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Last Updated:
Feb 27th, 2008 - 12:06:38 


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The Travels of our First Webmaster


Breaking Free: A Novel of the Sixties
Sylvia Hart Wright
For the fourth anniversary online, we are celebrating when a new novel hit the cyberspace "press," the second part a fund-raiser for this zine. Now for the first time, West By is proud to present, free, both parts of the full-length, historically accurate novel by prize-winning author, Sylvia Hart Wright. Crafted into two parts, each part can stand alone; however if you are like most readers, you will want to follow Elise Heller's adventures from the stormy student, peace and women's movements of the Bay Area to the New York noir of the Black Panthers. With a gift for dialog and a great sense of how the personal truly is political, this novel introduced many memorable characters, especially Elise Heller, one of the strongest female protagonists in contemporary American fiction. –an e-book feature of
Feb 27, 2008

Banjo Lane: Chapter Seven
Norm Maxwell
The children are the ones who suffer when the adults never grow up. Meet the Banjo Lane denizens who adapt to various conditions. Norm Maxwell's serialized novel is based, in part, on real-life people who populate our fair county, a county without adequate numbers of social workers or police officers nor jail beds, thanks to the lack of funding: "Larry pointed. What looked like a bathroom window had been left open just for them. Dim light shown through the screen. Larry moved to the window and stood up. He listened. He couldn’t hear a TV or anybody moving around. He was fairly certain nobody was at home..." a feature at
Mar 9, 2007

Banjo Lane: Chapter Six
Norm Maxwell
When art imitates dire lives we can see the crisis coming. Just how it comes is the fascination: Our scene opens, long shot of a country lane, little house surrounded by trees in distance. (A ghostly old tune twangs faintly on a banjo.) It could be now or a hundred years ago. Middle shot, back of derelict barn, two men in old work clothes holding gallon pots and shovels. Close-up, lacy plants in containers. "It was D-Day and the sun was bright and hot in the blue sky. The marijuana plants were dark green and happy in their gallon pots. The time had come to plant them in the berry patch out back... 'The girls are looking good, Bro,' Larry nodded as he examined his rose clippers and leather gloves. We are going to do just fine with this crop. I have a good feeling about this.'"
Oct 23, 2006

Banjo Lane: Chapter Five
Norm Maxwell
The best introduction may be the fan letters we are receiving about Norm Maxwell's serial novel: "Hello WxNW, I want to tell you how much I am enjoying Norm Maxwell's Banjo Lane! The antics of those goofy meth serious yet so silly.� So tragic and funny.� I can hardly wait to see what happens next.�Love his writing style and the story is terrific! Thanks for such a cool mag!� And thanks for supporting new talent and writers like Norm! Sheza." Another regional artist writes: "I'm sure hooked on Norm Maxwell's saga of down-and-outers navigating the potholes and pitfalls of their every day life.........what a slice! I actually can't wait for the next installment. Please keep him in your magazine! Thanks, Alix Mosieur, Lorane, Ore." And still another inquires: "I was wondering how I may get the remaining chapters of Norm Maxwell's Banjo Lane? My local library doesn't have a copy. Or are there only four chapters in the book? Sincerely; C.R. Rushing" Well Dear Readers, your wait is over. Here is the continuing saga, Chapter Five. �a feature at
Jul 15, 2006

Banjo Lane: Chapter Four
Norm Maxwell
The meth epidemic is ravaging the land but this public health concern is no concern at all at the end of Banjo Lane. Meet the denizens of an imaginary but all too real world of lawless and Loveless souls. With great local color and a tragic sense of humor, Maxwell brings this shady, human world to life: "Larry got busy reducing the cold pills with alcohol and a hotplate on the back porch.  Hayes drove off to acquire a big bottle of iodine solution from a feed and seed store. It just kept getting harder for an honest meth cook to gather the needed material.. " – a feature at 
Apr 4, 2006

Banjo Lane: Chapters Two and Three
Norm Maxwell
At the end of Banjo Lane, Hayes and Scary Larry are hard at "work" creating their paradise. Norm Maxwell's fictional account of the Oregon meth drug scene is based on true life observation. Shifting from shades of comic tragedy to undiluted misery, this serial novel is an examination of lives that are not edifying. Meet Brandy a young woman who "viewed Hayes as a success.  At least as successful as anyone ever was in her life’s sphere.  While he didn’t waste his days working a job, he had a roof over his head and always some sort of drugs in the house.  If he needed a ride, he boosted a car.  He stole as much as he needed to get by and a little more for gracious living.  He didn’t mind children.  In fact, it even seemed that he liked them at times.  This was possibly due to young children taking him at face value and not looking too hard behind the facade that he presented." – a feature at
Feb 14, 2006

Banjo Lane: Chapter One
Norm Maxwell
Ever wonder about the real stories of some of our disreputable neighbors? Our own West By author, inspired by Steinbeck and Caldwell, took elements of our contemporary Northwest life, mixed the politics of underfunding of public safety, and land use, added a heaping dose of humor and naturalism, stirred well with irony and put on to simmer. Set in the lush landscapes and back roads of Lane County, Oregon, Norm Maxwell brings to life the character Hayes Loveless: "He was a small man, not yet thirty, and he had always avoided working for a living as it is a tremendous waste of time." Visit the sad, seamy and hilarious world of Banjo Lane. "This is Lane County, bro. It's not like they have room to keep you in jail." – an E-book feature at
Dec 9, 2005

A Chapter of Sticking to the Union: The Life and Times of Julia Ruuttila
Sandy Polishuk
West By e-Books is honored to present a complete chapter of the acclaimed new book about the Northwest labor movement through the voice of an extraordinary participant, labor journalist and organizer, Julia Ruuttila. Julia was born in Lane County, an IWW kid and died in Alaska, a respected writer and grandmother. Before she died she told her stories about the IWW and the Centralia Tragedy and Portland's ILWU waterfront to oral historian Sandy Polishuk: The Oregon historian's work with the "little lady who made history" creates a window into a time and place we can still recognize although it is fading. Ms. Polishuk mediates a historical frame between memory and cold facts. –with a special thanks to Sandy Polishik and her publisher Palgrave Macmillian
Jun 13, 2004

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