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Courtenay Hamiester

Writer in Portland, OR

My Year of Unhappy Places


Courtenay Hamiester has been a pessimist her whole life. In her mid-40's, she was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and she realized that pessimism wasn't her nature, it was pathology. And if anxiety had dug these ruts in her neural pathways that made her think everything was going to suck, was there a way she could dig herself out of them by re-teaching her brain that everything was going to be okay? So then, she decided to start doing things that scared her and then writing about them after realizing that a person can't die from.

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Unhappy Hardcore

@ VOL 11 ON SEP 23, 2014

Wie is er niet groot mee geworden? De dreunende deuntjes van ‘Happy’ Hardcore hebben menig hart sneller doen kloppen. Toch schuilt een inktzwarte tragiek achter dit populaire muziekgenre, zo blijkt uit nieuw wetenschappelijk onderzoek door Nathan de Groot en Tom van Nuenen. De vrolijke toont strook niet met de Weltschmerz, eenzaamheid en maatschappijkritiek in de teksten. De wrange conclusie luidt dat we al die tijd feitelijk te maken hebben gehad met Unhappy Hardcore.

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My Happy Place: A True Tale of Heartache, Tragedy, Desperation & Woe

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

There are two types of people: Those celestial types who belong to the stars, and others who are firmly entrenched on earth and and the soil they. This is the story of a Happy Place lost and a great deal of personal insight and self-knowledge found.

For much of his youth Randall Schoonover roamed the west, busking, and earning his daily bread in a variety of character building positions including Farm Hand, 10-minute Oil Lube Attendant, Balloon Delivery Person and Parking Valet. No job let him express his unique point-of-view however, like ‘Advertising Creative. As a veteran of large west coast agencies, his own shop, and now, as an Executive Creative Director at Sockeye Creative, he strives to make every single story he tells cut through the noise of a complicated world to create indelible and emotional bonds between brands and their fans.

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When You're Neck Deep In the Flood...

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

One place.  Many ways there.  My happy place when it feels like life is living me.

Shari Staten is a writer, writing worktop facilitator, Telecommunications Representative and aspiring web developer. Shari moved to Portland OR from Michigan, was raised in both the Mid-West and Connecticut, is a University of Hartford alumna and a Multiple Sclerosis patient. She is also a current Executive Board Member of Write Around Portland, a local nonprofit.

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The Happy Place of Music

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

Sarah Williams spent the bulk of her life as an athlete, either in or on top of the water. Athletics was a source of joy and strength, as well as an escape. However, as she transitioned into adulthood, she lost connection to this valuable resource until she discovered a new one. One that would prove to be available not only 24/7, but valuable in more ways than she could have imagined.

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Sacred Space

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

I’ll be speaking about my Happy Place in relation to Joseph Campbell’s writing on “the sacred space”—i.e., the place you honor/sanctify for creativity and breakthrough—and how I’ve incorporated it into my life. 

Harris Newman is a writer in Portland. You can find his work in Oregon Business Magazine, Vortex Magazine, or on websites of various small business owners. His upcoming book, Dreamweavers, is about stories of people who followed their dreams. He loves basketball, making zines, chocolate chip cookies, or any combination thereof.   

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Moments on the Trail

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

Happiness is not a constant state, it comes in moments. This is a story of finding the best of those moments deep in the woods with my dog, and how I worked to increase those happy moments throughout my life.

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On the Microphone, I Come Correct

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

My Happy Place is wherever I am behind a microphone. On the radio, hosting an event, singing karaoke, interviewing major political figures for my new podcast; give me that mic and I’m completely at ease. There is no isolating feeling of social awkwardness. There is no question of whether or not I belong. There is no reason to justify why I’m there. It always feels right. It always feels like home. The location can change, but the feeling is always the same.

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Radical Goofing

@ VOL 27 ON OCT 02, 2018

In her talk, Amanda Copple invites the audience into her personal happy place, which she calls "radical goofing". She reveals her tale of finding her happy place at a young age and explains why she lost it and how she got it back.


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Unintended Consequences: Photographs, People and Places

@ VOL 16 ON OCT 17, 2018

Lucy Tucker talks about finding the unexpected beauty in people, photographs and places.