After more than 20 years as a writer, journalist, author, editor and syndicated humor columnist, the next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead — and to have some fun together while doing it.
In 1984, I graduated high school in Oregon and moved to Dallas, Texas, where I found groundbreaking work… as a bus boy! But I eventually made my way into the kitchen and was promoted to corporate chef for L&N Seafood Restaurant in 1987, traveling throughout the South, coordinating restaurant openings. Two years later in 1989, I was promoted to regional chef and moved to Atlanta, Ga., where I oversaw kitchen operations for 15 L&N Seafood locations throughout the Southern region.
But what does any of this have to do with his WRITING credentials? you may ask.
Nothing really, but aren’t you getting hungry?
During my years in the restaurant business, I continued to write, getting short stories published in dozens of small press magazines. In 1999, I was hired as the sports editor for Siuslaw News in Florence, Ore. I also began writing a humor column.
During my time at Siuslaw News, I was awarded “Best Local Column” from both the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. I took my self-syndicated column online to newspapers in 2003. In 2013, my column became a syndicated feature with News Media Corporation. As punishment, I was then promoted to Editor-in-Chief in 2016.
I served as a volunteer firefighter with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue from 2011 to 2021 and am the author of two books: Humor at the Speed of Life (2013), a collection of my columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist (2016), a writer’s survival guide offering tips, insights and inspiration gathered from more than two decades as a writer.
This past year (2022) after retiring from journalism, I established Easy Writer Novel & Manuscript Editing Services, where my motto is “Helping writers prepare for the road ahead.” (and yes, I love riding my Harley.) I’m also currently working on my third book, a murder mystery set in Seattle titled “No Safe Harbor.”
My wife and I continue to live in a small town on the Oregon coast, along with our dog, several crows and entirely too many sea gulls.
209 thoughts on “About this Ned guy”
Thanks for following the blog of a cat loving cheesehead…I appreciate it!
My pleasure 😉
Mary! I didn’t know you had a blog – I would love to follow it, but can’t seem to find it – your link brings me to your facebook page. (This is Jessica)
Love your sense of humor – can’t wait to see more! 🙂
Hi Ned, I mentioned you in a recent post of mine…
Wow, thank you so much for including me on that terrific list of funny folks! I’m flattered and appreciative. And a little gassy. But mostly flattered and appreciative 😉
Gassy, something I cannot relate to, but if you check out my next post then maybe it might spark something.
That is both an intriguing and frightening invitation.
I’ll be there!
I’m sorry but I nominated you for a Liebster award. So to quote Britney “Work Bitch”
You should be sorry, Damn you! I mean that with gratitude.
OMG…I’m going to love reading your stuff….hope you don’t mind another gushing fan. Though it appears that we live in different time zones, I hope you’ll consider loaning out your volunteer fire fighting skills–we have a few self-wired areas in our own home.
I swear, for the first two years after I wired my home, every time there was a power outage (frequent in Oregon) I was convinced it was something I had wired wrong! That said, and considering the time zone factor, I could lone myself and my engine crew for a fire as long as we had a head start… 😉
NED IF YOU ARE THERE THEN FB MESSAGE ME
Love the humor. Looking forward to reading more. 🙂
Thanks, Dye! I visited your blog and the feeling is mutual. Love your honesty and writing style — and the praises you have for your husband. Just like I’m sure he does, I consider myself a very lucky man. Looking forward to your posts 😉
Skimmed through your blog. It made me draw the conclusion that you’re awesome! Humorous, entertaining, thought-provoking, maybe even a little bit awkward, but awesome!
Hey, thanks so much! Especially that part about only being “a little awkward.” It show’s I’m making progress…
Hi Ned! You have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award and the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. For more on this, please visit my blog.
Have a great Christmas and healthy and happy 2014!
Thanks so much for speaking to Mapleton High School Students on January 13, 2014!
The students thought that you were very enthusiastic, energetic, and very, very, funny! some of them have already read parts of your book and loved it! they want you to come back and speak about photography!
Thanks so much, Cheryl I really enjoyed being there and having the chance to corrup… offer some insight to young minds. I’m really glad they’re enjoying the book, too. I’m sure it will become a part of Mapleton High School history, or at least help raise someone’s computer monitor to the right height. 😉
I’d be happy to come back any time, so just let me know and I’ll be there 🙂
By the way, do you think you could send along a couple of photos from Monday? I might like to use one or two on my blog. I’d be happy to give a photo credit. If not, no worries 🙂
Any tips on how to get your writing published?
I write just because I enjoy doing so, but my wife dreams of getting published (we’re both on disability– while I think it’s a worthy goal, I’m not entirely sure how realistic it is).
Nothing wrong with having a dream. Each week, I write a post called My Nickel’s Worth on Writing. The very first one I did was about how I got started. I’m including the link. Check it out if you get the chance. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask through my blog or email link.
I hope this answers some of your questions!
Yikes… here’s the link https://nedhickson.com/2013/09/27/getting-started-as-a-columnist-or-why-i-avoid-rhode-island-2/
Humour at the speed of life, I love it! Humour is such an important ingredient in life and love 🙂
I couldn’t agree more, Shirley. Humor is so important for so many reasons in life, love and living life with an appreciative spirit. Plus when you’re laughing it makes other people wonder what they missed 😉
Since no one is watching… I guess I’ll have to tell you. I found your blog from your feature on the Suz’s Fellow Blogger series. I wish I had found it earlier. I enjoy humor, particularly with a focus on current events.
Feel free to ignore the gravatar image which won’t grab your attention.
I read your getting started post and found it enlightening. I have dreamed of creating a column but have never had the nerve to submit even a “letter to the editor”. Now, if I ever get the nerve, I’ll know how to handle the rejection at least.
I’ll be looking forward reading more of your work.
Loved your burrito sheet comment on Aussa!!
We’ve given up fighting those flat sheets and just go ahead and spread guacamole on the bed before we go to sleep.
Ned, your blog always makes me chuckle and I know you’ve a soft spot for survivors of domestic abuse. We need more humorous voices like yours in the bid to raise awareness, and life in general. For that reason, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award! More details about the award here: http://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/sunshine-award/
Thank you so much! I am honored, flattered and very appreciative.
Ned, thank you, so much, for the follow. You’re insight is wonderful.
My pleasure, Eva! Sorry it took me song long to get around to it. I think the whole “dental” thing just had me scared 😉
(grin) You shouldn’t be scared of the dental thing anymore. Taking the site to non-dental stuff from now on. I write for a dental magazine and told my editor I would be writing serious pieces for him from now on. I think he was relieved. Trying to balance the two worlds is weird.
That sounds exciting, Eva 🙂 By the way, speaking of balancing two worlds, I thought your piece on boobs in the dental chair was brilliant. I can understand why it got so much attention. Hysterical!
(laughing) Thanks, Ned. That piece is still getting some mileage. Boob humor will always have its niche, right?
Congrats! An award from me to you! I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. http://jibberyjab.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/sunshine-y-day/
I have nominated you for an award!
I’m truly flattered to be included in this group of terrific bloggers, and that it came from you. Thank you so much 😉
Aww shucks, I appreciate the compliment as well.
Thanks for the follow, Ned! You are a scream 🙂
Great blog Ned! I’m another Oregonian stuck in the madness! 🙂
Thanks, Victoria! I suppose if we’re going to be stuck in the madness, it might as well be here 😉
I have a better place to be stuck in which I will be traveling to next week, Montana! You know, Big Sky Country where life is quiet and simple 🙂
And less rainy! Have a great trip and enjoy that Big Sky.
Thank you! Going to be there for a month so lots of quiet time to write. Have a great evening! 🙂
Wow you have quite the spectacular ‘About.’ I agree – not a bad idea to be a fireman if you’re home is over 100 years old 🙂
I’ve visited many, many blogs and your blog is the first I’ve found using the same theme as mine – Splendio!
And obviously we both have very refined taste in blog theme selection 😉
I must now prepare for an onslaught of crazy Italians headed my way for Eastering!
Have a great weekend. Your publishing credentials are truly inspiring 🙂
Hey Ned, I have nominated you for the WordPress Family Award! Check out your nomination here: http://contortumdesigns.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/wordpress-family/
Thanks so much, Abigail! I am truly flattered and appreciative to be in such great company 😉
I nominated you for an award. To read about it, follow the link http://wisdomfromafather.com/2014/05/18/hall-of-shame/
Sorry if I seem to be rifling through some of your older blogs with random ‘likes’ (I feel like a stalker) – just finding some interesting reading via different links. Anyways, I am glad I stumbled across your site, really enjoying some of your blogs and your sense of humour!
Thanks, Tiffany! I’m glad you stumbled your way here, too. Random or otherwise 😉
Hey Ned, I live in Australia and stumbled across your blog a while back. It is great to find another writer with a warped and slightly wacky sense of humour! Thanks for the entertainment, your blogs are a great distraction for when I am supposed to be working. Cheers!
This is just too funny! Can you tone it down? (I don’t really mean that, the tone it down part).
My Hubby is also a Volunteer Fire Fighter. Thanks for you service.
If I tried toning it down, it would probably just come out somewhere else. I think it’s safer this way 😉
Thanks for reading, and please give your husband a hearty and appreciative handshake on my behalf. Whatever happens after that is up to you guys, but let him know it’s not on my behalf anymore… 😉
I see it already has and just for that, I’ll give my Hubby that “hearty handshake”
After reading this and your comment on being like me in your 20s (with dangly bits) then I cannot wait to be you when I’m all grown up (or not so much grown up) 😛
Have a gorgeous 2015!
I’ll probably grow out before I grow up… and I’m doing my best to avoid too much of both 😉
And the same gorgeous wishes for you in the New Year, Kerri!
This Ned guy sounds pretty cool. Think I might have to follow his blog. 🙂
Hey thanks, Shannon! Great to have you along 😉
Holy crap, a fellow Oregonian. (Hides coffee and beer stash.) I’ve been through Florence. I had to roll up my windows to avoid hearing loss from all the ATVs roaring around on the sand dunes but other than that, it was lovely.
*It took three local librarians and a forester to locate the proper pronunciation for “Siuslaw” but I still don’t trust it.
Lol! Next time, stop in at Siuslaw News and ask for me. I’ll tell you the correct pronunciation for a cup of coffee 😉
I believe it’s ” ah kup uv CAH-fee,” but it really depends on where you’re from.
If I ever say it like that, get me to a hospital STAT!
Oh, really? How do Florencians say it?
I’ll take a caw-fee, with cream and sugar. And one of those stale biscuit sticks laced with chocolate, please…
Other than the obsession with sucrose and cow breasts, I don’t hear a difference.
Great! Then it sounds to me like coffee together some day might work.
I’ll let you know when next I’m in The South. Hint: gas prices must be lower than a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to get me out into this heat and driving through (shudder) Eugene.
We could join parties at Devil’s Churn. I’d go to Devil’s Churn to see a dead squirrel, I love that place so much. https://allthoughtsworkoutdoors2.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/going-coastal-wavewatching-at-cape-perpetua-709/?preview=true&preview_id=1714&preview_nonce=a54186ecae&post_format=standard
Devil’s Churn, Cook’s Chasm and Cape Perpetua are some of my favorite haunts. I’ll watch the gas prices and keepmy coffee cup handy, Anna 😉
Here is the link to my original photo. https://instagram.com/p/zWziATJi04/
Congratulations! I have tagged you for an on-line Blogger Interview!
hi Ned. I love your blog and I’m nominating you for the Sunshine Award. Check it out:
Hey, Colleen! Sorry for the slow reponse. Thanks so much for the shout-out and including me on your list. It’s rainy and dark here in Oregon, so any kind of sunshine is welcome. I’m burried right now but will definitely do my part in sharing the sunshine just as soon as I can. I really enjoy your stuff, by the way, and as a 49-year-old with three teens, I need the laughs from a kindred spirit 😉 Thanks again!
A WordPress friend has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award and as part of the rules, I’m supposed to nominated 15 people. Tag, you are it! 😉
I can’t wait to see your performance tomorrow!
Thanks, Rebecca — but Suzyq96 beat you to it — or maybe I’m just really, really lovely 😉 And I’m really looking forward to what you and your team has put together tomorrow, too!
LOL my sister is fast! 😉 But we all know that you are really, really lovely too. I hope everyone loves it!
I nominated you for One Lovely Blog Award!
Thanks so much, SuzyQ! (One of my favorite songs, by the way) 😉
Thanks for including me on the list, Michelle! Very cool spot. I’m looking forward to reading them all!
Great to meet you Ned. I look forward to exploring more of your world. Cheers and warmest wishes from down under.
The pleasure’s mine, Miriam. Whe. You mentioned “this morning” in a previous comment, I wondered where you were reading from. Great to have you here 😉
I’m reading from Melbourne, Australia Ned. It’s nearly midday here now. Nice to have connected with you. Cheers. 🙂
I like it. Your blog. I look forward to seeing where life takes you and your entries. I took the long way around to writing also but not through the kitchen. How lucky your wife must be to have a chef in the house. My husband is most women’s dream “task completer” and makes me the envy of many friends. My son (almost 20 and one of triplets) is in college for EMS and plans to become a firefighter and whatever else he decides. So, there’s a little similarity in our stories. Happy to meet you.
Thanks for reading, Lisa, and for the wonderful comments. As you said, it sounds like we have some similarities along our road to writing, as well as the spouses we’ve been blessed with. And congrats to your son for his chosen career! He sounds like a special man who’s going to contribute a lot 😉
Hola, Ned! Your interview is live: https://robertmgoldstein.com/2016/09/03/featured-blogger-ned-hickson/
Thanks, Robert! Looking forward to it 😉