Chuckanut Writers Conference Update from Chasse Gunter

Dear Writers:

Chasse Gunter, intern for this year’s Chuckanut Writers Conference, offered this guest blog to bring us up to date on conference details, so take it away, Chasse!

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cwcYou know that point in time when something is closer than it is far away ? That time has come! The Chuckanut Writers Conference is only 50 days away! There’s only one thing closer than the conference itself—the Early Bird Discount deadline. In all situations, the early bird gets the worm, but in your case, the early bird gets a whopping discount, too! That price is $229 and all you have to do is register before May 15th. Don’t mark your calendar; just go grab a spot right now. Continue reading

Spotlight: This one’s for Puck by A Wilderness of Words


Vince Cardinale as Puck from the Carmel Shakespeare Festival production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Sept., 2000_Wikipedia

Dear Writers: Glancing at the title of this blog from A Wilderness of Words, I assumed it would be a romp through Shakespeare, which of course sounds interesting anytime. Instead, this Puck is his own person, beautifully described by his sister. Saying more would give away too much, so I’ll just say I’ve read it three times and it’s a piece of writing that sticks with me for a few different reasons.

This one’s for Puck.

Story Question: Yum?

YumDear Writers:

What is a food your character has never tried and why? For economy, geography, an undeveloped palate or another reason? Upon eating that food for the very first time, what unexpected memory could be prompted, and how could that recollection influence what the character chooses to do next?

Happy writing!

xo Laurel Leigh

First Line: Un-Tonight

Dear Writers:

In this place where time operated backwards, where you had to eat fried eggs in a gulp before they resumed their raw, potentially contaminated state, making love to a woman, or any sort of living creature, was a particularly complicated and potentially injurious affair that Seth had only attempted three times. This un-tonight would be _______________.

Have a great writing day!

xo Laurel Leigh

Nature Writer (Not!) At Large

With my dog along a trail in Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley. A while back someone built a mountain bike jump, I’m guessing, that’s now overgrown with moss and drops off the hillside. Who could not be inspired to write about this picturesque trail? Me, apparently.

Dear Writers,

You know how Annie Dillard can write about a blackbird and make you wish you had one to come in the window at night and claw you into epiphany? She can turn a minor eclipse into a life-defining event. When I read her work, I of course think of Thoreau and Wordsworth and the like and the amazing abilities of writers like these to interact with and then dramatize nature so profoundly on the page.

Living in Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley, I have green 100-foot trees in my yard, bluebirds nesting in my rafters, lakes I can easily walk to, and deer regularly looking in at me through my basement office windows.

You’d think I’d have it in me to pen a nature-inspired line or two, or at least try. Yet day after day I look out my window and self-confess my irritation that the tree in front of my house looks the same as it did yesterday, and it’s muddy down by the lake and I don’t want to get my shoes dirty again, and I already saw that deer that is now making my dog bark, which echoes in my cave-like office to the point of hurting my ears. “Go away, deer,” I say. I never give them apples.

And. There. Are. Rats. Continue reading