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“A Slip of the Tongue” by Camille DeFer Thompson

Laugh Until You Pee

This story appears in the anthology “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Working for a Living.” 

I thought I’d won the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Thirty-something and single, just hired by the sheriff’s office, I envisioned uniformed men stumbling over themselves, catering to my every whim. Little did I know the experience would turn out to be more like a minefield than a candy store.old computer

Selected for my expertise in information technology, a unique skill in the late 1980s, I found myself answering the call of frustrated tech-challenged co-workers on a daily basis. One morning, I spotted a gaggle of testosterone-loaded colleagues hunched over the monitor of the deputy in the cubicle across the aisle from mine. Before long, my curiosity got the best of me. “You need some help over there?”

“Danno can’t get out of Excel,” came the baritone reply from an onlooker.

This won’t take long

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“Weather Girl Goes Rogue” by Faune Riggin

Laugh Until You Pee

This story appears in the anthology “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Working for a Living.” 

Faune behind the microphone. Faune behind the microphone.

I’m a professional. How do I know? Because I have a professional profile on LinkedIn, of course! Sometimes when I look back at my early career, I wonder how I ever got to where I am today. I’ve been with KZIM-KSIM radio in the St. Louis area since 2001, where I produce and host the Morning News Watch. I’ve also worked in music radio. I’ve been presented more awards than I can count, including awards for broadcasting excellence. I was even named one of the top 10 best radio programmers in the nation for small market radio by Radio Ink magazine. But everyone who has worked with me in radio, and the organizations who bestowed me those awards, must not have heard how I got my start, as the chief weather…

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Camping on the Lewis River near Woodland, WA

Getting Away From It All . . . Close to Woodland

By Pat Nelson

 

 

With so much nearby beauty to explore, my husband, Bob, and I decided to save gas and take a camping trip close to home. My first stop, a couple of days in advance, was the Woodland Tourist Information Center located on the corner of Goerig Street and Lakeshore Drive, just west of I-5’s southbound on ramp. There, Virginia Wilkerson provided me with maps and brochures, as well as her personal knowledge of the area.

We left our Woodland home on a sunny Sunday and drove east on Lewis River Road, State Route 503. Two miles down the road, we made a short stop at Come to Life Espresso. As my husband drove east on Lewis River Road, my job as I sipped a steaming-hot mocha was to watch for RV parks so we could decide on one for our night’s stay. Our first stop was the Lewis River Country Store and RV Park. When our grandchildren were young, we used to rent a campsite there just so that we could swim in the pool. Now, according to the clerk, swimming passes are available at either monthly or daily rates.

Our next stop was the Merwin Day Use Park on Lake Merwin, a 4040-acre impoundment created by the Merwin Dam. The park is ADA friendly and has two covered picnic shelters, a kids’ playground and a trail to a waterfall.

At Ariel, we followed the Lewis River, curving through forests with an occasional splash of Scotch Broom, daisies, foxgloves, rhododendrons and salmonberries.

Speelyai Bay, also on Lake Merwin, offers a recreation area with an RV park and a day- use area, plus a boat launch. We saw a pen in the water that holds fish to be planted in area lakes.

We soon came to Yale Park, with a day use area and boat launch, and we then stopped at the Cougar Bar and Grill for lunch. I was happy to find a book-and-movie-lending library there, where I picked up a book for the trip.

After lunch, we visited Beaver Bay Campground on Yale Lake. Then, at the Pine Creek Ranger Station, we stopped for a map of nearby waterfalls to visit another day. Soon, we crossed a bridge where we had a great view of Mount St. Helens. Next, we drove to the Ape Caves, the third-longest lava tube in North America, where I took pictures for a couple who wanted to be photographed at the cave entrance. You can go either of two directions to explore the cave, one more difficult than the other. I went back to the motor home and woke my husband from his nap, and then drove to the Trail of Two Forests where we walked through a 2000-year-old basalt lava flow from Mount St. Helens. Here, we saw casts of old-growth trees devoured by hot lava, leaving tree-shaped holes, even one through which visitors can crawl.

Back on the road again, we explored Swift Reservoir, where I fished as a child, and then we headed back the way we had come, turning left onto 503 South toward Amboy. Three miles farther, we stopped at the Cresap Bay campground, where we chose a beautiful campsite with a water view. As I sat at the picnic table reading my borrowed book, a Jet Ski slapped the water. Someone chopped firewood. Birds called to each other. Ferns waved in a gentle breeze. The sun released sweet forest fragrances.

The next morning, we continued toward Amboy. At the Chelatchie Prairie General Store, we turned left and drove past the old International Paper mill site. We continued on, not knowing what we would find ahead. About four and a half miles from the store, we came to a bridge over beautiful Canyon Creek. Looking to our right, we saw fast-flowing water and beautiful cliffs. To our left, beyond Canyon Creek, we saw Mount Tumtum, a 70,000-year-old cinder cone. The view was well worth the short side trip.

We turned around and headed for Amboy where we had a delicious hamburger at Nick’s Bar and Grill before continuing on, back to Woodland. We had taken a camping trip close to home and had experienced the beauty of nature, in our own backyard.

 

 

Copyright 2013 Pat Nelson. Reprinted with permission: The Valley Bugler, Longview, WA and Pat Nelson, Woodland, WA

 

Bio:Pat Nelson, writer and editor, is co-creator of three humorous and sometimes edgy anthologies: Not Your Mother’s Books: On Parenting (publication date September 10, 2013), On Grandparenting and On Working for a Living (both still accepting stories at www.PublishingSyndicate.com). Nelson blogs at www.storystorm.me and her stories appear at www.LewisRiver.com. See her at the NW Book Festival, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland July 27, 2013. Nelson will speak at 11:30 and will be on hand all day selling the Not Your Mother’s Books.

 

 

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Free Monthly Newsletter for Writers

Go to http://www.PublishingSyndicate.com to sign up for the free monthly writing newsletter “Wow Principles.” My article “When Words Feel Like Wedgies” will be in the next issue!
Pat Nelson, co-creator or “Not Your Mother’s Books:” “On Parenting,” “On Grandparenting” and “On Working for a Living.”

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Writers Make It Through First Round

ImageThis week, dozens of writers had reason to celebrate when they received notice from Publishing Syndicate that stories they submitted to “Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Holidays” had made it through the first round in the selection process. The book will be released September 10, 2013, along with other titles including “NYMB . . . On Parenting” and “NYMB . . . On Doing It Yourself.” I am doing the happy dance myself because two of my stories are being considered for the Holidays book. If you like to write, see www.PublishingSyndicate.com to find out how to submit your true stories to one of the many NYMB books. It is a great feeling to know that you can provide enjoyment . . . even laughter . . . to others through something you have written.

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Author donates a lectern to WordFest . . . or a podium or a pulpit. You decide.

I recently donated a podium to my WordFest group in Longview, WA because there must be others like me who are scared sh_ _less to stand in front of a group to speak. Having that “wall” in front of me really helps. First thing, I was told that it is a lectern, not a podium. But to locate a good deal on a used one online, I looked under both terms, and found it under the listing “podium.” Another person got up to read his writing and suggested we call it a “pulpit.” Whatever you call it, it is my security blanket, and I hope it will give others some security too while they read. See The Daily News’ article below.

http://www.alan-rose.com/wordfest/

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New Book Debuts Today!

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It debuts today! Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Being a Woman. Book one of nearly 40 anthologies that are in the works. Funny, edgy books published by Dahlynn and Ken McKown who co-authored Chicken Soup for the Soul books for ten years! Read my story “Blind-Sighted” and don’t miss “And Me Without a Crotch,” written by a 92-year-old YOUNG lady in my writers’ group.
 
I’m the co-creator of two upcoming books: Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Parenting (due out before Mother’s Day) and Not Your Mother’s Book . .  .on Grandparenting. See story guidelines and submit your stories at http://www.publishingsyndicate.com.
 
And what’s next? Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Being a Stupid Kid! I just read the manuscript, and it is hilarious. Watch for this book at the end of this month, and be sure to read my story “When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go” about two teenage girls (yes, one was me) the first time they drank alcohol! Oh, silly us. I hope my grandkids don’t read this one!

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