AHB newcomer Becky Luening is highly skilled, but hard to categorize. She has been a freelancer for most of her working life, beginning in college when she typed papers for other students to pay the rent. Becky received her liberal arts education and a B.A. degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, majoring in art with an emphasis on printmaking and papermaking. Fed up with freeways and smog, she fled her native city immediately after graduation and moved to Santa Cruz, California, where she commenced upon a Bohemian lifestyle supported by her flying fingers. Because of her interest in percussion, her business name for a long time was “Wordrhythm.”
To this day, Becky identifies as a typist, and as she clarified in her brief presentation at the March AHB meeting, it isn’t just speed and accuracy (she was once clocked at 110wpm in a national typing contest), but her ability to correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation on the fly that make her a “super” typist. Early on, she found a niche preparing academic papers, business letters, and professional reports, as well as doing data entry and audio tape transcription.
Starting out in the 1980s with just a typewriter, Becky was poised to ride the technological wave that brought us personal computers, and her skills developed along with advances in software capability. With an artist’s eye, she naturally moved into layout and graphics. Over decades of self-employment followed by a long period of volunteerism while being supported by a partner, she wrote, designed and formatted many newsletters, flyers, brochures, booklets, ads, and even websites.
Becky’s lifelong passion for reading and her long experience typing and correcting others’ words contributed to the development of superb writing skills. She is adept at composing letters and drafting content for web or print, with an eye for clear, concise, and consistent copy. She completed a writing certificate course with the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) in 2011, and has written many articles and published a few op-eds in her life. She writes occasionally for The BEE and is a member of the professional organization, Oregon Press Women.
As Becky nears retirement age, she finds herself wanting to get back to her artist roots. Steeped in Book Arts for several decades, she is excited at the prospect of designing unique books and paper pieces for special occasions. She has dabbled in letter-press and wants to do more craft printing. She has helped a few friends self-publish memoirs and poetry books using online print-on-demand services, and would love to do more of that kind of work as well.
Becky offers all of the above under the title “Becky Luening Communications & Book Arts.” Her basehourly fee is low—just $25—because she wants to keep her services affordable for nonprofits and small businesses (her preferred customers). If you have a project in mind and want to talk it over or get a quote, she can be reached by phone or text at 503-616-2532 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on the web at beccaroosky.com.