or a weathergirl. But fate had other ideas. She graduated from Yale with a degree in English Literature, but along the way fell madly in love with metaphysics and yogic philosophy. For the last 30 years, she has taught many ways to align with the inner Divine. She lives near San Francisco and also writes a spiritual column at Her books are Outrageous Openness and Make Me Your Own. More information at


Kip Silverman is a writer of poetry, spoken word, bad haiku, and various other annoyances who lives in Portland, Oregon. Kip is a father of three incredible daughters and spends a good amount of time working to make this world a less horrible place through conversation and technology. He also is a great admirer of trees and a finely crafted cocktail and has at least once run for the office of the president of the United States. He currently has several strange Web sites, including and He is a member of the Portland-based writing group The Guttery.

Silvio Sirias is the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005), Meet Me Under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel, and The Saint of Santa Fe (2013). A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama with his wife, Erinn Magee. He also has a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions. The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape.


Heather Sisson writes articles on teaching practices for Choice Literacy, instructional coaching for Lead Literacy, and is currently cultivating her inner poet while finishing her first novel. She enjoys reading and writing pieces with strong women who balance societal expectations with unabashed self-fulfillment needs. Heather lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two black labs in Olympia, Washington, while her son serves in the U.S. Air Force.


Brittany Tobiason wakes up every day smiling. She plays house in various tents in a sunny valley in Western Washington state where she decorates her little snail shell of a golden trailer, grows rampant vegetables, writes in a hammock and feels like a little old man in spite of her pigtails in the rainbow sunset. She is a freelance writer and editor and can be reached at


Kathy Trapp has been creating stories and narratives her entire life. She has no memory of a time without books, spoken stories, or fantastical mental narratives to the everyday goings on of her life. The first story she ever wrote was an illustrated story of a lion and his friends that she wrote in kindergartena treasure she still has, thanks to her mother. It was because of the positive influence of her mother and her amazing elementary educators that Kathy became a lifelong learner. Today, Kathy is an early childhood educator and writes as a hobby.


Shirley “Rodeo” Landis VanScoyk is surprised to find herself a sixty-one-year-old widow and Nana living on a farm in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. She cooks when she's depressed and when she's happy. She writes when she is something in between. She still has the world's crappiest kitchen. 


Janet Ward has retired to White Salmon, Washington. She has two children and five grown grandchildren. Knowing that her children and grandchildren have grown up in a computer tech world, she has been writing her childhood memories of living during a time of back-porch iceboxes, wood cook stoves, ringer washing machines, and playing unafraid in the woods behind her house. She hopes that her memories of childhood will give the family a new perspective on "the way it was." She has visited all 50 states and numerous countries around the world. Her grandmothers sense of challenge and adventure contributed to the authors desire to step out.


Donna Wetterstrand is a modern-day enlightened spirit. She confesses to an ongoing, all-consuming addiction to evolving into the most expanded human she can be. Donna descends from a line of spiritual adepts, including two Mother Superiors and the Swedish mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg. Donna serves through her thriving life-counseling and business consultation practice. Most recently, Donna helped develop the well-respected Guide Certification Program currently offered through She is a mentor to the guides in training, and also offers sessions to anyone interested in learning how to manifest with ease and joy. Donna is also a published artist and writer and the mother of a wonderful daughter. You can contact her at


Linda Thompson Whidby is a freelance writer, poet, and essayist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Kennesaw State University. Linda is currently writing her memoir and has been commissioned to co-author the memoir of American innovator T. David Petite. When she is away from her writing desk, Linda may be spotted indulging her love of interior design with a paintbrush, a sledgehammer, or a nailgun. She owns a home-remodeling business with her husband, Terry, in Marietta, Georgia. You can find Lindas articles, poetry, and essays at


Genise R. White is a poet, writer, editor, and DJ. She has been writing poems and short stories since she was a young girl, and is soon to publish two books. She is also a Board Operator/DJ for two radio shows: Main Street Universe on Blog Talk Radio and her own creation, World Reggae Party, on Radio Fairfax, Fairfax, Virginia, where she reignites America with world reggae music. She volunteers for many community organizations and works as a substitute teacher in grades K6 for the Fairfax County Public School System.


Brandi Leigh Whitehead works in the Los Angeles area music industry. She has been a promoter/manager for an underground hip-hop artist and worked as a lyric co-writer. She won the Indiana State championship for her short stories and poetry when she was ten years old, and has since published several poems. She is writing a book series for children and intends to create a record label that helps children in need.


Patricia Zylius is an incurable copyeditor. She gardens, practices tai chi, walks, and listens mostly to music written before 1750 and jazz. Her poems have appeared in Caesura, Monterey Poetry Review, Sand Hill Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Catamaran Literary Reader, Ellipsis, and Women Artists Datebook. In 2012 she published Dear Sweeties: Tom Cuthbertson on His Dance with Cancer, by her late ex-husband. Her chapbook Once a Vibrant Field was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press.