Urban League of Portland

Last week, along with other members of the Maya Angelou Writers’ Guild, I attended the Urban League of Portland’s Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner. Good food for a good cause, it meant I was in the same room as Governor Kate Brown and Mayor Charlie Hales. How cool is that?

Venue 1200xSusan Banyas Lillian Whitlow 1200xsign 1200x

Elizabeth Woody speaks at Willamette Writers

Shirley Lewton Kathy Eaton Debbe Borders MarketStreetMcMenamins 9-1-15 2x

Yesterday evening, Kickstart Your Writing students Shirley Lewton, Kathy Eaton and Debbe Borders and I started out at McMenamins Market Street Pub, in Portland, Oregon, before attending the Willamette Writers monthly meeting.

Elizabeth Woody 9-1-15 3x

During the meeting, featured speaker Elizabeth Woody—a poet, visual artist and enrolled member of the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs—entertained us with poems and stories, including one story about how Terry Gross, host of NPR’s “Fresh Air” invited Woody to submit a story to be read on the air.  Woody did so only to have Gross reject the story and use one written by Sherman Alexie instead. A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian who lives in Seattle, Alexie wrote a poetry collection Old Shirts and New Skins, which Woody illustrated.

Just goes to show: All writers are subject to rejection.

Author reading: Broadway Books, Nov. 18

Tall Trees cover

I’ll be reading from my recently released book, Under the Influence of Tall Trees, on Tuesday, November 18, 7 p.m., at Broadway Books, 1714 N.E. Broadway, Portland, Oregon, For more information: www.broadwaybooks.net.

Under the Influence of Tall Trees: Humorous Tales from a Pacific Northwest Writer, is a collection of quirky personal essays on the challenges of finding my true work, family and home in the Pacific Northwest

Sometimes tender, sometimes cranky, Under the Influence of Tall Trees presents my take on everything from the miracle of birth to my failure as a gardener. Along the way, I reveal myself as a bit of a curmudgeon.

As I say in the book, “I enjoy being funny. It just feels so good to let it all out—like a sneeze, only less wet.”

Whether arguing with The Other Phone Company, seeking out the perfect dancing dress for my young daughter (it’s “one-quarter Cinderella and three-quarters Mardi Gras”), or collecting yet another rejection slip as I start my freelance writing career, I use humor to describe the longings and labors of someone more than a little out of step with the rest of the world. When it all becomes too much, I retreat to the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge or duck into an antique shop, for relief from “life’s trendy newness.”

I also take up spinning, become an oyster chef groupie and visit Fort Clatsop to uncover the real cause of Lewis and Clark’s problems (“too much communal living combined with dense undergrowth”).

Original photographs, line drawings and cartoons round out Under the Influence of Tall Trees.

For additional information about Under the Influence of Tall Trees, contact me by email at wordpics@aracnet.com or via my website, www.nancy-woods.com. Copies of Under the Influence of Tall Trees: Humorous Tales from a Pacific Northwest Writer (ISBN 978–1-312–25642–2) are available in paperback at Broadway Books and lulu.com for $19.99.

Reading: Broadway Books, August 19, 7 p.m.

My students will be reading from their anthology at this event. I also will be reading. Please join us if you can.





Broadway Books is pleased to announce a special event to be held at the store on Tuesday, August 19, at 7 pm.


A local writing collective known as The Oregon Woodshop Writers will present their new anthology, Why in the Road: Forgive, Forget, Regrets.


This anthology includes humorous and emotional personal essays, poems and short fiction. Contributing authors in this year’s anthology are Corky Bentwood, Jaimie Caulley, Kathy Eaton, Dave King, Shirley Lewton, Susan MacMillan, Catherine Magdalena, Kerry McPherson, Mark Robben and June Selis.


All of the writers are students of Nancy Woods.


This reading is free and open to the public. Broadway Books is located at 1714 NE Broadway, Portland. For more information, contact Roberta Dyer or Sally McPherson at (503) 284-1726 or bookbroads@qwestoffice.net. You may also visit our website: www.broadwaybooks.net.