Inside Portland’s Maker Movement: A Conversation with Kelley Roy, Author of ‘Portland Made’

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Sometime in the last couple of years, I started hearing the word ‘maker’ used to describe people who…make things.

I wasn’t sure what to make of ‘maker’. Why not ‘artist’? What makes someone a ‘maker’? And would the term, like ‘artisanal’, become obnoxiously ubiquitous?

Then, earlier this fall, I learned of a new book (launching at Powell’s this Wednesday, Dec.2!) called Portland Made: The Makers of Portland’s Manufacturing Renaissance. Continue reading

Line Break: ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire

3500no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay. Continue reading

On Seeing Hozier (and Choosing Our Experiences)


I’m a sucker for a beautiful voice.

Musically speaking, I don’t care about light shows and theatrics and complicated chord progressions. What I crave are lyrics that sound like poetry and voices that make my soul light up.

A handful of male vocalists have impacted me in this way over the last 20-odd years: Eddie Vedder, Bob Marley, Otis Redding, Ben Harper, Neil Young, Ray Lamontagne and, most recently, the Irish singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne.

Recommended to me a year or so ago by my friend Gaeli (who, now that I think of it, also introduced me to Ray Lamontagne—thanks, Gaeli!), Hozier instantly became a new favourite. His voice has so much power and sensitivity. He’s just 25 years old but his lyrics sound like the reflections of someone very wise.



So when I heard he would be performing in Portland in October, I really wanted to go. But Joe and I treated ourselves to a few live shows this summer (Alabama Shakes, Beirut, Ben Harper etc.), and in an effort to be responsible adults/save for the future, we had to draw the line somewhere. Continue reading

My Working Life (and a big change!)

For the last two and a half years, about half of my work week has been devoted to writing articles for a Canadian Magazine called Fine Lifestyles. It’s a group of glossy publications distributed across Central and Eastern Canada (and two US cities) that features a mix of small businesses, travel and home design, with a leaning toward the luxury market — hence the ‘Fine’ in ‘Fine Lifestyles.

Since starting with the company in 2013, I’ve written somewhere around 230 articles, published in cities like Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Swift Current, Saskatoon and Santa Fe. It’s been a good gig. From my home office in Portland, I’ve been able to conduct all my interviews via skype, write the articles, communicate with my team of five editors, six other writers and a bunch of sales reps, and meet my weekly deadlines…with a schedule that’s fairly flexible, accommodating the freelance copywriting and editing I do for my own clients.

I’ve learned a lot. I’ve written a lot. I’ve created strong relationships with editors and developed my portfolio exponentially. And earlier this fall, I made the decision to move on.

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Editorial piece for The Royal Winnipeg Ballet. I interviewed the director.

You know when you’re ready to make a change, but instead of doing it, you find yourself waiting until the ‘right time’? That’s been me for the last several months. So a few weeks ago I decided the ‘right time’ to leave was…when I decided it was right.

I came to this decision for a few different reasons. These are the top 5: Continue reading

‘Round the Web: September 2015


It may have been a couple months since my last ‘Round the Web…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been bookmarking the goods.

For your browsing pleasure…

*Advice on Writing From The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates

*How dogs get older (so sweet)

*15 inspiring career books recommended by women

*The kids and families who vacation at Burning Man

*Great interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on her new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

*I would never do this, but I respect what it stands for

*Getting a kick out of this instagram account

*If this movie gets made, I will definitely be seeing it

Friends, is it seriously October tomorrow?

xo ~C.

On Two Years of Marriage

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Today Joe and I are celebrating our two year anniversary! We went camping on Saturday to Silver Falls State Park and enjoyed just hanging out and relaxing with some red wine, dinner and a campfire. It was our last camping trip for the year, and we learned an important lesson: when camping in fall temperatures, bring an extra blanket. The weather was beautifully clear and sunny in daytime, but got pretty crisp overnight. While warming up with coffee Sunday morning I said to Joe that on one hand I like to think we are seasoned travellers prepared for anything, and on the other hand we still do things like forget to bring enough warm layers on a trip. Life, the continual learning curve. :)

Two years into marriage, I am feeling Continue reading

An Antidote to Anxiety


Last week I was feeling a bit anxious for a couple different reasons. And even though it’s never a good idea, I skipped my regular yoga class, which added to my sense of being off kilter. By Thursday I was counting down to the weekend, because Joe and I had plans for something that always eases my mind no matter what life is dishing out… Continue reading

The (One) Book I Read this Summer

Keaton_Then-AgainYou know those ‘summer reading lists’ people apparently compile when the weather gets hot?

I’ve never done that.

As much as I love the idea of lounging with a book at the park/beach/cafe, summer never seems to be when I spend much time reading. (Aside of course from the daily online articles…of which I probably read too many.) Joe and I spent four days in July camping with friends at a lake in B.C., and other than flipping through Vanity Fair one lazy afternoon, I didn’t read a single thing. (Too busy chatting!) For me, downtime in summer is more about little trips, socializing or exploring the city or nature. And this summer I worked on several extra client projects in addition to my usual workload, which left less time for straight-up chilling. (And less time for blog writing, hence my infrequent posts!)

But I did read one book. Then Again, a memoir by Diane Keaton, was recommended by my friend Kate, who wrote in a comment on this post about my dad: “On child-parent sentimentality and getting to the heart of our parent’s life experience: have you read Diane Keaton’s memoir? It’s superb and I think you would adore it, likely eating it in one sitting.” Continue reading

Line Break: ‘Hit’ by Ali Blythe

Today there is nothing
on the radio in my head
but the hotel radio is playing
“Drops of Jupiter” as my nausea

waits by the tracks for the rush-by
to stop. Being in a train or a Top 40
is like being caught in a lion’s
mouth that is still moving very fast.

I know I can’t really put on
a body other than my own.
And I know I can’t wear you forever,
sick blanket, or you, animal coat.

Children and doctors
are precise with their removals
of the heart and other
unmentionables. I am,

after all, alive, with a hint
occasionally of their fluttering
knives. When sense stops
coming through and the station

overruns with static
I get a rubbed-the-wrong-way
backlit feeling that is high
and whipping like the wind

reading Monday’s paper.
Not much in it if it comes at all.
I hope something is about to
pick me up in its mouth and run.


Ali Blythe’s poetry has been published in multiple literary journals and magazines including Descant, PRISM International, The Malahat Review and This Magazine. ‘Hit’ is from a first book of poems, Twoism, forthcoming with Icehouse Poetry at Goose Lane Editions on September 15, 2015. It can be pre-ordered at and CBC named Twoism one of the hottest Canadian poetry collections coming out this fall.

Ali is a friend and former classmate of mine in the writing program at the University of Victoria. Ali’s poetry blew me away from the first workshop we had together, and I’m honoured to feature the work here. Ali, thank you and congratulations on Twoism!



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