Mendocino Stories




Mendocino is a magical area of rare beauty.
A gathering place, she attracts kindred spirits -
nature lovers, poets, artists, musicians, writers,
and lefties abound.

If you wish to join our company of artists,
please see our submission guidelines. CLICK HERE

Here are our authors:

Lydia Rand
Lydia Rand
- I was born in Paris and have always been an observer of life and people, forever taking notes. The Edition St Germain-des-Prés published my first book of poetry in French. I met my partner, an American, in Spain and with another couple we went around the world in a VW bus. We started in France and ended up in Nepal where we sold the car to get on a boat to Japan. This took more than a year during which the four of us often got lost and had a few close calls. In the mid-sixties we settled in Aspen, Colorado, then in Mendocino in the seventies. Local presses published two books of my poems and my work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals and magazines. My friends know me as someone who takes them on wild and wooly adventures and declares, when we lose our way, “Don’t worry. No one is ever really lost; we are always somewhere on the planet.” The fact is that I like to get lost, because it starts the process of finding myself, and writing about it.

The San Francisco Examiner likes us. Check it out.

Bonnie Sanger
Bonnie Sanger - has lived closely with tree beings all her life. First on the Atlantic Coast with willows, dogwood, and pines, then in Texas with cottonwood, pecans, and mimosas, then in the Pacific Northwest with cypress, fir, and redwoods. Grandmother Redwood has been her friend and teacher for the last thirty years and continues to guide her through all life's confusion, toward balance, acceptance, and deep-rooted joy.

We contribute and support by our participation:
The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference
visit their web site at:

One of our favorite writers lives half the year in Mendocino, and the other half in Flordia. She writes essays, and turns in some tasty recipes:
Norma Watkins
visit her web site at:

James Maxwell
James Maxwell shares an excerpt from his memoir, "MY GHOSTS". His book chronicles the ten years between when the Sea Gull Bar and Restaurant burnt to the ground to when the owner David Jones sold the establishment. Maxwell created the large Sea Gull Paintings of Mendocino to go between the beams over the bar. 150 local people populate 12 large panals of the Fairy Tales we were told as children. This excerpt, with an image of one of his painting, tells how the hold the Mendocino landscape in summer affected people. He draws a parallel landscape by using the patrons of the Sea Gull Cellar Bar as models for his painting of "A Mid Summers Night Dream."

Skip Wollengerg


Skip Wollenberg - gives us a look into an alternative reality with his short story, "Corporate insight" ; Skip Wollenberg is a geologist living three miles inland from Fort Bragg. "In the early 1990s we wanted out of the Bay Area. North on the coast was the only tenable direction. We found an old chicken farm about three hundred feet above sea level, three miles inland: wetter and cooler in winter and warmer and drier in summer than the fog-bound coast. A place where the setting and its people combine to encourage writing about them, as well as people, places and events much farther away in distance and time."
One of the best coffeehouses in Fort Bragg is one of the best music venues for music.
Visit The Headlands Coffee House on Laurel Street in Fort Bragg, CA
or visit online here:

Olaf Palm
Irene D. Thomas - Olaf Palm - 'A California Old Master’ Palm was a painter in oils with a far-flung reputation and a loyal local following. A realist, trained in the traditional techniques of the Dutch and Flemish masters, Palm’s subjects ranged from political protest, to still lifes, to portraiture, highly inventive character genres, and travel subjects. In all of these, his eventual mastery of chiaroscuro stands out as remarkable among his peers. Having come of age in the Santa Clara valley, evolving artistically along the Santa Cruz coast and during his European travels, he finally made his home for more than thirty years along the Mendocino Coast, where he lived the simple bohemian life of the quintessential Northern California artist.

  One of our local stars in the Mendocino community is Ron Bowman. Documentary film and video director for National Geographic, Nature, and the Discovery channels, is currently on line for an upcoming Mendocino Stories Speakers Series on film making.
Visit his work online here:
Pattie DeMatteo



Pattie DeMatteo - gives us an insight into the love of her guitar.

  Professional Editor -
Editorial Services from Maria Goodwin
Cynthia Wall

Cynthia Wall - for thirty years I have worked as a social worker, teacher, and therapist, volunteering with hospice, Red Cross, and bereaved parents. I have concentrated on finding methods to help myself and others seek positive change by facing painful experiences. My own background has given me absolute confidence that anyone can make big changes, overcome addiction and childhood abuse, and achieve desired goals. Learning from both mistakes and success has helped me find the courage to make life-enhancing decisions in my own career, small business, and personal finances. Above all, I believe spiritual growth is the surest path to real and lasting change in ourselves, and compassionate honesty is the means to heal our relationships with others. I love living in Fort Bragg with my husband of 26 years, Marshall Rogers. In 2006, a remarkable 12 year old named Peter Norman Alexander Clere Dorn Ravlin, who wants to be an author, was added to our family after the loss of his own.
To Reach Mendocino Stories

Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz - has written ten plays, produced mostly in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a hit episode of the TV show MacGyver. He has worked with runaway teenagers in Hollywood for the last twenty-five years, having co-founded and served as first Executive Director of the Los Angeles Youth Network, now over two decades old and thriving. Currently he lives in the redwoods and fog of Albion, no stranger himself to rural living.He shares an excerpt from:
"The Extraordinary Pupfish of Calaveras County" by Joel Schwartz



Bruce Anderson Bruce Patterson - I was born in Chicago but raised in Los Angeles. In 1966, on my 17th birthday, I joined the army infantry and volunteered for Vietnam. And that, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, made all of the difference.

Following a time-honored ex-GI tradition, after my combat hitch I failed to successfully re-adjust to civilian life. When I stumbled into Anderson Valley in 1974 I thought I was just passing through. But I fell in love with a woman, the place and a way of living and, as years passed and, with me hardly noticing, my boots grew roots.

I’m hoping my new career as a writer, coupled with some woodcutting, will provide my wife and me with enough income to allow us to remain in this place we love after she retires. If not, we’ll fall back on one of our lives grand ambitions: we’ll become campground hosts circling with the seasons between empty spaces in the Inter-Mountain West.



Maggie Watson

Maggie Watson
I have been organizing my entire life. Being the second eldest of 10 gave me lots of practice. I organized health campaigns in Sierra Leone, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer as well as coordinated numerous community events in my local community. After 24 years in business, I find empowering others is the most rewarding work. Currently, I organize elders, helping them to stay independent in their homes. I enjoy leading workshops and giving talks about clarifying the important aspects of one's life. I live on the Mendocino coast with my husband, Bruce Erickson, son, Julian and cat, Lily. My husband and I also own Mendocino Solar Service and are thrilled to offer renewable energy solutions.



Along the Way - Travel Stories Quartet - A Writers Group, Maria Goodwin, James Maxwell, Lydia Rand, and Skip Wollenberg.

Our writers group is composed of four members from Mendocino County in California; it has been meeting since 2000. The weekly 10 a.m. gathering began as a readers group focused on one book, but we found out fast that we were more interested in each other than in the book. That year we began presenting our own work: poetry, essays, and short stories. There have been changes in the participants, one died, others dropped out. We have visiting authors as well, they contribute when it is their turn. Each person presents a hardcopy for a creative overview and we line edit as that participant reads their work to us. We sit at a round table overlooking a slow-moving creek, indulging in strong coffee and pastries as we each take our turn, and continue listening. We feel we are finished with the meeting when the last presenter has received feedback; we usually conclude by 1:00 p.m..Three steadfast members from the get-go produced this anthology of stories,
"Along the Way - Travel Stories.

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