Cannon Shoals

Cannon Shoals, and nearby Oak Valley, are small towns on the Pacific coast, somewhere between Florence and Newport where the Neatasknea River flows into Neatasknea Bay. The major industries are fishing and timber, which should give you a bit of a clue as to the fortunes of the town and its two thousand people.

Stories set in Cannon Shoals are small, slice-of-life pieces focusing on the drama of the town’s largest employer (the Martin-Barlow lumber mill), the tension between natives and immigrants looking for cheap real estate, and the hopes and dreams of residents trying to escape or to make their peace in a town that America has largely left behind.

There are few heroes here, mostly people trying to get by. Catch them at Annie’s, the dive bar with a marine radio license; at Stach’s Grounds, the coffeehouse whose marionberry muffins are renowned countywide; at KCNS-FM, the smallest public radio affiliate in the country. In the Shoals you’ll meet folks like…

  • … Daniel Hayes, an aggressive young sergeant in the police department with a dubious handle on ‘consent’ and a better handle on the fourth wall.
  • … Joan Findlay, a melancholy daydreamer making peace with her small-town background and outsider friends like bookstore-owner Paul Fisher.
  • … Robert Dean, the stubborn, tough head of the mill union, doing what he can to pull the town back from the brink no matter what it takes.