Newsletter 2024-02

For ASJA members in
Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington
February 2024

In This Issue

From the Prez, Changing the Map, M. Carolyn Miller, ASJA PNW President
Eugene Weekly Woes and Resurrection, James Carberry
Misery Prevention, Bruce Miller
Member News and Announcements

Join us for our February meeting!

M. Carolyn Miller is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Time: February 21, 2024 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Every month on the Third Wednesday   

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 9861 2924

This newsletter publishes the first day of each month and welcomes article submissions and photos. Please email the ASJA PNW Newsletter Editor, Maxine Cass, at

From the President

by M. Carolyn Miller

ASJA PNW Chapter President

Changing the Map

While doing research for a client article recently, I was reminded of the work of Richard Florida again, an economic development specialist. His first book, The Rise of the Creative Class, identified a creative population that, he believed, could revive a city’s economy.

At the time, this demographic was 30% of the U.S. population. It included a super creative core, followed by creative professionals, and then everyday people whose creativity had yet to be triggered.

Florida’s more recent research, shared in a Fast Company article, revealed that, unlike all the TikTok stars that make a bazillion dollars online, the inequality in the larger population is echoed in the Creator Economy. Two-thirds of creators earn less than $25,000 annually and more than half have less than 1,000 email subscribers. They/we are motivated more by self-expression, fun, passion and challenge than external rewards.

The challenge, at least for me, is navigating this way of living that I love in the sea of retirees I find myself in these days.

Mauro F. Guillén normalizes my lifestyle, however. In his book, The Perennials: The Megatrends Creating a Postgenerational Society, he states that the sequential template we’ve been given—childhood, work, retirement—is a construct. It is a product of culture and bureaucracy and doesn’t reflect what is possible at every life stage.

We recreate our lives and our work again and again, regardless of our age, Guillén writes. Imagine the pressure that is removed when, at thirty, you don’t have to figure out what you’ll do for the rest of your life, he notes, but can experiment again and again. The same is true with each passing decade.

It turns out we creatives have been right all along. Here I thought I was behind everyone else. Now I see that I am leaps and bounds ahead of them.

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

by James Carberry

As you may have read in the NY Times or elsewhere, the Eugene Weekly, a local print newspaper and digital site in Eugene, Oregon, announced on December 28 that it was letting its staff go and suspending publication of its print edition because of an alleged theft by an employee. Georga Taylor, a part owner of the paper, is the wife of the late Fred Taylor, former executive editor of The Wall Street Journal. Fred died in 2015. 

There is reason to hope the paper can recover. A week after the paper’s announcement, it was reported the Weekly had already raised $100,000 in donations. 

As it happened, I had sent an email to Georga a few days before the paper’s announcement. The reason was that Fred Taylor was my mentor, beginning when I was a reporter for the Berkeley (California) Gazette in the 60s. I wrote to Fred, then the Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau chief, telling him I was interested in working for the Journal, and he asked me to stop by his office for a talk. It took three years, with Fred offering encouragement and support along the way, but I got a job in the Journal’s L.A. bureau in 1970.

Years later, when my wife and I were living in Portland, and Fred was in Eugene, I intended to call him, drive down to Eugene, buy him lunch and thank him for his help. I regret that I never did call him before he died. I mentioned this recently to a journalist friend and, on his advice, I sent an email to Georga, letting her know that Fred was a great mentor, not only to me but, I’m sure, to many others who worked at the WSJ during his time there. Not having Georga’s email address, I sent my email to Camilla Mortensen, the Weekly’s editor. Then news of the paper’s crisis broke. Camilla found time to email me that she’d be sure Georga got my email. I followed up by emailing her about Pro News Coaches, a team of retired WSJ editors and reporters that provides editing, coaching and mentoring to the staffs of local news organizations. I offered Camilla whatever support our team could provide. Haven’t heard from her, but the offer stands.

In his professional career, Jim Carberry was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, a Singapore-based newsletter correspondent, a corporate editor, a book author and the owner of a small business. He’s now retired and living in Barcelona, Spain, with his family.

ASJA PNW Newsletter Editor’s update:

On January 29, 2024, The New York Times reported that the Eugene Weekly will resume print publication on February 8, having received more than $150,000 in donations. Ms. Mortensen continued publishing online in January, thanks to help, much unpaid, by “interns, freelancers and retired reporters and editors.”

Note: The New York Times articles cited in this story are behind a paywall.

by Bruce Miller

Misery Prevention

Recently I helped two people with their computer woes. Despite the help, both cases had a sad result.

Prevent Misery, do backups and keep passwords.

Case #1: A writer had been writing a fiction book using the Scrivener software. After moving a bunch of files – including her Scrivener files – from her Apple laptop to iCloud she discovered that the last third of her chapters were missing.

After many communications with Scrivener, she called me. With my help, we searched high and low on the computer and in iCloud and had a lengthy conversation with Apple Care. I found suggestions on various websites, including tips to “compile” the Scrivener files. That did not work. After many hours of her own time and my additional time, the chapters were nowhere to be found. I found references via a web search to data being lost when using Scrivener with cloud storage. It’s not known if that’s true.

What is known is this: the writer had never done a backup of the Scrivener files. The hard reality: she had to rewrite those missing chapters.

Case #2: A woman had various files she wanted on her laptop. But she could not remember the PIN or password to the Windows computer. I took the laptop apart, pulled out the hard drive and connected it to a desktop in an attempt to gain access to the files. However, as I suspected, the hard drive was encrypted with Windows BitLocker, which encrypts the entire drive. Even if I could have seen files on the drive they would be encrypted. This person also did not have any of the files backed up, encrypted or not.

The bottom line for her is that unless she can remember the PIN or password, the files are essentially gone forever.

Whatever files are important to you, create a backup system. Do NOT assume that an automatic backup system will come to your rescue. If you cannot restore, you have no backup. Any kind of backup is better than no backup. Backup that includes onsite and offsite is best, in case of hard drive failure, house fire, wildfire, theft, flood, landslide, lightning strike, earthquake, tsunami, or the occasional airplane door or plane dropping out of the sky.

Bruce Miller resides in Seattle and recommends a local backup and two offsite backups combined with a system to safely store account credentials.

Male Oregon Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), Gold Hill, Oregon Photo © Maxine Cass

Member News and Announcements

Joanna Nesbit ( is seeking ideas and contacts for future ASJA PNW meeting speakers.

L.M. Archer’s articles, “Oregon wine company helps war veterans become farmers and “Could Prosecco have competition from Calabrian fizz?“appeared in January in The Drinks Business. The December issue of Wine Business Monthly included her technology and business piece, “Wineries Look to Bottle Reuse to Boost Sustainability, Consumer Interest.”


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.