Working in Alaska by Becky Shufelt


This is me and my tanker crew, Kenai, AK, 1980

My guest today is Becky Shufelt, who hosts a podcast called "Life in the Wildlands." Becky's goal is to encourage and support those interested in working in the great outdoors.

This episode I thought was particularly interesting, having had worked in Alaska back in 1980. 

What is it Like to Work in Alaska?

Tragic loss of a former crewmate

 I just learned today that my former Alaska crewmate, Karan, was killed in 1996 by a drunk driver on her way home from work. 

Karan and I worked together the summer of 1980 at Wildwood Station in Kenai, Alaska. While we weren't close, we were friends, and I liked Karan. She had a good sense of humor, and we had fun working together.


At the time of her death, Karan and her husband had 2 children, ages 8 and 11. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her kids and her husband to lose her when she was only 41 years old.

 Here's a photo of Karan and me, sitting alongside Skilak Lake.







New release! My essay on resilience




 "The Resilience I Didn't Know I Have"



Storyteller's True Stories of Triumph

Published by Chicago Story Press 

November 27th, 2023


Writing Rampage Newsletter by Artemis Savory



I met Artemis online about six months ago when she was looking for authors to interview. Artemis is a marketing specialist, and I'm delighted to be featured in Artemis Savory's Writing Rampage newsletter today, October 31st, 2023! I hope you'll check out her website, and if you are a writer, you might want to subscribe to her delightful newsletter.

Linda Strader is the author of Summers of Fire: A Memoir of Adventure, Love, and Courage, and Uprooted: A New Life in the Arizona Sun. Linda is a woman who knows what she wants, and goes after it with ferocity. That’s how she became a firefighter in 1976, in a time when few women worked in male-dominated fields. “I never thought of myself as a tomboy, or [wanted to] prove to men that I could do that tough job, I just went after what I loved.” She stuck with firefighting for a solid seven years. Her first memoir, Summers of Fire, is about her experiences fighting fires, but it’s more than that.

Guest post: Writer Advice by B. Lynn Goodwin



My guest today is B. Lynn Goodwin, whom I met a number of years ago in a Facebook Writing Group. I invited her to share how her company, Writer Advice, began, and am pleased to share it with you.

Finding a Niche and Filling It: The Story of Writer Advice

Over twenty-five years ago, I stood at the edge of a grassy meadow and realized that the mailing list of thirty-five writers that I’d been given by a site that was closing, could be the start of something big. The thought came unbidden and felt powerful. I’ve never forgotten that moment. 

At the time I was single, caring for my mother, and interviewing authors. I wanted to write a book someday  and figured the best way to find out where authors got their inspiration and how they learned their craft was to ask them. My first interview was with a local writer named Penny Warner, who’d just published a book about a hearing impaired detective named Connor Westphal. I’d signed up for a class with her, asked her to do the interview, and she said yes.

Of course, I needed a place to publish my author interviews, so when Haven’s List closed, I asked if I could have their mailing list. Their thirty-five person list was a start. I published on web pages that were available to the AOL community.

Eventually a woman named Jeanne Marie Childe took me onto the web and renamed us Writer Advice, a spin off of her e-zine, Novel Advice. Novel Advice is gone too, but Writer Advice persists.

Today, I’ve published three books, a fourth will be coming out soon from a press in London, and I have a fifth manuscript seeking the right publisher. I’ve written flash pieces, articles, and book reviews. In addition, I run a Manuscript Consultation and Editing Service through Writer Advice. We have four contests a year, and we’ve grown to have many additional features including writing and marketing advance. I also run a monthly Writing Extravaganza for, and I’m on their board.

I get joy from helping writers with their work. Writer Advice has become a source for writers seeking ideas, inspiration, and feedback. Today, the Internet gives us many ways to reach readers—ways we hadn’t dreamt of  years ago. 

Of course, there’s plenty of room for us to keep growing. My husband, whose been in my life less than half as long as Writer Advice, encouraged me to find a partner – someone who would eventually take over Writer Advice. I’m still looking for the right person. In the meantime, I’m willing to share opportunities with anyone who is interested. If you have an idea, please query me using the contact box at

Wherever your writing takes you, I hope you enjoy the journey and I wish you all the best. If Writer Advice, can help you in any way, please reach out to us. We’re here to help writers. 

You can find Lynn's books by clicking on the book covers:


 B. Lynn Goodwin wrote two award-winning books, a YA called Talent, and a memoir titled Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. She’s also done author interviews, book reviews, and article for WriterAdvice, and  Story Circle Network.  She writes flash pieces, is an editor and blogger for the San Francisco Writers Conference, and loves helping writers improve.


Saying goodbye to a good friend


My friend Joanne passed away at one a.m. this morning, after being diagnosed with cancer a mere 2 weeks ago.

I met Joanne over 10 years ago while we were both writing for, an online magazine in which she wrote about children’s educational challenges, and I wrote about gardening in the southwest desert. She commented on a few of my articles, and soon we were chatting via regular email. At the time I was unemployed and newly divorced, desperately looking for work and something to fill my long days. Because of that long-term unemployment, I’d started writing a book; a memoir, called Summers of Fire. I told Joanne that I had no idea what I was doing…I’d never written a book before and had no idea if what I was writing was any good. Joanne expressed interest in my story, and as she was a retired English teacher, she offered to take a look at what I had written, willing to offer advice and guidance: I remember her saying later, “What you’ve got here is a good story, better than most of the junk out there. I can help you if you’d like.”

Soon after that, we discovered that we lived only 40 miles apart.

Our friendship began.

Joanne made a great editor. She didn’t mince words. She always told me straight out when a section needed work. She’d say, “You’re writing like a professor.” (Referencing my college paper writing experiences.) Or she’d say, “This is really blah,” offering ways to liven up the events while not changing the actual events. Joanne would also catch writing that she felt put me into a negative light. “You are making it look like you are this kind of person, and I know you are not.”

As my writing improved, sometimes I wouldn’t take her advice on certain aspects, but I always, always, gave the changes deep thought before accepting or rejecting. I always appreciated her feedback.

Joanne supported my efforts to find a publisher, and I know she was just as excited as I was when, after 2 long years of querying literary agents and publishers, I succeeded. After that book was handed off to my publisher, I started the prequel. Joanne was back onboard to help me with that book, too. But this time the focus was more on the storyline. She taught me well, for there were far less grammatical errors for her to fix.

Aside from helping me with my writing, Joanne also became a good friend. She grew to know me better than most people have or ever would—having read my journal entries and our discussions via email or on the phone. But our relationship went beyond my book(s). We also shared our lives, our joys and woes…her challenging family; my challenging business and life on my own. In addition, we went on a few outings. On a blustery and partly cloudy Christmas Day, we headed out to take photos of an area that I hoped would provide good material for my watercolor painting. My photos were mediocre, but several of her photos were spectacular (no surprise-she is a great photographer!) With her permission, I turned them into paintings.

Joanne loved clouds. I mean, she really loved clouds. I’ve done a bit of cloud gazing, but Joanne would often send me photos of interesting formations, telling me what she saw—anywhere from a dragon, to a whale…whatever. It didn’t matter. Once she pointed out her sighting I had to agree with her vision.

I remember how, for the first year or so, Joanne signed her emails, “Wishing you flowers,” often attaching a flower photo she took.


I am wishing you flowers in Heaven, Joanne. Lots and lots of beautiful flowers.