My first paid writing gig was in the mid-80s for a rural weekly newspaper. The editor and publisher was a 30something cat who had a master's degree in philosophy from Stanford. Of this he was extraordinarily proud. He'd inherited the paper from his father.

I was paid by the published inch. I would go to the site of the story, do interviews, sit through meetings (absolutely painfully dull municipality stuff) take photos, go home and painstakingly and with much agony write the story. There were about five a week. One or two would be human interest. The others "hard" news. Took me about two hours each because it's not an easy style of writing for me. Plus, I had two young sons. So.

Oh. And 25 cents a pic. For the ones he picked out of the roll. On an old really very cool Pentax. Still have it.

At the end of the year my 1099 read 800 bucks.

The rest of my literary life has flowed along, though I don't spend enough time submitting. Two stories are still in print, Leaving (Raven Chronicles) and Shelter (Porcupine Literary Arts). A compilation of stories and poems is posted at 3 Dogs 1 Bone below, along with the various forms and transformations of Obsidian. My most recent work is here.

Newest to oldest:


Lightning Rose - a production company, home to my latest endeavors

The Wild Old Women of Virginia and Change Your Story, Change Your Life 

The Campfire Players Guitar Club

Yes, Virginia, There Really Is - In-route to Virginia, January 2016

Flour Power Bakery and The Manifestation of a Magical Poundcake (Because the hippies won!)

Over The Moon Pizza - my mobile wood fired pizza cart including a video I made of my crew. Also, some pictures of my garden there in Virginia.

NYC - A handful of photos I took when I finally actually really made it to NYC.

To Fish or Cut Bait - 2012, several dozen pages of correspondence with a friend in India. Early stages of a graphic novel collaboration.

Conversation - 2013, some studies in dialogue I'm working on.

Only Yes Means Yes - a work in progress with my younger son.

Portland's Little Library - 2010

Portland's Little Houses - 2010

Writing Workshops - '06 - present

My Art Site - '02 - present

The Essential Baby J - 2009, letters to my grandson.

Takes a Truckload of Faith  - 2009 - '10. More letters to my grandson. Includes his recipe from when he was five:  how to make the perfect egg salad sandwich
peel hard cooked egg.
insert between 2 pieces of bread.
with palm of hand push down on top piece of bread to smash egg.
cut sandwich in half. 

Ruthie Grace Lahti - My pen name. Drafts. 2010, 5,075 words.

One Main Sound - 2010 - '11. Studies on the book Come and Go Molly Snow, drafts. 7,500 words.

Mr Jack and Me - A collaboration with a young friend from Ireland. 2009. A work in progress. Hundred or so pages.

Hypnosis - a mp3 of one of my sessions.

Baby Boomer Trends - various blog posts I sold. Cheesy.

The Way I Live Now - 2007 - 2008, 6,000 words, drafts, led to the essay by the same name.

Obsidian Letters - Various correspondence around the tracks.

Obsidian Tracks - Recorded while living as a caretaker at the macaw refuge. Took hours to edit the squawks. Also the summer Atticus the Horse ate my whole vegetable/flower garden. Somehow he wiggled his big butt through the little garden gate after he got out of the pasture which he was really really good at.

Obsidian novel - Baker City/University of Oregon Amazon Student Housing (Commodore 64) December '91, home on winter break from school when the Ghost of Shannon first visited. Started writing. Following summer '92 set up an "office" when I got home for summer break. Was taking 12 credit hours in CRWR with Ralph. Wrote most of the novel and edited for the next four or five years before submitting.

Longing and Bliss - 2006 - '07, 10,000 + words.

3dogs1bone - 2005 - '06, put together the collection. Wrote "Song" and edited the Spring Breaks. 

Please Catch the Next Wave, and Ride Your Board to Shore - 1999, poetry.

Storytelling Productions - 2005 - present, my main site.