A Saturday to Catch Up

IMG_4864Life has been crazy this spring and summer.

I’m well into my second year as Event Coordinator at the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce. We have the same major events each year, but there’s always a new challenge or problem to solve. Plus, I’m consulting on two other community events happening on the same weekend in August.

I’m also currently serving as the chair of the Warrenton Community Library Advisory Board as we search for a new space.  Sadly, our current building, which is the adorable old town hall, is quickly reaching the end of its useful (and safe) life.

And for nearly all of May and June, Henry and I had at least one event/commitment every single weekend day. Some weekends, it was two each day.

Oh, and did I mention I’m still freelancing on the side?  Uffda.

So that’s why I’m especially glad that I have unexpected time today, on this partly cloudy Saturday morning, to sit down in one of my favorite coffee shops in Astoria and catch up on my website. I’m only in downtown to interview a shop owner for another Coast Explorer article, but she had to push our meeting back an hour. Cue: a latte and a breather.

Since I started writing for Coast Explorer last year, my work has been published in four issues of the magazine. It’s been a blast. One of my favorite parts of journalism is getting to explore places I wouldn’t normally visit and talk with people from all walks of life. And being that I work for the local Chamber of Commerce, I’m pretty pro-business. So being able to write about shops, restaurants and businesses has been the perfect marriage.

But you might have noticed that only two issues worth of Coast Explorer articles have been on my website, so here’s what you missed in the Spring 2016 and Summer 2016 issues of the magazine. (Many of the accompanying photos are mine, too.)

Spring 2016

Astoria Shop Doe+Arrow Targets Americana Niche

Cannon Beach Shop Mixes Import and Vintage Style

Street 14 Café Offers New Dinner Service

Baked Alaska Opens Annex

Albatross Soars in Newly Expanded Space

Farmhouse Treasures Abound at Lotus Petaler Designs

New Owner Rejuvenates Astoria Consignment Boutique

Summer 2016

Relax at Tensei Float Center in Astoria

Cannon Beach Shop Features Craft Goods

Shopping Around in Astoria

DSC_0843I’m resting and playing catch-up today. With the Chamber’s 2016 banquet & meeting in the books as of Saturday, I finally have time to do the laundry, bill-paying, vacuuming and the like that I’ve been putting off for the last two weeks. And with a gloomy backyard view of rain hitting the creek, it’s also the perfect day to update my website.

After my news brief in the summer 2015 issue of Coast Explorer, I was given a bigger assignment for the fall/winter 2015 issue: 10 shops in downtown* Astoria.

I’ve shopped at numerous boutiques in Astoria, but a few of the ones assigned for this article were new to me. It was fun and rewarding to spend a couple of days “browsing with a purpose” to figure out the most interesting or noteworthy treasures at these 10 stores. I hope this article helps visitors to the North Oregon Coast spend their time (and money) wisely — and maybe gives the locals a few new places to check out!

Read my article about shopping in Astoria in the fall/winter 2015 issue of Coast Explorer magazine.

*one shop was actually in more rural Astoria

The New Shop on the Block

Even though I currently work as a full-time event planner, I’m trying to keep my writing skills sharp. So when I was offered the chance to freelance for Coast Explorer magazine, I jumped at the opportunity (after clearing it with my boss, of course).

Coast Explorer magazine endeavors to stay on top of the latest shopping, lodging, sightseeing and dining news on the Oregon Coast. The publication often includes news briefs on brand new businesses in the area.

Earlier this summer, I was able to sit down with two couples who have recently started businesses in Astoria: Frite & Scoop, a cute little ice cream shop on the bank of the Columbia River, and Windwater Bed & Breakfast, a private suite nestled high in the hills — with amazing views! Both couples were incredibly gracious with their time, especially since the published news briefs would only capture a tiny snippet of their passion and persistence. It was wonderful for me to hear their stories and learn about the beginnings of each establishment. If you’re ever in Astoria, I highly recommend spending time at both places.

Unfortunately, only one of my news briefs got published. According to the managing editor, there was just too much content for the summer issue. And exciting things are already in the works for the fall/winter 2015 issue! Stay tuned, and until then…

Check out my news brief about Frite & Scoop on page 42 of the summer 2015 issue of Coast Explorer magazine.

10 Tips for Young Journalists

I frequently worked with college journalists at my previous job in Washington, D.C. This involved everything from sorting through their internship applications to editing their work. Unfortunately, some of these budding writers were more promising than others, and I had to dish out correction and tough loving when needed. (Oh, the horror stories I can tell.)

So when a D.C. associate, the ever-vivacious Alyssa Canobbio, asked me to write a blog post with advice to young journalists, I jumped at the opportunity. After a hearty brainstorming session and considerable editing, I finally nailed down a list of 10 tips for young journalists. The list is certainly not exhaustive; there have been books written on this subject, after all. It’s just the most important things I wished our journalism interns had known before stepping into our office on their first days.

Head over to the America’s Future Foundation blog to check out the list!