American Society of Journalists and Authors PNW

Newsletter 2022-11

For ASJA members in
Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington 
November 2022

In This Issue

From the Prez, Quantum Gifts, M. Carolyn Miller,
ASJA PNW President
Story Circle Network, Rosemary Keevil
Cellular Home Internet, Bruce Miller
Member News and Announcements

Join Us At Our November Meeting!

M. Carolyn Miller, ASJA PNW president,
is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: ASJA PNW Monthly Meeting:

Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 01:00 PM Pacific Time
(US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 883 2770 5537
Passcode: 085656

For our November meeting, we’ve asked a tax expert to fill us in on what to think about, do, or avoid prior to the 2023 tax filing season. 

From the President

by M. Carolyn Miller

ASJA PNW Chapter President

Quantum Gifts

I recently picked up a copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, at one of the little free libraries in my neighborhood. (If you’re not familiar with such libraries, you can check them out here.) It is not the first time a book I’ve been meaning to read shows up in such a free library.

During COVID-19, when I wanted to place the pandemic in a larger social context to calm my concerns, voilà, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, appeared. Several years later, I finally returned How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith, about the legacy of slavery in the U.S., to my local county library, unread. Then, the book appeared on a daily walk. The same thing happened, only in a different context, with a “comparable title” I knew nothing about, but which is critical to my book proposal.

Every time I am gifted with such finds, I am reminded that when I send my intention out into the quantum field, it will respond in kind.

That is what I was counting on last night when I couldn’t sleep. It is what I prayed for as the one-year anniversary of my brother’s death had me rocking with grief. It is what I found this morning without even trying: a Grief Writing Group perfectly timed to honor his journey, and mine.

M. Carolyn Miller, MA, spent her career designing narrative- and game-based learning. Today, she writes about the role of narrative in our lives and world, the inextricable link between the two, and the role of self-awareness in transforming both.

by Rosemary Keevil

Story Circle Network

“One of the things Story Circle Network does best is connect women in a way that engenders a sense of sisterhood and often creates real friendships as well as professional opportunities/support.”

–Susan Schoch: Editor, SNC Journal and Real Women Write Anthology

“I wish I could let people know the degree to which SCN is responsible for my writing more confidently and getting more public writing attention. It feels like miraculous progress, and I am floating.”

–Duffie, SCN member

“Belonging to this organization has really-really helped me develop my style and belief in myself.”

–Debra Dolan, SCN member

“What a delightful group of women! With such a variety of writing needs, purposes, accomplishments! Wonderful, supportive organization for any kind of writing!”

–Kathie Arcide, SCN member

Story Circle Network is an organization that supports women writers. It was founded in 1997 by Susan Wittig Albert, a New York Times bestselling author of over 130 books, including mysteries, historical fiction, and memoir.

“It began as the outgrowth of classes on journaling and memoir-writing I’d taught for a decade. I’d met so many, many women who had stories to tell. The idea of launching an organization to encourage and support women storytellers, truth-tellers, was daunting but exhilarating.”

Jeanne Guy, SCN Vice President, says Wittig Albert “knew the landscape and it was male-dominated, and she wanted to level the playing field.”

Twenty-five years later, SCN has over 500 members, mainly from the US and Canada.

Opportunities include online classes, webinars, conferences, writing retreats, contests, and international trips. A group recently returned from two-week jaunt to Italy. SCN members write memoir, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama.

I, personally, have grown as a writer with SCN. I particularly benefited from the “20 Minutes a Day” class lead by President Len Leatherwood. During the class, everyone commits to writing 20 minutes a day for six days a week for one month.

Offering publishing opportunities (print and online) “has always been an essential part of SCN’s commitment to its members,” says Wittig Albert. SCN does not pay writers.

Publishing opportunities include: “True Words from Real Women,” which is a compilation of members’ prose and poetry; SCN Journal; and books such as the annual Real Women Write Anthology and Kitchen Table Stories, a collection of personal experiences and recipes.

Online publications include the blogs “One Woman’s Dayand “HerStories.”

It is not an “anything goes” approach. Editors are most discerning when deciding what is publishable.

SCN is a non-profit organization funded by members’ dues, educational programs, and donations. Annual membership dues are $60 plus optional add-ons for classes, etc.

“SCN is the only writing community I have ever belonged to, although I have been writing for 55 years. I am like a plant and the writing circle sisters are the gardeners. I am grateful for the watering.”

–Sarah Fine, SCN member

Rosemary Keevil is a freelance journalist and the author of The Art of Losing It: A Memoir of Grief and Addiction. She has been a TV news reporter, a current affairs radio show host, and managing editor of a professional women’s magazine. Rosemary lives in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

by Bruce Miller

Cellular Home Internet

Recently, I put about 2,800 miles driving a newly purchased car in Lincoln, Nebraska back to Seattle. The car included a 120-volt AC power port. 

I had an Inseego FX2000 wireless router using T-Mobile service with me so I plugged it into the car’s AC port to see if I could have an Internet connection on the road. I was able to stream music and check email. (I wasn’t driving all the time!) I also powered up the device in hotel rooms in Keystone, SD; Casper, WY; and Elko, NV and used that as my Internet. The Inseego device by itself is pricey – around $600. However, with cellular service the Inseego FX2000 wireless router could cost much less.

The Inseego device is not designed to be used while going down the road, It is, however, one example of a new line of affordable cellular-based Internet becoming available to business and home users. As of this writing, there are two primary sources for this type of home internet: T-Mobile and Verizon.


Before I acquired the Inseego device using T-Mobile, I tried the usual device that T-Mobile provides to non-business users. I had a decent signal and I was able to get up to 300 Mbps download speed. Upload speed, as expected, was not great, about 10 Mbps. There is no limit on data usage. I was able to stream video just fine. T-Mobile home internet is $50/month, including taxes. Without existing T-Mobile service, a credit check is required.


I have not tried the Verizon device. I suspect the quality of service to be similar to T-Mobile. The speed advertised by Verizon is 25-50 Mbps download. If you have existing Verizon cell service, it might entitle you to a reduced rate. The rate without cell phone service is $50 using autopay and a credit check is necessary.

Walmart-Straight Talk

Straight Talk is a Tracfone brand sold in Walmart. Verizon recently bought Tracfone. So, it is not surprising that Walmart is now selling home Internet through the Straight Talk brand via Walmart. The advertised speeds are the same as Verizon’s. The price is $45 per month, no caps, no contracts, and no credit check. The cost for the wireless router is a one-time fee of $99.


These emerging cellular home Internet options can be a real problem solver for many people. The portability is nice. The price is right. They can also be used as an affordable Internet backup source. Some connectivity is probably better than none. With all these devices and providers, upload speeds will always be slower, probably 5-12 Mbps. This speed should be adequate for Zoom and similar video meetings.It will be nearly impossible to access home devices directly. This is because the devices’ IP numbers will keep changing. Devices that connect to a server will likely be accessible.

I was able to remotely connect to a computer using Tailscale on both ends. Tailscale creates a VPN connection through a server.


As a side note: Lumen, formerly CenturyLink, is now offering fiber to the house under the brand Quantum Fiber. There is a fantastic deal if you can get it. 200 Mbps upload and download for $30/month, no caps, and no contract. This deal includes the modem.

Bruce Miller, a Seattle resident, likes to roam with multiple Internet connections for redundancy.

Tom Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Gold Hill, Oregon © Maxine Cass

Member News and Announcements

Minda Zetlin, Inc. columnist and author of Career Self-Help: Find Your Happiness, Success, and Fulfillment at Work, gave a talk followed by a book signing at the 2022 Elevate Festival in Toronto in September. Minda’s presentation at the three-day tech and innovation festival focused on work-life balance.

Jim Carberry notes a Poynter report that the Agora Center for Journalism at the University of Oregon has published a study of the local news ecosystem in Oregon in October, 2022 as a pivotal election occurs this month. It looks like it could be a model for other states.

L.M. Archer had Wine Business Monthly’s The Future of Pinot Noir in Washington State cover story in September, writing “Charles Smith Unleashes Legacy Pinot Noir Project in Washington State.” She wrote about Trothe Cult Cabernet in the Fall 2022 issue of Washington Tasting Room Magazine and interviewed Gotham Ghostwriters member David Tabatsky about his new books, The Boy Behind the Door and Filthy Rich Lawyers.

Rosemary Keevil’s The Art of Losing It: A Memoir of Grief and Addiction, received the 1st Place Blue Ribbon Award in the Journey Book Awards for Overcoming Adversity Non-Fiction, a Division of the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards. The CIBAs draw the attention of top literary agents, publishers, librarians, film producers, and readers.


EDITOR: Maxine Cass
PROOFREADER: Catherine Kolonko


*All stories are copyright by their respective writers.
*All photographs and illustrations are copyright by their creative makers.
*All rights are reserved to each of them for their own material.