Russell is a writer, actor, social advocate, and filmmaker.
He’s an ongoing storyteller at L.A.’s Strong Words/Voices of the City. His screenplay A Star Is Dead was a 2nd rounder at the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.
His documentary, Mujeres Como Tu/Women Like You, continues to make an impact in the HIV/AIDS field. Russell is an Executive Producer for the award-winning short film, Sticky Pinecones.
He is also a certified Conscious Aging Facilitator and is developing the podcast, The Power of Aging—celebrating exhilarating stories from our senior community.
Russell no longer owns a Blackberry.
Weston Anderson (They/Them) is a writer and storyteller living in Portland, OR. They daylight as a science writer in the biomedical research field. Weston spent much of the first two years of the COVID pandemic producing Queer Meets Queer, a podcast dedicated to telling true LGBTQ+ relationship stories. Weston can be found gardening, hanging out with their dog, and playing dungeons and dragons with their friends
As this book is being published, Judith Ashley is celebrating being in sacred women’s circles for thirty years. She knows first-hand how important spirituality is when dealing with life’s challenges. However, the COVID pandemic isolated her from her own women’s circle and her spiritual practice suffered. Taking a page from the women in her Sacred Women’s Circle series, Judith found her way back to her spiritual practice, rewrote her Core Values and successfully found a path through the COVID pandemic.
Carol Brownlow is a retired educator and strong advocate for LGBTQ+ Seniors in Oregon. She serves on the SAGE Metro Portland Housing Committee.
She also facilitates a support group for lesbians over age 70 and provides leadership for the Gay & Grey community in her retirement housing.
Her hobbies include golf, dancing, and live theater. She writes poetry and participates in readers theater. She has participated in storytelling, but finds her comfort level higher sharing the written word.
Carol lives at Rose Villa Retirement Community in Portland, Oregon.
Randa Cleaves Abramson
Randa has written many words to raise funds for nonprofit organizations during her forty plus year career, but it took relocating to the northwest from New Jersey decades ago to start to write poetry. First the mountains and landscapes of Washington provided inspiration and living in Oregon since 2010 provided the stimulation to keep writing. She was drawn to share her works when she read a notice about the Pacific Wonderland Poets Group at the Beaverton Library. During the months of the pandemic, the weekly zoom sessions became a lifeline for its stalwart eight members to safely share thoughts and fears about the emotional times we were living through. These three poems were written between May and September of 2020.
Shere Coleman is a lifelong working, exhibiting, and teaching artist. She has been an oral storyteller in the schools, a writer/presenter of historical characters with Aspen Historical Society, a TEDx presenter. She holds a BFA Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art, and an MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a contributing poet in the 2021 anthology Opening the Gate. Shere will cross oceans and continents in search of puppet masters and mythologists.
“Through the act of making, my world is vibrant, connections are formed, and I learn and love.”
Michael Coscia is a filmmaker, writer, and storyteller.
His short film, Sticky Pinecones, has been an official selection in multiple film festivals winning Best Message in a Short Film and a Producer’s Choice Award.
When he’s not writing scripts or essays, he can be heard telling his stories at Strong Words, Voices of the City, a monthly storytelling event.
He treasures a good book, a glass of wine, and a good song… sometimes all at the same time.
Michael currently lives in Los Angeles where he continues to unsuccessfully grow basil.
Brenda has been struggling with long COVID for over two years. Because of exhaustion and brain fog, she found it necessary to let go of the majority of her activities. What remains are those activities she loves best…playing ukulele, harmonica, and spoons. She entertains groups as a ventriloquist with her yodeling dog Charlotte and her real dog Emmy is her constant companion. She is 81 years young and lives in Portland.
Jamison Green is a renowned transgender activist and author of the award-winning memoir/educational and historical text, Becoming a Visible Man (Vanderbilt University Press, 2020/2004).
Paul credits his upbringing in a large, Italian, East Coast family for helping him speak up at the dining room table, lest he go unheard. Having lived in Portland, Oregon, for over 30 years, he enjoys performing, producing shows, creating documentaries, teaching, and coaching. Paul has appeared in numerous national storytelling productions. You can follow Paul at www.ourboldvoices.com.
Prior to moving to Portland three years ago, Carol Loo spent more than fifty years in Kailua, on the island of Oahu. Her love for music and animals motivated her to volunteer giving piano lessons to people and attending to pets at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Carol was recognized with the Governor’s Award as an “Outstanding Volunteer” saving countless numbers of otherwise healthy pets.
Mary worked in a subarctic asbestos mine, at a women’s shelter, and as a union activist.
She met her husband Michael at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, Oregon in 1977. They envisioned a retired life of road trips, working for social change, and backpacking until age 85. Instead, Mary is caring for Michael and rearranging her life.
Michael was a music recording engineer and oral historian. He has forgotten all his work, but it lives on digitally and on vinyl.
Mary wonders if people living with Alzheimer’s informed the development of Buddhism, teaching detachment and living in the moment. And when Michael wanders the halls of the memory care center searching for Mary in the night, she wonders if, long ago, this is how haunting ghost stories emerged.
Stacey is a speaker, educator and consultant and a community leader on transgender issues. She was recognized in 2016 as a Queer Hero NW by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW and is the former Executive Co-Director of Q Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest. More info on Stacey can be found at www.staceyrice.com.
Holly Robison is a storyteller, musician, presenter, mentor and—first and foremost—a wife and mother. She’s been sharing stories of folklore and history for 20 years and has connected with audiences all over the world. Holly received her BA in Theater from Brigham Young University. Her passion is helping youth find their voice through Storytelling. She founded the Murray, UT, and Hillsboro, OR, Storytelling Festivals. Holly offers workshops in beginning storytelling, nature stories, crafting family and history stories and body language.
Holly Stern is a native Oregonian who has made her career as a classical violinist, playing with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Opera, and Oregon Ballet Theater. In addition, she taught at the University of Portland, the Community Music Center, and privately. Writing has been a lifelong passion of Holly’s. “Grieving During a Pandemic” is an adaptation of a chapter from her book, Small Triumphs: Lessons in Alzheimer’s and Love, soon to be published. Holly also enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and reading good books on the couch with Theo the Cat.